Concerns with Influencing Your Kids towards Street Bikes?

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

  1. InsideThePerimeter

    InsideThePerimeter North GA bound

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    I am having this issue now myself as my step daughter is 14. We got redistricted to a crappy high school in a political war and money won as it almost always does in these matters.
    But anyway she has made the best of it and wants to have transportation this summer when she turns 15 and IMHO she deserves it.

    In Georgia all you need is a learners permit which you can get at 15 to ride a 49cc scooter, no MC endorsement, no tag required.

    Atlanta has horrible traffic and I've had several close calls myself. That said you have to live when you can and be where you are.
    You can't wait for Someday because Someday never comes and you are only young once. Yes, I can actually remember what it felt like to be young.

    There would have to be rules.
    1.absolutely no night riding - ever (way to many drunks and people playing with thier damn phones while driving giant SUV's)
    2 full face helmet, (obvious)
    3 mandatory mesh motorcycle jacket with Kimber Pepper Blaster 2 in pocket
    4 no two up riding (don't want another parent to sue me)
    5 I or Mother need to kown where you are ( I might track her I-phone)
    6 no riding to South Atlanta without a police escort or armed guards - ( Step son hit a crub and flattened a tire on way to Governors Honors interview down by the Federal Prison despite being heavily armed we became concerned when the 14th crackhead came by and approached us at the disabled car - no joke we counted 14 and one 3 times in the 69 minutes it took AAA to get there - never buy a used SAAB no matter how good the deal.

    I pick the scooter and it will be ridden by me and anything not right checked by the shop I use.
    Thinking Yamaha Zuma/Zino or Rough House as they are 2 stroke with oil injection, but a Honda or Buddy would do no Chinese crap.

    Already checked with the Kids Boss (my wife) I'm the one whose concerned.
  2. SxyRdr

    SxyRdr Been here awhile

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    Yep, rules are a must. Donovan has very similar rules:
    Gear... don't have it, don't ride.
    Let us know where you are, where you're going, when you're leaving and when you get there.
    No passengers.
    We ever hear about shenanigans (i.e. wheelies, splitting, etc), the bike gets parked.


    BTW, I know I'm kind of being flippant about letting Donovan ride a street bike. But he's been riding since he was 4, racing since he was 7, track days since he was 9-10. He made very few mistakes during his 9 month/45 hours of practice/permit time for driving. He's a good driver and a good rider.

    Maturity and responsibility... it's on the parents to decide if their child has both of these in order to make a sound decision in whether or not their child should be allowed to ride a street bike.

    No spare tire? Or don't know how to change a flat tire? My sister's husband calls her to come rescue him from flat tires. He doesn't know how to change a tire and he doesn't want to wait for AAA to show up. :huh
  3. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    Wow... I always was thankful about having cool and freedom-loving parents, but only after reading posts like this I really can appreciate HOW cool and freedom-loving they are.
  4. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    My kids have an almost allergic reaction against anything I do.
  5. ibafran

    ibafran villagidiot

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    Ok...this was my overall plan for my kids regarding street riding, bitd:

    first, learn to drive the car. this was to let them get used to the traffic scenario and to see how bad it really is and being responsible for it.

    second, spend the time of the cage practice hours talking about street riding and anticipating traffic problems. LISTEN, a lot, to how they see stuff.

    third, take the MSF BRC and do well on the riding part of the test.

    fourth, read "Proficient Motorcycling" and practice some exercises

    fifth, hope that they really see that their safety is overwhelmingly a mental exercise and learning to operate the bike properly will take some time.

    BITD, I told them that their family cage privileges were optimized so that they really would get the chance to learn to drive well. And they were told that all the cage privileges would stop at the end one one year UNLESS they completed/passed the BRC. Nobody had to ride the street. Cage privileges would resume when they completed the BRC. IF they wanted to ride the street, THEN we would see about that when the time came.

    Results of this program: one became a rider of the street as well as the dirt. The other 2 thanked me for the fun and declined to ride the street. Nobody died. No machinery was wadded to this day. Everybody was Scarred For Life but kinda in a good way.

    As a parent, to this day, boocoop years later, I still get on my knees and thank the Prime Mover that everyone is alive and has survived one more day.

