BMWSportTouring

Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts?

Posted By: cali_beemer

Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 07:16 AM

I have my daughter age 6. I started thinking in a conversation with my wife about getting her more involved with me. I started thinking at how cool it would be to have her on the back of the motorcycle with me. Part of me thinks this would be great, what better way to bond with your kid. The other part of me doesnt want any part of the responsibility if anything were to happen or we were in some sort of accident. She is probably still too young to be on the back anyway, but I thought I would check to see where others stand on this issue.
Posted By: Fraidycat

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 07:35 AM

There are so many ways to bond with a daughter---better ways!
Posted By: EffBee

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 07:40 AM

Learn to play with her and her dolls. Same results. Helmets not required.
Posted By: kamlooper

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 08:09 AM

started taking my kids on rides when they were 12-13 years old,full gear and strapped to me. not sure if I would want to take them out any younger than that.
Posted By: Boffin

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 09:20 AM

UK law says passengers mus be able to sit astride the motorcycle with both feet on the footrests. When my kids were big enough to do that, they got fully kitted-out and were taken for short-trips around local quiet roads. I knew that one day they would probably want bikes of their own, so I thought they should have a good role-model in how to ride.
As it turns out, only one of my three son's now rides full-time.

Andy
Posted By: wbrissette

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 01:24 PM

My daughter was 7 (she is now 12) when we started riding together. I think it's simply a matter of how comfortable you feel. Both my wife and I ride, so for us, it's not an issue of one party only being at "fault" should something happen.

We've had some wonderful rides over the past few years together.

Wayne
Posted By: Motodan

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 01:28 PM

This is a tough one. I know life is meant to be lived, but I'm old enough to realize the dangers involved in motorcycling - I accept them. I do not believe a child can/does realize the same dangers. Therefore, I would not make the choice for them. When they are old enough, I would gladly pay for all their safety classes and gear, if and when they decide, at that time, this is something they really want to do.
Posted By: G-Rex

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 01:37 PM

I bought a JR50 for my nephew for his 3rd birthday. He rode the wheels off that thing until he was jumping it like a madman and managed to bend the swingarm and bust both shocks.

He's since had a Cobra 50, KX65, and now he's on a KX85 that he races, and has more trophies than room for them in the house. He is 10 now.

He has crashed and been hurt. He knows the dangers involved and wears full gear each and every time he gets on one of his bikes.

I've taken him out on my Hayabusa before and he loves it.

So, I guess to answer, no hesitation here.

Posted By: John Ferris

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 02:39 PM

Or you could get a bike for her.
I have been to trials where young kids have there own class. They make trials bikes for them.

Lewisport is a trials bike dealer near you.
http://www.lewisportusa.com/
The Sactopit is the club near you.
http://www.sactopits.org/
Posted By: Dave39

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 03:07 PM

Back in 1970 I used to take my then 2 year old son on country rides on my HD Rapido 125. He'd sit astride on the tank in front of me. When I think back on that, I wonder what the hell I was thinking.
Posted By: upflying

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 03:30 PM

27800. It is unlawful for a driver of a motorcycle or a motorized
bicycle to carry any other person thereon, except on a seat securely
fastened to the machine at the rear of the driver and provided with
footrests, or in a sidecar attached to a motorcycle and designed for
the purpose of carrying a passenger. Every passenger on a motorcycle
or a motorized bicycle shall keep his feet on the footrests while
such vehicle is in motion.
I've seen child passengers on motorcycles. A moral dilemma occurs when such children are required to be in car seats but not while on motorcycles.
My daughter was 6 years old, 16 years ago. The thought never occurred to me to take her for a ride. Even if I did, she would soon outgrow the $500 investment in ATGATT.
She is now a 22yr senior in college and has no desire to ride a motorcycle. Good choice on her part!


Posted By: jb11GSA

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 03:39 PM

My dad took me on my first ride at the age of 6, I still remember it like it was yesterday, I was hooked and love the sport ever since. Them were different times I guess, I offered our daughter a ride when she was 10, every once in a while she would go. Now she drives, and has very little interest in riding a bike - perhaps one day she'll pick it up. It's the exposure that is important.

I would not push the issue (not with the wife or the kid), if they are interested and ready they'll let you know. As to bonding - as mentioned, there are so many ways to bond that are safer, and just as enjoyable.

Have fun, and listen to your inner vice, it's usually right on the money.

Be safe and keep on riding.
Posted By: Motodan

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 03:44 PM

Originally Posted By: G-Rex
I bought a JR50 for my nephew for his 3rd birthday. He rode the wheels off that thing until he was jumping it like a madman and managed to bend the swingarm and bust both shocks.

He's since had a Cobra 50, KX65, and now he's on a KX85 that he races, and has more trophies than room for them in the house. He is 10 now.

He has crashed and been hurt. He knows the dangers involved and wears full gear each and every time he gets on one of his bikes.

I've taken him out on my Hayabusa before and he loves it.

So, I guess to answer, no hesitation here.


I'm sorry, but at ten years of age, you don't and can't know the dangers. I'm not saying it isn't okay to enjoy life and everyone ADULT has to make those decisions however, I am saying a 10 year old doesn't realize there can be one millimeter of difference between having fun and being in a wheelchair the rest of your young life and beyond.
Posted By: mig

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 05:14 PM

6 Years old might be to young, My daughters were 10 or 11 when they would wait for me to come home from work and then I would take each one around the block slowly ( worried wife watching ).
As they got older they would come with me to the store and such. Now they are both very good pillions, do even feel that their on the bike and we take sunday rides every once in a while. Daughter #1 not really interested in riding but will go on a ride, Daughter #2 wants a bike. My son 15 years old is still nervous when we ride and i can feel him on the back. Each one diffrent
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 05:16 PM

I think some of it has to do with one's surroundings. When I rode out in the midwest, where one can see 60 miles in any direction and might not see another car for hours on end, it's a very different feeling than here in densely-packed NJ, where one would be (in my humble opinion) absolutely insane to ride with a child on a motorcycle. Just imagine how you would feel if something unexpected were to happen.

