Author Topic: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions  (Read 1543 times)

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Offline Brian

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Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« on: February 20, 2012, 01:54:20 am »
Ever since I had my Ninja, my son has expressed the desire.to ride with me. I gave him a rule, once he can stand on the foot pegs without his bottom touching the seat, we could get him a helmet and he could ride.

With the new  to me ZG1000, he can reach the back pegs for a firm balance. So he wants to go. My son is 6.

I figured I would get him a helmet, or allow him to buy one. I also want to find a grip belt with handles on ky waist so he does not have to hold the low handles or try to get completely around my waist.

Are there any other precautions I should take? He will have to wear his coat when ever with me. I am very safety conscious. I don't have the back rest, would that help too?
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Offline 2linby

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2012, 02:06:12 am »
Gear will be difficult to find, but you can check out kids off road stuff. There are several styles of "hold belts" you can research that will allow your son a grab handle.

Best to start with short rides and make sure he understands your commands. I would pat my grandsons leg whenever I was getting ready to come to a stop or a turn etc.

Thumbs up also works and even better get a helmet to helmet communicator so you can both have a conversation and music.

A backrest is something you need to think about if he finds riding to be enjoyable as they will fall asleep on you faster than you think they can!

My grandson road with me since he was 7 and up till 16. We rode over 30K together and he is one of the youngest IBA BB1500 passengers! (1500 miles in 36 hrs).

He is now a Marine in Camp LeJeune and has his own bike.  But the memories are forever!  :)
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Offline ChipDoc

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2012, 04:23:42 am »
My boys were 7 and 15 when I bought my "midlife crisis bike" - an '86 Honda Shadow - in August of 2000.  We live in a place where, if you want to do anything at all other than stay at home, you have to drive.  Neither of them was particularly enthusiastic about riding at first, but if you wanted Dad to take you someplace, you rode pillion.

They were active boys, involved in sports and school and hanging out with friends so both of them rode around with me quite a bit.  Even the little one was easily tall enough to climb aboard and both of them fit into a medium helmet just like mine.  I was wearing leathers at the time, so they both got them too.

The big one wanted to drive on his learner's permit, but the little one rode pretty much everywhere with me.  He held on to me for the first few days, but he soon grew comfortable enough to realize that he wasn't going anywhere and relaxed.  In fact, he relaxed so much that he would generally fall asleep back there as we rode in to karate class after school.  I could always tell just when he fell asleep and would shift around so he lay in the center of my back.

Communication is key, particularly at the beginning and at the end of a ride.  I got aboard and got myself settled, the kickstand up, and my feet planted.  Then I'd turn my head and nod, which was his signal to climb aboard.  At the end of the ride, I'd do it in reverse, shutting off the motor, planting my feet, then nodding again before he'd climb off.  They were both excellent passengers, relaxed and not interfering with driving the bike in any way.

We rode in all weather, but here in Florida that weather was mostly blazing hot.  I always insisted on the helmet, real toe-covering shoes, and gloves.  We rode for years and never had an accident, thank God!  These days they're 19 and 27.  The big one got several bikes of his own in the intervening years but the little one hasn't gone that route yet.

But I'd definitely use a backrest when hauling the kids.  Even though I always accelerate gently, the backrest gave ME a sense of security with one of the little ones back there.

I almost never took either of the boys anywhere other than commuting, but when the younger one was about 12 we went together on a ride up into Georgia.  We stopped at Plains and the Andersonville National Historic Site.  Spent a night in a hotel in Americus and a night camping by a lake somewhere in the southeast of the state.  Great memories!

Offline beegee

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2012, 10:30:21 am »
here over the ocean ;)  kids have to be 8 yrs...
and we all have to wear helmet, gloves, boots, and clothes with long sleeves... but have no problem with that, you never know...

anyway my son at 6 wasn't capable to sit on the bike ...

but now he's 8 and more mature , we did several trips ... 
we build it up :  first times just sitting on the bike and explaining what to do ...  than in the little road here ... stopping and telling what he has to do or what he does wrong  ;)... so you can make them more 'responsable' of the importance of all of this...
and finally we went on touring : first 20 miles...  etc ... in one day max 120 miles ...  and stopping often to let him move a little bit...

it' s fun to share life together that way... ;-) 

i do not know yet if he can ride with me in France, Luxembourg, Holland or Germany  ; every country has its own legislation about all topics (...Europe ... it's still not simple .. sic ???)

Offline WillyP

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 12:05:55 pm »
We have some different rules between the states over here but as far as I know there is no age requirement for riding pillion.
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Offline S Smith

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 01:02:40 pm »
AFAIK, currently only 4 states have age restrictions for passengers on motorcycles. AR, LA, HI & WA.

