Next generation of riders - Harley Davidson Street Forum - Street 500 and 750
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-17-2014, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Next generation of riders

My youngest daughter loves to ride our atvs, snowmobile, and mini bike, and has been bugging me for a few months to get a dirt bike. So... I traded an old Studebaker project truck for a rebuilt KX125 dirt bike. I have been working through a couple issues with it, and she rode it for the first time today. She learned how to use the clutch, and then to shift up and down. She did alright, and I could hear her running it up into the power band as she was cruising around the back forty.
She also dumped it for the first time... of many to come, I am sure. She had just taken off and it started leaning over, she over-corrected a couple times before going down... fortunately barely moving. She is ok, but she broke the clutch perch. I told her dumping a bike in the dirt is better than dumping it on the road somewhere, and what she is learning with the dirt bike, will benefit her later on a road bike. So it's all good.

I would never have guessed how much power a little 125 two stroke has. After riding it for the first time once I got it running properly, I was having second thoughts about letting my daughter ride it. But, all my kids started out on full size large machines, and they always respected the size and power of them.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-20-2014, 02:33 PM
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love it! Wish i got to spend more time on dirt growing up, tell her she is one lucky girl!!
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-20-2014, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Livin On View Post
love it! Wish i got to spend more time on dirt growing up, tell her she is one lucky girl!!
I had an enduro when I was in my early teens, but I worked on a neighboring farm, and earned the money to buy it, along with gas and oil. I guess we parents want our young uns to have it better than we did. The way I look at it, it will provide quality time for us and memories to last a lifetime. She is a lucky girl, but I am a very lucky dad! Now if only I could get my son interested...
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 08:54 AM
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love it! Wish i got to spend more time on dirt growing up, tell her she is one lucky girl!!
I second that because I learned exclusively on the street and didn't do any real dirt riding until I was much older. Riding the dirt teaches you a lot of things about controlling a motorcycle you don't typically learn in the pavement but that certainly helps you when riding on the pavement.

A good well-rounded learning experience is probably best achieved by learning on the dirt first and then making the transition to pavement. I also agree with the motorcycle size being used. Yes, it has a lot of power (I learned on a 70cc Yamaha) but not really too much power for a new rider. She'll learn how to handle it quickly and that will also be an advantage for her as she moves up to street machines.

The next "biggie" in learning is larger displacement motorcycles where power replaces body language in handling the motorcycle. You can throw a small motorcycle around with your body but can't do that with large motorcycles.



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post #5 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 12:52 PM
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The next "biggie" in learning is larger displacement motorcycles where power replaces body language in handling the motorcycle. You can throw a small motorcycle around with your body but can't do that with large motorcycles.
Not only power, but using the weight of the motorcycle with the power to get the result you used to get by throwing the lighter bike around.

I.E.; you can still drive that shoulder forward and towards the ground to turn tightly, but you need to push hard forward on the handlebar on the side you with to turn towards. (Counter steering) allowing the bikes weight to load the contact patch and the energy loads the tire and the radius starts to happen with the roll on the turning axis.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 01:41 PM
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I used to ride those smaller CC bikes years ago, it's because of that I want a Honda Grom, it will make for a nice bike to mess around with locally, just nothing I would go long distance with.



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post #7 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 03:01 PM
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Not only power, but using the weight of the motorcycle with the power to get the result you used to get by throwing the lighter bike around.

I.E.; you can still drive that shoulder forward and towards the ground to turn tightly, but you need to push hard forward on the handlebar on the side you with to turn towards. (Counter steering) allowing the bikes weight to load the contact patch and the energy loads the tire and the radius starts to happen with the roll on the turning axis.
One of the things I appreciated about learning young and moving up gradually through different size motorcycles is that much if this was almost instinctual. I progressed from 70cc to 175cc, 250cc, 650cc and finally to 900cc and it was almost a seamless transition between them. The jump to 900cc, a Z1 Kawasaki in the early 1970's, was sort of a major jump because the Z1 was an extreme performance motorcycle for it's time but that was just because of the power. That Z1 could pick it up and lay it down like nothing else I'd ever ridden.

My later motorcycles have been a mixed bag but it was that early progression that taught me much about how different motorcycles worked. As noted though I missed the "dirt" phase and wish I would have had some early dirt riding experience.




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post #8 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 03:12 PM
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One of the things I appreciated about learning young and moving up gradually through different size motorcycles is that much if this was almost instinctual. I progressed from 70cc to 175cc, 250cc, 650cc and finally to 900cc and it was almost a seamless transition between them. The jump to 900cc, a Z1 Kawasaki in the early 1970's, was sort of a major jump because the Z1 was an extreme performance motorcycle for it's time but that was just because of the power. That Z1 could pick it up and lay it down like nothing else I'd ever ridden.

My later motorcycles have been a mixed bag but it was that early progression that taught me much about how different motorcycles worked. As noted though I missed the "dirt" phase and wish I would have had some early dirt riding experience.
I completely agree. I started with a Clinton single lung 5 Hp minibike then up to a 50cc two stroke, then 250 Hodaku, others as well, first (legal) street was a 250 Yamaha... then LTD 440, then a short stint on 750 Triple two stroke KZ750 (H2), then the Seca 750, couple Harley baskets in between, then finally the GS1100GK, then into Harley cruisers since....

Though I will say hitting the ground twice on the lighter street bikes taught me a lot about the difference between dirt traction and street gravel!!!!!! And I had plenty of time to think about it while my elbows and knees grew new a replacement hide.

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post #9 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by harleyhoonigan View Post
I used to ride those smaller CC bikes years ago, it's because of that I want a Honda Grom, it will make for a nice bike to mess around with locally, just nothing I would go long distance with.
Don't under estimate small displacement. In the late 60s and early 70s most of our puts where under 600cc. My first long road trip to upstate NY was on a 250 Yamaha twin..... 2 up and camping gear and mixer oil

(Had not thought about Lori in a long time)
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-21-2014, 03:20 PM
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Though I will say hitting the ground twice on the lighter street bikes taught me a lot about the difference between dirt traction and street gravel!!!!!! And I have plenty of time to think about it while my elbows and knees grew new a replacement hide.
I've kissed the ground just once and that was on my Yamaha 70 because I was dicking around at very low speed and just dumped it. I was probably doing all of 5 mph. Once was enough. LOL



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