One neighbor here with a Harley Dyna started taking his 3 year old around the neighborhood, holding the child with one hand and working the throttle with the other. No hand on the clutch. You can guess the rest...

Is it REALLY worth it?

-MKL
Posted By: Lmar

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 05:19 PM

IMHO, 6 is too young to be riding on the back of a motorcycle.
Posted By: EddyQ

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 06:01 PM

My son is now 7 and had his first ride around the block this past spring. My daughter, age 9 has yet to go for a ride. I guess my decision was based on how much my kids wanted to go. My daughter may go, since her brother has gone. But so far, she really doesn't care. I did not offer or push either one. My son, well he wanted to go for a year before. He had to wait til his feet hit both passenger pegs (according to law).

The first ride was just around the block in a quiet neighborhood. So was the second and third. It pleased him just enough. Any more riding would likely get boring. BTW, the bonding happens before and after the ride.

I thought of getting a strap to hold him. They sell them. But, now I am certain I made the right decision to not bother. He grabs my pants belt. The ride is best kept very short. My RT never got fully warmed up. As for safety, a ride in a car to a far away place has more risk because of higher speed and longer duration of the risk. IMO

Don't skimp on gear. My son has a nice full face helmet, boots, gloves and lots of heavy clothing. If we ever leave the neighborhood and get to speeds of 40mph, he is gonna have a real motorcycle jacket/pants. But, I don't see that happening for another year or so. There is no need to.
Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 06:08 PM

I should note that I agree 6 years old is still too young to be on the back. right now I wouldnt do it. I dont think she sould reach the pegs and even if it werent the law, I wouldnt want her on the back if she couldnt. I was looking more to see if people on here have had there kids on and at what age. 10-12 is the earliest I would figure that I would ever consider it. I can remember at the age of 6 or 7, my dad had a Honda shadow 1100 and he would take me for rides on it. My mom hated me on the back and eventually had my dad sell the bike until we were older. As soon as I turned 18, my dad bought a harley and I bought my first bike shortly after so I could ride with him. 14 years later and I still ride with him.
Posted By: EddyQ

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 06:27 PM

Originally Posted By: G-Rex
He has crashed and been hurt.


Breaking the bikes and getting hurt at age 10 is over a line with me. You need to be careful there dude.

A guy I worked with now has a son at age 17 that is experiencing mental lapses. He did not ride motorbikes, but did do the skateboard and bmx thing. Apparently he got "good". Yeh, after breaking 48 bones, half dozen helmets.

As a parent, getting "good" should be far from the top of the list relative to living a long natural life. Zero tolerance for injury is my rule.

I managed to live on the edge with minibikes when I was young and not get a single broken bone. Lucky? Perhaps. My bike did get broken a few times, which was a wakeup call.
Posted By: IT_Mike

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 07:05 PM

Time to annoy the nannies...

My boys were both very young when first given a ride. I got a very firm lecture from an officer for idling around an empty parking lot with my youngest in front of me, he was four years old. Notice I said idling, with some deft clutch work my right arm stayed around him.

Once the boys could reach the pegs, both received rides to and from school (kindergarten). They've grown up riding, and missed it dearly when Dad was unable to safely ride.

Today, my youngest is eleven and we took a ride to breakfast. The weather was a crisp 53, with damp roads, and he was unhappy that Dad had to cut the day short due to illness.

For those who state a child is too young to make such a decision, I agree. That's what they have parents for...

BTW, 'Zero tolerance' is for idiots. Zero tolerance is for those intolerant fools who can't think beyond their own experiences and judge each event or action based upon it's merits.
Posted By: IT_Mike

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 07:10 PM

Originally Posted By: EddyQ

Breaking the bikes and getting hurt at age 10 is over a line with me. You need to be careful there dude.
***snip***
I managed to live on the edge with minibikes when I was young and not get a single broken bone. Lucky? Perhaps. My bike did get broken a few times, which was a wakeup call.


What about BMX racers? Do we prevent our children from riding bicycles? My brother and I were devout racers and took our share of injuries. Life is about risks and rewards. May your children discover that all great things in life come from taking a chance.
Posted By: tallman

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 07:10 PM

Thanks for reminding me, I'd forgotten to mail in my renewal check.

Seems like you're doing exactly what you accuse "them" of doing.
frown

"
BTW, 'Zero tolerance' is for idiots. Zero tolerance is for those intolerant fools who can't think beyond their own experiences and judge each event or action based upon it's merits"
Posted By: beemerman2k

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 07:37 PM

Originally Posted By: EffBee
Learn to play with her and her dolls. Same results. Helmets not required.


+1
Posted By: beemerman2k

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 07:42 PM

To me, motocross or sport riding that kids engage in is fine. Great lessons learned all around, including from crashes. But riding on the street is not something I would entertain with my children. That's when I dismount and do something important to them and their world.
Posted By: kmac

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 10:06 PM

This is such a hyper conservative group for the most part.
I have been riding with my Dad since i was a baby. He would put me in front of him and putt around the yard. It is some of my very earliest of memories. I got my own bike at 5 yrs old in 1970 and my happiest of all memories are weekends out with my Dad in the desert. We would go on long rides on his street bikes in the 70s all thru the Mulholland hills or up and down the coast.

If you let your kid ride in a car, ride a bicycle, ride a horse,skatebord, rollerskates or roller blades, swim in a pool or the ocean ride in a boat..or leave their PADDED bedroom you are taking a huge risk.

