- Get students thinking about smoothness and how what they do with the throttle, brakes, and steering directly affects traction.
- Mastering the clutch is one of the biggest hurdles. Teach them to let the clutch lever out to the friction point where the bike is just beginning to roll forward. Then, have them hold it there and let it out over a five-count.
- Find the right size bike so the student can comfortably touch the ground—no matter his or her age. Teach them to sit right up against the tank. If they don't feel like they can balance the bike when stopped, it will hinder or eliminate all learning.
- The Mystery School uses street-style boots from Cortech that have thinner soles and are more flexible than motocross boots. This allows riders to move their ankles and gives them better feel with the brake, shifter, and pegs. "We suggest that they go to the full motocross boots later," Oliver says.
- Most new riders don't know about the motorcycle and how it operates, so don't assume they do. Oliver even teaches students which way the throttle turns and has them practice braking by coasting down a slight hill before they even start the engines!
- Allow the student to learn one thing at a time. Don't pile on too many tasks at once. Don't move to the next skill until the current skill can be performed competently or is at least well understood.
- Keep the speed down for much longer than you might think is necessary. Spending extra time at low speeds or in first gear allows the rider to build coordination with the control movements that will pay off later at higher speeds.