Most states have other requirements for motorcycle passengers, that can include that the motorcycle be designed to carry more than one person and the passenger must ride on a permanent seat; The passenger must face forward, with one leg on each side of the seat; helmet use; foot pegs, etc.

Let common sense determine if a child is old enough and big enough to safely ride a motorcycle. Also consider the additional risks faced by motorcycle passengers compared with passengers in a cars protected with seat belts or child safety seats. In general, if a child is not large enough to properly wear an approved helmet, then the child cannot legally ride on the motorcycle. If the child cannot place both feet flat on the passenger foot pegs of the motorcycles, then it is not safe for the child to ride the motorcycle.
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Offline ManWorkingHere

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 02:48:26 pm »
For a delayed Xmas present last summer, I gave away a 'Ride with Uncle Matt for Ice Cream'.  Luckily, my 11 year old nephew, Logan, won the prize.  He delayed the ride one weekend 'cuz he did was nervous, but my sister used that time to get him to practice his music instead of lying around.   ;D  So he was ready the next weekend. 

I had him wear my wife's leather jacket, gloves, and full-face helmet.

The helmet had a Bluetooth headset from Midland.  We could easily talk about riding moves and stopping.  His view of my back was not impressive but he could look around and up.

Boy, could that kid talk! 

We rode over to his school where told me about playing on the equipment with his friends, what classroom he has, where he gets on the bus, etc.

We rode out to my brother's farm about 20 minutes away and Logan kept up a running commentary about everything.  He did not seem nervous on the bike at all.  We did not ride twisties but nice curvy country farm roads at speed.  I have a backrest so I know pillions stay back there.

When we came back to town for ice cream, Logan had quieted down a bit.  We had cones that occupied his mouth.  Once home again, he posed for a few pictures in his 'gear'.  My sister said he talked about the ride for a few days afterward with a grin on his face.


Have fun with the kids!
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Offline ZG

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2012, 05:46:21 pm »
My youngest daughter started riding with me when she was 13 (she's 16 now), I agree with some of the other posts regarding tough to find good gear that fits them. FWIW I found that both Arai and Shoei offer helmets in XXS size, which is what I got her back them, you can also get (at least for the Arai I know) extra thick cheek pads which will help snug up the fit.

Have fun and be safe, I have and will always have great memories of riding with my daughter, I hope she always keeps those memories as well.  :-*
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Offline mr t

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2012, 07:49:47 pm »


       You might check out MX gear for a child riding with you. There's a wide selection of boots, gloves, jackets, jerseys and helmets available from many different companies.

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Offline Old Man on a Connie

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 12:31:28 am »
My fondest memories were riding behind my Dad on his CB450 in the mid 60's. It was really cool when he would pick me up from school. And the first overnight MC camping trip. Set me up for life. Took my daughter on my 1200 bandit when she was 7 but she already had some experience on her 50 quad in the desert. Enjoy it and be safe.
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Offline Strawboss

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 07:05:57 pm »
I personally think 6 is a bit too young, my opinion only, your kid, none of my business. But a back rest is a must plus look at these. Awhile ago there was a belt that went around both rider and passenger, specifically designed for kids. Below is just a belt with handles as most kids won't be able to reach around and hold on to you.

http://www.2wheelride.com/llove_handle.html
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Offline Brian

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 08:08:17 pm »
Thanks everyone for the replies.  A helmet is a must, and back rest is high on my list too.  I will start looking into riding gear, Scott is close to big enough, and he keeps trying.
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Offline McJamie

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2012, 02:00:07 pm »
Keep in mind every kid is different. My son has been riding with me since he was about eight. We started slowly. Around the block, then to the store, etc... He's 15 now, and a very good passenger, but that's because he's had lots of instruction on "how" to be a passenger.
You need to keep in mind the maturity level and the attention span of the child, more so than the age. A ten minute ride may seem like an eternity to them("like, I could be playing Xbox"). I don't know how the laws are where you live, but here the kid's feet MUST reach the foot pegs, and they wear a helmet. I've always made Jnr. wear every piece of gear I do. A backrest is a big confidence booster too. They will enjoy more/longer rides if they know they can't slide off the back.
All that said, some of my best rides have been with my son on the back. Including the time we were on a company ride and after passing m.y boss, he turned and politely gave him the finger. That's my boy.

Offline S Smith

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Re: Riding with Kids - Safety precautions
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2012, 02:40:50 pm »
Here is an interesting read about a kid as passenger...
http://www.amazon.com/Wheels-Story-About-Growing-Up/dp/1425913881
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