Children as Passengers - Seeking Advice/Feedback

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by remedy451, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. remedy451

    remedy451 Calgary, Canada

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    Calgary, AB
    Hi There,

    I am wanting to introduce my 9 year-old son to the joys of riding this season by being a passenger. I would like to hear from other riders who have already undergone this endeavour and solicit their feedback and lessons learned. I would be interested in comments pertaining to:

    1. What age did your child start riding as a passenger?

    2. How did you know your child was mentally mature and responsible enough to be a passenger?

    3. What information/instructions did you provide your child with respect to being a passenger? Emergency situations and what they need to do? Do's and don'ts? Communication strategies? Is there somewhere online that has information to provide child passengers?

    4. What was the pace in terms of speed and distance that you went over a given duration of time? For example, did you restrict the speed to 30mph for the first week with no single ride being longer than 15 mins and then gradually increase this? I have visions of us going on camping weekends in the mountains by the end of the summer but don't know if that's realistic.

    5. At what point did you feel comfortable (if any) taking your child at highway speeds?

    6. Did you use any harness, belt, or any other safety device?

    7. Did you use any other equipment such as an intercom system or backrest?

    8. Any other information that you feel would be helpful?

    I know that with riding comes risk. My child's safety is the number one priority and I am trying to do as much as possible to minimize that risk by providing him with the right gear and the right information as well as by ensuring that he is indeed mature and responsible enough to do this.

    Thank you for your assistance and feedback. It is greatly appreciated!

    Amyn
    #1
  2. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice Long timer

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    My Grandaughters started riding with me last year, Age 6 and 8. (They live with me)

    1. The only bikes they ride with me on are the ones I have fitted backrests for, the Vmax and the BMW K1200RS

    2. They have riding gear, full face helmets, gloves and Armor jackets. They wear hiking boots and jeans.

    3. I also have "Love Handles" since I know they cannot reach around me this is a belt with handles I wear to make sure they are hanging onto me.

    4. It is only short rides around the area and in town (I do not live near any big cities)

    5. They really enjoy it and I teach them what to do and not do.

    6. I am also teaching them to ride (CRF 50 and CRF70)
    #2
  3. NoVa Rider

    NoVa Rider Long timer

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    About 8.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. DaveStockwell

    DaveStockwell Rock Fodder

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    No children of my own but I can tell you how I learned. I started on short rides around the block sitting on the tank (though in today's world, you'd get arrested for that.) At age 5 I graduated to riding behind my father. He tells me the decision was made based on my sense of balance and my ability to straddle the saddle. Distances grew gradually over the first couple years. He basically would take me everywhere and turn around when I said I was getting sore. Personally I loved it so much that I never wanted to go home. That might explain my penchant for long rides.

    As far as harnesses, he'd simply loosen his belt a notch and I'd hold on. As I grew he quickly installed a backrest for greater support and comfort.

    [​IMG]

    I would definitely recommend investing in proper fitting helmets and gear. I know kids grow out of things fast but if you can't afford to keep them in proper fitting kit, they shouldn't be riding.
    #4
  5. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    I'll answer what I can... note that the youngest child I've had as passenger was 11.
    #5
  6. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Network. Check whatever ADV forum might be right for a kid's gear exchange... A couple groups I'm in on does the hand-me-downthing during growth spurt years that works pretty well.
    #6
  7. Connito

    Connito Adventurer

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    Born in Bulgaria. Stuck in Boston, for now...
    Extra small women's size gear works well. I was able to find, very inexpensively, new jackets, pants and gloves that way for my son. Obviously they are not in pink and I did NOT tell him that that's women's gear! I took him to a local dealer for the a helmet. More expensive, but $30 or $40 difference, is a small price to pay for correct fitment! My son is now 12 and he has being riding with me more regularly for a year. I have taken him " around the block" before, but nothing serious. For boots, I got him work boots, which he wears in the winter as well. This season I would have to buy larger, but most everything else would still fit. I think he will wear the helmet for quite some time.
    I also take him only on bikes equipped with backrest or top case, if more that just a run to the store.

    Cheers,
    Pete
    #7
  8. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

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    My granddaughter has been riding with me since the age of 5.

    This is when she was 9 .

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. remedy451

    remedy451 Calgary, Canada

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    Calgary, AB
    Thanks to everyone that has responded. The information is GREAT! Please keep it coming!

    To note:

    1. I am very regimental when it comes to ATTGAT and my son has witnessed this when I ride solo. As a result he is well-prepared to be a proponent of this philosophy and often comments on the ill-equipped riders we see on the road. We have already purchased a good helmet and boots and are in search of the remaining gear (jacket, pants, gloves).

