It's now half way through June and it seems that summer has at last arrived, but what about spring? I mean one minute I'm freezing out there and the next day it's summer! Oh well, best make the most of it.
With the coming of
spring/summer many of you with youngsters (Eh? Where you
getting these phrases from grandad? - Ed) may be considering
the possibility of picking up a small dirt bike for the lad
or lass to get
I viewed many rocks, very
expensive rocks to boot. Most of the machines, though they
were still fairly new (two to four year old) were mostly in
rough shape. The most common of the problems were bent and
or leaking forks, bent handle bars, broken levers, worn
chains and sprockets, and poor cosmetics. Some of the more
severe problems ranged from a bent steering head, to a
cracked engine case. Now for the right price any one of
these problem machines can be saved, unfortunately the price
wasn't right. You have to keep in mind when looking for a
tots cruiser that it's the old
After looking at all these many machines of woe, factoring in the cost of fixing it up to the point where I felt safe putting my kid on it, I was, in most cases, at or beyond the cost of a new one! So if you're going to shell out as much, why not just buy a new one? Oh, and if you're planning something like this, don't tell your child or they're likely to harp your ears off - thus clouding your already foolish mind.
I feel that buying a bike for yourself or someone you love is a personal thing, so I won't get into why I picked the Yamaha PW80, all right, it was the color, I like blue, OK! Plus, Willie at Yamaha Sports Pickering gave me a great deal and let me watch it being put together. I didn't know this, but Yamaha ships the PW80 two to a box so the dealer has to buy two. That's why you may not find one ready to go on the dealerships showroom floor. The smaller 50's come three to box! Just thought you'd like to know.
Once at home with the new purchase I quickly hid it in the garage amongst all the broken hulks for up coming Sonic's and proceeded to read the owners manual (they give them out for a reason). Along with the owners manual, the bike came with a 'how to' booklet on teaching your child to ride safely. This was really a good read, full of good tips and safe common sense practices. Not only that, but I got a cool hat too. I mean my kid did, damn thing didn't fit me.
Part of the deal of him getting a dirt bike is that he has to help maintain it. That includes buying gas and oil, as well as using tools (with my help - Uh oh, the kids a goner - Ed) to take care of his new bike. A purchase like this can be a great learning tool for both you and your child if managed correctly from day one. Equally it can cause family turmoil if it's misused. If you are considering a dirt bike for your kid, be sure to spend as much time with them after the purchase as you did considering the purchase, because it's a blast!!
Thanks to all who have written in with E-mails and letters. I've been considering doing a workshop tips thing for some time now, so here are a few to be going on with for now;
Some real tips will be coming next issue. Speaking of next issue, bent frame on a '95 Kawasaki ZX7? Noooo problem ... Oh god.
© 1997 Canadian Motorcycle Guide