    And, no, it never gets any easier being a parent.

    ibafran -40yrs into it
  6. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I posted earlier that my two sons ended up as pro roadracers after a brief period in the street. Maybe what I didn't post is more relevant.

    Both totaled their first street bikes shortly after getting them. One slid off a country road late at night and the bike hit a tree. Thankfully he missed it. The second lowsided during a track day and the bike endoed after leaving the track.

    They both also wrecked their first cars. I must say, the second was struck from the side at a 4 way stop, and drove into a ditch after contact. The first son rear ended a car while driving his truck in the city.

    My family auto insurance topped out at about $8000/year not long after. It stayed up there a long time too.

    No other accidents and maybe two tickets, one defended successfully. I had a couple tix, though. :cry

    Despite this report, both sons turned out quite responsible. One is a young software engineer in San Francisco, and the youngest is a budding portfolio manager for a Wall Street firm. They both still race dirt bikes as a hobby. They'll probably do that till they can't.

    My point is, new drivers are often a hazard to themselves and others during the early going. That is why their insurance rates are so high. Putting them on a street bike only raises the stakes.

    But who am I to lecture. I bought them their first street bikes. I am just glad they took it to the track instead. :knary
  7. 9422e

    9422e Adventurer

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    I am a father of 3, I have been riding dirt for over 35 years (part time). I started riding on the road 2 years ago when I was 50 ( My mom would never let me get a street bike when I was young then Life got in the way). I started all my kids dirt riding about 12 years ago. They all wanted to ride on the road so not being a hypocrite we agreed to some rules. First they got their drivers license at 17, wait 2 years then take the MSF course successfully which they all did. We also had many talks about safety and wearing the proper gear ( My best friend their "uncle" is a motorcycle cop and master bike instructor). Now we ride together and it is great. BUT I do worry and I do not know what I would do if one of them gets hurt. I think it would be worse not to let them enjoy the freedom and fulfillment we all get from riding our bikes!
  8. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    I'm a guy who would fall squarely into the "safety" side of most arguments regarding my kids.

    I NEVER mentioned my interest or that I played HS football to my son instead directing him towards basketball, track and soccer as good alternatives because I know that pretty much everyone that's ever played HS football lives with injuries 20 years later....including me.

    However, when he showed a real interest (not just a passing fad) in bikes I got him set up with an MSF course, took it with him and rode with him all the time the first year. We went on several weekend trips in groups where he rode in the middle and could get a good perspective on safety and good riding technique from different perspectives.

    People called me crazy, but I'd rather put out a confident, competent rider than an oblivious fool.
  9. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    I went over why I wasn't going to get involved in my stepkid's learning to ride in downtown SF. I forgot about trying to teach him to drive when he was 16 or so. We were driving along in a rural area around here, he was driving, and started drifting into the oncoming lane going around a curve. Hey what are you doing, as I grabbed the wheel. "I forgot I was driving.". What? Excuse me? That's when I started thinking, maybe some people shouldn't smoke dope. Actually, I know that for a fact. Here it is, 6 years later, still smoking dope, still don't drive. Forgot he was driving. Incredible. It explains everything, in the way he does things.
  10. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    I don't really think you're being flippant at all. He can out ride most of the people on this site by a long stretch. Myself included.
  11. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    A friend of mine's kid was the same way. Excellent flatracker, turned Pro at 16, would have earlier but the sanctioning body wouldn't allow it. First street bike? Gsxr1000. Anyone in his life worried about that? Nope. Excellent rider, a very large amount of common sense. No issues ever.
  12. RowBust

    RowBust Adventurer

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    When I brought my first bike home my mother said get rid of it your not keeping it, that was 58 years ago she is now 98 and still asks me when I'm getting rid of my bikes. My son has ridden since he was 4 and my 6 year old grandson rides and lives bikes.
  13. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    I have two boys, age 9 and 10. I bought them both their first dirt bikes this year. They LOVE riding. They just can't get enough (and neither can I!). They both love seeing my pictures and hearing my stories of my trips on my street bike. They talk about being able to ride with me on trips when they're adults. I can't wait to do trips with my kids when they're adults...

