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Old 03-21-2011, 12:11 PM   #31
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Location: Motor City
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I first rode with my dad when I was 5 or 6. He gave short rides to me and my sister on a bike he got for basic transportation in grad school. My sister was probably 4 or 5. It was all good until he crashed with my sister and mom decided the family had enough money for two cars instead of a car and a motorcycle.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:54 PM   #32
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Me on my Dad's bike in '79 I think. Big brother would be on the back. If I remember right the bike is a rd350.

He used to let me "steer".
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:55 PM   #33
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The cop in the background was a neighbor. We didn't get pulled over.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:41 PM   #34
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My son has been riding with me since he was 8, always ATGATT (big kid -- could reach the passenger floorboards on my K12LT at 7 1/2). Rode with me (spouse behind us on her R1150GS) from VA to Arkansas and back for a rally. The keys for us were an intercom so I could constantly check on his state, and the KLT's trunk and armrests -- between those and my back, he was physically locked in place. Made it through three Harry Potter books on CD by the time the trip was done.

I cannot over-emphasize how important the intercom was, both for safety and for permitting "bonding" conversations (as well as discussions of right/wrong driving examples we would see).

Here's the reason(s) we introduced him to riding young: I learned how to ride by buying a CB360T when I lived in the dorms at college in the '70's. I somehow survived riding it from the seller's house back to the dorm, and then proceeded to learn how to ride by somehow not plastering myself against the many cars/trucks/roadsigns/buildings in the area over the next year or two of running around campus or downstate a couple hours to my grandparents' on the weekends.

Fast forward a couple decades: Our son lives in a house with 5-6 motorcycles and two former MSF instructors as parents. There has never been any question that he would want to ride. So we started training him at a young age about ATGATT (great to hear a 9 yo over the intercom talking about how stupid the non-ATGATT t-shirt/shorts/sandals riders were ). We figured he stood a better chance of survival by living through several years of instruction under watchful eyes than by buying a bike when he's living at the dorms at college and ... (see above)

I have to say it's paid off. He's 18, a graduate of the MSF course, his learner's permit was recently replaced with an M class license, and I have to say he's safer and more awake/aware/thinking about "what ifs" than 90% of the riders you see out there on the weekend. I also believe it has been good for helping us get though the teen hormones/impending separation period with everyone's sanity basically intact -- gave us a common "safe" ground from which conversations could develop. Whether it contribued to the current straight A's and extraordinarily responsible behavior, I can't say; I doubt it hurt any, though.

Do I literally shudder at the thought of what could happen to him someday? You betcha; always will until they close my lid and light off the over-sized Bunsen burners. But I'd rather see him live life than watch others do it.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:42 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Rad View Post
I did very little of kids as pillon while radwife and I raised our two. The reason, I knew I could never live with myself if anything happened to one of them on a ride with me.

As a matter of fact, Radwife and I did very few long rides together during those years for a slightly different reason. You know, the President and Vicepresident never on the same plane sort of concept.

It worked for us, tiz' a very personal choice
Did you take separate cars and airplanes, too?
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:05 PM   #36
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I grew up on a CB750. I remember sloppy used helmets and pillows strapped to the gas tank to sleep on when I got tired. My parents took my brother and I on day trips all over the place. When my first sister came along, Dad upgraded to a CB900 and we got a side car. Of course, I also remember Dad picking up all three of us kids from little league on Mom's Magna too. Pretty sure he came from the bar.

I wouldn't give up those memories for ANYTHING. But times have changed. Looking back I wonder how we survived. My kids get rides around the neighborhood at <20 right now. They have to have solid tennis shoes, pants, jackets, and their bicycle helmets. When they can reach the pegs and show interest, I'll get them full gear and take them on short rides. I know my daughter is looking forward to getting rides to school.

As for the neighborhood kids, thats a no-go. I'll let them sit on the bike with parental permission (parents have to be standing there), but no more. Actually, there are enough Harley and other cruiser riders in the neighborhood that most of the kids aren't interested in the Tiger anyway, which is OK by me.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:04 PM   #37
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It's probably stupid, but so are most other things parents do.

If you really want them to have an appreciation for motorbikes, I'm pretty sure they can "catch up" once they're old enough for their own bike without having spent much time on one - it isn't like they won't already be culturally programmed to think they're cool.

At the least they should be tall enough to reach the passenger pegs.
--Semantics are everything.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:30 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Reverand Roadblock View Post

Me on my Dad's bike in '79 I think. Big brother would be on the back. If I remember right the bike is a rd350.

He used to let me "steer".
That picture reminds me of how my Dad used to take me to and from Kindergarten and early elementary school on his '73 CB750F. Once I have the room, I'll restore that bike....

My girls are 6 and 4 and neither have been on the bike with me yet, while moving. They love to climb on and sit, but no rides yet. Like others have said, gear up and take it slow.

Ride on.
Wishing I was riding instead of typing on a computer....
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:40 PM   #39
I support single moms
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by all means get the kid on something. A tractor, riding mower, motorcycle, anything with wheels and an engine....

My first experience on two wheels was with my uncle on a yamaha 175 at about 7 years old. At 9, I was running a briggs and stratton mini-bike.

