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I have two girls, ages 4 & 7. The four year old doesn't care about the bike, she just likes to look at it and sit on it. But my 7 year old wants me to take her for a ride on it. I keep telling her that I have to get more comfortable on the bike before I can have any passengers on it (only had the bike for a couple of weeks now). Plus I have to get her a helmet too. So my wife (who just doesn't like motorcycles because "their so dangerous") says she's too young to get on a motorcycle. I was just curious about those of you who have kids; do you let them ride on your motorcycle and if so, how old were they when you started?
 

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TV Guru
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There's no hard rule about it, other than local regulations regarding the ability to reach foot pegs and such. Instead, it's more of a personal thing. Before you take on a young passenger, you have to ask a few questions:

- Can the child sit on the bike properly (reach the foot pegs, hang on properly, etc)?
- Do you have proper gear for the child?
- Is the child interested in the bike or is he/she scared of it?
- Can the child follow simple instructions (keep you feet on the pegs, hang onto me, lean with me, don't get on or off until I say so, etc.)?
- Is your child capable of sitting still for extended time periods or do they start to fidget in a matter of seconds?
- Does the child stay alert in a vehicle or do they tend to nod off when on the road?
- Is your spouse (or if not your child, the parents) OK with the child riding?
- Are you ready to take on a passenger?

There is no "right" age to take on a child as a passenger. Kids mature and grow at different rates. One 4 year old may be capable of riding while another 7 year old may not have the maturity to do so.

Generally, if the child is big enough to sit on the bike, is not overly excitable and tends to follow instructions reliably, they are capable of riding safely. However, a kid who is hyperactive and fails to follow even simple instructions would potentially be introduced to a hazardous situation on a bike.

If you feel your child is ready (and you are, too), talk it over with your spouse and establish a plan to slowly introduce riding to your child. Short rides around the block lead to longer rides to the store and finally extended trips out of town. You never want to just hop on the bike and plan on a day trip right out of the gate.

Also, keep in mind that your child is still growing. Next year, she'll likely have grown out of any gear you get now. That's potentially a large investment in gear to keep up with. However, skimping on proper gear is a bad thing. Your child needs proper protection just as much as you do. Likewise, setting an example by wearing safety gear yourself sets an important precedent.

In your case, I would wait until you are more comfortable to begin with. Then approach the subject later.

Good luck.
 

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My boy was on there when he was 8, just for rides around the neighborhood. He's 9 now, and I'll take him almost anywhere, though I orefer to avoid heavy traffic. My younger boy is 6, and he can't reach the pegs or get a firm grip on me, so it will be a while before he gets on there.
If your wife is really against it, I don't think I'd recommend putting your daughter on the back. One little scratch, and you will never get out of the doghouse. Just not worth the risk. My wife, on the other hand, has no problem with my taking the kid out, so I can ride worry free.
 

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my daughter started riding with me on short rides when she was 6. at that age she was able to reach the pegs but not old enough for the day long rides so our rides we for a couple hours tops. now shes 10 and our rides are longer. my ex-wife doesnt like the idea but i could really care less what she thinks at this point................thats why shes the EX
 

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BTW: I should probably add that it matters a bit what style of bike you have and whether there is a back rest or not. While your wife or girlfriend might be able to hang on if you take off a bit too quickly on your supersport, a kid might very well end up hitting the pavement.

On the other hand, a Nomad or a Goldwing would likely not be an issue.

I personally would be hesitant to take a very young passenger on a bike without a back rest.
 

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Personally I did not encourage my kids to want to ride as a passenger or own a motorcycle. Just one of those things that our family was not interested in. But I also had no desire to own a motorcycle until my kids no longer lived at home. For some silly reason I started wanting one later in life...go figure. Therefore it made it easy when my kids were young to not want one as I did not wish to be a hypocrite and ride one while not allowing them on one. Guess I was lucky because as I look back on it...neither one of the kids showed the least bit of interest in motorcycles. The bike has been fun but I find myself wanting to sell it now. I need a truck, not a motorcycle...a useful means of transportation instead of a toy...lol.
 

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My kids are 8 and 11 and just started riding with me this last summer. A sissy bar is a must and they have to be able to reach the pegs IMHO.

My 11 yr old, she will go quite a ways but says her butt gets sore and has to get off. My 8 yr old will ride all day all the while singing to himself (it's funny at stop lights).

Only rule in my family is no freeways (wife's rule) kind of my rule.
 

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Guilty By Association
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my 4 yr old rides all the time with me. he sits in front of me on the tank and holds on to the bars. i have looked up the law in michigan, there is no age limits. I have passed many police officers,and had no problems. a couple even waved.
 