Living life is a risk. Breathing the air in the US is unsafe. Risk and danger is a part is life no matter what.

Teach you children to use reasonable caution, take PREcautions, and be smart....but teach them to live life.

My daughter would sit on my bike and we would putt around camp, she goy her own quad at 6 and a 2 wheel motorcycle at 8. she then moved to a ttr125 at 11 and a yamaha wr 250F at 14. She rides regularly with me on the beemer. We do daddy daughter dates now often on my RT out to dinner and maybe a movie.

I FIRMLY beleieve and am completely confident that our closeness, and btw she is 17 this week, is purely because of the quality time the 2 of us have always spent together. We have gone camping just the 2 of us. We went to the river for 4 days with just us 2. We have gone out shooting since she was about 7 y o and we both cherish our time spent together, much of which has revolved around motorcycles.

I am in NO WAY telling anyone else that they SHOULD ride their kids on their bikes, but anyone who would not do it is missing out, and not exposing their kids to the possibilty of a passion that i thought everyone on this board had. Maybe NOT.

Do your kids eat french fries and potato chips, burgers and pizza, drink soda....all potentially deadly.

Helmet, leather gloves, leather boots, and some decent clothes and be careful, but share and expose them to life, or lock them in a padded room and feed them home grown organic uncooked vegan foods. Make sure you dont live anywhere that has any kind of storms, earthquakes, tornados. Ahouse that is actually a bullet proof bomb shelter, with armed guards.....you get my point i hope.
Posted By: ryan_a1982

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 10:09 PM

I took my first ride with my grandmas boyfriend on his Harley when I was about 8. He told me the rules and what I needed to do and I was fine. He put a nice sissy bar on it for me.

I hadn't seen him much in the last 15 years or so. My brother and I each rode a motorcycle to his house a coupe weeks ago and he is too frail to ride anymore. He sure was happy to see us on the bikes and got a huge smile on his face. We told him that we had always wanted bikes after the short rides we took as a kid.

Folsom is a pretty quiet place. Maybe you can go try at the parking lot at the highschool or something. If I see you two out there I will give a wave!

-Ryan
Posted By: KLC

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/12/10 10:38 PM

I have taken my Children on the bike since they where tall enough to reach the footrests. My daughter was about 9 years of age and my son was about 8. I change my riding style to suit when ever i take a pillion on the back as i am capable of understanding that its not just me i have to worry about.

My son always enjoyed being picked up from school much to the envy of his friends. They have both since gone onto ride scooters and motorcycles.

One sport that i would not let them do is horseriding after a relation lost their 16 year old grandaughter to being thrown off her horse.

My son has suffered injury from BMX and mountain biking . This is a sport that i also enjoyed but can also be dangerous and used to worry about him more when doing this than when he still competes in Karting .

If you worried about all these issues you would wrap your kids in cotton wool and never let them out of the house.

At the end of the day its a parental decision. I worry more about my kids now they are in their late teens because of them being out in the big wide world discovering all the "things" that teenagers can.


Posted By: Deadboy

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/13/10 05:42 PM

I took my 3 cousins for their first ride last spring while visiting the east coast. I based each ride on their age and ability to handle it, therefore 2 of them got a ride to the local ice cream shop and the 3rd got a ride in a large parking lot. I was also very picky about what they wore and spent a fair bit of time helping them pick out their gear and explaining why it was important.
Posted By: Motodan

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/13/10 06:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Deadboy
I took my 3 cousins for their first ride last spring while visiting the east coast. I based each ride on their age and ability to handle it, therefore 2 of them got a ride to the local ice cream shop and the 3rd got a ride in a large parking lot. I was also very picky about what they wore and spent a fair bit of time helping them pick out their gear and explaining why it was important.



You are a good thinking person. One could argue there isn't a right answer to the question...just caution in all we do. I say this even though you have a very concerning ID [Deadboy] when it comes to this topic.
Posted By: notacop

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/13/10 06:51 PM

It's nice that the few who let the kids ride chimed in. Too bad the old Fuddy-duddys have to try and put a pox on child passengers.
Two words for you...YOU"RE OLD!
I gave the kids all rides in my sidecar rig but didn't get tot he camping rally-ing thing. I like solo rides more. I did take the youngest son camping when he was little and we had no modern gear. We were both cold and kinda miserable.But, we tried, not "what iffed."
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/13/10 07:53 PM

Originally Posted By: cali_beemer
I have my daughter age 6. I started thinking in a conversation with my wife about getting her more involved with me. I started thinking at how cool it would be to have her on the back of the motorcycle with me. Part of me thinks this would be great, what better way to bond with your kid. The other part of me doesnt want any part of the responsibility if anything were to happen or we were in some sort of accident. She is probably still too young to be on the back anyway, but I thought I would check to see where others stand on this issue.


I remember riding on the back of Dad's bike when I was probably 10 or 11 years old. We didn't do anything big...just around the local roads. I really enjoyed it.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/13/10 07:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave39
Back in 1970 I used to take my then 2 year old son on country rides on my HD Rapido 125. He'd sit astride on the tank in front of me. When I think back on that, I wonder what the hell I was thinking.


You were thinking that he'd love it and most likely everything would be just fine.
Posted By: Mike

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/13/10 08:34 PM

I started taking my son with me on short rides when he was about five or six years old. I always outfitted him with a helmet and as much protective gear as I could find. He loved it and I feel that these experiences, including a few longer rides to go camping/exploring when he got a bit older, enhanced the bond between us. Of course, that's not to say that it was the right answer. It just worked for me, and I always felt that I was being appropriately cautious.

