Are dirt bikes too dangerous for kids?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by B1, May 16, 2017.

  1. JETalmage

    JETalmage Been here awhile

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    The correct answer is: Yes, dirt bikes are too dangerous for kids.

    They are also too dangerous for adolescents, teens, adults, and baby-boomers like myself who have been riding ever since we could connive by any means necessary to acquire one.

    I had my first serious motorcycle crash after putting more miles on bikes than on cars for most of the 40-plus years I'd been riding (now going on 48). The mechanism "responsible" was not the 500 lb V-Strom 1000 I was riding, but the sinister four-ounce cell phone which chose to distract the attention of the innocent 18 year old driver just when she needed to cross three lanes of busy traffic without stopping before entering the highway from a Waffle House parking lot.

    A mere couple of years later, I had my second-ever (and hopefully last) road crash. Broken collar bone, ten broken ribs, 40% collapsed lung. The mechanism "responsible" was not my KTM 690 Enduro, but the depraved spare wheel which came at me from the sky after bouncing down the Interstate at 80 MPH, having chosen to jump off the kayak trailer attached to the Jeep being innocently driven 15 MPH over the speed of the ambient traffic in a hurry to get to Florida a few car lengths before everyone else.

    Long before I had my first bike at age 15, I remember the delight of autumn church-conducted hay rides on the back of a flat-bed trailer. Nowadays, even the most responsible dad is prohibited by law from allowing a kid a little joy ride in the back of his pickup truck. That same kid is required by law to wear a helmet while riding his 14" wheel bicycle in his own front yard.

    Not to worry; I'm safe now that the plastic paint tray on my ladder is emblazoned with "NOT A STEP" and everything yellow reminds me it's "NOT A US COAST GUARD APPROVED LIFE-SAVING DEVICE."

    I rest easy knowing our collective tax dollars have bought us the infinite wisdom of the nanny state and made irrevocably clear that life itself is just too dang dangerous.

    We'll all be much safer if we just stop living.

    JET
    #81
  2. cal08

    cal08 Been here awhile

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    I like strong opinions. It's refreshing to have to hold your own based on the merit of your ideas. I don't mind Fred so much. It's the doom and gloom/sky is falling style of his prose that gets tiresome, not the intent of his message.
    #82
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  3. cal08

    cal08 Been here awhile

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    This is a great thread; Ive enjoyed hearing the positive outcomes, memories and challenges from everyone. What a great community.

    My plan was always to go for a cross country ride with my daughter for graduation. Like many here, I had several opportunities to get to know Mother Earth in an intimate and painful manner. Then I read a few fatalities; then I start imagining her first hot corner and then, well, you all know where the thoughts lead. So... I'm killing time in the Honda dealership and the CRF 110's are on sale. Yeah! If I start her riding now, she will have 11 years of riding in before she hits the streets. Here she is, full game face on: image.jpeg

    It's been great. I picked up a smaller two stroke to ride with her, and just picked up the next size, a DRZ 125 kick start for her. And I've recovered about 95 percent of my costs when selling the gently used gear, which is sold within hours of posting. All in, this choice is a win.
    #83
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  4. gravityisnotmyfriend

    gravityisnotmyfriend Long timer

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    Aren't you pushing 6.5' tall? I'm 6'4" and the ergos of a sport bikes have kept me from ever owning one.
    #84
  5. Alexander B

    Alexander B Been here awhile

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    Where is it possible for you to bring your kids on their own bikes, riding trails? Most states? Any regulations regarding age, gear, bike etc?

    Here in Sweden, home of Big Goverment and Nanny state, we have 450 000 square km of mostly sparsely populated country side, still no legal riding off road AT ALL, and FORGET about letting a CHILD do it. The exceptions are MX tracks or the odd Enduro track, both being types of riding highly unsuitable for most kids. Did I say I hate the Nanny state? :dirtdog
    #85
  6. Alexander B

    Alexander B Been here awhile

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    Wow... I really killed this thread...
    #86
  7. Baconologist

    Baconologist Been here awhile

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    Sweden is different than the US
    #87
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  8. kojack06

    kojack06 Been here awhile

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    I was going to say same, growing up working on farms. I don't think anyone even mentioned HORSES.....
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  9. cal08

    cal08 Been here awhile

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    More informed may correct, but the gist in Alberta, Canada, kids can ride legally on the street at 14, on a 50 cc or under. Off road, the bike has to be registered and insured; the challenge is finding an insurance agency to underwrite a child driver, which can vary in answer to no, to yes but very expensive, to no problem have fun. Crown land is accessible by all and we have several designated off road use areas in my area. Trails are maintained and managed by user groups.

    I focus on enduro skills riding with my kid, guided by the vids posted by B1 (thank you sir!) as this is what she will actually come across in real life in the woods.
    #89
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  10. kojack06

    kojack06 Been here awhile

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    I was listening to the podcast "Adventure Rider Radio" recently and Grant Johnson was talking about the cost of motorcycle insurance in Canada. It was insanely high. He lives in British Columbia. Is there a difference between the provinces for insurance costs?
    #90
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  11. Rodzilla

    Rodzilla Little short for a Stormtrooper

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    Here in Colorado, most riding areas are public land. While the states are bad at many things, overall letting our kids ride on trails and in the national forests is still a freedom we enjoy. I *think* Utah has regulations that have a minimum age for kids operating on public lands but have not heard of it enforced. My kids have been riding on public lands (although not much on actual trails) since they were 5 years old. My Son, now 13 and 10 year old daughter will be going out camping again with me this weekend, and we'll take the bikes.
    #91
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  12. Alexander B

    Alexander B Been here awhile

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    Thanks, guys!
    Those rules about riding are just another reason to love the US of A. Freedom with accountability.
    I've been on a business trip to SC a couple of years back, and airport staff behaviour aside, I loved every minute of that trip.
    #92
  13. cal08

    cal08 Been here awhile

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    It appears to be. You really have to shop this; my kids little 125 ranged from 960 CAD per year to 140CAD. I hear BC insures the driver, not the vehicle. But, I suspect out of respect we are approaching thread jack topics. I submit we go back to awesome dads keeping their kids on bikes.
    #93
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  14. Nytebreed

    Nytebreed Need more braaap

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    I'm still alive.
    Which is mildly surprising considering the youthful shenanigans.
    #94
  15. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    get used to this, it will be your annual cycle until she stops growing; boots, helmets, gear.....every season. oy!

    edit: and good on you for getting her out riding! :thumbup:
    #95
  16. carknut

    carknut Adventurer

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    I always figured it was better to learn that motorcycles can hurt you at a young age, than to have them jump on a bike for the first time at age 16 being young dumb and full of cum. My first son started at 4 my second at 2. Out of the hundreds of time we've rode guess who went to the emergency room. The boys have crashed plenty, and the worse injury is a little rash. Its the best way to learn to feel traction, and get a feel for acceleration and braking. I hope it will pay off when its time to drive. Motorcycles are good for people.
    #96
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