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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody,

I have a question no one so far could (or wanted) to answer, not even the motorcycle cops I see every day.

My son is four years old and 43 inches tall. What is a good age and/or height to ride as a passenger? Does anybody have experience with that? A year ago I had a Susi GZ250 and drove it around the parking lot. My son loved it but i am not sure if he is ready for regular streets, although he behaved quite well on it.

Could you please give me your opinions and experience on this matter.

Thank you
 

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I won't ride my kids (under 18). I took my 18 y.o. down to the corner (a couple hundred yards) but that is the extent (and made him wear a helmet). As for kids and for you, most will have as varying opinions as they do about most anything. I imagine with proper gear and IF they have the strength to be able to hold on (to handles or waist) it may not be a problem. I would never take an infant or child (under 8ish) for anything other than a ride around a (trafficless) block but others might, shrug. I would just never be able to live with myself if anything happened.
 

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My opinion:

He's big enough for parking lot rides as you described, or maybe even low speed around the neighborhood rides, but until he's big enough to get both feet solidly on the footrests, I would discourage any busy traffic or high speed riding.

Four is a fun age for sons & fathers, when mine was that age was when we really started being able to do things like fishing, I started teaching him to shoot then, camping, etc.

You've got to remember, though, he's still just a little guy & his balance & strength may be good for his age, but are not up to what you would consider normal (for you). I had a tough time remembering that sometimes, & it wound up getting him hurt (nothing serious, but I should have anticipated it better, as my wife was always fond of reminding me).

Just like me, I'm sure you love your son & wouldn't ever do anything to endanger him intentionally, this is why his size & abilities must always be foremost in your mind.
 

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The other thing to consider is the weight of the helmet. Admittedly they're not as bad as they used to be, great heavy lumps they were, but can still be a strain for a small neck. I once had a spinal surgeon tell me he reckoned about ten years of age was the earliest you could expect a child's neck to support a decent helmet without increasing the risk of spinal injury in a crash. It's not just to do with the size of the child, but also the development of the bones, which up to about that age still have quite a bit of cartilage in them so are more flexible but not as strong. This means that kids are less likely to break a vertebra but are more likely to injure their cord without a break.
In Tasmania the law specifies that you are not allowed to carry a child on a motorcycle on the public streets until they are twelve.
 

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Tassie is correct.

Do yourself and your son a BIG FAVOR...find another common interest for at least another 6-8 years.

I've got 5 of those rascals. If one of them got hurt I could not live with myself.

Just my opinion

Bill
 

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If their feet reach the footboards then they *may* be old enough. It depends on how they ride.

Get a helmet that fits them well, and gloves are always a good idea.

They also sell harnesses that you can use to attach them to you - you may want to get one of those.

If their feet don't fit onto the floorboard then I wouldn't take them - because they have no way to stay on.
 

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State law in Minnesota is that the feet have to rest firmly on the pegs. I have no qualms taking a small one for rides on a snowmobile where I can put them in between my arms to control them. A bike is totally different. You cannot control a child sitting behind you, so it really depends on the maturity of the child. I want to include my kids where I can, but you have to think of their safety. Look at all angles.
 

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kids at 4 years old , don't have the strength or focus to be riding on a motorcycle..........one sudden move, which happens on a motorcycle at even the slowest speeds, in a parking lot at any time, 'CAN' cause a child to be flung off the back of a bike.......................
remind yourself , they are not little adults, they are children..
 

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IMO, my son is 6 and though I haven't ridden a larger motorcycle yet (B400 and above).. I have already decided that there is no way I'm letting him on the my B650 when I get it. I don't even take him on the Vespa.

Maybe I'm being a little over protective father as far as the Vespa is concerned but I definitely wouldn't be taking him on the burgy
 

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The lead editorial in the October issue of Motorcycle Cruiser deals with the issue somewhat. Good insight into the responsibility.
 

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I used to take my local little nieces on short "fun" rides when I had my Honda 250 Elite. Never down the highway, but often slowly around a square mile composed of four dirt roads near their home. If they could reach the footpegs then they could ride behind me. If they couldn't, I'd let then sit in front of me with explicit instructions NOT to try and steer.

I'd say go ahead and take him on short slow "fun" rides around the neighborhood if you feel he can hold on securely. If not, then wait until he's older and taller.
 

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The first thing to do is to see what the law in your state says (if it says. Not all states have age restrictions).

Some states say only that feet must reach pegs or floorboards, others specify an age (usually 6 or more).

Considering the short attention span of most 4 year olds, as well as their size and strength, I wouldn't do it. Probably not even a 6 year old. Maybe at 8 or 9. But that's me.
 

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Robert said:
They also sell harnesses that you can use to attach them to you - you may want to get one of those.
I don't think that's a good idea. Anything that is attached to you will be squashed when you roll if you come off. They would be safer taking their chances on their own.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everybody for their opinions. the law here in Georgia doesn't give you any guidelines, at least according to the five motorcycle cops I asked.

But what you guys said makes sense, I appreciate everybodys input.
 

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Just one more comment. In Canada the law says that a passenger must be able to reach the floor firmly and have the strength to hold themselves on. Also, according to an article I read some time ago, written by a gynocologist. Girl childer should *never* be carried on the tank in front of the rider. Apparently, the vibration through the tank can cause some very serious internal problems later in life. I don't think it harms a boy as much but sure wouldn't want to take the chance with any of my kids.
 

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Two Words, Duct Tape! :wink:

Just tape the little bugger on and away you go! I mean I don't have any kids myself but I've seen them on TV and they look pretty sturdy. I think Duct Tape is the way to go.... :D
 

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As with most things this topic is very kid dependent. Some kids can and do ride well as young as 3-4, others shouldn't go near a bike at 30. Back in my leaner years I took my daughter with me at 6 months 'cause the bike was the only transportation I had. My son not only rode with me often at 4 but had his own 50cc. Check out some of the mini motocross links to see what kids are capable of, it will surprise ya!
 

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My 9 year old rides with me a lot. She is really into it. She has a light weight, kid size helmet, long legs, and the sense to hold onto the handles for all she is worth. When it comes down to it, she seems to be a better passenger than my wife! I still talk to her throughout the ride and make sure she is doing well (the answer is always yes, she never wants to get off! :D ). That said, my 4 year old is never allowed to go. She can't reach the pegs, can't be trusted to hold onto the handles, and she is just not stable on that big ole seat. If I had a smaller seat that allowed me to keep track of her or a place to sit her in front of me, I might take her around the block, but that would be it. My dad once took my nephew Andy for a long ride years ago, when he was about 4. Halfway into the ride he started falling asleep and almost fell off. Dad had to use his belt to strap Andy to him for the rest of the ride back home. That was his last ride for a looooonnnnng time.
 
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