    2. I have purchased an intercom system (Sena SMh-10) so that he can let me know how things are going back there.

    3. I am going to purchase the "love handles" type belt that he can hang on to but doesn't connect/strap him to me.

    4. Rather than a hard top box I am considering the following softbag which I think will be okay (I have a 2009 BMW K1300s): http://www.bmw-k.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=14310&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=bmw+softbag
    #9
  10. remedy451

    remedy451 Calgary, Canada

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    Those are great pics - thanks for sharing! What type/brand of riding suit is that?

    #10
  11. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    That is the smallest 'stich I have ever seen! What size is it?
    #11
  12. PhotoBiker

    PhotoBiker Please insert title here

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    Riding with your children is a lot of fun, but remember it takes time...

    A teacher once explained to me the secret of teaching children. Initially, you want to associate 'fun' with the activity you are trying to teach. Thus, the first year was very short, local rides, where we had fun. We'd go out for an ice cream, or something like that. Always good weather, I wanted to make sure they were never scared.

    I have three children: 17 (Girl), 14 (Girl), & 11 (Boy). My two oldest & I go out on 4 day tours into Canada each summer, this will be my son's first touring season (probably 2 days max). My oldest & I spent this past Saturday looking at used Ninja 250's for her to start on.

    Now the real fun starts, MSF will teach her enough for her endorsement, Dad will teach her the rest to keep it safe and fun.

    My 17-Year-Old & I are planning a 5 day 2-up tour this summer, her first year on her bike will not involve long tours, perhaps next year, as a High School Senior, we will do tour on two bikes.

    My (then 15 year old) & in Canada just before crossing back over the border:
    [​IMG]

    My (then 11 year old) in Vermont, on Champlain, one of my favorite photos of her:
    [​IMG]

    My (then 8 or 9) son's first ride [to school]:
    [​IMG]

    My Son's "Peg Risers":
    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Long timer

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    Great picture :clap:clap
    [​IMG]

    Both my children started riding with me when they were 8, used to take my son to the GNCC races an hour or so away like this every year.

    I don't really get to do any longer trips but it's usually day trips on the LC4 with a bunch of dirt roads and slow secondary roads for me.

    Lots of those where we live.
    #13
  14. NoVa Rider

    NoVa Rider Long timer

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    It was the smallest aerostich roadcrafter had way back when, a 36S, if I remember correctly (purchased on clearance). Her pants are folded up on the bottom, don't need to be now. Here's the same suit on my now 14 year old:

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

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    My son was two when I took him on his first ride.

    We were camping and I brought my DR650 along. My wife was on the back and he sat between us. We just took some short rides around on the dirtroads. We have yet to take him on a ride without him falling asleep w/in ten minutes, (he is now four).
    #15
  16. FinlandThumper

    FinlandThumper Has Cake/Eats it Too Super Moderator

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    I am a father of a young one, and I plan to start my child the same way as I started mine (when she is ready...she is only 4.5 years)

    I started at about age 8 with my dad. We went on his Triumph Trophy for short rides around the area, none longer than about 20 miles. (We normally used to go out to the stone quarry and shoot bottles with his police .38 pistol...it was a combined activity that drove my mom nuts. :lol3)

    In the first year we never went over about 40 mph, and a single stretch of riding never longer than about 30 minutes.

    I wore "ATGATT" at the time, which means long pants, boots, helmet, gloves and jacket. I will buy my daughter a proper set of childrens mc clothes when I do it.

    My old man just told me, when I lean this bike, you lean with it. Hang on to me, keep your feet on the pegs at ALL times regardless of if I put my feet down.

    We never went highway speed until I was in my early teens, as I recall. And even then he had already gotten me onto my own dirt bike and we were ripping around state forest trails by that point. :clap No road riding for either of us in those years.

    I think you are on the right track here, and you are asking "good" questions. Go forward carefully and deliberately, and with due consideration always.
    #16
  17. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    My, how quickly they grow. Same bike, same (?) helmet. She looks much less like a TeleTubby in the older pic. :lol3
    #17
  18. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    My first time on a bike was a neighbor's Harley at 4-5 years old.

    I managed to push my own bike home 4 years later.
    #18
  19. Connito

    Connito Adventurer

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    Born in Bulgaria. Stuck in Boston, for now...
    I would advise you against a soft bag. Either a top box, or a back rest. I understand that a top case would not look very cool on a K1300s. Use a back rest. Both, you and your son will feel more comfortable.

    Cheers,
    Pete
    #19
  20. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    #20