Concerns with Influencing Your Kids towards Street Bikes?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by mikem9, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    As a father of three, I can say that the idea of any of them riding on the street scares me a good bit and terrifies my wife. My youngest is an avid dirt bike rider and the most likely to want to ride on the street when he is old enough (4 years from now). I'm not sure we will allow it until he has a lot of time behind the wheel. If my wife has anything to say about it, a bike will be out of the question and we will have to deal with the hypocrisy of my daily riding.

    I think a few years of solid and responsible time in a car will help him learn the rules of the road as well as teach him to understand how things happen in the real world before we let him unaccompanied on 2 wheels.
  2. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    Don't know if it has been said, but if my kids were to start riding, I'd rather guide them than have them learn the hard way or from squidly friends. It's just like sex, I will talk to them instead of having them learn stupid nonsense from their friends. Saying it's bad and that they should refrain from doing it is not going to help.

    I know for a fact that when I started riding I was clueless, and all I got from my parents was "you're going to die!". It would had been much safer if I had someone to guide me through the process, I actually learnt through internet forums. I started riding with a cheap Chinese helmet and no other gear, it wasn't until I found internet forums that I learnt about helmet certifications and proper gear.

    It actually doesn't matter if you ride or not, if they get bit by the motorcycle bug they will ride wether you allow it or not. My brother doesn't ride and doesn't want anything to do with motorcycles, on the other hand, I don't even own a car! Of my riding buddies, none have parents that ride or that ever rode, we just got bit by the riding bug.
  3. SxyRdr

    SxyRdr Been here awhile

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    Reading through all of these, I guess I must be the most horribly negligent mommy in the world. :cry



    Oh well...

    16 y/o rode my CBR1000RR to school the other day since he took it to get inspected for me. He rode his dad's R12RT to school this morning because he doesn't have a Gerbings plug on his V-Strom yet. :D
  4. justafurnaceman

    justafurnaceman Imaginary

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    Absolutely horrible!!! :lol3

    Can this concern be compared to other things that we get nervous about when it signifies handing over responsibility for their safety directly to them. Handling sharp knives, guns/hunting, joining the military,... going off to college.... any of those types of activities.

    Many have already talked about educating our children and recognizing their strengths and weaknesses in helping to determine whether or not they're ready for the responsibility. It does make me feel good that there are some really good parents out there taking care of their kids.
  5. Snapper

    Snapper Long timer

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    Hypocrite here... "Do as I say, not as I do."
  6. echo15

    echo15 Been here awhile

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    I hit a wild pig while on my mountain bike. He squealed and ran; I laid there and groaned.
  7. echo15

    echo15 Been here awhile

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    I have 3, now grown, kids; 2 of them ride.
    My oldest boy doesn't, and shouldn't... he is too abrupt with everything to be a good rider (and now his wife would put her foot down anyway).
    The younger boy rides (Speed Triple). I worried about him because he is quite capable of pushing the limits, though he has great control.
    My daughter (Buell XB9s) is also a very good rider (the lower levels of testosterone are a real help here).
    With both, I find I spend more time worrying about other drivers than about their own skills.
  8. Tallbastid

    Tallbastid Let's get tropical

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    This. I grew up in the dirt, and rode like an idiot. I paid for it quite a bit with some broken bones and bikes, but learned an incredible amount as well. Every ride was a race with the boys and I, and I've had enough 'OH SHIT' moments to not panic anymore. One instance that stands out in my mind is coming up to a 90degree bend in a fire road, 4th gear on my CR250 at 14. I target fixated on the concrete drain located just off apex, locked up the rear wheel and high-sided off the road. I had decent gear on, but the lifesavers were no traffic and a nice, muddy median to absorb my stupidity. It was much safer to make that mistake off road as a noob than on road. Loss of traction on the street, the few times its occurred, doesn't even get my heartbeat up. It's instinctual to react calmly now. Same when something pops out, a car cuts a corner or theres gravel halfway through a bend, etc. etc. I've encountered those issues so often off road, on a pissed off two smoke with bald tires, that for the most part, the street's a breeze. Most importantly, however, I've learned that excess speed is a bitch. For the most part, I ride much slower than I think I would had I not gotten the dirt experience, especially with the triple digit horsepower my VFR can deliver quickly to the rear wheel. I also know that I'm still far from a world class rider and ride accordingly. I guess my point is that when it comes time for kids, I'll push the dirt riding.
  9. xhungus

    xhungus Misadventurer

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    Great debate and a topic that I have been thinking about since my children were born. They are still young and I have lots of time to figure out my stance on this issue but I think the subject is more complicated than simply dirt vs. street.