You have the power to shape future generations, and a quick trip up and down your road will go a long way toward rearing a healthy, well adjusted young adult.
'93 TW200

From the past:
'75 CT90
'84 883 Sportster
'76 CB 750
'92 Connie
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:11 PM   #40
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Maple Ridge, B.C. Canada
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2 daughters, now 19 and 20, with their own bikes.
They had their own dirtbikes at 4 and 5 and were riding pillion with my wife and I at the same age. Full protective gear and strapped to us, due to being so relaxed that they fell asleep.
Took both of them on California coast trips around the age of 12; they loved it.
Both of them have now talked their boyfriends into the pastime and I'm very proud of them.
My own first photograph is of me as a baby in a sidecar with mum and dad (1947) I was always encouraged by them to develop my bike interests as I grew up.
In my view, it's a wonderful way to develop self confidence and a degree of independence in kids.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:54 PM   #41
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Location: Nor Cal, USA
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When I first returned to riding last year (after a 15 year no-bike phase), my 12yo son would hop on for short rides with me. Doing errands and just cruising around. His 13yo brother would just wave me off...

Then at some point, the younger one wouldn't ride either. I pestered them both -- "What's the problem?" Turns out their too-cool-for-middle-school friends told them that the back seat on a motorcycle is for girls only. The "bitch seat."

Bums me out because I had some camping trips in mind for the summer. I've started getting the older one interested only because I have offered to ride up into the Sierras with his downhill skateboard strapped on the Pelican case. He can do some long downhill runs with me filming him with the GoPro on my front fender. This kinda stuff...

Momma started doing her worry-routine over the idea of motorcycling, so I reminded her how she packs them up in the SUV every weekend and lets them out at the top of steep mountain roads where they bomb down weaving in and out of traffic with plastic cereal bowls on their heads.

I did recently buy them full face BMX helmets and they are now wearing those on the skate runs.
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:20 PM   #42
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I rode on the back of my dad's bike back as far as I can remember so did my brother. I have pictures from before I was 5 and we never had a problem. I can tell you we never had properly fitting helmets or gear. Fast forward 20 years as I was coming down the street with my oldest son on the back of my CBR the middle son runs out in front of the bike, clips the bar end, bike flips both me and son land high side style on our head and right shoulder. Broken collar bones for both of us, luckily we had Helmets. Then when we healed up we went riding again. I also continued to ride my Daughter who was 7 years younger than the boys. I also never let any one else's kid ride with me. Even relatives kids.
Because this can happen! St patricks day this year in Kansas City Mo,
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:24 AM   #43
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Location: Auckland , New Zealand
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We recently completed almost 2000 km touring with Miss 10 on the back , no probs

1/ ATGATT no ifs, no buts
2/ Ride sensibly & carefully
3/ Stop often
4/ Keep daily distances short or they will hate it
5/ Keep them warm

Well worth the risk. Miss 10 had a holiday she will never forget.
You have to tailor what you do around the kid.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:13 AM   #44
The Bigfella
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However, I, unfortunately, had to go to the funeral of one of my eldest boy's football teammates.... he was on the back of his Dad's bike - and the old tyre on the back blew and the kid hit a tree. Incredibly sad.

A boy in my other son's team was killed by a dingo around the same time.

Shit happened - twice. Once on the road, once camping. Shit won't stop me doing things... but it makes me more aware

btw... I reckon checking the age of vehicle tyres should be a compulsory part of registration renewal. Anything over 6 years old... replace it.
A man should only do the work that is required of him. To do more is a form of greed.

Ride through Oz and Asia
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:37 AM   #45
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Risk versus reward...

To me, it's all about risk versus reward. I can't see taking a young child (under 6) on the bike unless it's around the neighborhood for just a couple of minutes AND they're sufficiently protected. Young children are especially fragile. Even up to 10 or so I have to wonder if they have the physical strength and mental discipline to hold on if one has to take evasive action on the road. Maybe they do... but is the risk worth it?

Most of you have been riding a lot longer than I have, but I've been alive as long or longer than most of you. What most people thought was acceptable risk when I was young is far more than most of us will accept now... at least in the developed world. I was in India last week; the craziness I saw in traffic, on motorcycles, was unbelievable. I had a man pull up to me with his three-year-old son riding on the tank... in a cotton outfit with no shoes and no helmet or eye protection... on a main arterial in a major Indian city during rush hour. If ANYTHING goes wrong, that child is dead.

My sense of acceptable risk certainly has changed since I've gotten older; some of the things I did as a teenager or young adult seem unbelievably stupid now. It's good that God looks after fools.

I've been riding as an adult for a couple of years now, but I still won't take my 10-year-old son for a ride on my bike. However, I did buy him his own XR70 for his birthday, and we took the MSF Dirt Bike class together. Like most children, his common sense can be lacking at times, and he is still developing the ability to think ahead a little. As a parent, one of the hardest things for me to accept is that he will have to make many of his own mistakes... and my job is to try to minimize the consequences of those mistakes because I can't prevent them.

I can accept the risk of having my son ride, with protective gear, in off-road situations (trails, etc., but not racing). I feel that I can control the risk so that it is acceptable. On the street is another matter. You can do everything right, and still get killed by some idiot who isn't paying attention (my only serious injury/accident was caused by that). I'm hoping that riding off-road will expose my son to motorcycling in a safer, more controlled environment... and I hope he DOESN'T get a street motorcycle until he's past his 20s.

I guess it all comes down to looking at the worst that can reasonably happen, and then asking yourself, "Is it worth it?"
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