Over the years I did some things with my son that some might have considered too dangerous for a wee lad--motorcycling, wilderness trekking, whitewater rafting, etc.--and I don't regret those decisions. However, I'm a fairly cowardly person, so anything I consider adventurous probably ranks pretty low in terms of actual danger.
Posted By: azkaisr

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/13/10 09:49 PM

Both my 8 and 12 year old ride their own 50cc and go out with me as a pillion often. We love riding together. It is dangerous, but I believe that teaching them to do things with risk will help them ten fold when they get older. They have gear. They know it is not a toy.

In the end you have to determine what level of risk you are willing to share with them. That is part of being a parent.
Posted By: motorman587

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/13/10 10:31 PM

That is why I sold all my bikes and got the camper.................Daughters are 6 too and know what you are going though....Camper rocks!!!!
Posted By: leeinmemphis

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/13/10 11:04 PM

I have two boys that are now 10 and 11. Last year when my younger son was almost 9 he rode with me up to Springfield Ill for the dirt track races


My older son doesn't like to go too far. He is basically a sub 200 miler per day. My younger son can't get enough of it. He'ld love a 600 mile day but we usually stop around 250-300 mies
Posted By: kmac

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/13/10 11:59 PM

That smile says it all. Definately worth it.

Thanx for that pic Lee.
Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 12:19 AM

Originally Posted By: kmac
That smile says it all. Definately worth it.

Thanx for that pic Lee.


+1, He definately seems like he is having a blast.
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 01:30 AM

Best thing I ever did was putting an autocom headset in his helmet so I can make sure he's awake and he can tell me what he's thinking...

Age 5 first ride


Waiting for me to stop taking pictures and ride...

Posted By: leeinmemphis

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 01:43 AM

Originally Posted By: kmac
That smile says it all. Definately worth it.

Thanx for that pic Lee.


And if you look in the background it was raining......and I mean RAINING. Rained for probably close to 250 miles that day. For me it is something that we both enjoy. We ride quite a bit but most of the time we are on lonely back roads or two lane highways. They are now getting hooked on motocamping and I'm really looking forward to this Spring and getting them back on the bike.
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 01:50 AM

Originally Posted By: leeinmemphis
I have two boys that are now 10 and 11. Last year when my younger son was almost 9 he rode with me up to Springfield Ill for the dirt track races


My older son doesn't like to go too far. He is basically a sub 200 miler per day. My younger son can't get enough of it. He'ld love a 600 mile day but we usually stop around 250-300 mies


Hey Lee, any thoughts on bringing one of the boys to the UNRally next year? I'll have my 8 year old with me and he loves to ride. He's done a few 250 milers and wants to get his own Saddle Sore cert from the IBA.

Might be fun to encourage more of those with kids to bring them along.
Posted By: leeinmemphis

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 02:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Matts_VSTROM


Hey Lee, any thoughts on bringing one of the boys to the UNRally next year? I'll have my 8 year old with me and he loves to ride. He's done a few 250 milers and wants to get his own Saddle Sore cert from the IBA.

Might be fun to encourage more of those with kids to bring them along.


I'm thinking that I will likely be at the unrally this year. I haven't thought about carrying one of them to the rally. My wife thinks that the dates of the rally it is the first week of their fall school next year. I'll look into it.
Posted By: racer7

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 08:23 AM

Sure you can spend time with your kids doing what they do including the dolls, leggo sets, transformers or whatever. Great idea.
But I see no reason not to expose kids to potentially dangerous things with your supervision IF they express interest (don't FORCE them).

Both of my kids broke their first flying clays with a 20 gauge at 5 yrs old. They have no illusions about what guns do and don't do and knew how to handle (at any early age, avoid) a potentially loaded weapon. No one ever left one where they could get it when they were children AFAIK, but their knowledge provided some measure of protection and the curiosity factor was mitigated. Guns are ubiquitous in our society and safety knowledge about them has nothing to do with whatever ones position is on gun ownership. Son owns a handgun and shoots sometimes. Daughter doesn't own one.

Both went to the track to play at high speeds in cars when old enough.
Made my son a better street driver and he now has his own track toy with skills that approach mine (I've still got an edge but that won't last much longer). We have had some interesting and low key conversations well into triple digits with tires screeching for background noise. Daughter was already good on the street, was fast on track for her experience level and was amused at how many times guys hit on her at the track. I was perfectly comfortable handing her an expensive vehicle to use for weekends knowing she was safe enough not to hurt herself or it. (insurance companies don't automatically cover track play with a street car and insuring normal racing equipment is prohibitive though your normal medical coverage will handle injuries)

I dive, including technical stuff and a rebreather. Both my kids took it up and we've done it together. Regrettably, my current health limits any future diving to easy tropical stuff, not the deeper stuff with the heavier gear.

My daughter wanted to go skydiving so I took her. The video of her mouthing "Hi Mom" from 13,000 feet shocked her mother who would never consider jumping out of a plane but we had a good time. Neither of us does it regularly. For me, it is the only passably common activity that I think has excessive uncontrollable risk. Gear can fail in ways that 100% ensures your death despite all efforts at prevention. Nothing on a car or bike fails with that level of certain death (yes, I've had track tire blowouts, brake failures ,etc etc- they're actually not that big a deal if you keep you wits about you)

Kids were welcome to drink anything the adults were drinking with some supervison while we were present. Yes they both got drunk in our presence the first time- one of them after a warning about what was going to happen to her if she kept at it. Both entered college with no temptation to alcohol binges that are common. (I did my time at Cornell many years ago and still remember the 15 yr olds first time away from momma passing out and puking in the corridor outside my dorm room. In those days they served you if you could see over the bar...And dangerous drugs were probably a lot more common on campus in late 60s than now. As a grad students, kids in the classes I taught sometimes had LSD flashbacks..)

