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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by XR4EVER, May 13, 2013.
I do agree that reaching pegs is a must. That said there are place where it really does not matters
Florida has no age or size limit , they're just supposed to be able to reach the pegs and anyone under 18 is required to wear a helmet , which I prefer to wear one anyway.
make sure you get a good fitting helmet and full gear is a must so being able to reach the rear pegs. fitting a topbox my be a good idea so if they get tired and let go they wont fall off.
A friend of mine had a backrest made for his Hayabusa for his son. It's probably been about 5 years and he's about 10 now. He says he still falls asleep sometimes , but the backrest kind of curves around the sides so he can't fall off.
I had m ixed feeling about taking my daughter on the bike....The risk of something happening always pushed me to not take her. However this year I decided it was time. She's 11, plenty tall to reach the pegs. Got her jacket boots full face helmet and gloves....I been taking her to school (its only a 1/4 mile) and have had a few longer rides...she likes but we are taking it easy....I know mom is a wreck every time we go somewhere.
Feet on the pegs
and know what the potential risks are and of course local laws...
Hey everyone, thanks for you input. I felt good about the whole experience until we rode into the parking garage at the theatre and walked across the common and into the building holding our helmets. I was getting evil glares from over-protective parents (with their poor kids looking on with envy who have never been exposed to anything) to the point that I started to wonder if I just did something THAT horrible and irresponsible? The truth is, although she is still only four (and a monster, standing at 48" tall), she is very intelligent and understands how to be a proper passenger, and she seems to be aware of the dangers involved. That, I believe, is more than can be said for many adults on bikes.
Gorgeous family with gorgeous bikes
Always bear in mind that the Child Protective Services or whatever it's called in your county doesn't care about traffic laws. If someone attracts their attention with a small child on a motorcycle, there's a possibility that they might consider it to be child endangerment and take action against the parents.
My kids are grown, and I'm not going to express an opinion either way, make up your own minds, but lawyers are expensive.
Point taken and well noted. Let's hope they have their hands too full with the area's meth head parents, domestic abuse and child trafficking to bother with something as mundane as this.
Obviously it's an individual decision. I started riding both of my girls to school when they were in kindergarten. Helmets, jackets, MX pants (not ideal, but better than nada), boots, the whole get-up. I actually fabricated a higher set of footpegs on my Nighthawk so they could have their feet solidly planted. They love it, and still do.
Some great info here. I hope the thread grows and it becomes a source of definitives.
My 2 cents based on 3 daughters.
There is so much concern by so many on this issue that it might help to have some sort of check list to keep it all straight. The book, "How to toilet train your child in 24 hours" had a 'test' to see if the kid (and parent) was ready to be toilet trained. A similar program could be used in this case.
I would think that the kid should exhibit some desire to go riding all on his/her own.
Every ride that the kid gets offered should have an fair and respected opportunity to be declined. Same as big people get to do.
Parents have an obligation to understand the kid better than the kid does. Thus parents should know why a kid gets denied a ride on the bike when the kid isn't right for it at the moment. We don't take adults for a ride when they are drunk, ill, or emotionally out of sorts. Kids should be examined for a positive state of mind for the ride. For myself, I wouldn't take a kid that might fall asleep on the bike. Little kids that needed to sit in front of me, only got empty parking lot rides and never got taken out on the street. I do insist that I be able to feel that the kid is actually hanging on. Thus, I like to have the kid's gloved hands wrapped around my belt with their knuckles pressed/cinched into my back. Also, the kid must know several specific ways of communicating with me for problems same as adult passengers.
Then there is the matter of social fallout. We prep our kids to handle weirdos, drug dealers, and other social misfits. The kids need a few protective "lines" for busy-body parents, neighbors, etc. Likewise, the kid should report all such contacts to the parents regardless of how trivial they might seem to the kid.
