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riding w/ kids


Jharpphoto

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Jharpphoto

I have a '12 RT and a 6 yr old son. This is an exciting combo. Last Sat i took my youngster out for a short spin on the RT. 20 min or so to the grocery and we had a blast. He had a great time and i would love to take him out occasionally for an errand or 2. While it is fun for my son I am HYPER aware and riding at a very cautious pace. I guess my question for youg, is 6 too young for short rides?

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Danny caddyshack Noonan

IMO, yes. Lately, the things our parents did with us would get us locked up today if we did them with our kids. At least I survived!

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I have a '12 RT and a 6 yr old son. This is an exciting combo. Last Sat i took my youngster out for a short spin on the RT. 20 min or so to the grocery and we had a blast. He had a great time and i would love to take him out occasionally for an errand or 2. While it is fun for my son I am HYPER aware and riding at a very cautious pace. I guess my question for youg, is 6 too young for short rides?

I started my son relatively young as well.

 

Age isn't really the issue -- physical size and maturity are key.

 

First rule was he had to be big enough to be able to *firmly* reach the foot pegs (to be able to control his lateral motion).

 

Second rule was always ATGATT.

 

Third rule was his head had to be "in the game." That is where your assessment of maturity is necessary.

 

The #1 issue I found was sleep -- kids can nod off very quickly. Three things that helped with this were (i) an intercom (and frequent use to gauge his current state), (ii) folding arm rests (on a K1200LT), and (iii) short trips/frequent breaks.

 

On the latter point, he actually did well at age 8 on a trip from Virginia to Arkansas and back. While he did fall asleep a couple times, he always did so with his helmet resting on my back and his size (always >100 percentile for his age) ensured he was always firmly locked him between the armrests, the trunk and my torso. Not saying I wasn't concerned (what parent wouldn't be hyper-vigilent in that situation?) but he was always secure. Great trip. Lots of good "bonding time," including listening to 3 Harry Potter books on CD over the intercom together. :)

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Tourmaster

There was an attempt to ban kids from riding as passengers (up to age 16 if I remember correctly) in Ontario a few years ago. It met with some disagreement and petition signing, as far as I know it died before becoming law.

 

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chrisolson
... is 6 too young for short rides?
A 4-6 year old can do
. Yes, admittedly on dirt with full gear, but still ... age is not the determining factor. If your son has some gear and your wife is good with it ... why let some some nanny state fear-mongers deprive yourself and your son of the time together doing something you both enjoy :Cool: Obviously you have already assessed the risk level and can operate within rational limits while riding with him on the back.
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My daughter has ridden since she was 7, she is now 11.

 

Most of the trips are to/from school. Longest trip about 100 miles.

 

The main issue, as stated above, was her falling asleep. I bought a harness to hold her in place - Child Riding Belt, not sure it is still made - for longer trips. I also purchased a belt with handles as she has gotten older.

 

Riding pants have been the most difficult safety gear to find. I am planning on buying the Bilt 4 kids pants.

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Jharpphoto

this video is 100% awesome. Thanks for sharing.

 

... is 6 too young for short rides?
A 4-6 year old can do
. Yes, admittedly on dirt with full gear, but still ... age is not the determining factor. If your son has some gear and your wife is good with it ... why let some some nanny state fear-mongers deprive yourself and your son of the time together doing something you both enjoy :Cool: Obviously you have already assessed the risk level and can operate within rational limits while riding with him on the back.
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The Rocketman

My son started riding with me at age 6, but 1st long distance ride was at age 8. What everyone else said is perfect. You need to break up long rides with stops that will interest a little kid, or they will get bored, and will fall asleep. Its amazing how many butterfly farms, waterfalls and horse farms you can find, if you just keep your eyes open, and the little ones will enjoy it, and enjoy the trip. Great gear is essential. You spend stupid money on your own gear; don't short change your kid. I ordered my kid's clothes from Babybiker.com in the UK (now under a different name). Quality of gear was at least as good (if not better) than my Rev'It, Olympia or TourMaster gear, plus the fit was perfect. In the states, you can get "make believe" biker gear, or women's extra-small which was giant on my kid at that stage of his life. Helmets were real hard to find, but we did OK with kid specific full face helmets from off brands, until he fit into a microscopic Shoei. Most of that gear has been passed down to my daughter, who is now 15, and has been my riding buddy since age 10. She would have gone sooner, but her feet weren't planted firmly on the pegs. Also, no back rest...no kids. They're light and could bounce off the seat real easy. And lastly, NO buddy belts....EVER. I teach my kids, if we do go down, criss cross your arms, make 2 fists, tuck your head down and roll like a ball. Don't try to fly, and don't try to slow yourself down with your hands. Be careful when you get up, and don't get hit by a car. Last thing I want is a kid tied to me, so we both stay tethered together. At least this way I think we both have a better chance of surviving a get off. Lots of opinions about kids on bikes. Some detest it saying I have no right to take my kid's life in my hands. Others applaude it. But know your limits, know your kid's limits and as a last note. I try to be consistent in how I ride, in that I don't change styles with or without my kid, or any passenger for that matter. If I change styles, I have to think. If I have to think too much, I'm not riding my ride. If I stay consistent, and stay safe, I know we'll get home safe and live to ride another day. Pace is not the issue; safety and consistency are. If you're too cautious, you're not in your comfort zone. Just like the kid needs to learn how to ride with you, you need to learn how to ride with a kid. Its fun to learn together and has brought me years of enjoyment and new experience from a different perspective. Have 2 other girls (11 & 13) waiting in the wings.

