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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I forgot how hard beginners are on the equipment. I got the wife a new TW yesterday so she could learn how to ride a motorcycle and so we can ride together - so now I have two. Anyhow rough start... Getting going the engine stalls from stomping it into 1st gear with no clutch. :sad2:

Then OK on about an hour of asphalt puttering. Then to the gravel roads.... Nice and slow for several miles, no problem. So we take to the trails. Bad mistake. Things get a little challenging and the throttle opens up and stays there... Crash. Get back on the horse and try the same spot again.... More inappropriate throttle - Crash. OK let's get back on the gravel roads. Goes OK so let's try a really EASY trail.... More throttle... Crash. I pick the bike up for her on the slight side hill... All board... Dump to the down hill side and she goes rolling through the tall grass... Argh... Enough for one day, back to the gravel and asphalt and home so I can bend both levers back into reasonable shape and the clutch can again disengage properly. I think I will leave the kinked front fender on until we are a little farther up the learning curve.

All in all actually a pretty good day as the wife took it well and did not get seriously hurt or even bloody. Put a nice scuff on her new helmet. Nothing a nice Mexican dinner out couldn't fix. She still has a good attitude about it. I am glad as I know it was my mistake taking her too far too fast.

It seems the bike crashes well with the bar ends and passenger foot pegs taking the brunt of the impact. No scratches to speak of on the rest of the bike other than the front of the front fender getting bent over backwards. Just some rubs on the mirrors and turn signals. One mirror spun lose without breaking the perch so I was happy.

Overall pretty good day.
 

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Good for you both, a good attitude works just as well as loose lever perches to ease the learning curve with minimal damage.
 
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lol sorry man I couldn't stop laughing. I remember teaching my wife and when she got to the first T in the road she got off the bike and had me turn it for her. She is actually a good rider today but I would still never take her off the pavement.
 

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Good for your wife for wanting to learn to ride. You'll love the admiration from guys who wish their wives would ride with them. I'm so happy my girlfriend wants to ride and has her own bike. Not sure she will ever try very challenging trails though.
 

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Good on you there. I taught all of my kids on dirt roads. Learning to use a clutch is a little more forgiving on it.
 

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OMG!! yours and my wife must have been channeling each other, took my wife (sort of a new rider) out yesterday and she crashed twice, once on the gravel(tried to take off in 2nd gear on a hill) and once on the pavement (again tried to take off in 2nd) and she fell over after stalling, bark busters are her friend no damage except a broken turn signal and her pride l:)
 

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No offence intended here and I have felt your pain with a GF years ago. Learning to ride is best done off the asphalt for sure and properly outfitting the gal with the right gear is most important. You do not want her getting hurt. You don't mention the size of your wife but it could be the TW is too big or too heavy for her beginning. A lighter bike like a 100cc might be a better choice until she gets her legs under her and the clutch/gear thing down pat. There is nothing wrong with finding a smaller dirt bike for her to learn the basics on and then move her up to the TW. My GF had the hardest time going over logs and small branches laying at angles across the trails. Anything that kicked the front wheel off line put her in the dirt. My Hodaka Ace 90 took a beating for a couple weeks but she sure did learn to ride pretty well and her dad bought her a nice Honda 90 that I called a walk through frame and she could keep up with the best of us most times.

I just think a TW is a bit heavy for a small frame gal just learning.

GaryL
 

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Congratulations to your wife for having good spirits!

The scars make great memories. :)
And some bad ones! I remember picking cinders out of my arms and legs for a few years from learning the art of taking wild falls on an old railroad bed. Some of my aches and pains today can be directly attributed to those falls 50 years ago.

GaryL
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Ourdee - great vid!

Rocky - yes, we watched the course in a parking lot in Lacey on Saturday before buying the second TW. She will be going there to get her license. But she wants to learn to ride at least at a decent beginner level BEFORE going to the beginners' riding school.

