My 6-year-old daughter is everything to me. She’s also a Grade-A Hellion. I may have made her that way, so my rapidly graying hair is absolutely my fault. But she’s damned determined whenever she gets her mind set on something, and there’s nothing I love more than watching her go all steely-eyed and quiet until she figures out whatever she’s trying to do. 

This, along with bringing her along for most of my wild adventures, has translated into her loving the same things I do. Chief among them, riding her Kawasaki Elektrode, and now testing Kawasaki’s KFX 50 ATV. Yes, she’s already doing powersports journalism. Byline coming soon. 

But while I’m a firm believer in learning anything by doing, and she’s done a great job at figuring out the dynamics of these machines without any sort of proper coaching, there are times I’ve wished I could be in her ear or on her shoulder to help guide her. To pass along some thoughts from the decades of my own experience while she’s riding that I just can’t after she’s already come to a stop. Talk her through a turn, where she could give it a little more gas, and lean a little here and there. Be her Jiminy Cricket. 

And, wouldn’t you know it, after talking about such a want on my social media, the good folks over at Cardo got in contact and asked, “Have you heard about your lord and savior, PackTalk Edgephones?” 

Thankfully, I didn’t have to convert or give them my bank account number, but what Cardo sent me has been everything I could’ve ever wanted in terms of coaching. But the Edgephones have also given me smiles and stupid dad giggles, as there’s nothing better than hearing your daughter’s laughs and woots after she finally figured something out. 

You’re definitely going to want it.

Cardo PackTalk Edgephones
Cardo PackTalk Edgephones
Cardo PackTalk Edgephones

Cardo’s PackTalk coaching system is twofold. The first prong is the coach’s PackTalk EdgePhones, which uses a set of over-the-ear headphones and a very familiar snap-into-place locking mechanism for a standard PackTalk Cardo comms system. It’s two pieces and fairly grab-and-go. The second prong is a standard PackTalk Cardo comms system that you install into a helmet, i.e. my daughter’s HJC. So you get in-helmet speakers and a microphone, as well as an exterior bracket for the PackTalk unit itself. 

The whole kit, Edgephone ORVs and PackTalk Edge ORVs, will set you back $399.95 per Edge ORV, and $489.95 per Edgephone ORV, the latter of which comes with an Edge ORV. 

Set up of the two took me all of about ten minutes with Cardo’s directions. But by the time I’d done it, after dinner and the sun setting, we didn’t have time to test it out while riding. So we tried it out inside our house. And from our initial trial, I knew this was going to be fun. 

My daughter’s voice coming through my headphones felt hysterical and adorable. She offered jokes and laughter and just silliness. I gave them to my wife to try and she couldn’t stop laughing either. Waiting to test them outside the following day felt like an eternity at that point. 

Cardo PackTalk Edgephones
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Our first proper use was while she rode her Elektrode. I let her find her footing with a few laps around the backyard track I’ve slowly been building and had her just talk to me. What I found interesting was that she doesn’t really talk to herself, but stays pretty quiet throughout. She’s concentrating and determined. No room for talking. That is until she figures something out. 

We have a very small kicker on the track and, for a long time, though she’s the one that asked for it, she didn’t really feel comfortable hitting it. Maybe it was me in her ears, or maybe it got in her head the night before, but she came over the Cardos and said, “I want to do the jump.” To which I said, “Go for it, I’m watching.” 

The first attempts she bailed on, but I could see that she was trying to work up the courage as well as figure out how fast she needed to go. We’ve watched a lot of Nitro Circus together and she’s seen pros go nearly all the way trying to figure out speeds. I’ve even explained it to her, and I know she understands. 

“I’m going to do it, Daddy. Watch me,” she stated very matter-of-factly. “I’m watching,” I told her. 

I could see her eyes lock onto the ramp, her little hands twist the throttle more than she had, and sorta tense up throughout her body. But she was going for it. And with an “Ooof!” declared on landing, I replied “Wooo! Great job, kiddo!”, to which she just giggled. 

Cardo PackTalk Edgephones
Cardo PackTalk Edgephones
Cardo PackTalk Edgephones

She’s been hitting that jump more and more throughout the last two months we’ve been using the Cardo Edgephone system. She’s upped the speed of the Elektrode to its highest setting. And her and I’ve been working on how to lean, which she’s picking up way faster than I could’ve imagined, she isn’t touching the ground all that much, and she’s starting to ride the single-track trail I’ve built in the back part of our yard. 

I’m predicting she’ll be a better rider than me in about six months. 

Where the Edgephone coaching system also came in handy, however, was with the latest addition to our garage. A machine sent directly to her for her appraisal: Kawasaki’s KFX 50 ATV. 

Now, I didn’t really have any qualms about her trying the KFX 50 out. The dynamics between her Elektrode and the KFX 50 are pretty similar. It is a lot heavier, though, and she’s never done anything with a gas engine. I felt it required a little more tutelage than her Elektrode which she just hopped onto and throttled out. “Here’s where the Cardo system would shine,” I thought to myself. And I was sorta right. 

But I should’ve guessed that she’d take to the KFX like a fish to water. 

Cardo PackTalk Edgephones

Her first couple rips around our house were slow, cautious, and filled with near misses. She nearly clipped our truck, the house, the dog, and nearly went off the edge of our property, a 15-foot hill. And that was with me on the back of it and in her ear with the Cardos. But then, within a day of the KFX arriving, and me loosening up the reigns, she started to get it. 

She started to lean into the turns, go flat out, and encircle our house quicker with each lap. And I could hear her having the time of her life as she giggled every time she went faster and faster. 

Right now, I’m just talking to her normally. Giving her a few pointers here and there, and being a good cheerleader. But being of the age I am, and a lover of all things fast, I came over the comms late last week and said to her, “Talk to me, Goose.” Yes, I’ve got dad jokes. But to my surprise, she replied, “I’m not a goose!” Laughing, I said, “I know, but you have to say, ‘What’s up, Maverick?’” And then she pulled an Uno Reverse on me. “I’m not Goose, I’m Maverick. You’re Goose!” 

I guess I’m going to have to get her a call sign sticker for her helmet, as well as one for me. 

But my time with the Cardo system has just given me more time with her. More time to talk to her. And more time to share the things we both love together. It clued me into a world and voice I didn’t know existed. It showed me who she’s becoming, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. 

Yes, the Cardo Edgephone coaching system is great and teaching your kid proper powersport techniques like leaning, going faster, putting their leg out, braking points, and more. It’ll help them develop so much faster than if you’re just armchair quarterbacking. 

But it’ll do so much more than that. 

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