    But this thought also terrifies me. I know the dangers of riding on the street. I've wrecked on the street before, and I've had my fair share of close calls. However, I also know the joys of riding. And I also realize that the statistics aren't representative of all riders. Alcohol over the legal limit plays a role in something like 50% of fatal motorcycle accidents. Helmetless riders comprise something like 60-70% of motorcycle fatalities. Speeding also plays a considerable role in motorcycle fatalities. Most motorcyclists don't actively seek out training on a regular basis. However, even the most safety-conscious riders sometimes die riding. I am ATGATT, I don't drink and ride (well, I might have A beer on occasion), I rarely speed excessively, and I take a motorcycle safety course every year. I can only hope that my influence and instruction will make my children safe riders.

    I won't allow my kids to ride a street bike until they are at least 18. I want them to have road experience in a car first.
  14. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

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    I think it's just an honest question about a valid concern. Not paranoia. I've personally tasted the tremendous pain of loss of a close loved one due to a vehicle crash so the consideration of this issue is very "real" to me. A couple of pics of my youngest son in his protective bubble :) :

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  15. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

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    To me, this sounds like a very good perspective.
  16. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

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    It's not handwringing Daniel. It's a discussion. like sitting around a campfire with a bunch of riding buddies. If I have the correct info, you are 21 years old. Sounds like you feel you were over protected by your parents. Your perspective is interesting to the conversation and as a parent we can certainly err in one direction or another - over protection or under protection. But, if you are not a parent, once you become one, you will better understand why I ask the question.
  17. tallbob

    tallbob Been here awhile

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    My son rode dirt since he was 5. Started him on a 50, then an 80 a 125 and a 250. We did some MX and Hare Scrambles together. When he got his license and wanted a street bike I told him he could ride street when he bought his own bike.

    I have ridden street for forty years now but even though he was a good rider, I didn't want to put him on a street bike. I was OK with him doing it but wanted him to make the decision and see how badly he wanted it.

    He didn't get the street bike then and soon got married and had a bunch of kids. No time to ride now but I suspect he will get back to riding in a few years.
  18. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    I'm sorry, but this is a load of crap. I understand you're young and don't have kids, but did you actually read what you wrote?
  19. Motology

    Motology Young and Restless

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    I'll weigh in as a young rider. I started riding on gravel at age 8 on a little Honda 50, if I couldn't kick it over I couldn't ride it. I quickly learned how to ride and by age 13 I was riding an 81' XL250s. I rode regularly and at age 16 I took the BRC. Out of the entire process, I received a perfect score:clap. After the BRC, I was eased into road riding. I borrowed my dad's CX500, as he didn't ride it much. My parents would not allow me to take the CX to school my sophomore year, so I rode the back roads everyday when I got home:D. That summer, I started taking the CX to marching band practice (I was duped into it!) I was very familiar with the 15.8 mile stretch there, and it served as a good way to improve my riding in traffic. All through my junior year I rode whenever possible on the roads in and around my home and school. Having saved and invested money (long story) I bought my TransAlp:D. I then took the endorsement test on the Alp and passed with a perfect score. I continued riding through all of high school.
    I've never been in an accident while riding on the street, and never involved in a car accident. Riding a motorcycle made me a much more vigilant driver. Neither of my parents had a problem with me riding, but I partially account that to my mother and father having toured extensively on a Goldwing. That being said, it takes a certain type of person to ride a motorcycle at a young age. Many of my classmates who did motocross participated in very stupid and illegal activities on motorcycles. To all you parents out there, if you feel confident in your son or daughter's ability to ride I don't see why you should stop them. But please get them some dirt experience. I cannot count the number of times that knowledge of how to control a motorcycle on less than ideal terrain has helped me on the road.
  20. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    You're advocating that children learn to drive on the road on a motorcycle so that they hurt (or kill) themselves instead of others. If you had children, you would likely appreciate how ludicrous this suggestion is. I'm not saying that someone can't learn the road on a motorcycle, but it's not generally regarded as a good choice, and particularly not for the reasons you stated.

    Also, if you almost got run over, harassed, or somehow messed with by someone in a car on a daily basis, the problem was not with the drivers, it was with you... Or you're exaggerating.