Advice for a beginner... - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-04-2012, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Advice for a beginner...

I have had a few two-wheeled vehicles over the past several years. It started with a 50cc scooter. When that wasn't enough power, I quickly aquired a Kawasaki Eliminator 125. That, too, left a bit to be desired in the power category although I'm wishing now that I'd kept it. After the 125, I got another scooter, this time a 250. It was a Chinese piece of junk that I hated after a couple of months.

My point is this: My wife had no problems on the two scooters because of the CVT transmissions. Even though she can drive a manual transmission in a car, she has extreme difficulty translating that onto a motorcycle.

Unfortunately, she can't drive the KLR650 since she is way too short and I'm not going to lower it. But I fully intend to buy her a bike in the next year or so and I'm hoping to be better equipped to teach her how to make the bike go.

She claims the gears are confusing and difficult to change. She also says that it's hard to remember that one brake is controlled by a hand and the other by a foot (scooters have two hand brakes).

What advice, tips, techniques, etc. could I give her to make it easier on her? Have you ever taught anyone with the same problem and found something that helped?

A bad day on the bike is better than a good day at work...
There's no such thing as enough storage space...
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-04-2012, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Oh yeah... I'm not going to get her a scooter.

A bad day on the bike is better than a good day at work...
There's no such thing as enough storage space...
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-04-2012, 01:14 PM
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Dude, hitting a similar situation. My wife actually has her license from her last bike (much smaller DR) but this one she has now is getting the best of her. I'm putting her in a basic riding class. It's 250 bucks for 3 days on their bike teaching her everything. A buddy of mine took it with no experience and now he loves riding his triumph and does a great job with it.

I had an unfair advantage since I started with my first dirt bike when I was 7. Now I've got to get her up to speed since we both have KLRs and plan on camping, riding, camping, repeating.

Let me know if you find something else that's a good alternative.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-04-2012, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armedmissouri View Post

...

She claims the gears are confusing and difficult to change. She also says that it's hard to remember that one brake is controlled by a hand and the other by a foot (scooters have two hand brakes).

What advice, tips, techniques, etc. could I give her to make it easier on her? Have you ever taught anyone with the same problem and found something that helped?
Got some dirt nearby? A small 4 stroke dirtbike like a Yamaha TTR 125L would be good to learn on. Small enough to flat foot for someone over 5'. Has about 12 horsepower I think. My son and my wife learned to ride on ours.

I walked along side at first and had them practice the clutch friction zone to get moving, rolling off the throttle, using the brakes, etc. before they took off on their own. I've seen to many YouTube videos of bikes getting away from people.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-04-2012, 03:19 PM
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MSF Beginning Rider Course. Even if she has some experience on the road on two wheels, the course is still most definitely worthwhile.

I'll also second the dirt route. You should be able to pick up one of many little ~100cc dirt bikes with a manual clutch. They are slow enough to learn on, fast enough to still have fun on, and dirt is much more forgiving than asphalt.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-04-2012, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armedmissouri View Post
She claims the gears are confusing and difficult to change. She also says that it's hard to remember that one brake is controlled by a hand and the other by a foot (scooters have two hand brakes).

What advice, tips, techniques, etc. could I give her to make it easier on her? Have you ever taught anyone with the same problem and found something that helped?

Does she want a bike? Or do you want her to have a bike? Have a good conversation with her on this...

Wren
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-04-2012, 08:35 PM
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Does she want a bike? Or do you want her to have a bike? Have a good conversation with her on this...

Wren
Well said.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-04-2012, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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She wants a bike. She doesn't want a scooter. She also won't get anything that will need to be replaced quickly.

A bad day on the bike is better than a good day at work...
There's no such thing as enough storage space...
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-04-2012, 11:36 PM
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Got my wife a XT250 last year, the seat height is low, got her some riding gear and took her out to the local ORV park, showed her the basics and let her ride around in an open area to get used to stopping and getting going without killing engine. Within a month she had it down and passed her riding test easily. Now we ride together allot. She still hates sand and rocks.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-04-2012, 11:39 PM
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Course is a good idea regardless. I don't know your wife man, but I do know there are some people that just never get the hang of a MC...I don't know why. But I've met a few. Not trying to be discouraging, just saying.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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