Please think twice before taking a child for a ride on your motorcycle. Suppose you just grab your little one and hold him or her in front of you. What happens when you need both hands to steer? What happens if you have to brake hard? What if? What if?
You can take older children on your motorcycle safely and these tips will help:
- Be sure the child has a DOT-approved helmet that fits correctly. A loose helmet will fly off and the helmets made for off-road vehicles will not always provide protection against street surfaces. If the helmet doesn’t have a face shield, the child should wear safety-lensed goggles.
- Leather gloves are important, too. Use snug gloves that have straps to guarantee good fit. A leather jacket is best, and it can be too big for the child if need be. Failing that, use a heavy denim jacket. Heavy jeans will probably suffice. Be sure boots go above the ankle. Remember that shoelaces can tangle in wheel spokes and cause a disaster, so try to find boots without them.
- It is unsafe to carry a child in front of you. Instead use a child seat that attaches behind you. Be sure the child is correctly belted in to the seat. Use a child’s riding belt that fits around the child like a harness and then goes around your waist. That way you don’t have to worry about the child letting go or even falling asleep.
- Teach the child to always mount the bike from the left side, to beware of the exhaust pipe, and to keep their feet away from the wheel.
- Start with slow rides on lonely roads and be patient.
You want your child to grow up to be a motorcycle enthusiast, just like you, so keep it safe and keep it fun!
Stay safe out there!