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Old 12-12-2017, 08:37 PM   #21
Shadman
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

KLX250S. Fast enough for light highway, off road capable, legal dual sport, $2500 in perfect shape, sell for same as you pay in 1 to 2 years.

P
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:38 PM   #22
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

He should take MSF now, get a license at 15, and get some dirt road miles under his belt on other's bikes.
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:01 PM   #23
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

Start with something he has to work on all the time so he can learn more that way and he won't be so hard on it.
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:46 PM   #24
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

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Originally Posted by Shadman View Post
KLX250S. Fast enough for light highway, off road capable, legal dual sport, $2500 in perfect shape, sell for same as you pay in 1 to 2 years.

P
Totally agree. If he's on the shorter side, maybe swap it with an XT250 (bit lower, they got EFI a few years ago while the KLX just got it, but also seem to be more expensive). Either one is mild mannered, has enough power to keep pace on the highway but not much more, and are actually pretty competent off road bikes. Honda's 250L commands a lot more money, and is substantially heavier which really hampers it off road.

The best way to learn riding and bike handling skills is off pavement, away from traffic. Pick up a KLX/XT, and don't even plate it until decent enough skills have been demonstrated. If he can get it down a trail without looking like a spaz, the MSF course and road riding will be cake in comparison.

I've taken some 10-20 year streetbike veterans on a KLX250 for their first ever trail ride and I've seen better (and faster) trail riding from 10 year olds. Meanwhile when kids start on dirt and graduate to a streetbike at 16, it's always a lot easier than vice versa.
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Old 12-12-2017, 10:31 PM   #25
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

I agree with Shadman about MSF, but I'd say grab a street legal DR200 or street legal CRF230. Even cheaper options.
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:08 PM   #26
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

I guess a bit more background is needed about the kid and his family. He will never do off-road riding, it's not in his wheelhouse of stuff to do. He strictly wants to be able to ride on the street and eventually on the highway. There is no way in h-e-double hockey sticks I will ever get him to ride on dirt. The cost of the bike is really not an issue so I'm not concerned about that. His dad has already told us he would buy whatever we thought was the right thing for him. This is also the first time he has really shown interest in something other than playing video games 24/7. The kids extremely smart and has a good head on his shoulder, but he is still going to be a 16 yo boy. And that in itself has inherent dangers.

Part of the plan is to take him to the motorcycle show in Dallas the first weekend in February. He can sit on some and kick some tires and take some pictures there. Then he can spend until May thinking about what he wants. Plus he can take the MSF course right after school is out for summer.

We will be there the end of the month for his birthday so we can talk to him more about the MSF, as I said that is not open for discussion...he is going to take it and pass before he gets a motorcycle.

Now as you all know 16 yo boys are fickle, so this exercise might be something that never goes anywhere. But since we don't have kids and have never mentored a kid to getting his/her first motorcycle the best place to get advice is here.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:23 AM   #27
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

Get him to read some of the dual sport ride reports... He might change his mind about dirt
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:08 PM   #28
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

I started my son with no riding experience on a Yamaha tw200. It easy to get both feet on the ground and let them get comfortable of operating a bike. He put about 3k miles on it. He rode it around town and many miles in the dirt and know has moved to a bigger bike. It tops out at 60. So he rode all the back roads to get to where he was going which kept him out of traffic for the most part for 6 months in our area. I would never recommend putting a new rider into traffic. They need to be able to ride well enough that riding the bike is natural they don't have to think thru every step. When they have that down put them in the cell phone jungle and do a lot of praying.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:25 PM   #29
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

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I would never recommend putting a new rider into traffic. They need to be able to ride well enough that riding the bike is natural they don't have to think thru every step. When they have that down put them in the cell phone jungle and do a lot of praying.
Out of everything posted here, this is perhaps the single most important thing that will contribute to the success or failure of a new rider's riding career.
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Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph 4:29 (NIV)
Think before you post. Leave out the vulgarity, personal attacks and foul language!

