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the kids are all right

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Jul 4, 2002
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#1
In my youth (I'm 51 now) I would of killed my best friend to get a mini bike or go-kart to run and work on. My dad was into other things so we never did any of that type of stuff. Thats cool.
OK, now I can and do enjoy dirtbiking and had a couple of go-karts before the trail riding thing but my 16 year old really does not want to work on the bikes or read how to jet the 2-strokes, he just wants to ride em. Is this a every other generation deal or what?
Its not just me. My riding partner's son has a hotrod Z28 but does not like to work on the cage or learn how either. Dad has to do it.
Its bad enough trying to figure out what the wife wants and then this gets thrown into the mix.
I am thankful the kid and I still have a 'common ground' with the riding the bikes, but I would like to hear what you all think.
tom
 

James

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#2
It isn't generational...everybody is different. I am sure you could find a bunch of 51 year old guys that never had the urge to turn a wrench on something.
 
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#3
Im 15 and like turning wrenches as much as riding the bike, my friend Matt is a better riderbut he dosnt do any mantience at all.
 

fender92883

Mi. Trail Riders
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#4
I'm 19, and wrenching is one of my favorite things to do. I don't know very much about it currently, but I enjoy learning and practicing what I know. I have always enjoyed taking things apart and learning how they work...that's why I'm studying to be an engineer. Oh yeah, riding is OK, too! ;) :thumb: :yeehaw:
 

firecracker22

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#5
I think it is age-related to some degree. I went to a really small high school in kind of an uppity area, but still I was the ONLY person in my graduating class and one of maybe 10 or so in the whole school who wanted to work on things. I got made fun of over my car--a 1969 Mustang--because it was "like, SOOOO old" and didn't even have a CD player. Like, oh my gosh. Anyway, I think my parent's generation was a lot more hands-on than mine is. It's just not as cool as it used to be to work on stuff yourself.
 

oldguy

Always Broken
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#6
My son (15yrs) will work on the bike with me but I guess it's my fault that he doesn't do more independant work. I always want to be hands in the way with him as I would feel terrible if he got hurt because of a loose bolt or similar problem. I do make sure he is watching/helping when we do the work on his bike and he is responsible for filters and oil changes each week.
 
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#7
I LOVE working on things just for fun. I know alot of people that don't and alot that also do. I guess it party goes upon there parents and part on there personality. Every ones diffrent.
 
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#8
I'm 15, and about the only girl i know that likes to work on things, my only problem is that my dad likes cars more than motorcylces. But i love them enough for both of us.
 

WaltCMoto

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#10
Ive always worked on my own stuff. Maybe thru neccesity. I got my first minibike in a box.(previous owner took it apart to fix it and gave up on it) Dad wasnt around much to help and I think my mom thought I would never get it back together, prover her wrong. Today Im to dang cheap to pay the shop for stuff I can do myself. With 3 bikes in family, I couldnt afford to have a shop do it anyhow.
Back to the original ?, I think its my hobby and they like riding to, but that whole work and get your hands dirty thing just aint for them. If my kids had to pay for or do anything more than an oil change, Id be riding alone. Since I enjoy the riding the bikes so much, and spending time with the kids, Ill do the maintanance and let them do the other things they enjoy.
 

bbbom

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#11
I think it's more to do with personality and age and maybe a little to do with previous experience and the atmosphere the work is getting done in.

All three of our kids work on their own bikes to some extent. The girls like to work in the shop once in awhile but they aren't "driven to do it". We give them small tasks they can do on their own. My 9 yo daughter is one of the few kids, and probably the only girl in her class that can pick out the correct tool when we ask for it and she's pretty good at figuring out what she needs to do the task at hand. They think it's fun to grease bearings & play in the goo but they just like to do it because we are there and they think it's cool to know "boy stuff".

My son is the one that really WANTS to work on his bike (or anything for that matter). At 11 he lives & breathes for bikes (and jetski's and snowmobiles and cars). The kid reads everything he can - he's the family expert on strange little facts and information. He does most everything on his bike, with some help from Karl or myself. He does work on his bike on his own but he prefers to work on it when Karl or myself are around to help if needed.

They like to work on the bikes (or whatever we need to work on) when we are all working in the shop on various projects. We do a lot of work on the bikes in the winter with the wood stove cranking and the stereo on and the whole family working on their bikes. I bring home a pizza & we all talk, joke and work on the toys. If the girls don't have a task, they color or draw or play games. It's comfortable in the shop, they can spend time with us and learn something and we can get things done.

I think that since they are young and the atmosphere is comfortable, it is easier to help them gain confidence and an interest in working on their own stuff. It's fun (for now) instead of just work. When they get older, maybe that will change but for now I think we stand a chance at keeping them interested and I know they won't be intimidated by the challenge of tearing into something to fix it like I was before I met Karl.

Maybe lack of confidence is what keeps some kids from working on their bikes? That was a problem I had since I had never really worked on any type of mechanical stuff, other than oil changes & easy maintenance on my vehicles. I had only been riding a year and any work I did on my bike then, I would do at my bro's shop so he could tell me what to do. Karl came along & I've learned how to do most all of it with his help (and a good shop manual ;)). Without the confidence of knowing that I can figure it out though, I wouldn't even think about doing most of the stuff I do easily now.

So, my suggestion is to make a nice cozy shop atmosphere, bring in a pizza & some cokes and teach the kid how to do it himself - with LOTS of patience and praise. Don't tell him how to do it every step of the way, let him figure it out BUT be there to make suggestions to keep him from getting totally frustrated. (That would be Karl's method of teaching.) :thumb:

It won't work if it's just not his thing though, my son has friends that wouldn't think of working on their bikes & one little guy that has more fun tearing his bike apart & putting it back together (usually on his own) than he does riding.
 
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#12
Originally posted by mx547
the older i get, the less i enjoy working on things.
Without a doubt!

It seems noboby in my house likes to work on anything. The one exception is my three year old son. He loves to work on everything. Last week he took all of my drill bits (full set) and hid them all into various parts of my bike - silencer, swingarm pivot bolt, radiators, etc. He HELPS alot!

My two daughters only work on their bikes if I make them. I've been giving them slack because they are girls, but they ride the wheels off them so why can't they even wash them?
 

XRpredator

AssClown SuperPowers
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#13
cripes, I about gotta beat my kid off with a stick he wants to work on his TTR90 so bad!
 

mx547

Ortho doc's wet dream
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#14
i guess it's all relative. although i stated that i don't enjoy working on things as much as i used to, i just bought two more service manuals for my bikes.
 
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#15
You will rarely see my dad with a wrench near my bike!! I'm 18 and have always done most all of the maintence on all of my toys (bike, sled, truck)...unlike my friend who just whines to his dad that something isn't right.