Re bikes, neither rides now though my son has ridden with me when young. I've made it nearly 50 yrs without a street accident though I've been thrown off in the dirt many times. Its those first few years that are the most dangerous and I think any beginner is likely to have at least some close calls- I certainly had plenty before my head got dialed in but that was in the days before training programs, helmet laws, bike licenses, etc.. I am confident that if my kids ever do ride, they will go at it in a logical and safe as possible manner. I'm not about to try to dissuade them from doing something I've done safely for a long time but I would certainly remind them about training, safety precautions, and the "personal responsibility" attitude for riding a bike. Just like the release says at the track, bad stuff can happen and you are ultimately solely responsible for the consequences even if others are involved. That legalese choice isn't understood by young folks, though mine are certainly old enough to understand it now.

My kids are now in their 30s. Neither has been hurt doing anything stupid, yet, so I think there is something to be said for introducing your kids to controlled risks. No one got pregnant or got anyone else pregnant prematurely. No vehicles got totaled or major dings and zero injuries. No one got pulled for DWI or arrested for anything else. They went their own way in the summers in college, sometimes off traveling with friends in other countries, without serious incident. Neither got sucked into a bunch of credit card debt they couldn't afford. etc etc etc. Both have good health habits, and neither is obese. Based on their good calls- not mine or their mother's.

Don't any of you old farts remember jumping spindly frame bikes- in an era before helmets- off high objects before BMX bikes were invented? Am I only one who lived in a neighborhood where we played king of the mountain on top of a 2 story garage and kids sometimes broke bones playing without parents threatening to sue each other? Knives and chains weren't rare where I went to school (it was pre the era of 10 yr olds with guns). Boxing was a school sport in our town. When we got to be about 14-15 we figured out we either needed to put on pads or pull a bit out of hits when we played unorganized tackle football, to keep from mangling our friends or ourselves. Did any of you super conservative types actually ever get a scratch from anything? Kids heal fast and bounce pretty well, within reasonable limits (though my nose got broken so many times it is still bent). Show em a good example and worry less. Do you really want your kids to run into their first potentially risky experience with no prior basis for making their own risk assessment? If you don't teach risk assessment to them, who will? Their friends?? Who teaches them about safe sex?? If you baby your kids excessively, expect childish behavior when they're older...

You might also remember that at least some grand parents are a lot more liberal with the grandkids than ultra-conservative parents. Your daddy or momma might be the one to put the kid on a bike when you're at work. Grandkids are a great way to even the score with your own for the lost sleep and assorted concerns of raising them- ask any grandparent!


Posted By: RPG

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 01:50 PM

I say go for it. But I would keep the rides short and proper equipment goes without saying. Some of the best times my now 21 year old daughter and I used to have were when we would take my R90s to downtown Royal Oak, MI for ice cream after work.

RPG
Posted By: kmac

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 05:06 PM

Nice to see some much more liberal input on this thread now.

When my daughter was about 9 i had a new HD. I put a sissy bar with a backrest pad on it and we started our daddy daughter dates by riding from our house up Ortega hwy74 from the elsinore side up to a Biker Bar n Grill called Hell's Kitchen {i know cliche right} on friday afternoons where we would order a pitcher of Rootbeer, a plate of Chili Chese fries, and shoot a couple of rounds of pool. I would tease her that i bet she was the only 9 yr old girl in her school that was hanging out at a biker bar...it is a very tame environment there. We had many very casual discussions about life and she always felt free to discuss any topic.
At her 17 yrs of age now she recently told me "hey dad we need to go shoot some pool on the bike at HK one of these days" It has been a bond not easily broken.
Racer 7 made some great points on using these things as training. Take advantage of every opportunity to bond and train!
Posted By: Critical

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 05:48 PM

Ask my friend Donny. He went off the road as a kid, got his foot caught in something on the ground and the motorcyle twisted around him one or more times. He can now spend the rest of his life with no lower left leg. He had a lot of fun for a month. Is he to blame? Oh yes. Are his parents to blame? oh yes!!! I do not know of ONE kid with the judgement to ride responsibly when alone. Certainly NONE of the kids I grew up with or myself were. The stories we could all tell. Or ask my brother Mike who is in a care facility due to a head injury from a wheel running over him when young. He doesn't know any of his family and hasn't for the last 57 years. The pride of my father as his eldest boy, my father never recovered from it either. As for my mother, paranoia city, everything was too dangerous after that. Make your choise and accept the results.
Posted By: ddlewis

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 07:56 PM

Racer7, at the end of your post I half expected you to say.. "Stay thirsty my friends"
Posted By: notacop

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 08:13 PM

After seeing those smiling little faces, Yay for the Dads that do and a giant Phooey on those that pooh-pooh.
Posted By: kmac

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 08:17 PM

I have had many friends, young and old, die in car accidents over the years, Yet no one thinks twice about getting into their car or setting their kids in the car seat from birth on and driving all over the kingdom come.

In San Juan Capistrano a few years back a mom was out with her 3 children, all "safely" strapped into their DOT approved seats. She was cruising down the freeway when traffic began to slow, she safely came to a stop only to have an 18 wheeler just plow into the back of her killing ALL 3 of her children. The truck was found to safe, the driver had a good driving record and was not on any drugs or alcohol. He just messed up and lost concentration and ran into the back of her.

Are we all gonna quite diving as well? Lock your kids and grand kids in a padded room so they cant get a scratch? Be smart, be as careful as possible, and live life.
I would rather live without my leg than never ride again. I have a fused wrist that does not move at all because of a MX crash. I still ride.
Hey Critical, i heard using a computer cause health problems you better stop using yours, it is RISKY.
Posted By: RPG

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/14/10 09:50 PM

Introduce your kids to the great joys in life.

