I have two boys, age 9 and 10. I bought them both their first dirt bikes this year. They LOVE riding. They just can't get enough (and neither can I!). They both love seeing my pictures and hearing my stories of my trips on my street bike. They talk about being able to ride with me on trips when they're adults. I can't wait to do trips with my kids when they're adults...
But this thought also terrifies me. I know the dangers of riding on the street. I've wrecked on the street before, and I've had my fair share of close calls. However, I also know the joys of riding. And I also realize that the statistics aren't representative of all riders. Alcohol over the legal limit plays a role in something like 50% of fatal motorcycle accidents. Helmetless riders comprise something like 60-70% of motorcycle fatalities. Speeding also plays a considerable role in motorcycle fatalities. Most motorcyclists don't actively seek out training on a regular basis. However, even the most safety-conscious riders sometimes die riding. I am ATGATT, I don't drink and ride (well, I might have A beer on occasion), I rarely speed excessively, and I take a motorcycle safety course every year. I can only hope that my influence and instruction will make my children safe riders.
I won't allow my kids to ride a street bike until they are at least 18. I want them to have road experience in a car first.