Parents should have their act together for the same social fallout. Being polite, listening carefully, and being prepared to 'dis-arm' busy-bodies in a very low key way is helpful. Having several 'lines' to politely dis-engage from such conversations that are going nowhere is good prep. One of my fav's went something like, "Remember when your kid turns 16 and wants the car that if the kid has never been trained to manage any of life's risks and develope serious responsibility to that point, then you might find yourself well behind the curve in optimal parenting? We have a lot of rules that have to be met before the kid gets rewarded with a bike ride." Develop your own sneaky scenarios for this kind of fun.
Granted, some parents have zero trouble and do not see any problem and get thru it as if everything is perfectly normal and sane. I prefered to think about it overall and have some sort of game plan. And I wouldn't know were to look to see if my results were better or worse than any others? FYI: my grandsons, ages 4+7, play ice hockey but do not ride bicycles as yet. Go figure?
In an urban or suburban area I wouldn't take her for a ride at any age. My daughter started riding with me at 2, in a rural area. She would sit in front of me on my Trail 90 to putt putt around on the forest service and BLM roads as well as a mile or so of paved roads to get there. She also rode in front of me on my CX500 on rural paved roads. She moved to the back when she could reach the foot pegs and we took several 500+ mile camping trips on the old CX. She got her own trail 90 at 10 after she expressed interest in riding, rode the CX on a few camping trips at 16, and also soloed my ultralight aircraft. Now she's an experienced dirt and road rider.
I've seen a variety of passenger aids. There is a thing called X-tra Bar , which is a small set of handlebars that mount to the gas cap. There is a belt that has passenger handles. I've seen a couple of different childrens harnesses , one just straps the kid to you and the other [ it was from a Canadian co. ] was a very nice body harness for a child with a spacer and a belt that went around the driver. This one is designed to keep a kid on awake or not. It's from RiderRagz , the Backrider.
I asked my mom, She said the youngest she would allow would be 10 or 11... Dad on the other hand said 7 or 8.
I've seen 8 year olds on the back of Goldwings and Road Kings when coming back from the Lone Star Rally-They had a big smile underneath that helmet I bet, and were waving at every other bike on the road, They also seemed to know how to ride as a passenger.-It all depends on the kind of bike, if you have a Backrest and if the kid can reach the pegs/know's how to lean and what to do, IMHO AND OF COURSE, Full gear is a must.
My advice is to try it with a pedal bike first. I used a trail a bike for my daughter. Once she understood basic things like "don't get off until we are completely stopped" we then moved up to a Ural.
My daughter wasn't ready at 4 for anything outside of our neighborhood on a bike.
Now, at 7.5, we cruise around in our town.
Part of the fun was also buying her gear. She picked out her helmet and she loves it.
I try not to make a big deal of the bikes, but she knows I like them.
I also explain to her what I am doing on the road while in my car. Shifting gears, using turn signals and stopping for red lights. Sounds silly, but if you get it in their heads before they are teenagers and know everything, you are golden
My opinion is...as long as they can reach the pegs, are aware that they are also riding not just doing what ever back there, have the proper gear on and you lay out some kind of communication and rules...all is good!
No wiggling around in a corner, no sudden movements, always communicate when they were getting off, lean with you in corners not against you and I'm sure there are tons more that could be on a pre-ride checklist...they could tap you on the shoulder when they need to stop to stretch or use the washroom. They need to know that anything they do affects the bikes stability. My daughter used to shift her weight just as I was taking off, we almost went down a couple of times...so I pulled over and explained to her why we just had a "scary" moment...she now understands what I mean when I say we are both riders, nobody is a passenger.
There is someone on here that talks about hauling ass with his wife on the back if his bike. Stupid , stupid, stupid, I don't care how well you think you ride, all I do is imagine my wife bouncing down the road, or under a truck and that makes me keep any speeds very, very low, or even off the he bike completely. Myself? I don't care if I get hurt. If I hurt my wife or kid, my fault or otherwise, I don't know if I could live with myself.
You better board up your windows , lock your doors and hide under the bed.
Or move to Florida, no turns to get in the way.
No chicken lines on my tires Nancy. It's better to keep your mouth shut and look like a fool than to open it and forever remove all doubt.