If you’re feeling closed in with cabin fever, think how wonderful it’s going to feel when you take to the open road on your motorcycle for the first time this spring! Wouldn’t you like to share that feeling? Maybe with a family member or a friend?
Perhaps the best way to share your love of motorcycling with your children is just letting them see how much you enjoy the ride. You might take them along, riding pillion or in a sidecar. To do that, you’ll need to equip them with the right gear to keep them safe. That means a helmet that fits, gloves, sturdy boots that don’t have laces to get caught in the chain, and maybe a chest protector. Of course, they should wear long pants and sleeves, if not leathers, then heavy-duty denim. You can find the gear you need at Eagle Leather. The Kids Leather Motorcycle Jacket is shown here in pink and is also available in black. Our Kids Chaps are made of buffalo hide and are adjustable using buckles and back lacing.
A few more words about the helmet: an adult-size helmet will not protect a child from head injury if they fall or are thrown from the bike. A bicycle helmet won’t protect their face. It’s best to get a full-sized helmet with a face shield and chin-bar. See, for example the Vega Red Razor helmet here.
It’s illegal to carry a child in front of you on the motorcycle. It’s also just common sense. You can’t grab the child and control the bike in an emergency, and there’s nothing safe for the child to grab onto. Don’t expect a young child to be able to hang onto you, either. They may not be strong enough, and they have short attention spans and may forget.
Invest in a child’s riding belt. The belt is a harness that’s easy to get into. The quick-release buttons are at the back so the child can’t take it off. The belt goes between the legs, over the shoulders, around the child’s waist and around your waist.
Of course, children are not the only people who might ride with you. A helmet is essential for any passenger and a helmet is only as good as its fit. If you have a certain person who will be your passenger—maybe your husband or your sweetheart—you can buy a helmet just for them. But if you take a variety of people—maybe you give short rides to some of the guys at the Veterans’ Home—you’ll need to do your best as far as fit goes. The Cruiser website suggests this test:
- Fasten the chin-strap snugly
- Grab the rear of the helmet and pull up and forward forcefully, trying to roll it forward and off over your chin.
- If it comes off, you need to use a different (probably smaller) helmet.
And, of course, if the helmet pinches or hurts, you also need a different one. Passengers should have leather gloves, heavy-duty boots that rise above the ankle, and either heavy denim or leather jacket and pants.