Teaching kids is way different than teaching an adult. I learned this the hard way. Sometime last year, my new neighbor told me that they would love me to coach their 9 and six-year-old kids how to ride dirt bikes. I was happy to take on this task, but it was no sooner than I realized that it was not an easy task. Well, for one thing, kids quickly pick up on new things more easily than adults, but they also pick on bad sentiments. When I found out that the methods I was using (which worked well with adult newbie riders, by the way) almost made the kids lose their flare for dirt biking, I sought help.
I met a professional officer from the Department of Public Safety, and he is the coach of one of the dirt bike classes. His classes were exciting that kids enroll almost every day. (That is the reason why I thought it was comfortable in the first place!) Follow these tips I learned from him, and you will coach kids like a pro. Kids will always long for your lessons. No kidding.
How to Coach Your Kid
How can you teach your kids to ride a dirt bike in a safe, enjoyable, and productive way that would be both educative and interesting at the same time? These are simple tips we will share and explain.
#1 – Use Suitable kid dirt Bike
Don’t put out the love your kids have for dirt biking by forcing them on a ride that is not good for them. Don’t get a bike too tall, or a bike too short for your kids. Overall, never get a bike that would overpower your kid. Who doesn’t want to stay in control? Never buy dirt bikes with power beyond 100cc for your kids, especially if it is their first time to ride. If a kid feels uncomfortable doing something they are just starting with, they tend to hate it in the long run. So, take your kids to the store where you want to buy the bike and make them test the bikes. Assure the kids that if they don’t like it, or don’t feel good on it, they mustn’t force it.
Some kids may be too old for a 50cc dirt bike, and you can borrow a 50cc dirt bike for the first few rides and then buy a larger one later. For instance, I was advised to buy a 110cc dirt bike for the nine-year-old after our first four lessons.
#2 – Train on Suitable Trails
Most people train kids on any trail they can find. This is one of the simple mistakes I made. Our first training was on a sandy trail with some deep ruts. The kids were only crashing here and there, and even I was frustrated. However, I have learned that for learning, kids must take it slowly. So you should start training on a flat and straight trail rather than rocky or sandy. Make sure the trail is long so that for the first training, they should go straight and learn how to balance a running dirt bike. Don’t do anything about turning or steering on the first lesson; just go straight and stop the engines. Start, ride straight, and end. Let them feel the excitement of the vibrating engines under them. You could shout in excitement with them!
#3 – Don’t Use Training Wheels
This is one tip I knew. After this segment, I will share why training wheels and tricycles are not right for training kids to ride a dirt bike. So unless the kid is still very young and about 3 to 4 years old, don’t use the training wheels. In three to five rides without training wheels, they will be more confident to ride on their own without any guidance.
#4 – Make Room For Breaks
When riding, kids will get dehydrated and tired no matter how old or strong they say they are. Lol. Make sure to take note of their excitement and any subtle or direct changes in their voice and their actions.
Sometimes, the kids would love riding so much that they might not even want to stop riding because of the adrenaline rush; they may not want to stop.
Take their helmets off occasionally and give them pep talks while they drink water for a while. While you rest, take funny pictures and pose. You should provide this breaks every 20 to 30 mins into each ride. This will keep them excited throughout the trip and the lesson.
#5 – Don’t Do More Than one Lesson in one Day
If you try to teach kids more than they can handle, this might be counterproductive. Teach only one fundamental lesson on each trip. Your first class, for example, might be how to start a bike. When they have learned this, no matter how quickly they did, don’t do more. Let them practice more until you feel they need to rest. Plus, you must always end the lesson when you think that they are enjoying it the most. This will cause them to look forward to the next experience. Also, make sure to tell them precisely what they will be learning in the next trip and why it is vital for them to do so.
As I was saying, if on your first trip, you learned how to start a bike, don’t teach them how to kill the engine in the same instant. They will feel overloaded this way. One step at a time.
#6 – Secure a Large Open Field To Practice Steering
If your kids have learned how to run a dirt bike in a straight line, you must make sure you don’t try to teach them to turn the same day. I fell for this too, and I found that teaching the kids to turn a simple 180 degrees was a challenge. When we allowed the day to pass and came out again on a large open field, we had some fun with it thanks to my new friend. The kids will be able to turn if they are sure of the space available comfortably. The first few turns will be very wide and funny. Laugh and allow them to laugh at themselves. Take pictures and make videos if you may. These are perfect souvenirs. I always wished my dad made a video of when I first rode. He only tells me the story, and it never amuses me as much as it does him.
