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Old 05-13-2018, 03:54 PM   #41
Chris Mitchell
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Cedar Park Texas
Posts: 463
Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

I think the dual purpose bike is a great idea. Thats how I started, thing about dirt riding there are few if any cars with stupid people at the wheel, doing god knows what instead of paying attention of people in cars and most especially motorcycles. After he gets used to riding dirt and gets aquainted with the mechanics of riding a bike and how to manuver it well, that will give him a step up on the squids who are wealthy enough to go buy a big sport bike and be turned loose by themselves. When I was in the motorcycle repair and selling world it was sad to see some 17 or 18 year old come in and buy the biggest and most expensive bike on the floor paid for by proud daddy, then the bike comes back to the shop totaled out and learn the boy tried to mate the bike to a anything you can think of.
FJR1300R 2003
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Old 05-14-2018, 04:05 PM   #42
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 554
Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

I will share my experience with motorcycles for my son, who will turn 17 this month. He got a (used) 100cc crf100r dirt bike when he was 14 and he took the MSF Dirt Bike School for a day. He walked out of the course with basic proficiency on dirt. He and I went to practice offroad and he dropped his bike dozens of times trying to get good at controlling it. Sometimes he enjoyed the practice, sometimes he'd get frustrated, but he always learned something. Before turning 15 he took the 32 hours of classroom instruction for his car license and the MSF Basic Rider Course (required) and we bought all his riding gear. He already had motorcross protection including boots and helmet, bit he needed street gear. When he turned 15 he passed the road test with an instructor following him on my car. For his 15th birthday he got a used 2013 Honda CBR250R, and he was allowed to ride it with me on my bike by his side, and communicating via Sena's. We did a couple dozen rides, short and longer (40 miles or so) on the two bikes, getting real world training. After that he started visiting friends alone on his motorcycle with all his gear on. He was not allowed to ride it to school or on the highway. He never dropped his little Honda once. About a month ago, for his 17th birthday, we sold the Honda and bought a like-new 2007 Triumph Bonneville T100, which he really likes. He and I have now ridden the Bonneville with my bike side by side a few times, again, with the Sena's to stay in contact. He is not allowed yet to take the Triumph on the highway, but he will once I feel he's skilled enough with this new bike.

I think the lesson here is to go one step at a time, starting as early as possible. Get used motorcycles and not new ones. In my case I was able to train him and I could assess his readiness. All the gear all the time. And avoid riding in busy traffic in the metroplex - we did some of that together, for sure, but most of our riding was on rural roads.

This approach worked for us, but your friend's situation is different. I cannot overemphasize how important it is to understand that other drivers don't see us, and a young rider is ill-prepared to act in an emergency without panicking. I would never forgive myself if my son got hurt because I allowed him to get in a dangerous situation he was not ready to handle.

Last edited by texxter; 05-14-2018 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 05-14-2018, 04:24 PM   #43
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Near Waco
Posts: 174
Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

Textter's advice is really good. I started riding as a teenager against the wishes of my parents. It was just luck that my first bike (bought secretly) was a Kawasaki enduro type (100cc, 10 speed, had a little lever under the gear shift to switch low to high range) and that I learned on dirt trails. All this was pre-MSF, and I ended up totaling both that bike and my next bike ('72 XS650 Yamaha) on the street. Fortunately, I survived without serious injury and kept riding; but it was like reinventing the wheel; I was on my own and could have benefitted greatly from benevolent role models and/or MSF courses. Oddly, in my case, my dad started riding shortly after I did and rode the rest of his life. Almost fifty years later, 500K miles on the road (and 35 or so motorcycles) I feel pretty proficient, but still treat every ride as a training exercise.
"I've got to ride, ride like the wind, to be free again..."
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