I chose not to expose my daughter to risk, but rather introduce her to those activities that contain risk.

Motorcycling, pistol shooting, water skiing, camping, etc. Through my love of these activities (all can be argued as dangerous, and for that matter what activity isn't?), I thought it better to introduce the fun side of each rather than lecture about the dangers.

I had relatives (dad, older brother to name a few) that did the same for me.
Posted By: workin' them angels

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/15/10 04:36 PM

Originally Posted By: racer7


(yes, I've had track tire blowouts, brake failures ,etc etc- they're actually not that big a deal if you keep you wits about you)


To make such a universal and generalized statement seems naive.

Just ask Michele Alboreto, Gordon Smiley, Ayrton Senna, Scott Brayton. Or ask AJ Foyt about his crash at Road America.

Or any number of drivers who've died or been seriously injured at track days.

The point the "old geezers' (who, BTW have not stooped to name calling) seem to be making is that there are so many uncontrollable potentially fatal and dangerous situations that child/young passengers are exposed to that are beyond YOUR (and their) control that intentions, gear, maturity etc have no impact on. They simply seem to be saying that there are just as many things and activities that bring smiles and bonding and growth that don't have the previously mentioned consequences.

That's easy enough to understand, isn't it?

How I would feel if my GF were injured or killed as a result of riding on the back of my bike I can't comprehend.
Posted By: kmac

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/15/10 09:34 PM

Afternoon WTA, Your comments take us back to the same subject, Everything in life is a RISK! At what point do you decide to shelter your kids from life?

People have died from the water they drink, see erin brokovich, the air we breath, the food we eat. Do we shelter them from air, food, and water? Of course not.
Kids die from reactions to medicine, see SJS from Motrin, and some still argue that vacinations can cause Autism. Do we not give our kids medicine and vaccines? Again Of course we do.

Even as an old fart myself, If i dont get out and get a little dangerous once in a while, i would die of boredom. So what do we just not let our kids do anything fun and exciting and maybe a little dangerous? Then what they hang themselves over boredom?

I disagree with not letting kids have some fun even if it is dangerous...of course as controlled and trained as possible.
Posted By: peterbulgar

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/15/10 11:26 PM

Beginning in 1998, when my son was nine years old, we took several motorcycle trips together on my R90/6 and later on my R1150RA. This was over the strenuous objections of my parents. I was somewhat taken aback by their vehemence, so I did what you did and asked the opinion of friends. What probably put my mind at ease was the strong endorsement from a friend who doesn't ride. He felt that the time spent together doing something exciting was worth the elevated risk.

That first year we rode from San Francisco to the BMWMOA National Rally in Missoula, Montana and back, camping most of the time. In following years we went to Legoland in southern California, traveled through the southwest twice (Grand Canyon, Roswell, Moab), attended the first BMWMOA rally in Redmond, again camping most of the time. Out last trip together was on the R1150RA to the BMWMOA rally in Spokane, followed by a ride through British Columbia to Hyder, AK.

Last week I was looking at a photo album of pictures from those trips. There's my skinny little son standing as tall as he could in front of the overloaded /6. I'm older and more cautious now, and I say to myself, "What was I thinking?" But, I'm glad we did it.
peter '73 R75/5, '04 R1150RA, Kawasaki, Suzuki
Posted By: kmac

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/15/10 11:47 PM

Originally Posted By: peterbulgar
Beginning in 1998, when my son was nine years old, we took several motorcycle trips together on my R90/6 and later on my R1150RA. This was over the strenuous objections of my parents. I was somewhat taken aback by their vehemence, so I did what you did and asked the opinion of friends. What probably put my mind at ease was the strong endorsement from a friend who doesn't ride. He felt that the time spent together doing something exciting was worth the elevated risk.

That first year we rode from San Francisco to the BMWMOA National Rally in Missoula, Montana and back, camping most of the time. In following years we went to Legoland in southern California, traveled through the southwest twice (Grand Canyon, Roswell, Moab), attended the first BMWMOA rally in Redmond, again camping most of the time. Out last trip together was on the R1150RA to the BMWMOA rally in Spokane, followed by a ride through British Columbia to Hyder, AK.

Last week I was looking at a photo album of pictures from those trips. There's my skinny little son standing as tall as he could in front of the overloaded /6. I'm older and more cautious now, and I say to myself, "What was I thinking?" But, I'm glad we did it.
peter '73 R75/5, '04 R1150RA, Kawasaki, Suzuki
thumbsup
Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/15/10 11:53 PM

Originally Posted By: kmac
Originally Posted By: peterbulgar
Beginning in 1998, when my son was nine years old, we took several motorcycle trips together on my R90/6 and later on my R1150RA. This was over the strenuous objections of my parents. I was somewhat taken aback by their vehemence, so I did what you did and asked the opinion of friends. What probably put my mind at ease was the strong endorsement from a friend who doesn't ride. He felt that the time spent together doing something exciting was worth the elevated risk.

That first year we rode from San Francisco to the BMWMOA National Rally in Missoula, Montana and back, camping most of the time. In following years we went to Legoland in southern California, traveled through the southwest twice (Grand Canyon, Roswell, Moab), attended the first BMWMOA rally in Redmond, again camping most of the time. Out last trip together was on the R1150RA to the BMWMOA rally in Spokane, followed by a ride through British Columbia to Hyder, AK.

Last week I was looking at a photo album of pictures from those trips. There's my skinny little son standing as tall as he could in front of the overloaded /6. I'm older and more cautious now, and I say to myself, "What was I thinking?" But, I'm glad we did it.
peter '73 R75/5, '04 R1150RA, Kawasaki, Suzuki
thumbsup


+1, VERY COOL!
Posted By: BrianT

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/16/10 04:46 PM

I can't wait for the day my kids are old enough to ride with me. However, I've seen a few kids that look like they were hanging on for dear life by their fingernails because of their age. When my kids are old enough to sit on the bike properly (feet on pegs etc), have safety gear that fits their size and are strong enough to hold on to me like a normal passenger I'll be taking them out. It's more of a judgement call because only you will know when your kids are ready.

