miracle conversion???

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Oct 31, 2000
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#1
Hi Guys - I just wondered if I could get your thoughts on something. After years of sulking, ear bashing and extended periods of the silent treatment brought about by my love of racing, my wife has decided to change tack . She's said that she would like to try it out. She's never ridden a motorcycle before and is very nervous about hurting herself. She's 30,tall and reasonably strong - the nerves are purely psychological. Would it be best to get her road lessons on a trail bike, then try out a trail once she's confident - or start from scratch off road on a field? I don't want her to get put off at this stage. Thanks for any advice.
 

Patman

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#2
I'd find a nice open field. Not too loose of dirt as to make if difficult to control her direction but not hard pack as to make it too slippery and hard if she falls. You don't want and distractions (trees, posts, etc...) because newbies tend to fixate on these objects. Grass can be a cushin but also can be slippery. I'd say stay away from the "road" lessons since the dirt seems to be more forgiving when ya' try to hug it.:)
 

Jaybird

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#3
rob,
My friend, you sure don't want to bollocks up a teaching session with the mrs.
I've found out the hard way about that. :eek:

I suggest laying out the plan to her in advance....first day of riding the very basics are covered and thats it. Starting, placing in gear, controls, braking, stopping(cover that one several times). Once she can let out the clutch and go, just have her do circles, small circles slowly. Then have her switch directions and figure 8. Once she makes a few of them, ease her in a for a nice stop and say, "lesson over".
The urge to continue for a day of riding will be great, especially if she did well up to that point, but don't do it...save it, trust me on this. It will make her next outing much more enjoyable and she will be very much at ease. Same for kids.
Take your time, the nervous ones need a little extra TLC. :)
 

Lemming

Looking for single women!
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#4
There's only one answer, A Motorcycle Training Course!!!!!!!

Why you ask? Who will get the blame if she forgets to pull in the clutch after she inadvertantly opens the throttle to full tilt - you will since you obviously did not impress upon her the importance of the device. After she learns the basics of riding then put her in the dirt - not literally:scream:

When my wife said she wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle, I thought about teaching her (I only had a Vulcan 1500 Classic at the time) and then decided against it. Smartest thing I've done in a long time was convincing her to take a formal course. She enjoyed the course so much that after the first day on the bikes she came home and asked if we could go out an look for a new one. She is now the owner of a Virago 535 and loves it. No she hasn't taken up dirtbiking and doesn't want to. :scream:
 

CJ Rider

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#5
So true, Lemming! The Motorcycle Safety Course is is very worth taking if you're starting from scratch. Call your local DMV for details. Dirt riders tend to forget that this is a basic skills course that's good for everybody. I took it when I first started, enjoyed it, and learned a lot... and I didn't yell at my husband once during the course, which made him happy!
 
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#6
My personal opinion is that she should start out in the dirt. Much safer to take a spill----if, in fact, she takes one. I fell plenty of times in the learning process, and was glad it was on the dirt and not asphalt. In addition, be sure to make her wear all the protective gear--no exceptions!

I hope she enjoys it as much as the rest of us do! Good luck!
 

NVR FNSH

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#7
Second opinion for the MSF class on a STREET bike. Empty parking lots with professional instructors on a light weight UNDERPOWERED bike. If she can ride a bicycle she can learn to ride a motorcycle.

Then, this will be considered blasphemous, maybe try a quad if she has never ridden in the dirt (mtn bike/bmx as a kid). IMO a quad is very good for somebody to learn to read the terrain w/o the distractions of balancing a bike etc.

I taught my wife how to operate a motorcycle on a friends '81 XL500 in the school parking lot. I wish I would have sent her to an MSF course....

Brian
 

WoodsRider

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#8
Gotta agree with the MSF course. It teaches basic motorcycle operation and jargon which can easily transfer over to dirt riding.

Normally I'd disagree with the "significant other" teaching method since Mrs. Woods and I put our relationship to the ultimate test when I tried teaching her how to ski. However, this past Sunday, I witnessed a guy teaching his significant other how to ride off-road. This probably wasn't her first time on the bike, but it was her first time on trails. He kept his cool and explained in great detail all of her mistakes and what she needed to do to correct them without screaming obscenities at her. On the other hand, she listened thoroughly and didn't use the whining "I can't", "I'm trying" or "I'm not strong enough" excuses. I couldn't believe it when they were still smiling and talking to eachother at the end of the day.
 
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#10
Thanks for the views. She's going to do a CBT - cert of basic training which I guess is the UK equivalent of the MSF, then apply the principles onto the dirt with a few more thrown in by me, like stand up, arms up and no, clean your own bike. I'll keep you posted on the progress.