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I'm taking my girlfriend riding for the first time this weekend. She has never ridden before, so it's going to be up to me to show her the basics and explain basic trail manners (always stay to the right, give yourself plenty of room to stop, always stay to the right, hand signals, always stay to the right, etc). For those of you who have taken someone riding for the first time, what kinds of things have you shared with the beginning rider...and maybe more importantly, is there anything you wished you would have told them? She will be riding my 98 ZR600 EFI LE, which I know is a lot of sled for someone new to the sport, but it's the only thing I have...other than my new F7, which she will NOT be riding! ;) We will be riding with a group of people that generally rides pretty slow, so I don't think speed is going to be too big of a concern.

On to my Firecat questions... I've only been a member here for a few days, but I've read a lot about the handling (or lack thereof) of these sleds (without changing skis, adding longer carbides, etc). This weekend will be my first ride on the new F7 (standard, unstudded), and I'm wondering if there's anything I should do before I take it out for the first time. It's going in tomorrow morning for all of the updates an I plan on adjusting the toe-out before we leave. It seems like unstudded, standard Fcats are somewhat rare on this board, but I just thought I should ask to see if anyone has any good suggestions to improve the handling of this sled.

Thanks for any and all info! This board is great...I've already learned a lot about my sled from you guys.
 

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Personally I would'nt do anything other than adjusting toe-out until you take it on a good long ride. Knowing how it handles out of the box will go a long way when making adjustments. You'll be able to apprieciate the improvements better.
 

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If your going slow you shouldnt worry yourself. Get on it and go. Maybe you will like the way it handles. When you get back from you ride, then adjust to your liking.
 

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Show her how to lean to each side when she goes around corners. It will make her turning a lot easier.
Let her know to take her time, and not worry about other's speed.
Oh, yeah, make sure she is dressed warmly!
 

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If your going trail riding and expect to do ANY agressive riding with your friends, I'd suggest turning the coupling block to the #2 position.

You can go out with it stock and not adjust the coupler now or play with it in a field, but to be safest and have the most fun. (Unless you get a kick out of a LOT of ski lift. Set the coupler to 2 right now.)

If you have studs, get some 10 inch carbide on that F7.

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For her. . . if you have time before riding it's a good idea to take her out to a field if possible where you ride and let her do some circles at different speeds to see how the sled reacts and give her room to get used to the sled.

Have someone follow her at times on the trail and judge how she's doing in blind turns. Don't be overly preachy, but don't be afraid to tell the newbie more than once. . . your just reminding them and safety is paramount.

She should be afraid to slow down when approaching oncoming traffic.

Let her know that stearing on cement just doesn't happen when the pavement is bare. She has to aim the sled before going across intersections.

Tell her to use a firm grip (better to firm at first, because some stutter bumps can rip the handlebars out of a riders hands). . . as she gets used to the sled she'll learn to use less than a death grip while riding and vary grip pressure.

It's easy to give a new rider to much information and appear to be harping. . . explain that you'll probably be covering the basics more than once because, "everyone forgets when they are first riding and the first few times out". It's not meant as a put down to cover something more than once. . . just extra safety.

You might go over basic hand signals. If someone else is speeding and throwing up a lot of dust, by all means tell her to trail far enough behind to stop before the trail dust and not follow to closely. . . we had a guy ride off the trail in trail dust at high speeds last weekend.


You may want to explain (later in the ride or in a subsequent ride) that ice conditions on turns make panic breaking difficult because the rear end can swing out and a couple of short bursts in breaking is better on those conditions, but this is for more intermediate riders to discover.

Hope these comments help some.

(I kind of wish there was a booklet or signs on the trails that remind us that there should be BLACK lane lines on the white trail. . . just like the white ones on the road. They are there or should be there in every riders imagination. That imagery might help some avoid crossing over on blind turns.)
 

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I'll keep the response brief and short. I'll be riding with some friends new to the sport this weekend as well.

1. ALWAYS pull off to the side of the trail when you stop!

2. Watch and obey the trail stop signs.

3. Pay attention to the hand signals of others regarding the number of sleds behind them and provide the same info to them.

4. Don't ride faster than your ability and if you get lost, STOP, the person in front of you should always be looking making sure you're behind them.

If everyone abides by these rules no one will get lost or left behind.
 

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MAKE SURE WHEN APPROACHIN WATER BARS AND SOME TRAIL OBSTICLE U GO SLOW

my dad's girlfriends flew right threw a buch oof rocks because she didn't know, i thought it would be obvious
 

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Just make sure she rides to her experience. Last year I bought my girlfriend a new ZL 550. She loved it, but never had it past 40 on the trail and 55 on the lake. After last year's riding and this year, she rides better than some of the guys we go with. I even let her ride my F 7 every once in a while. She loves it. Definately getting her a F 6 next year. Gotta love the girls that love to Ride !!!!
 
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