How young is old enough?
Posted October 13, 2002 - 03:06 PM
Posted October 13, 2002 - 03:23 PM
Posted October 13, 2002 - 04:30 PM
Posted October 13, 2002 - 05:04 PM
What matters is ability... and physical size to a point.
I think the best route is to make sure to get them on pushbikes early, then they get a sense of balance, and steering control. Make sure the pushbike has a front brake operated by a lever, if not, put one on. This will give them that sort of idea and practice...
Once they are confident on the pedalbike, and have learnt to stop, start, turn corners etc. then it is time for a motorbike... if they can hold the bike up without falling over, then they are ready... no matter what age...
Last but most important, make sure they have good gear... not the latest fox or whatever, just a good well fitted helmet, long pants (jean) and long sleeve top, boots, and gloves at a minimum...
If you have a friend or a dealer, go sit them on the bike and get them into the idea... xmas is coming, faster than you could imagine...
Good luck, the bikes will keep their value, don't bother with the Fisher Price toys, get something that runs on petrol... perhaps a PW50 and a mini quad, the kids can swap and share?...
Posted October 13, 2002 - 05:20 PM
Posted October 13, 2002 - 08:02 PM
As for bikes, Sky is on number 8. Spoiled? No, just that Dad has learned the hard way about minis AND Sky advances rapidly. Wyatt is a bit slower in development (physical coordination/maturity), but an absolute academic whiz-kid, and thankfully, I simply save the "good" bikes and gear for him.
Ask yourself WHAT the intended use is: racing? trails with Dad? Fun in the backyard? There are 50cc bikes and there are 50cc bikes...Quads are too limited in use and dangerous. Start your kid on a used, cheap Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki BUT be prepared to get him off it very fast and on a better bike (performance wise)these are just confidence-builder/learner bikes.If you want to trail-ride, stick to the clutchless 3-speed Honda/Yamaha 50-90cc bikes. If a kid can't ride w/o training wheels, I would not put them on any motorcycle. Motivate him/her to lose those wreck-causing crutches and prove they can handle a bicycle FIRST. That is the one thing that DID work with both of my boys!
A $3,600 50cc King Cobra is wicked fast, with a power to weight ratio to make a 450F envious, and more suspension than anything I ever owned in high school!. Not a beginner's bike. Not a trail bike. It is a racer. Period.
A $500 used PW or Suzuki or Honda 50cc is an excellent, low-maintenence, forgiving bike. No real suspension and even less power. But the average kid masters it easily. Too easily maybe. They will outstrip its abilities in a couple months. KTM's and Polinis and the rest, IMO, have reliability issues, ALL 50's do, they are just worse.
The racing 50's are $1,000 more and far higher maintenence, harder to start, harder to get parts for, harder to find help with, etc. than a KX65 with full 6 speed gear box. Go figure... As a fellow 50's Dad remarked at the 3rd to last D22 race a few hours ago, "After 4 years, the best thing I can say about 50's is GOODBYE!". But few of us would trade those 4 years of learning together and making great friends for soccer practice...
I MUST stress the importance of GOOD GEAR!!! Too much is never enough!! Helmet, boots, chest protector, knee/shin guards, elbow guards, neck roll,chest protector, armored kidney belt, (my boys wear more)...Yup, it's a hassle every time they ride, but it soon becomes easier. Pain is very discouraging for the kid; injuries are very discouraging for Dad and Mom...
The more "bullet-proof" Sky-Man feels, the faster he races. And you wouldn't believe the incredible crashes he bounces up from! He hits speeds in the 50mph+ range on his 50! Do NOT make the mistake of "saving" the battle armor for the races! A typical race lasts a few minutes, practice can and should be much longer and involve trying new things. Which is higher risk?
