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07-12-2007, 11:37 AM #1
Teaching Kids to ride / Training Techniques?
I am very interested in getting my 6 year old son into riding and my 9 year old daughter. I have a TTR-125 stock thats probably too much bike to start my daughter out on but she does fit it well. I will soon purchase a 50-90cc bike for my son depending on what kind of deal i'll get. But I was wondering if anyone has any good exercises/training techniques that they know that are good for kids. Like easy ways to teach them use of the clutch and gears and how to stop . the basics of riding. Someone else in a forum reccomended having the child walk next to the bike in first gear so they can get a better idea of where the clutch starts to pull. Things like this.
I would appreciate any advice or personal experience people have had with this and what worked or didn't work.
Thanks in advance.
07-12-2007, 10:49 PM #2
When my son first started using a clutch I told him to try to go one foot and then stop, one more foot and then stop again, etc. It worked amazingly well. It's like instant clutch control! Every now and then I'd have to go through the drill with him again, but it didn't take long for it to stick.
One more thing...
If your kid has never ridden before, you've got to make SURE they know how to stop before you ever start the bike. Push them down the driveway and have them operate the brakes individually and together. They could also operate the throttle, clutch and gear shift in the same fashion. Using the clutch to engauge and disengauge the transmission while coasting will give them a feel for where the clutch begins to take effect, but make certain that they realize that it works opposite when the bike is running!!!
07-13-2007, 02:05 AM #3
After the absolute basics (where the brakes, clutch, throttle and gear stick are) clutch control is key. I recommend for the first 5 minutes or so, and you can do this for as long and as often as they need, bar them from using the throttle. Clutch only. And explain what is happening, that they are engaging and disengaging the engine from the back wheel and that it is not simply "on" or "off", there are grey areas of great value. Throttle and brakes are easy, they are "go" and "stop". The hardest thing to understand is the clutch.
Something else fun you can do is sit on the seat behind them and get their feet and hands where they are supposed to be, and you can show them what its like by controlling the throttle/clutch/front brake with your hands. Then you sit behind them and let them do the controlling, then you let them go completely.
Kids are quick learners, as long as its fun theyll get it.
07-13-2007, 10:28 AM #4
Ripper- Here's my $.02 in addition to the already great advice in the previous post. [Based on recent and personal experience]
My 9 year old [now 10] is riding a Honda CRF 70. I chose his first bike on the following criteria. Seat height, autoclutch, price and perceived value/reliability...He chose the color
I had him practice walking the bike up and down the sidewalk, and simulating off loading from a trailer by pushing up and backing down a drive way. When he could maneuver the bike without dropping it, I had him sling his leg over....got some practice picking up the bike too
Next, I had the boy "paddle" the bike down the sidewalk to a speed where he could coast with feet on the pegs...this took awhile because the look/weight of the bike [and wearing a helmet] caused him to forget he'd been riding a bicycle since he was 5-ish. As mentioned in a previous post-this is the time to practice braking! Something happened after about 15 mins. and he was Haulin' A$$ [coasting] past me and standing on the pegs.
Our first ride was in a large OHV staging area-a wide open and flat space with few hard objects to crash into. I brought some "soccer cones" and had him practice making a big left turn loop...for some reason, it was easier for him to make a left turn than a right. I also set up two cones and had him practice stoping on or just before the line between the cones.
Alas, what I have found is that because of these incremental steps taken, he is competent and confident to ride pretty much anywhere we go. Sand and washes tend to nip him in the backside, but he's getting better...nothing like watching your child swap out and get off hard to make a father "pucker".
Be patient and have fun-this could be (should be) something we will enjoy with our kids for a long long time.
m y s i g n a t u r e:
Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.- Orwell
Always remember: You are unique-Just like everyone else! -Idontknow
07-15-2007, 07:41 PM #5
All posts have provided great advice. I have done several of the techniques mentioned above and my 8 year old son is very confident in riding at the local kids track (started this year on an XR50 and now is riding a KLX110 and says the XR50 is "too slow and bouncy on the bumps"). The only other things I remind him of and work with him on periodically are (1) to stay forward on the bike, (2) to keep his elbows up, and (3) to look ahead and not directly in front of him, especially in corners. Every now and then I'll do some drills with cones on braking, weaving around them standing, starts, etc. It's amazing how quickly kids learn and absorb what you tell them.
07-16-2007, 08:42 AM #6
Some of the best money I spent was taking my 6 yr old to the MSF dirt bike school. I had taught her the basics in the back yard to start. First I required that she learn to ride her bicycle well without training wheels. Then I put her on a CRF50 with training wheels. I went with the CRF50 because all of the controls were in standard locations. I didn't like the PW50 because it puts the rear brake up on the handlebar and she'd have to relearn that. I went with training wheels so she didn't have to worry about balancing the bike while she learned throttle and brake control. After about 6 rides in the yard the training wheels came off. She took a safety class with the CCC to get her safety certificate (required here in Michigan) but they had something like 18 kids in the class and 2 instructors - she still learned a lot. Then I took her to the dirt bike school - 2 instructors and 2 students in our case. She learned TONS. They have a set curriculum that puts them through everything and they know the techniques needed to get it across. As long time riders much of what we do is instinct - it's hard to get across exactly how we do some of the stuff we do. They know how because they are trained. That and I also think that kids learn better from other people than they do from their own parents. If we get the slightest bit frustrated they will hear it in our voice and it will affect them. An instructor doesn't have that liability. My $.02
m y s i g n a t u r e:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming "WOW, WHAT A RIDE!"
07-18-2007, 03:00 AM #7Originally Posted by knowiam
07-24-2007, 08:54 PM #8Registered
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Just like my grandpa taught me
"Boy, heres the shifter, clutch, brakes, and throttle. Just squeeze the shifter before you shift and dont let go until it is finished"
After i did that he taught me what the clutch does and so on.
07-28-2007, 02:27 AM #9Registered
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as a kid when i first started riding, i was so paranoid of letting the clutch out too fast and wheelying out of control or something. than the first time i rode i found out its no big deal.
08-02-2007, 10:54 AM #10
if he sits down the whole time take of the seat