Quote:
"However lofty the goals, if the means be depraved, the result must reflect that depravity." - Leonard E. Read

Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly. - Brandon Smith

If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist. — Joe Sobran

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance. – Murray N. Rothbard

When one possessed of the Truth suffers from a heavy heart he is susceptible to a more dangerous affliction — the craving for power to eradicate error, to cause Truth to triumph by force. - Frank Chodorov

Where politicians flourish, long history has harshly taught us, people and their liberty wither. Where the state is god and the "public interest" worshipped, individual man will be found bleeding upon the altar. - Karl Hess

The accepted wisdom is that without the state, society would collapse into lawlessness and crime. In fact, lawlessness and crime define the very nature of the state and the society organized by it. - Bionic Mosquito

But the myth of the rule of law does more than render the people submissive to state authority; it also turns them into the state's accomplices in the exercise of its power. For people who would ordinarily consider it a great evil to deprive individuals of their rights or oppress politically powerless minority groups will respond with patriotic fervor when these same actions are described as upholding the rule of law. - John Hasnas
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:50 PM   #30
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

There is a lot of interesting thoughts here.

I am in the same boat, just a different river. My son is 16 and has been riding in the dirt since he was about 5. He doesn't have what I would say is a lot of experience due to limited time and place to ride, but he does well with the dirt bike. He has had his regular license for 5 months now and had his learners permit for a year. I think learning to negotiate traffic in a car is a good start. His truck has a standard transmission so shifting and clutch work are natural to him. He does want the "M" endorsement and his mother and I are both willing to support this. His current bike is an XR250R that is plated and this will be the start for the street. He will only ride with me and on back roads to start. The goal for him is to ride the Continental Divide Ride for his high school graduation.

I helped a 40 plus year old get started a few years ago. I recommended a 650 dual sport. He found it to be too much Ultimately he bought the XR250 that now belongs to my son because he realized he needed to be in the dirt or at least a parking lot for a long time to develop the skills needed.

That is a lot of rambling to say my vote is a small dual sport and lots of dirt or parking lot practice to become proficient. I realize dirt or dual sport isn't the end game for this young man, but the practice will pay great dividends.
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:33 PM   #31
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

I would add a year in a car driving before a bike in traffic. This also gives you a chance to see while riding in the car with them how good a defense driver they really are. Do they jump out as soon as the light turns green or do they scan the crossing lanes to make sure they everyone is stopped. Do they notice cars entering the lane from the side etc. You get the point. My son was fairly timid driver. He also had to go a year with no tickets before I would him get his M permit.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:49 PM   #32
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

I agree with so many here that dirt first is the way to go - riding dirt builds so many necessary skills/reflexes that can/are important in surviving on the street. I hate to use the word surviving but that's how I see it especially in the metroplex. I know you say offroad is not in the cards but you asked from a very experienced group here and I'd pass that on to the parents
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:31 AM   #33
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

Assuming he will be riding it on the streets of Dallas, Id skip the 250's as underpowered to ride on the street safely...

And a DS bike is a great way to go...if dad insist on new and fancy, walk the young man into a KTM dealer, if dad can accept his son riding something "lesser" he is big enough to ride a DRZ400, perhaps a SM ...not really a DS, but less likely to get damaged if he hops a curb then a CBR300.
The SM can have Pro Tapers and good triple clamp mounted hand guards installed.
Skid plate, side case covers and a few other "fixes" and it set to be beat a bit, dropped occasionally, has plenty of power for street riding. has decent resale value, and lots of MOD and Farkel options to keep him enthused with making it "his"
And the performance upgrades are real, they do make more power which will appeal to a 16 year old boy...but unless your building an all out motor and supporting systems ($$$$) your still at 42~50hp @300lb bike weight or so.. Still in the "safer" range for a newish rider.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:20 PM   #34
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

Have you given consideration to a Spyder? Three wheel stability, greater visibility, enough power to handle street and highway, plus I have a line on a good used one.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:24 PM   #35
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Re: Advice for 16 yo First Motorcycle

My thought is that a 16 yr old kid on a bike on public roads in Dallas has a high likelihood of ending badly.
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