As a kid, my father took me out on a couple of short rides on his bike. Probably way before he should've, I was only 4 I think and held onto the gas tank. But I'll never forget how awesome that was.
Posted By: EddyQ

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/17/10 05:15 AM

Originally Posted By: peterbulgar
Beginning in 1998, when my son was nine years old, we took several motorcycle trips together on my R90/6 and later on my R1150RA.


I think that is awsome. I'd love a long trip as yours with my kids!


racer7, I agree 100% with you about involving your kids with risk. BMX, skiing, motorcycling, skydiving. sports whatever. But when kids get hurt, you have failed as a parent IMO. Sure, freak tragic accidents happen. But, most the time, there are warning signs that the kid is at too high of risk and is in danger of getting hurt. For instance, he rides his bicycle into the road three consecutive rides without looking for a car. Warning! Don't bring the kid to a busy street yet! He rides his 50cc minibike great on the lawn, but scared to ride in the woods. Warning! Don't upgrade the bike to the CR80 that he wants! Often it isn't that simple. One thing for sure, you as a parent need to know the situation quite clearly. When your kid is off somewhere unattended, are you going to be certain? Hard call.

If you as a parent know your child and know what environment you are putting your child into, you should know what level of risk is involved. If acceptable, go for it. If not, don't. It is your call and you are to blame if he gets hurt. If the child gets hurt often, then I would question the quality of your parenting. Even if the kid was getting hurt walking!
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/17/10 07:38 AM

Quote:
But when kids get hurt, you have failed as a parent


I disagree. Nobody wants to see their kids get hurt, but I don't view a parent's job as making sure that they never get hurt. Getting hurt is part of life. Our job is making sure they don't get, as Kenny Robert's says "Seriously hurt or seriously killed"
Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/17/10 03:42 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Quote:
But when kids get hurt, you have failed as a parent


I disagree. Nobody wants to see their kids get hurt, but I don't view a parent's job as making sure that they never get hurt. Getting hurt is part of life. Our job is making sure they don't get, as Kenny Robert's says "Seriously hurt or seriously killed"


+1, my daughter broke her arm when she fell off the top of a bounce house slide this last summer. Does this mean I failed as a parent becasue I let her go on a bounce house? Should she never be allowed to go on one again? Or am I a bad parent because I have already let her go back on a bounce house slide since then? Kids are always going to get hurt at some point but what dont kill ya, only makes you stronger. Right? thumbsup
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/17/10 06:49 PM

Originally Posted By: cali_beemer
Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Quote:
But when kids get hurt, you have failed as a parent


I disagree. Nobody wants to see their kids get hurt, but I don't view a parent's job as making sure that they never get hurt. Getting hurt is part of life. Our job is making sure they don't get, as Kenny Robert's says "Seriously hurt or seriously killed"


+1, my daughter broke her arm when she fell off the top of a bounce house slide this last summer. Does this mean I failed as a parent becasue I let her go on a bounce house? Should she never be allowed to go on one again? Or am I a bad parent because I have already let her go back on a bounce house slide since then? Kids are always going to get hurt at some point but what dont kill ya, only makes you stronger. Right? thumbsup


Stronger...and hopefully smarter.

Pain is nature's way of saying "Don't do that again." cool
Posted By: jaytee

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/17/10 08:17 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Quote:
But when kids get hurt, you have failed as a parent


I disagree. Nobody wants to see their kids get hurt, but I don't view a parent's job as making sure that they never get hurt. Getting hurt is part of life. Our job is making sure they don't get, as Kenny Robert's says "Seriously hurt or seriously killed"


+3

(I have 3 kids, 9,6,4 and the two oldest have already been riding with me)
Posted By: EddyQ

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/18/10 03:21 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Originally Posted By: cali_beemer
Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Quote:
But when kids get hurt, you have failed as a parent


I disagree. Nobody wants to see their kids get hurt, but I don't view a parent's job as making sure that they never get hurt. Getting hurt is part of life. Our job is making sure they don't get, as Kenny Robert's says "Seriously hurt or seriously killed"


+1, my daughter broke her arm when she fell off the top of a bounce house slide this last summer. Does this mean I failed as a parent becasue I let her go on a bounce house? Should she never be allowed to go on one again? Or am I a bad parent because I have already let her go back on a bounce house slide since then? Kids are always going to get hurt at some point but what dont kill ya, only makes you stronger. Right? thumbsup


Stronger...and hopefully smarter.

Pain is nature's way of saying "Don't do that again." cool


IMO, if the kid gets hurt, the parent has failed. Parents are humans too. Suck it up. You feel really bad when your kid gets hurt, right? You should. This does NOT mean you should never do that one thing again or hold your kid back. Your not going to win the first race you enter. All I am saying is parents should play the game with no injury as a top level goal, above winning.

"No pain no gain" is BS. You can learn without getting hurt. If not, why do we support MSF and other training?
Posted By: kmac

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/18/10 05:00 PM

I agree NO injuries should be a priority and out weigh the win at all cost ideas.

But that is why we put out kids in whatever protective gear is the norm for that sport, train as well as we can to do the sport properly, supervise them while they do the activity and carry health insurance for the occasional mishap.

I have tried to make the point a couple of times that everything can be dangerous, where do we draw the line? Obviously that line will be different for each family. But being too conservative can alienate some kids and drive them away.

