Kawasaki VN750 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My friends are having their first child in February and posed an interesting question: How old should a child be before they can hop on the back of your bike?

My 2 cents: when they are old enough to actually listen to instructions and have scuffed their knees outside a few times already.

We concluded that being able to understand the concept of riding a bicycle without training wheels would probably be best though, so 5-6 years old.

Just a thought experiment. What do you guys think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
I think the child should be tall enough so the feet reach the pegs. They should also have COMPLETE properly sized gear and full face helmet.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,958 Posts
Sorry, but other than a put-put around a parking lot or down an empty residental street...at real low speed...a "child" as a passenger is a no no to me.

So my anwer is 17.


My thinking here is no one should ride on a motorcycle unless they are old enough to make legal decisons about their own life. Parents consent does not count... many parents are idiots.

If you are in an accident and kill or injure a child, how messed up is that to live with?

On the other hand ...teaching a kid (8-10 year old) to ride on a kid sized (off road) bike is fine.

But taking one for a ride in traffic, with all the a-holes we constantly bitch about here borders on criminal in my book.





KM
 

·
Linkmeister Supreme
Joined
·
7,960 Posts
My response probably falls into the do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do (did) catergory.

For starters, as a new inexperienced bike rider I should not have carried ANY pillon passengers until I had accumulated several thousand miles experience over the first year. The fact that no passengers were injured while riding with me during my short riding career is as much due to good luck as skill.

Four of my grandchildren rode with me during the short 6 week period between buying my bike and the accident (w/o a passenger) which has sidelined me for the past 2 1/2 years. At the time they were ages 11, 9, 7 and 5. The older 3 were fine for short trips around the neighborhood or across town a few miles, and even switching off with each other from the van, every 30 miles on a 100 mile trip to visit cousins. The youngest, a 5 year old girl, was ok for a mile or two at slow speed around the neighborhood. However on her turn at the end of our little road trip, I could feel her grip slip as she fell asleep after less than 5 minutes, and I had to carefully stop and put her back in the van following me with mom, grandma and the other kids.

We decided that she had fallen asleep so quickly because she was so short and had her head turned to the side and could only see the grass in the ditch rushing by. She had been excited for her turn to ride, but I think she was kind of hypnotized by the blur, not being able to see over my shoulder to the front.

I also carried 4 adult passengers on the Vulcan, and was overloaded with every one. Not smart, and I won`t do it again.

So my thoughts now are that 10 or 11 years old is probably as young as I will carry them on a longer or higher speed ride. If I lived where there was more high speed traffic, and multi-lane superslabs I would tend to agree with KM and raise my comfort level to 16 or 17 year old passengers.

Maybe a 5 or 6 year old is ok for short 5 minute trips close to home.

What`s the answer? If you want to take small kids on a bike,- get a sidecar rig. :smiley_th JM2CW.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
2,527 Posts
My daughter has been riding with me for the past 2 years. She is 10 now and doesn't miss a chance to ride with me when I offer. It doesn't amount to much more than taking her to school which is about a 1-1/2 mile ride tops and the speed doesn't exceed 35mph. Now I'm the "cool dad" when I pick her up from school on the bike and she tells me the other kids are jealous of her. Occasionally I'll take her a little further for ice cream. Always a full face helmet, jacket, jeans and sneakers. I had to teach her about leaning with me when turning and not to move around because it could upset the balance on the bike. Now when she's with me I hardly notice I have a passenger. She's about 65 lbs now.
 

·
Old Truck Junkie
Joined
·
4,133 Posts
Are you asking from a legal stand point or commom sense stand point??
Legal I know of no age limit.
Common sense I would have to say that they should be old enough to follow instruction as to hold on tight.

I am not saying do as I do, but once I carried two of my nethews on my kz400. The little one in front of me ( maybe 2 yrs old) and the one behind was older (about 7 yrs old). No one fell off all is good. I would not do it again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks a lot for the replies guys!

I am just generally curious because, while there is no law, there probably is a threshold determined by society if you ask enough questions.

The funny thing is the only reason this was brought up was because I mentioned to them a crazy dream I had- I was outside helping my friend attach a car seat to the rear luggage rack of his bike. I woke up and said "Man, that was a stupid idea."
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,958 Posts
Thanks a lot for the replies guys!

I am just generally curious because, while there is no law,."
Actually there might be, but it varies from state to state. Texas the minimun age for a passenger is 5 yrs. In Arkansas, it is 8 yrs old. Oregon has no limit.

Most other states I checked do in fact have no minimum age law, but then you have to also read how the states child restraint law is written. If you have a 2 year old on the bike you could get a ticket.(for not having them in a DOT approved seat)

I remember long ago I met a guy with a young 2-3 year old son...he had installed a short set of handbars on the gas tank, and welded up some passenger pegs right under them so his kid could ride in front of him on the bike. (And look like he was controlling the motorcycle...)

Just because something is not "illegal" doe not mean its a smart idea....

KM
 

·
1985 VN-700
Joined
·
418 Posts
I have had my girls on at 12 yrs old, though no interstate, and probably still not a good idea. Thinking now after some of the comments, it is a burden I couldnt live with if they were injured or worse. In fact my wife wont ride with me just for the sake of the children. Maybe when they have grown up and are on their own she says.
 

·
Concert connoisseur
Joined
·
2,231 Posts
The funny thing is the only reason this was brought up was because I mentioned to them a crazy dream I had- I was outside helping my friend attach a car seat to the rear luggage rack of his bike. I woke up and said "Man said:
thats the greatest thing I heard all day!
 