BTW, my boys started at 2 and 3 on battery 4 wheelers. Good for the mastering the concept of stop, go, steer. Then a bicycle. Then a Suzuki JR50 @ 4-5yrs of age. Followed by: Husquvarna, KTM, KTM, Cobra Jr.,King Cobra,King Cobra,(all 50's)and a KX65...Been there, learned the hard way. Still have all except the Husky and KTM's (good riddance!). Keep passing the 'zuki around to little nephews, nieces,friends, etc. Wyatt races the Jr. Cobra (1 more year) and I will save one King Cobra for him. Sky will finish his 50cc career in 2 more races as an accomplished champion and also races 65's. We are happy to see hunting season arrive. Our break. We have raced all but 2 weekends since early March and many of those were double headers....
Our goal is to be able to take a long tour of our magnificent western states and ride our bikes together in some of God's greatest creation...Maybe next year..? So keep fighting those greenie-weenies!!
Posted October 14, 2002 - 03:20 PM
Posted October 14, 2002 - 03:50 PM
Posted October 15, 2002 - 06:40 AM
My brother-in-law has a xr50 that I was thinkin of gettin for the kid but he is already too big for it . Maybe Ill buy it for myself for a pitbike Hello fast 50's
Posted October 15, 2002 - 12:34 PM
Posted October 15, 2002 - 12:59 PM
Posted October 15, 2002 - 05:08 PM
Posted October 16, 2002 - 02:31 AM
Once ridding. Work on braking. Draw a line in the sand and have him ride towards it and stop @ the line. It will help him realize the stopping distance needed to stop when moving.
Also beet it into there head to stay away from anything that wont move. IE trees, cars, houses. The kid may think he has it under controll but it scares the hell outta dad when they zip past your truck or that 3' oak tree w/ 2" to spare.
Posted October 16, 2002 - 04:18 PM
10/16/02 06:30 AM Edit Reply
Enjoying my 2nd childhood on my WR400, being 45 (actually 53, but hey! Its my 2nd childhood!) I decide to buy my 6 year old granddaughter who I am raising a PW50. I have dreams of my little family ridding in the woods together. The first time she rides it she crashes because the throttle sticks. She winds up in the bushes, not hurt but scared of the bike. After I fix the throttle I take her around to different parking lots and have her do a few laps. She really does not want to ride but I make her wondering all the time if I am doing the right thing. In the beginning she usually cries a little and asks how many laps do I have to do? I usually ask for 2 to 5. If she was wailing or putting up huge resistance I would not make her ride but it seems to be a small problem and not to bad. It seems to be about the same as when I was teaching her to ride her bicycle without training wheels. This motorcycle has the training wheels attached. The first thing I taught her was to go a few feet and stop. We must have done that 20 or thirty times. She putts along for 5 feet, puts on the brake, goes another 5 feet, puts on the brake never really ridding the bike. I try to get her to keep the bike rolling but she is somewhat scared of it. She has ridden about 7 times. Sunday I try a new tactic and bring her girlfriend who is very aggressive, rides her street bike about 40MPH and I figure she will get on the PW50 and tear it up. First I put Meranda (my granddaughter) on the bike and I have to make her do a lap. She sputters around while I am walking beside the bike and coaching her to keep the throttle on and the bike moving. On the second lap she is keeping the bike moving pretty good and on the third lap I am screaming for her to slow down in the turns because I think she is going to fast. She is able to brake and slow the bike down and on the fourth lap she opens the throttle up, moves her body forward in the attack position and waves while she flys by. Now she will not get off the bike. Finally we let her girlfriend ride it but she is not having much fun going 5 feet and stopping. I guess you never know when your kid is going to have that breakthrough and overcome fear. She asks everyday now, When can we ride, Grandpa? God, love um!
Posted October 16, 2002 - 05:37 PM
Posted October 17, 2002 - 07:41 AM
Easier to start than ANY 50cc, and teaches ALL aspects of riding. Tough as nails and holds its value, too. In two more weeks, I'll only have one kid left on a 50cc, (for 3 more years of racing eligibility ), but will have him riding the 65 next year regardless.
Sky does ALL of his practicing on the 65. Then when he races the 50, he can really throw it around! Also saves tremendous wear and tear and $, as the 65 is way more durable than any 50. More fun for him. too! Use it on race tracks, trails, whatever...it can handle it!
The KTM 65 is an awesome bike,too. It is actually a hair taller than earlier KX's and has ripping speed and great suspension.