    For me there are two issues at play here:

    1. Learning how to operate a vehicle

    2. Learning the 'rules of the road'.

    While dirt riding may provide a safer environment to learn how to operate a motorcycle, it doesn't do anything to improve their understanding of how shitty people drive on the street, how to anticipate their douchebaggery, how to spot a dangerous texting fucktard, etc.

    For those reasons I think a couple years of cage time on the roads is an absolute must before I would want to see my kids street riding.
  10. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    I think about this myself and I dont have kids yet. Personally, I would rather a young adult wait until at least 22 before they start to ride on the street. Its not because I think they cant handle it- I think they need experience dealing with idiots in a cage first so that they can at least use anticipation to keep them alive on a motorcycle.

    FWIW, I asked my dad when I was 14 what he thought about me riding a motorcycle. He said "nah, theyre too dangerous now with all the idiots on the road." He died a year later, and I bought my first motorcycle at 18.

    He rode motorcycles all through his late 20s into his 40s. I know the dangers ive faced on a bike, and thinking of my own kid facing them scares the shit out of me. I think it was the same deal with my dad..
  11. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

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    Good points!
  12. Mgbgt89

    Mgbgt89 Long timer

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    Street riding is no different than dirt really, except the trees are all moving and want to kill you.
  13. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I like that approach! :thumb
  14. drmasis

    drmasis n00b

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    Interesting that my first post should be on a topic which I first contemplated 14 years ago in anticipation of my first child. I thought the discussion years later would come down to making the promise that I would never ride again if my kid didn't get on a bike. The good news is both my children are girls and lower levels of testosterone and more sensibility should serve them well in the years ahead.

    There have been some very thoughtful discourse thus far but I think Mike is looking for what I'm about to say, but first a little intro. I've been riding without breaks for 39 years starting in street/dirt but mostly street, I am obsessed with riding to the point of suffering a manly version of PMS if it's a beautiful day and I can't get on the bike. Being French, my wife is fine with this but her patience is growing thinner and since having the kids she's been on the bike only 10 times (when we met I didn't have a car so she froze her a-- many a winter day). Just decided to get back in the dirt with the purchase of a Husky TE449 and unbeknownst to my wife bought our 4 year old a CRF50, with training wheels. I still prefer the street over dirt.

    The question, what if? What if your child lost their life? How could a parent live with themselves? How could you get that gut-wrenching feeling to go away? How can you look your wife, or all your friends who tried to convince you to give up riding in the face? How could you look your mother in the face, who in my case when I departed on the bike would say,"Be careful, please don't make me cry". HOW COULD YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF KNOWING THAT IN ALL LIKELIHOOD YOUR CHILD WOULD NOT HAVE DIED IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT IF THEY NEVER SAW YOU ENGAGED IN THIS PASSION? What would you do? How would you live? I wish that no one should ever have to answer these questions.
  15. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    I guess you'd better just lock yourself and the family in the basement. You never know what could happen outside in the world.
  16. drmasis

    drmasis n00b

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    One step ahead of you, we come out from the cellar for a 1/2 hr everyday for some fresh air and to stretch our legs:rofl
  17. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    Your thinking is FLAWED. Have you seen how some kids look at you in the bike in complete awe from the backseat of a car? It's not all of them, it's just some kids that while they are trapped in that back seat look at motorcycles like the greatest thing on earth.

    Those will be riders, it doesn't matter if their parents ride or not, it doesn't make a difference if their parents allow them to ride or not, they will ride.
  18. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    BUT , they're better off starting out young.
  19. xhungus

    xhungus Misadventurer

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    I do agree with that point about starting young...

    I think absolute best chance you can give your kids on 2 wheels is:

    1. Start them on dirt young.
    2. Give them a few years in a cage to learn the rules of the road.
    3. Around 18 years old or so give them the green light for street riding.

    ...18 also happens to be the legal drinking age around here but that's a whole 'nother conversation :freaky
  20. drmasis

    drmasis n00b

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    This is true, just the way I revered bikers when I was that age, but, I may never have gotten into bikes were it not for my sisters boyfriend who took me for a ride around the block, no helmet, sitting on the tank in 1967...the deal was done.

    Don't misunderstand what I'm saying here. All the suggestions, early exposure, driving in a cage, MSF, mentoring, etc all great ideas. I have my own dreams of riding cross country or down to the Dragon with my girls. As previously suggested, I'm not the type to shelter my girls. I'm just playing the Devil's advocate and if some of you out there are having reservations, you must, at the very least, consider the unthinkable. I would LOVE to ride with my girls, I would NEVER want them riding without me, NEVER, EVER! There are too many morons on the road. Just my thoughts, you asked Mr Mike, I feel where you're coming from.