As I was saying, it helps if you find a huge space when the kids can practice turning until they can do a 180-degree turn without going off the side of the road.
#7 – Get Your Kids Cool Gear
Every kid loves relaxed wears. You know, something they can show off at school or among other kids. Look at videos of kids and pro riders and see what gear they wear (I learned that what my friend does is psychologically force the kids’ minds to adopt one expert rider as a role model). The kids love famous people. Kids love gear that incorporates graphics. Helmets made for kids are examples. (Click here to read my test results on the best helmets for your kids). When they get cool gear, make sure you hype them. They must feel good in whatever they wear.
#8 – Assure kids that rashing is All Part of the Plan
Kids may get frustrated if they crash a lot and start thinking that dirt biking is not their thing. You don’t want all this to happen, so you must never make them a sense that you are frustrated because they will notice if you are, and they will feel bad. They are already intimidated by the power and weight of the dirt bike, if you show a slight lack of confidence in them or that you feel like they are not getting it, you may chase them far. And they will clam up. Don’t put any pressure on them, assure them that they can crash and they will collapse. It is all part of the plan. No one rides without crashing. Assure them that it’s okay if they hit. Also, give the kids the assurance that they would not get hurt so far they have all the safety gear on and that you are with them all through. This will allow the kids to unwind.
For adults, you may not need to follow all these tips. At least, I had experience teaching adults who are now riding experts on the trails. Kids are different, though. Soon, in this next segment, we will dissolve the crazy notion most parents or teachers have that for “protection,” they have to use tricycles to teach kids riding! Oh no! That’s not the way to go, man. After we have removed that mindset from your mind, we will share some tips that will help you and your kids get the best out of each lesson. You and the kids would look forward to each lesson.
So let’s get down on it. Why is it a bad idea to teach children to balance on tricycles rather than on dirt bikes? The answer is quite simple: You can’t teach a person music by asking them to recite nursery rhymes. Okay, Let me give you several valid reasons.
Why Should Kids Learn How To Ride On Balance Bikes Rather Than Tricycles?
Many parents buy training wheels to fit on kids’ bikes. Hmmm. Little did you know that training wheels can make it harder for a child to learn how to ride a bike. Training wheels make it harder for a kid who’s new to the whole idea of biking to find their balance. Balance Bikes, on the other hand, teach kids balance and coordination. Kids can quickly and easily develop the confidence to ride a bike later.
#1 – Kids Can Feel More Comfortable on Balance Bikes!
If your child can walk, be sure that they can as well ride a standard balance dirt bike. With no pedals getting in their way as it is on bicycles, kid dirt bikes are easy to ride. They have pegs instead of pedals where kids can rest their legs. The kids can even get their legs off the bike and walk along with the bike. Because they can have their feet on the ground, they will feel more comfortable. When they are ready to pick their feet up, they start to walk and then they will sit on the seat.
#2 – Tricycles Are Not Good For Learning.
I understand how scary it might be for you to let go of your kid to ride on their own all of a sudden. As soon as they feel comfortable enough, kids will ride on their own. You can sit back and watch them learn and get balance. Now if you restrict them to riding a tricycle, kids will learn rather slowly. Training wheels can take away the feeling of a real bike. A child should get to know the movements on a bike like the balance, mannerisms, and the steering. Tricycles don’t teach a child any of those things.
#3 – Kids Have a Happier Experience While Riding Balance Bikes!
I have done much research, and in my opinion, balance bikes are the bikes of the future. They offer a more comfortable and safer way for kids to learn how to ride a dirt bike. Kids will be able to concentrate on their balance and where they are going when they ride. I believe that if a child is comfortable, they can learn things faster than if they were scared and tense. They are more comfortable on balance bikes as they can quickly put their feet down as opposed to tricycles.
#4 – Tricycles are Not As Safe As They Seem
There are no tricycles designed just the right size for kids. This means that your kids would not have the freedom they would enjoy on a dirt bike. Dirt bikes are, on the other hand, have small engines that are fitting for kids. The honda CRF50 is one good option. You must make sure to get your kids all the available safety gear.
Now that you have ditched your tricycle, you should let your kids have the joy of learning how to ride a dirt bike. If you use the tips discussed in this post, you would be on the same level with expert teachers in coaching kids on dirt biking. This category still has more and more tips about dirt bikes. Why not hang around a little more and read some more. Remember to share with all your friends.