I gotta help this kid learn how to care for bikes

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Tweakedlogic, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Tweakedlogic

    Tweakedlogic Adventurer

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    First of all, given the choices of sub boards, this seemed like the best choice.

    I traded a running, ridable rt180 for a broken but complete XR650L to this 15 year old kid. Now he keeps blowing up my phone with questions. He's 150 rual miles away so i can't really take him under my wing and teach him. I don't know what his home life is like or anything, but I know he doesn't have a proper place to work, and no knowledge base, and no money to service the 4 well abused/broken bikes he had in his yard. I know that eventually he will learn on his own. He seems to have a knack with tools, or at least an over confidence. But how many bikes will he torture and murder in the mean time?

    So I would like a small collection of well written web sites so he can learn basic maintenance and riding skills. I don't want to overwhelm him, but get him started with knowledge. I'm looking for places made to teach the hacks and noobs. Specifically geared for dirt bikes and 2 strokes.

    If you know of a good site or two on the top of your head I'd like to pass them on please. I don't know the Google search terms to not get millions of hits.
    #1
  2. obsidian16825

    obsidian16825 Been here awhile

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    What bikes does he have? There may be specific sites for those makes and models, as well as service manuals he can get.
    #2
  3. Tweakedlogic

    Tweakedlogic Adventurer

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    He has my old RT180, a DR200, some Chinese bike called Pioneer, and his dad said he had another 90cc taken apart on the back porch.

    I forwarded him a couple links about riding in the dirt already because I'm worried he's gonna kill himself. He mentioned that he never uses the rear brake. I told him to start and he would be a better rider.

    He's texting me with basic questions though, like if it's (the RT) like a normal 2 stroke since he doesn't have to premix the gas, and bleeding brakes and such.

    I think he needs to learn basic maintenance and riding skills. None of his bikes I saw had properly lubed and adjusted drive chains for instance. I told my wife that I'm certain I sent the old RT to suffer a violent and painfull death.
    #3
  4. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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  5. St_rydr

    St_rydr Strider

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    I've learned with my wallet. It sucked. Perhaps mentorship on the weekends has it rewards?
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  6. stainlesscycle

    stainlesscycle Long timer

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  7. D.T.

    D.T. Difficult but useful

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    Sounds like me growing up. :lol3

    All I can say is that the kid has to take the time to soak up all the information out there and keep at it. I'm still learning all of this stuff! :huh

    My Dad just bought me the bikes, but didn't help me "fix" them. I was on my own. It would be nice to have someone to help him, but that's not always the case. Having a lot of money is the easy way out, just buy new stuff. But not all kids are "rich". I was middle class.
    #7
  8. Tweakedlogic

    Tweakedlogic Adventurer

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    #8
  9. Camarodude

    Camarodude Been here awhile

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    Just wanted to say your a good person for taking your time to help this kid out.
    #9
  10. GreatLakesGuy

    GreatLakesGuy Saved by Grace

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    Tons of info there, thanks for sharing. :thumb

    +1
    I know a lot of people that get a "not my problem" attitude. Good on you for taking the time to help the guy out, and potentially save a few bikes from being scrapped too.
    #10
  11. Gripsteruser

    Gripsteruser Service Monkey

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    I suspect that having a non-parental adult to talk to is much more important than turning him into a great mechanic in the shortest time possible.

    Give him the time that you can, point him to resources but realize that the big contribution is your time - not the information.

    I started hanging with a dyslexic, troubled 15 year old many years ago at his mother's request because he liked working on stuff that I also did. She claims I'm responsible for him graduating high school and staying out of trouble.

    He's now a responsible 33 year old married father working hard to support them no matter what happens in the job market.

    What mattered for him wasn't the stuff we fixed but the conversations we had about everything else.

    If the bikes are destroyed along the way - it's just stuff.
    #11
  12. WRW9751

    WRW9751 7th Day Adventurist

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    I probably was that 15 year old ADD dyslexic, kid at one time.
    Finding motorcycles was like opening the door to something I truly wanted to learn about.
    School was just a pain in the ass, who needed to learn that Columbus was lucky enough to discover his own front pockets.
    I had some non-parental mentors that challenged me and helped me.
    I will be forever grateful, most are gone now.
    There is actually a fair amount of knowledge wrapped up in our sport.
    You will both benefit! Thanks for taking the time.
    #12
  13. OneEffinName

    OneEffinName Been here awhile

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    It seems its easier to call you than to use google. Does he not know how to use the internet?

    Next time he calls and asks a question, ask him - "what did you find when you googled it?".

    The more you answer his questions, the more he will keep asking.
    #13
  14. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    The kid should start with one simple bike and have the maintenance manual for it. He'll have pride in it and will be able to enjoy it.

    Multiple problems with multiple bike and he'll never see anything come to fruitition, and likely be a little overwhelmed and frustrated without having the funds and tools to care for them.

    good luck...

    Also, I suggest he keep one bike and sell everything else to fund tools, parts etc for said bike. He should be learning these basic life skills from his father.
    #14
  15. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Nice nobel idea you got but w/o knowing the kid you'll have to decide is he just into MC's cause they're cool and expecting every one else to work on it or fix it? Or is there a real interest and willingness to make a commitment to learn?. At 15 he doesn't even have a license and related expense so not out driving around so he's got plenty of time to learn the basics. Sounds like right now he's just having fun taking things apart he has no clue about and then yelling for help at assembly time. I also agree with an above reply. A 15 year old kid with no clue doesn't need 4 broken bikes he can't maintain. Sell everything but the one he really likes/wants, use the money for tools and a factory shop manual. It's a start. Gawd forbid but he may even have to get a job to support his interests. Life's cruel that way. If his interest is real he'll figure out a way. If not well he'll figure that out too. If you're not ready to adopt and support him you'll just have let him fly on his own.
    #15
  16. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    It's great that you're helping the kid out. You are officially a mentor, whether you want it or not:lol3

    The motorcycle thing may stick or not, the important thing is that he's found something he enjoys enough to keep calling you for help. His dad probably knows nothing about bikes, isn't interested or, like many teenagers, the kid will take advice from anyone but his parents. I'd say it's the second reason, sad, but common.

    Wish I could help out more with web resources. Might ask him if his high school offers shop. Even if it's cars he'll still learn basic mechanics.
    #16
  17. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Help or not....may depend into what type of riding he wants to do later. My friend has a little shop, he was thinking of taking the kid next door under his wing as he already has a dirt bike and shows "some" interest.

    I met the kid at my friend's shop.....all he wants to talk about is the GSXRxxxx he is going to buy as soon as he gets his license and do the same as all the other squids around here.:huh

    Annoying....no way he'll listen to us two old fools. Good start he is getting, already pissing off my friend's neighborhood riding his noisy dirt bike on the streets. I guess he got talked to.....he was pushing it last time I saw him, and that's quite a ways to where he can ride the trails.:evil

    Nope...not pushing the broom or observing around the shop that one.:lol3
    #17
  18. Tweakedlogic

    Tweakedlogic Adventurer

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    Thanks everyone. I talked to the kid the other day. He is excited about the links I sent him, but he seems to get excited about everything. His father admitted he knew nothing about bikes or wrenching. He seems like he's a good kid.

    He was doing things backwards if you ask me. The bikes didn't look like they were well maintained, dry chains, old spark plugs and such. So he would wait until it broke, then try and fix it. I kept pressing the maintainence, but I don't know if it will stick.

    I wish him luck.
    #18
  19. xfrk

    xfrk n00b

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    Did you give him Thumpertalk?
    #19