·
Concert connoisseur
Joined
·
2,231 Posts
I have had my girls on at 12 yrs old, though no interstate, and probably still not a good idea. Thinking now after some of the comments, it is a burden I couldnt live with if they were injured or worse. In fact my wife wont ride with me just for the sake of the children. Maybe when they have grown up and are on their own she says.
thats the smartest thing I heard all day, A couple on a bike was killed last year 3 miles up the road from me, not sure if they had kids but man. sure it could happen in a car too but the chances of dying are that much greater on a bike.

I take my 14yo stepson to and from school and some rides in the country but he is a big boy and its not real comfy. my stepdaughter is almost 17 and have taken her on some longer rides through the country but she weighs 90 pounds. took my wife for one short ride just a few miles but there is not enough room at all for both of us on the vulcan, ( she is not what you would call petite, AT ALL). finally got my seven year old daughter on it but only down my road 2 miles and back and slowly. although I would love to do some long rides with my little one it makes me too nervous!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,958 Posts
surely you just wait for them to ask if they can have a go on the back? then you will know they are ready....
If you are talking about your wife...sure. But if you meant your kids, that's a pretty silly notion. If a 5 year old asks for a beer, should I then give him one?

I have heard about parents not even taking the same airplane to avoid the possibility of them both getting killed at the same time....if they have kids. It makes alot of sence to me for parents not to ride together. (Hey, let her get her own bike...;) )

In fact, I always worry about any guy that has alot of kids and rides. I know of a few that stopped riding when they had kids.... Me being one of them.
When my daughter was born (1983) my wife asked me to stop racing..and I more or less stopped riding for awhile after '88 when my son was born.

In todays ecconomy, it be pretty tough to raise two kids on a single income...unless you happen to make alot.

Life insurance of course would help. but what if you are not killed , but injured so bad you can't work? Can your family live well?

I always ask guys (and gals) that say they want to ride if they have a family. If they say they have 2 kids ..2 and 5 or something, I ask how much life insurance they have. I ask if they were injured badly if they have enough medical insurance too.

Many that ride do so becuae they keep saying how it makes them feel free and how it is a personal experiance, but I think sometimes they become a bit too selfish and do not consider how it might effect their family should something go bad.

I an not saying one should stop riding when they have kids, but they should examime what would happen if they were killed how it would impact their family....and if possible , plan for it. Many have large extended familys and there are plenty of aunts, uncles, and grandparents to help out or raise kids. But you need to plan and discuss this with them before climbing aboard a motorcycle.

KM
 

·
Old Twistie Sticks Rider
Joined
·
5,072 Posts
KM makes a lot of sense here, listen & think about it, you don't have to be in a glass ball or anything but you should consider what could happen on a cycle or other dangerous vehicle with the rest of the family... Things may look bright with both parents working, kids can go to college, then take away one and where are you or them really...Think about it... Who & how many are you really killing with a very serious injury or death...???
I am very much in agreement with KM on this...
Have a good one...Old Dog...
 

·
Ba dum dum, ching...
Joined
·
542 Posts
Sorry, but other than a put-put around a parking lot or down an empty residental street...at real low speed...a "child" as a passenger is a no no to me.

So my anwer is 17.


My thinking here is no one should ride on a motorcycle unless they are old enough to make legal decisons about their own life. Parents consent does not count... many parents are idiots.

If you are in an accident and kill or injure a child, how messed up is that to live with?

On the other hand ...teaching a kid (8-10 year old) to ride on a kid sized (off road) bike is fine.

But taking one for a ride in traffic, with all the a-holes we constantly bitch about here borders on criminal in my book.





KM
I gotta agree with KM on this one.
 

·
1985 VN-700
Joined
·
418 Posts
An older woman at worked asked me the question once. Why do you ride a motorcycle, dont you have young kids. Made me think thats for sure. Still ride though.
 

·
Old Truck Junkie
Joined
·
4,133 Posts
The location where one lives also makes a difference on what one does day to day. I was raised in a rural environment. Very light traffic. Young kids learn to drive way before the legal driving age. They help on the farms, on and off of the public roads. No that everthing is entirely 100 percent safe out here, but it is safer than in a crouded city. I learned to ride on a mini bike at a young age. And we would ride on the rural paved roads. Was it safe? Probably not, but that is how things are done out in the rural areas. And it is done like that only cause the light traffic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,623 Posts
The original question,,, What is a good riding age? There isn't one. Kids mature differently; learn to ride with you and learn the characteristics of the ride. How to lean with the bike, hold on under acceleration,and not panic in unknown moves. Feet should fit firmly to the pegs to help secure the body to the bike.

As for worrying about two parents on the same bike, my wife will not ride with me due to 2 different accidents in the same year that kill 2 different couples that had children. Neither accident were the bikers fault. I've been in 6 automobile accidents that I was not at fault in any of them. I, myself, enjoy riding a bike and I know that you only go around in this life once,, I would lots rather joy life and be as safe as possible and enjoy a good ride than to go though life saying I wish I had.......I also wear florecent green shirts when I ride just for good measure:beerchug:
 

·
Undercover Sportbiker
Joined
·
1,097 Posts
IMO, the kid has to understand what you need them to do (follow instructions). They should also be able to reach the footpegs. Full gear goes without saying. I took my son to grandma's house in the morning for an entire summer when he was 9. We had been talking about doing it for a year, and during that time he learned what I needed him to do while we were riding. We started small, doing short jaunts in the neighborhood. Now that I've sold my cruiser, he does not ride with me anymore. I can't wait for him to be old enough for a bike of his own.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top