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Yeeha! Stephen
There was an attempt to ban kids from riding as passengers (up to age 16 if I remember correctly) in Ontario a few years ago. It met with some disagreement and petition signing, as far as I know it died before becoming law.

 

Over 5 in Tejas unless seated in a sidecar.

 

And new in Tejas... passenger grab hands are required. So if you want your kid to sit in front while you hold them w/your knees, they still have to have grab handles.

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TSo if you want your kid to sit in front while you hold them w/your knees, they still have to have grab handles.

So do the handles around my waist count??

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Matts_12GS

My son has ridden with me since he was just under 5.

He now has about 10K miles under his belt and is an awesome passenger from the early training.

 

IMG_2520-XL.jpg

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Rocket,

Only because you mentioned a (former, ceased production 2010) brand, the Buddy Belt, I don't believe one was tethered.

It had handles to hold.

Bill_Dad2_a.jpg

so if one could find a real BB, I'd say go for it, I've known

more than a few who liked them.

Not a fan of the tether, we agree there.

 

Gear that fits, child big enough, mature enough (both child and rider :dopeslap: )

and

pracitce before going on the road.

Find a big parking lot to familiarize them w/the stop/go inertia/momentum of physics.

Matt's son is very mature and a great passenger, but both of them worked on their skills and it shows.

Destination rides, stopping to smell the roses, etc is a great thing to create memories.

For a child 20 miles can be like a 50 CC.

:Cool:

Make sure to carry all necessary medical information/insurance etc.

An intercom is another worthy tool.

At the very least, practice a set of hand/tapping signals to communicate.

My girls were very young when they first rode.

As time went on they developed other interests.

Only one married a rider.

:lurk:

But the other one's FIL rides.

:grin:

Have fun.

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TripleThreat

My daughters have ridden with me since about age 10. They are excellent passengers and have even been trained how to ride 2-up off road standing on the pegs on my KTM 640 Adventure...

 

MaggiesRideontheKTM.jpg

 

They've been on camping trips with me...

94E9AE08-FBC7-48F0-9D06-28CC68D34F62-7431-0000084574A8A2D7.jpg

 

0757C0D0-0CC4-4C8A-BBF2-305D812AA2E1-7431-000008457021D245.jpg

 

The oldest just went with me to pick up the R1150RT and rode the Dragon and Cherohala Skyway with me...

17395138822_87358fc89b_b.jpg738814 by TripleThreat719, on Flickr

 

We've had great times! ATGATT!

 

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I took my daughter for about a 60 mile ride a couple weeks ago. We had a great time. She's 32 and it was her second time on a motorcycle (first time was about a year ago on my old airhead).

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szurszewski

My son, though on the tall side, is not quite leggy enough to really reach the pegs on the RT...but he wanted to ride, we like to do things as a family when we can, and I'm not very patient....which is why I have a sidecar hanging off the bike now (actually, it's pretty big - maybe the bike is hanging off the sidecar).

 

Here's his starter gear outfit. Mom's smallest jacket (XS), XS gloves, medium helmet and innapropriate shoes (tennis) and pants (snowboarding). The helment actually fits fine except it his the microlock ratchet thing which keeps the strap from snugging up properly. He now has a Bell Revolver (in hi-viz, like dad's, which the kid is still young enough to think is cool :) ) in small that fits perfectly.

 

image.jpg

 

Still looking for good moto boots, so he usually wears hikers, and better pants. I wouldn't have him ride on the back of the bike in those pants...so I probably shouldn't have him in the sidecar .... but I guess I'm not the parent I could be.

 

Anyway, I think all the above advice is great - especially about short trips, monitoring fatigue and attention. Jeremiah is definitely "in the game" when we're out...until he falls asleep :) He has probably spent more time sleeping in hack than awake (his mom is the same on the back and hasn't fallen off yet, but I wouldn't be comfortable having the boy asleep back there). I figure in a year or so when he has some extra leg, we'll try the back of the bike.

 

In the meantime, my best advice is to take it slow enough that it stays fun!

josh

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In my opinion, if they're tall enough to reach the pegs & mature enough to follow your expectations for what to do while riding/stopped/etc, then they're old enough to be a passenger on the bike. This is the same criteria I would use while on duty, if I had to determine if it was safe for your child to be on your bike (in CA).

 

For my own kids, I waited until each of them turned 8. And they only get to ride with full gear and the top case on the bike (for a back rest).

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Jharpphoto

thanks for all the cool pics of kids riding and suggestions. Looking forward to making some great memories.

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The Rocketman

This one is from many years back of Eric (I think he was 8 or 9). He's now 17 and has found other interests.

eric2.jpg

 

This is my newest victim, Brandi who just turned 13. She had to wait a while longer as she's very tiny.

Brandi1_zpseb66868a.jpg

 

And this is how the kids used to earn rides with Dad :)

bikewash.jpg

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Get yourself a strong waist belt for your young one to hold on too.

 

Age 6 is fine. I did trips around the neighborhood at that age.

My son is now age 11 and his helmet has a Sena so we chat.

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