Yeah if I had it to do all over again a XL 100 or something like that would have been a better choice for the first few times out. It didn't cross my mind though as I haven't watched an adult learn to ride, ever. Hard to believe it could seem that dificult for someone who has been driving a stick shift car for the last 3 decades. I figured what could possibly be a better beginner bike than a TW with its low seat, light weight, low gearing, low power, and anemic brakes. Anyhow it is still working out fine, we just need to progress more slowly. All was dandy until we hit the trails.
 

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It's good the wife has a positive attitude . No trails until she / you are confident on dirt roads and the like. Good job , have fun .
 

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..... I figured what could possibly be a better beginner bike than a TW with its low seat, light weight, low gearing, low power, and anemic brakes. .....
I agree, and so do many beginner course staff all over the country who buy them to rent to newbies for the course.
 

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Believe it or not, the best way to learn how to ride is to take the basic motorcycle course, not for you to try and teach her anything. She will be taught by certified instructors who know how to do this systematically, and she will not have to unlearn all the bad habits she gets from you trying to teach her. You are lucky that she is still talking to you, much less wants to keep riding a motorcycle with that kind of experience. Do it right and let her learn from a professional. They start from the beginning and you do not have to be a basic rider before talking that course. And is she wearing any kind of protective gear, like an armored jacket, gloves, a helmet, proper boots? If not, then you are really teaching her bad habits from the very beginning. All the courses make you wear a helmet and some kind of protective gear. Do her a favor and get her into the course before she (and the bike) gets hurt.
 

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Believe it or not, the best way to learn how to ride is to take the basic motorcycle course, not for you to try and teach her anything. She will be taught by certified instructors who know how to do this systematically, and she will not have to unlearn all the bad habits she gets from you trying to teach her. You are lucky that she is still talking to you, much less wants to keep riding a motorcycle with that kind of experience. Do it right and let her learn from a professional. They start from the beginning and you do not have to be a basic rider before talking that course. And is she wearing any kind of protective gear, like an armored jacket, gloves, a helmet, proper boots? If not, then you are really teaching her bad habits from the very beginning. All the courses make you wear a helmet and some kind of protective gear. Do her a favor and get her into the course before she (and the bike) gets hurt.
Sent my wife to one of those courses. They took her money, or my money as I did it on line, and then sent her home. Said she wasn't up to the course. Is why I sent her.

Today we did a little bit of gravel with her on a 110 Honda I picked up. She has a TW, she is doing better, but still the smaller bike will help I hope. Wanted her to do a small bit of trail as the Honda has the automatic. She would have nothing to do with it. She did get off road with her new ACE. Was a short ride, but at least she did it. She is really liking that ACE. I am thinking that maybe it is the best thing. Like Lori on the quad, they are more comfortable on 4 wheels.

BTW, that ACE hauls.
 

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Sent my wife to one of those courses. They took her money, or my money as I did it on line, and then sent her home. Said she wasn't up to the course. Is why I sent her.
Yeah, there have been a few cases like that, which to my mind indicates that the persons giving the course were TOTALLY UNPROFESSIONAL! It does pay to do a little shopping and asking around if you have more than one option. All three courses I have ever taken were fantastic and run in an absolutely professional manner, and I learned a lot even after 45 years of riding. I just wish this level of beginner instruction would have been available 45 years ago.....would have saved me a LOT of grief. :eek::p

PS....I tried to teach my wife to fly, long, long ago.....THAT lasted ONE lesson! :D And I was a licensed Instructor at the time.

These guys are one of the best: http://www.msf-usa.org/
 

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I learned to ride on a dirt bike. A nice grassy field is the best for the unavoidable wipeouts. Then progressed to trails and race tracks, which gave me all kinds of bad habits for the road. I got my first street bike last year, and was putting my leg out to take turns. So my husband signed me up for the motorcycle learning course. They had way more patience than he did teaching me. I still make mistakes but It is getting better. I still like riding on the trails the most. That's why I love my TW! When the roads get rough I hit the dirt.
 
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