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Major Roadtrip with 17 year old Daughter on her own bike

767 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Bish
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Thought I'd share this since we learned a lot along the way .....

began taking an annual cross country trip with each of my daughters several years ago.

older daughter always wanted to ride her own eventually. She turned 16 last year.

did a bunch of research on bikes for newbies and in Nov. of 2007 bought a 1998 250 Kaw ninja with 4000 miles on it for $1300. (sold it this year in June for same amount, never spent a dime on it)

Began taking her to local high school parking lot in late april 2008 to teach her clutching, shifting, braking. typical session lasted about 1/2 hour.

during the 3rd or 4th session she still didn't have the timing of throttle/clutch down. I had her sit in front of me while I rode the bike with her hands over mine. was kind of a "breakthru", she did much better after that.

(one negative on the ninja is that it has a 14,000 rpm red line and no low end torque so a lot of clutch slippage is req'd for starting out.)

Daughter took new rider (MSF) class and passed her written test and got her permit in June of 2008.

we rode together at every opportunity during summer of 2008. I think I gained some weight from all the evening runs we made to dairy queen.

I also started novice roadracing in 2008 and daughter was very interested so I picked up a crashed SV650 racebike with the idea that maybe she'd get some track time in 2009. (we have 7 months of winter here so wrenching is pretty much all there is to do motorcyclewise from Oct. to April)

during the winter I also found out about a couple of organizations that conduct advanced riding schools at a tech college 2 hours from home. sounded like a lot of fun and that we'd learn a lot.

also seemed a vastly superior option to allowing my daughter out on to one of the fastest roadracing tracks in America (Brainerd International Raceway).

fastforward to May 2009.

got daughter out on the Ninja right away in may. after a couple rides I moved her up to a 78 GS750 Suzuki that has a big crash bar (if you're old enough you'll remember these. pretty much no damage from a tip over).

She had no problem with the bigger bike so (after a lot of "please daddy") I let her ride the TLR and ZRX. after a month I let her ride the FJR which was the bike she'd take cross country. I had added a CB to it (J&M) so we could talk GL1500 to FJR on the trip.

In June we went to the 1st of 5 visits to the tech college track and it was extremely valuable. rode SV650 racebikes which are not too fast and very popular for new roadracers.

We learned how to "look thru turns" and also just how sharply a motorcycle can be turned with proper technique. Both are very useful survival skills for the street. also had a LOT of fun!!

(note to the old guys: I've been riding 35 years and the track time has made me a far more proficient rider!)

In July we took a 2 day 800 mile round trip with me on GL and her on FJR as a warm up. went well although the corbin seat on the FJR was just as uncomfortable for her as it had been for me. dug out a water cushion I bought 30 years ago for trips on my Z1 and let her use that. it helped a lot.

Since both girls have been on X-country trips before getting ready was relatively simple. We actually had more cargo space than usual with another bike. Never even opened my saddlebag with the tools and rainsuits in it.

Finally left on big trip on 8/1. younger daughter and me on the GL, 17 year old daughter on the FJR. road an average of 300 miles per day, mostly 2 lane. went thru beartooth pass and Chief Joseph Parkway into yellowstone. stopped in Sturgis on the way home. 2300 miles.

One incident when I braked hard for a big pavement bump at a transition from newly laid pavement and old roadbed. we had just turned around and daughter was following in my wheel track. (she usually rode several bike lengths back in the other wheel track) she evaded by quickly turning bike and passed along side of me. I couldn't really tell, she thought it was a near miss. no way to know for sure if track time saved us there ...

aside from the fact we both got stung by bees trip was flawless.

can't wait to do it again .....

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Father - daughter time!! I'm very jealous. My 16 year old daughter does not even have an interest in riding on back of mine much less riding her own. (yes, I know I'm too old to have a 16 year old daughter but you can't keep a good man down) :cheeky1::cheeky1:
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Great story on how you 'broke them in' on touring and that you both 'upgraded' your skills! :clapper:

Now, you'll have a touring partner for life!! ;)

BTW ... nice shot of your daughter on the Beartooth! :cool:
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You got my vote as Father-Of-The-Year, my friend..... good on ya........

My son started in a sidecar; now he tours and commutes daily on a Suzuki SV650....


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How cool!!!!!

My son and I rode a lot his Junior and Senior years of high school, prior to him joining the Navy. We even did a Bike Week in Daytona trip the March after he turned 18. He had a 1981 GL1100 and I had a 94' 1500 at that time.

My Daughter had expressed some interest in her own bike, but never pushed it. She loved to ride with me, we took several weekend trips. Load the little trailer with scuba gear and head off for Panama City Beach. Ride down on Friday (650 miles) dive on Saturday and Sunday then jump on the bike and ride the 650 miles home so that I could work and she could go to school on Monday...

She might still pick up riding some day but for now she just started her Freshman year of college, she has aspirations of becoming a Doctor, so shes gonna be busy for the next several years. :)
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It's good to see another with femaleRugRats riding.
RR's 1 & 2both ride 600's.
Both did the CSS @ VIR and RR1 wants the Kieth Code school now.
I've been wanting to call 'em RoadRats but...
They share a '78 Camaro.
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Happy story.
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Very cool! I also ride with my daughter.......not the street yet though. Started her on a '74 Elsinore MR50 (my first bike...Grandpa saved it for her) when she was 5. Through the years she moved up to a CR80, then a CR125 w/ a big bore kit. We raced moto and desert together. She's 17 now and wants a Ninja 250. I've been shopping around for one........looking for a late 90's on up with low miles.

Can't wait to get her on one......we'll do a road trip like that I think, looks like a ton of fun!
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