I love to teach my son how to ride and repair stuffs the old fashion way. Here I will share some of our cheap DIY projects and repairs. I will also share some of my experience as a biker and as a pro mechanic. I am not a mechanic anymore but I still do repairs but mostly for my own machineries and this is why I try to keep everything easy and cheap. I also don't race anymore but I still love riding up the mountains where there is little or no help and all I can rely on is my small tool pouch and my monkey repair skills to bring me home whenever my bike or my friends bike breaks down.

If you are a tech-wiz or some kind of high-tech repair guru who likes spending too much $$$s buying stuffs and spends most of your time at a coffee shop posing your best biker battle gear clown costume and talking how great a biker you are then THIS IS NOT FOR YOU... Here we seriously ride our bikes and we try to keep everything simple, easy and cheap. Most of what I will share here are intended for riders who usually break their bikes to peices and may not be needed by other bikers.

I will also be sharing some cheap ways how I repaired my cars and computers. And for laughs, I will also add some weird / funny / odd stuffs that I or we did that worked and didn't work. Sorry about this blog's style, set-up or whatever you may call it, I'm an old school biker and its easier for me wrenching cars and bikes than typing on my keyboard...

Why do I let my son ride and do repairs...

There are many people who are against kids riding motorcycles, cars, forklifts, etc. and playing with tools or power tools. I am not against people who are against children riding or using these things because all individuals are different. Some parents say that they will never allow their kids to ride a motorbike because they have only one child. I too have only one child... 

I will not talk about myself because it's obvious that I too started very young. My son was not yet walking and was still wearing pampers when he firsts experienced the beauty of off-road riding inside the baby backpack. My son was less than 1 year old when he started driving a kiddy 3 wheeler electric bike. He first started riding engine powered vehicles when he was 3.5 years old with me as a back rider and he just pumps the gas. He was nearly 4 when I converted the gears on his first bicycle for low speed and he was riding steep downhills and off-road with the big guys riding "for competition only motorbikes" and he loved it. He is 14 now and I think than he can ride almost any bike. He can also drive manual and automatic cars and trucks including fork lifts but only inside the workshop and never on public roads. 

Since my work is in the vehicle biz, he also grew-up seeing lots of tools. With my supervision, I let him play with tools when he was very young. At 6, my birthday gift for him was an Army Swiss folding tool (knife) and he played with it crafting stuffs. At the age of 8, I gave him a full set of basic mechanic tools and at 10 I gave him a complete pro mechanic tool set including a soldering iron, an electric drill, a portable electric bench grinder in a caddy. Now he has an air compressor and tools that go with it, a bench drill, a metal cutter, some portable grinders, and a welding machine. 

So am I the evil dad for supporting my son's hobby? I don't think so... Since he was in grade school, he has been repairing his classmate's bicycles free of charge and I supply the needed parts (tires, tubes, cables, lights, etc.). Then he moved on learning how to scrap and fix motorcycles and cars. First I let him start by removing small parts from motorbikes then to bigger parts like motorbike and car engines (with my supervision). Since we are business men (business kid), I also taught him how to sell his repaired stuffs and at 10 somebody bought his self restored motorbike. He sold more than 15 motorbikes and lots of parts. Just imagine a 10 year old kid talking to real grown-up biker buyer and showing-off what he did to the bike. They talked for hours about riding, touring, bike experiences, etc. while the guys have cigars and beers in their hands and my son a Coca-Cola and a Play Station Portable... his customers loves him!

At the age of 10.5, he gave me a gift that I couldn't refuse (photos below), he bought a Honda Magna 250 from one of my bike shop buddies using his hard earned cash. I'm still riding the Magna now for street use and loving it.

I think he learned a lot doing repairs and riding with me and my mates. He learned seniority, chain of command, quality of work, importance of time, dealing with people, and price for his effort. He also learned about team work like when he noticed that I was running low in cash, he offered me twice his savings. He also learned many things like how it is not proper for us to park our vehicles in some business establishment if we are not buying anything. Stealing is a big NO because he experienced the head aches when someone stole the muffler from his project bike and had to spend his own money to buy a new replacement. To be honest, I have taught him how to deal with locks especially in our biz, that there are times we lose the keys or buy machineries without keys and have to jack it open and with his tools, he can use them to open doors or even a small safe but since he knows the rules and the pains of being robbed he will never use the technology to cause any harm or hardship to anybody and that is "responsibility". Boys will always be boys and many have fantasies of jacking a bike just for fun, but I'm sure that my boy has pride not to stoop down to that level. 

About riding or driving cars or forklift, I don't allow him to ride on the streets and only ride in off-road or private areas who I know the owner. He knows many kids who illegally ride bikes on the roads but since he also knows about the rules, obligation and penalties if he gets caught riding on public roads, he just sticks riding off-road and waits patiently until he gets older to get a driving license. 

The big question is, is riding dangerous? The answer is YES and NO. He is 14 years old now and has been riding for quite some time. He has experienced crashing/falling/spilling many times but with minimal or no body damage. He has many good teachers who teaches him how to ride properly. He can do some tricks, can do hill climbs, do some short wheelies, and can fly a bit. He will never be a really good rider since he likes wrenching more than riding but the thing is he knows how to have a good time with his bikes and that is what having fun is all about.

Bikes and repairs keeps us very close together. We can talk for hours about bikes and repairs. Some may think that he may be a bike addict and no he is not. He is just an ordinary kid who likes playing video games, playing with friends, doing martial arts, chasing girls, escaping his homework, and being scolded for flunking his school tests. 

For parents who loves bikes but their kids doesn't, please don't force them to ride. Let them be the one to come to you. I know many rider dads who was too blind not to see that their kids are not into riding. If your son loves knitting, probably its time for you to start knitting too.  And for parents who are against riding and your children loves it, please give them your support. Teach them how to properly ride or if you are a lousy rider, get an expert to guide your kids. Get them a proper bike and proper safety gears. Teach them the rules and responsibility of riding but most of all, set them lose and let them enjoy their ride. And for those who are in a budget, you don't have to buy expensive new machineries for your kids. Just like me, I always get crappy bikes for my son and we both just do the repairs. Both of you can take turns riding the bike and I assure you that you will both have a good time.