No one thinks twice about giving their kid a bicycle or letting them play baseball. Yet more kids get hurt on bicycles than anything else. I cant find it right now, but i saw an insurance company statistic that showed for every 10,000 kids that ride bicycles compared to 10,000 kids that ride motorcycles there about 11% more injuries on bicycles than MC. Serious injuries, not just scrapped knees.

I also have a friend that was playing baseball and slid into 3rd at a full run. His heel caught the bag pulled it out of the anchor. His knee snagged the anchor and tore off his knee cap and there were some issues with repairing it and now he has a prosthetic leg from the knee down.

EVERYTHING IS DANGEROUS! Live life, let you beloved children live life, protect them as well as we can, share you passions with them and see what activities they enjoy, then share those with them for many happy memories and a life long happy relationship.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/18/10 07:21 PM

Originally Posted By: EddyQ

IMO, if the kid gets hurt, the parent has failed.


Only if you define the goal as preventing them from getting hurt.

I haven't.

I think getting hurt can be a valuable learning experience.

Quote:
You feel really bad when your kid gets hurt, right?


No. If he got seriously hurt, I'd feel really bad. If he skins his knee or bumps his head or anything like that, why would I feel really bad? Getting hurt like that is no big deal...it's not worth feeling bad about. You just stand up, brush yourself off, and get on with life.

Quote:
All I am saying is parents should play the game with no injury as a top level goal, above winning.


I don't know what "winning" is in this case, but I disagree about no injury as the top level goal. My top-level goal is to raise a smart, functional, independent adult who will contribute to society. If he gets skinned knees or a broken arm along the way, I don't consider that to be a failure or a setback at all.


Quote:
"No pain no gain" is BS. You can learn without getting hurt. If not, why do we support MSF and other training?


To minimize the chance of people being "seriously hurt or seriously killed." The consequences of a mistake on a motorcycle on the street with cars, trucks, no runoff, etc can be pretty severe.
Posted By: Flyer5

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/21/10 08:02 PM

My father bought me my first mini bike when I was 5 or almost 6, so at this point I have more than 36yrs experience . I raced MX I was injured but never to seriously I almost lost my right foot on a street bike incident that was about the worst . Do I regret any of it? NO ! Do I ever blame my parents for my injuries? No! Would I do it again? Damn right I would. I think the skills I learned at an early age helped me make it this far ,I learned very early to not panic and deal with the situation and always look far ahead . Also drilled into me was to always wear my safety equipment .That alone has save me from serious injury more than once .
I have had my 3yr daughter on my bike for short trips down our country road , and she loves it. I have had her flying with me since 2 . I have never forced her to do either of these things she asked very politely . Do I ever want anything to happen to her ? Never . But I cannot think that being sheltered and hidden from any kind of risk is very healthy either . A 4yr old girl just a few miles from me just passed away from brain cancer. It actually brought me to tears. One of the things that came to mind was everything she will miss out on, although her family did make her very happy the short time she was here.But I bet there will always be , I wish we did ???
The best advice is love your kids and enjoy every moment you can with them.
Posted By: rocks

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/22/10 01:22 PM

[quote]This is such a hyper conservative group for the most part.
I have been riding with my Dad since i was a baby. He would put me in front of him and putt around the yard. It is some of my very earliest of memories. I got my own bike at 5 yrs old in 1970 and my happiest of all memories are weekends out with my Dad in the desert. We would go on long rides on his street bikes in the 70s all thru the Mulholland hills or up and down the coast.

If you let your kid ride in a car, ride a bicycle, ride a horse,skatebord, rollerskates or roller blades, swim in a pool or the ocean ride in a boat..or leave their PADDED bedroom you are taking a huge risk.

Living life is a risk. Breathing the air in the US is unsafe. Risk and danger is a part is life no matter what.

Teach you children to use reasonable caution, take PREcautions, and be smart....but teach them to live life.

My daughter would sit on my bike and we would putt around camp, she goy her own quad at 6 and a 2 wheel motorcycle at 8. she then moved to a ttr125 at 11 and a yamaha wr 250F at 14. She rides regularly with me on the beemer. We do daddy daughter dates now often on my RT out to dinner and maybe a movie.

I FIRMLY beleieve and am completely confident that our closeness, and btw she is 17 this week, is purely because of the quality time the 2 of us have always spent together. We have gone camping just the 2 of us. We went to the river for 4 days with just us 2. We have gone out shooting since she was about 7 y o and we both cherish our time spent together, much of which has revolved around motorcycles.

I am in NO WAY telling anyone else that they SHOULD ride their kids on their bikes, but anyone who would not do it is missing out, and not exposing their kids to the possibilty of a passion that i thought everyone on this board had. Maybe NOT.

Do your kids eat french fries and potato chips, burgers and pizza, drink soda....all potentially deadly.

Helmet, leather gloves, leather boots, and some decent clothes and be careful, but share and expose them to life, or lock them in a padded room and feed them home grown organic uncooked vegan foods. Make sure you dont live anywhere that has any kind of storms, earthquakes, tornados. Ahouse that is actually a bullet proof bomb shelter, with armed guards.....you get my point i hope.
/quote]











I have taken each of my four kids and nieces for rides, usually short, for as long as I've had the RT. Each responds differently as a pillion, my son disliked it because he wasn't in control, my oldest and youngest daughters I barely know they're behind me. Middle daughter loves to ride but she's a bit twitchy. I love every chance to take them for rides.
Yet I still struggle with the idea of them getting their own and riding! My son did just that last year, got a bike and we have had several great rides together. He had a early wake up call when he first started riding and as a result is cautious... but it was also one of the scariest moments of my life.
Posted By: notacop

Re: Kids on motorcycles....your thoughts? - 12/22/10 02:55 PM

Thank you, Rocks. Well put. grin
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