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First bike for 13 year old?


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My wife and I just started fostering a just turned 13 year old last week. This kid has been through so much it would break your heart. I have been riding and racing for 15 years but we never had kids. I started my nephew riding and racing when he was about 9 on a klx 110 and then his Dad, a non rider took over and has supported his riding ever since. He is now a 19 year old A rider and a very good kid, I think in part to his parents telling him behave and get good grades or no dirt biking. My foster kid has shown interest in riding but has no experience what so ever. He's about 5'5" weighs about 225 lbs. He's going to be a big guy no matter what but I have got to get him involved in physical activity or he's gonna be obese his whole life. I am wondering if any one has a suggestion for a starter bike. Would a 4 stroke air cooled bike like a crf 150 or drz 125 with heavy springs be enough to haul him around on some very tame trails? I really want to share my love of riding with this kid and at the same time get him to fall in love with it so I can use it as a motivator for good behaviour. Any one who has ideas on this I would really appreciate hearing them. Thank you.

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CRF 230

It good to see you helping him , I admire your decency .. SIR

Thanks but I am just paying forward what people have done for me in my life. I have to admit he has already said those four words a dirt bike parent never wants to hear... "I like four wheelers" 😉 I have to nip this in the bud and find a suitable bike for him before he falls in with the wrong crowd. :o

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I wouldn't blow the budget until I was sure it's something he's going to stick with. I'd probably look for an XR200 that's in trail worthy condition and have him ride the wheels off of it until you know for sure. To do it right, no matter what bike you buy it will need to be sprung/valved for big-guy specs. But the 200 will get you in ('er, out) the door. Best of luck.

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Thanks but I am just paying forward what people have done for me in my life. I have to admit he has already said those four words a dirt bike parent never wants to hear... "I like four wheelers" 😉 I have to nip this in the bud and find a suitable bike for him before he falls in with the wrong crowd. :o

Yeah .. Saving him from the Quads ?

You would be doing him another big favor

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We adopted our son (11 at the time) from the state fostercare system about 3 years ago. I bought him his first dirtbike last year, a 2004 TTR125L. He's now 5'6 and about 140lbs and has already about outgrown the bike's capabilities and size. He's taken to two-wheeled riding quite naturally. He almost got sucked into the atv crowd since it seemed easier to learn to him, but I feel like he's discovering the satisfaction of tackling a more "difficult" option and being good at it. Hopefully this is teaching him a good life lesson.

 

I've ridden street for about 15 years and only just recently picked up off-road riding so I could ride with my boy. It's interesting as we're both learning off road skills at the same time. It has given both of us a great thing to bond over and we completely enjoy our time on the trails.

 

I'm 6'0 and 200lbs and am now riding a completely stock '02 XR200R. The suspension definitely needs some stiffening, but will work "okay" on very tame trails/roads at my weight. It's no rocket, but it can tractor my butt up steep and rocky hills I never would have imagined possible in such a small motor. The bike is super simple to work on and keeps up with my boy no problem. I'll probably upgrade myself to something a little stronger next and let him ride the XR then. If I don't sell the TTR it'd make a great pitbike at my next trackday too!

Edited by dasrider
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Well I found him an 06 CRF 150F with BBR Heavy springs already in it and we all three went and picked it up. He stayed out in the garage helpig me as I slid the forks up a little and set the sag and went all over it. He can touch pretty good. We sat the handle bars and levers where they felt comfortable to him. He's been so excited he's gone to bed and gotten up four times now. Tomorrow if it doesn't rain I will start teaching him to ride. Pretty excited myself. 🙂

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I took him to a riding area here in the state that has a huge grass parking area they keep mown. At the very back there's a nice short loop with seven turns and all have nice small berms. We started out in the grass where he quickly dumped the clutch with way to much throttle on. The bike lurched forward and then fell over. He smacked the left handle bar with the chin portion of his helmet, hard. I held my breath thinking this will make him or break him. He picked his bike up and shook it off. I was so relieved when he kept riding. After a few passes in the grass he got on the little practice track and rode for about an hour with no more incidents. This was his first time to ever ride a dirt bike. He was wiped out after that. Poor kid has been in a shelter since August and I don't think he got any physical activity. To make matters worse he has lived his entire life on fast food. He's about 5' 4" and weighs 237. He just turned 13 less than two weeks ago, the very day he came to live with us. I am going to get with a dietician after the holidays and get him on a program. He has already amazed me at how smart he is at problem solving while we did some maintenance on his bike. He said he had fun but I bet no more than I did watching him and remembering what it was like when I got my first bike some 40 years ago.

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I took him to a riding area here in the state that has a huge grass parking area they keep mown. At the very back there's a nice short loop with seven turns and all have nice small berms. We started out in the grass where he quickly dumped the clutch with way to much throttle on. The bike lurched forward and then fell over. He smacked the left handle bar with the chin portion of his helmet, hard. I held my breath thinking this will make him or break him. He picked his bike up and shook it off. I was so relieved when he kept riding. After a few passes in the grass he got on the little practice track and rode for about an hour with no more incidents. This was his first time to ever ride a dirt bike. He was wiped out after that. Poor kid has been in a shelter since August and I don't think he got any physical activity. To make matters worse he has lived his entire life on fast food. He's about 5' 4" and weighs 237. He just turned 13 less than two weeks ago, the very day he came to live with us. I am going to get with a dietician after the holidays and get him on a program. He has already amazed me at how smart he is at problem solving while we did some maintenance on his bike. He said he had fun but I bet no more than I did watching him and remembering what it was like when I got my first bike some 40 years ago.

 

nice work Barry.   CRF150F is a great choice for him.

 

My only suggestion is turn up the idle a little bit, so that he can slowly let out the clutch and get it moving before even giving it gas.  When I taught my kids (on CRF80F, CRF100F and CRF150F), I reminded them that the clutch is the go/no go lever....and the gas is for changing your speed.    With the idle turned up, i would have them let out the clutch to the friction point and no further until it started moving forward and then tell them to let it out the rest of the way.  It seems to work for them.

 

You are doing a great service for this kid and the rest of society.  I can't thank you enough.

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Hats off to a real hero. This kid virtually won the lottery when you found him. Sounds like he appreciates it too, what a wonderful thing.

No I'm not, it's a struggle everyday with this kid. He has some real issues from the treatment he got at home. I'm just taking it one day at a time. It's really hard but I truly feel like I'm supposed to do this. The weather has been crap here this week so we haven't gotten to ride. I really hope we can get out this weekend. He needs allot of work.

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