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My daughter is 3....we keep it to rides less than 1 hour - cause sometimes she wants to go home....and she means NOW. She can ride on any bike with me around town but if we leave town she has to be on either the Goldwing (I have mounted a seat belt up for her) or the Ural sidecar. She has a tendency to fall asleep....which is also why I keep rides to less than 1 hour. On either of these two bikes shes safe from falling off.

Taking daughter to dance class this summer....




Picking them up from school just the other day....



My son is 8....same deal with him....given enough time he WILL fall asleep so long rides mean out comes the Goldwing and the seatbelt again. He can ride with me anywhere, any distance though.....Ive had him far away from home and he never gets concerned or growly. We went on a 3 day ride this summer, it was great fun.....crossed three states and saw some good stuff.....he really enjoyed it. I made sure I read up on state laws before we left (took a whole 10 mins) and encountered no problems on the trip.

This is him riding the bike across the Mississippi river on a ferry during our 3 day trip....



So when are they ready???

For me they are ready when they can hold themselves upright on the bike and arent scared of it.....

My daughter was NEVER scared. She LOVES riding on the back of my Ninja (she actually prefers it).....while my son is timid of my noisy, scary motorcycles and prefers to ride only three or four of the more "stock" bikes.

Its a morbid thought.....but your safety is in there hands, period. Are you gonna feel any better if you get in an accident and kill your 10 year old vs your 4 year old.....no, its gonna be horrible and unthinkable either way.....so really, the difference is???? None that I can see.
 

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my 4 yr old rides all the time with me. he sits in front of me on the tank and holds on to the bars. i have looked up the law in michigan, there is no age limits. I have passed many police officers,and had no problems. a couple even waved.
I dont know your laws but in Iowa there is also no age limits....but the passenger has to be on a seat designed for a passenger and have pegs. I did the same as you until I rode past the wrong cop and he made it a point to show me my error. It was a simple fix....I mounted a seatbelt on the back of my Goldwing so the wee one cant come off and back riding we went.
 

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My divorce decree says that they cannot ride motorcycles until they are 14 years old. So....that is when they will get to ride.

Interestingly enough, when I got divorced three years ago, I didn't have a bike at the time. But the X knew that I wanted one so she tried for age 18. I had to give in so that we could resolve the divorce through arbitration instead of going before a judge and spending another 2-3 grand at least.

:(

Side note: That is also why my boys TTR-90 is called a scooter and not a dirt bike when the younger two are around. :wink:
 

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My daughter is 3....we keep it to rides less than 1 hour - cause sometimes she wants to go home....and she means NOW. She can ride on any bike with me around town but if we leave town she has to be on either the Goldwing (I have mounted a seat belt up for her) or the Ural sidecar. She has a tendency to fall asleep....which is also why I keep rides to less than 1 hour. On either of these two bikes shes safe from falling off.

Taking daughter to dance class this summer....




Picking them up from school just the other day....



My son is 8....same deal with him....given enough time he WILL fall asleep so long rides mean out comes the Goldwing and the seatbelt again. He can ride with me anywhere, any distance though.....Ive had him far away from home and he never gets concerned or growly. We went on a 3 day ride this summer, it was great fun.....crossed three states and saw some good stuff.....he really enjoyed it. I made sure I read up on state laws before we left (took a whole 10 mins) and encountered no problems on the trip.

This is him riding the bike across the Mississippi river on a ferry during our 3 day trip....



So when are they ready???

For me they are ready when they can hold themselves upright on the bike and arent scared of it.....

My daughter was NEVER scared. She LOVES riding on the back of my Ninja (she actually prefers it).....while my son is timid of my noisy, scary motorcycles and prefers to ride only three or four of the more "stock" bikes.

Its a morbid thought.....but your safety is in there hands, period. Are you gonna feel any better if you get in an accident and kill your 10 year old vs your 4 year old.....no, its gonna be horrible and unthinkable either way.....so really, the difference is???? None that I can see.
No helmets or protective gear for them? Or are those posed pictures?

I don't care if an adult rider decides not to wear proper gear, that's your own choice and you live with that decision. Kids need to be geared up with properly fitting gear and need to be big enough and strong enough to reach the foot pegs and brace themselves when they have to, like going over bumps. My opinion only and I'm sure you don't care one way or the other, just speaking what's on my mind.
 

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you will find as many different opinions as there are people posting to this thread. what is okay for me isn't even close for somebody else. seems as though all the common sense things to consider have already been posted. just use your head. i do not think 7 is too young if they can follow directions, although it may be a bit cold in PA for a decent ride in December.
 
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