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Teaching first time adult rider

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I am taking my son (hes 20) out for the first ime on his new bike this weekend. He has never riden a bike at all. Anybody have any suggestions/reference material/drills I can check out so I teach him the right stuff in the right order. I am really stressing out that I am going to miss something...and he will get hurt and it will be my fault.

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The only way I learned was by trial and error, but a wide open area, softer dirt or grass would work wonders. I also had to learn not to hit the front brake so hard, and to feed the clutch smoothly.

Make sure you have all the protective gear as well. Nothing's like walking away from an incident uninjured.

I'm sure the wise fellows here have a lot more to say, though.

~Eric

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First timers sometimes panic rev. A good way to get decapitated or smashed into a tree. Go over all the controls with him & then have him show you how evething works, with the bike off. Then do some stop & goes with you standing in front of him. He's supposed to stop in front of you. Then back up 20 feet then do it again. Repeat 5-100 times till his clutch work is pretty good. Smooth starts are the the goal. If he panic revs step to the side & flip him over. Yes, he'll hit the ground but at least he wont be hurt. OK, this is easier with small kids.

Weight the back when going over obstacles.

J turn on hill.

the motor is a gyro & revving it can straighten the bike up.

On the gas when landing jumps.

not much front brake at first but definitely learn to use it.

let the bike take the hit!

Good luck!

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You can pick up a Gary Semix practice manual at most book stores. It shows most practice drills.

Lots of figure 8s and circles to work on riding position, brake, clutch and throttle control.

Tell him to get his appendages (legs especially) out of the way if the bike's going down. Lots of new riders try to save the bike and wind up getting stuck under it.

If he's ever driven a manual shift car and ridden a bicycle he should be fine.

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Timely question Greg.

I have been going out with one of our states best riders taking lessons as a very basic clubman rider.

So far he spent the first three hours discussing my bike, care, maintenance, what was wrong with it and that I had to have fixed and then cleaning and service instructions.

We then went out on another day and we started with taking off. I had to take off into a the bush but every single start was over a different obstacle / up hill / down hill / flat / rocky / soft sand.

I had to do that plenty of times before he let me do another one on the next obstacle or surface.

I then went through some slow downhill maneuvers(?) learning brake and clutch control, doing a few hill starts and side of hill starts.

Next we did some gear changing MX style.

After that we did a "Slow Race" which was one of the best things I did that day. The race is to see who can go the absolute slowest without putting feet on ground. Practice throttle, clutch and brake control (front) by riding brake, clutch and throttle at the same time. Then progress the slow race into smaller and smaller circles so that you use the front brake to do even smaller circles at full lock ... yep ... full lock and with front brake on you can do even smaller circles. I didnt quite make it that good but have to keep practising away from the "clinic" that one. We then went bush and put the "slow race" tactics to practice and ...... MATE ...... it was brilliant.

We did some braking practice including sliding and doing 90 degree turns without arsing high side over, and finished the day with some straight riding at speed to learn just how friggin fast we can go and that it was still safe to do so.... all on very skatey "pea gravel".

I will let you know more as I am due to go out again in approx a weeks time.

Cheers and good luck

Paul :)

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Undergrip :) what, so that when you twist the throttle you have to turn your wrist even further down :)

Overgrip the throttle so that when your wrist is straight the throttle is near 1/2 turned. Leave a little space between the web of your thumb/hand and the inner edge of the throttle grip. This will help keep your elbows up.

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I'm no expert, but after the broken record phase (little more gas, little more gas, let 'er out slowly, slowly), the next thing I stress is not looking at the ground 3 feet in front of the tire, which seems common for kids anyway. Keep looking up to see what's coming, get to a speed that's slower than comfortable for the next obstacle and accelerate (at least a little) thru it.

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tell him to spring for the msf dirtbike class befor he picks up to many bad habits

This is the best advice yet. My 15 year old Daughter and I both went through this class this past summer. It had been several years since I rode, and I picked up a BUNCH, my daughter had NEVER rode, she now has her own bike!!!

It was pretty cheap locally cus the dealers pitch in a ton for the insurance, but even if it cost a couple hundred, WELL worth the money!!!

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Undergrip :) what, so that when you twist the throttle you have to turn your wrist even further down :)

Overgrip the throttle so that when your wrist is straight the throttle is near 1/2 turned. Leave a little space between the web of your thumb/hand and the inner edge of the throttle grip. This will help keep your elbows up.

Yeah, undergrip so when the bike pulls away from you and you panic, then it closes the throttle rather than opining it.

THis is not advice for someone who knows what they are doing. This is advice for someone who can ride a bicycle but not a motorbike.

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Overgrip the throttle so that when your wrist is straight the throttle is near 1/2 turned. Leave a little space between the web of your thumb/hand and the inner edge of the throttle grip. This will help keep your elbows up.

I think that advice is great.......when he gets ALOT more experience and is starting to get more aggressive on the bike! Being a newbie myself, learning throttle control with an overgrip can be disasterous! I've only come close once but that was enough to put some sense back into me and change my grip to something that reflects my comfort level. :)

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I am taking my son (hes 20) out for the first ime on his new bike this weekend. He has never riden a bike at all. Anybody have any suggestions/reference material/drills I can check out so I teach him the right stuff in the right order. I am really stressing out that I am going to miss something...and he will get hurt and it will be my fault.

When my then 16 year old son rode for the first time, my brother in law asked me if he could ask my son to come ride with us. I told him sure, as long as you are willing to teach him... Point being that when I work with my son he takes it as personal criticism. Once he got the clutching figured out, I could work with him. My daughter was a different story though. I can teach her without a problem.

Anyway, the best thing is to have plenty of time and an open area and no agenda. That way the learner doesn't feel rushed and they can relax and pick it up at a comfortable pace. Starting is the hardest part and teach them about the "friction zone" of the clutch and show them that they ease through that once the bike starts moving. A wet clutch is a nice thing and they don't need to rush to totally release the lever. After they get the concept there, it is a lot of circling, shiftiing and stopping in the field. Show them the difference between steering at low speeds with the bars and leaning at high speeds. Teach them to concentrate on the rear brake and watch out for panic grabbing of the front.

That should do the trick. Easy trail riding is the next step to get them out and feeling like they are making progress. Good luck on it. I'm glad to have my kids out riding with me.

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Best advice....

tell him to spring for the msf dirtbike class befor he picks up to many bad habits

....if that's not available, have him take the MSF street course. At least that will give him the basics on balance, throttle, braking, etc....alot of those classes are taught on small dual sports anyway.... have fun! :)

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The one thing I have found consistent with everyone I have ever taught is the tendency to instantly release the clutch once the bike starts to move. Some people kill it and some people throttle on. I've started having them let the throttle out to the friction point, start to slightly throttle up and then pull the clutch back in before the forward movement starts. I have them do this many times and it seems to help. Then it's just a matter of letting them ride around in 1st gear until they are comfortable stopping, starting and using the controls. Don't rush them or the experience can become negative.

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if $$$ isnt an issue once he gets reasonably proficient go with him to american supercamp. contrary to popular belief its not just for dirttrack and road racers. the things they teach you about body positioning and traction ( on a bike with piss poor suspension) are invaluable.

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