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Just wondering if anybody had any thoughts on what age to start letting children ride as passengers on motorcycles. My daughter is six and she wants to start riding but I'm thinking she might still be a little too young.
 

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I had my daughters on dirt bikes around 3 and on the street by 6.Ive been riding my own bikes since i was 4 started racing by 5.So all i can say its up to you and your other half.
 

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I think that has to be an individual thing. Here are my concerns;

1) Helmets and gear don't fit as well with smaller frames. An ill-fitting helmet is nearly as ineffective as no helmet at all. It may be difficult to get an effective helmet for your daughter.

2) Smaller children may not have the strength and attentiveness to hold on in the case of a hard stop or a swerve.

You know your daughter, I don't, but I can tell you my nieces and nephews that age only ride around the farm, 10-15mph, with their four-wheeler helmets on (youth sizes), not on public roads. The 12-14 year old nieces and nephews have ridden on public roads with me. But, personally, there's no set age, but basically when they are physicially big and strong enough to ride safely; and have enough of an attention span and respect for the machine to pay attention and sit still.

Though, personally, I wouldn't think anything wrong with going slowly up and down your driveway or if you live on a small, slow residential road or something. If she's like my 6 year old niece, that'll make her day, she doesn't need to get out on the big roads to have fun at that age!

One thing though, especially if you think she'll ride later on, is to maybe get her her own! You can find all sorts of small, 50cc dirtbikes for cheap. Lots of them have screws on the throttle that can block it off at a certain point so she can't go too fast. It's been my experience, with adults, that those who ride their own make the best passengers. I'm sure that'd be true for kids!
 

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Check your state laws to start with. Each one is written differently. Personally I feel when they are responsible enough and strong enough to hang on and keep feet on pegs. I feel it is a parental decision about your kids and how well they fit on your bike. When I had my 1100 v-star my (at the time 3 yo) daughter could almost touch the passenger pegs. I took her up the road and back on a private street and she loves it. Now she is 4 and can't come close to the footboards on the V2K. But others may feel differently.
 

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yeah what romans said. you beat me to it.
 

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Check your state laws to start with. Each one is written differently. Personally I feel when they are responsible enough and strong enough to hang on and keep feet on pegs. I feel it is a parental decision about your kids and how well they fit on your bike. When I had my 1100 v-star my (at the time 3 yo) daughter could almost touch the passenger pegs. I took her up the road and back on a private street and she loves it. Now she is 4 and can't come close to the footboards on the V2K. But others may feel differently.
A mention on the laws too, I believe all 50 states require children to wear helmets. Now, if you don't wanna wear one you'll get no flack from me; but if folks think their kids don't need to wear them that's a little different in my humble opinion; but regardless, I BELIEVE all states require it.
 

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romans right all kids should wear right fitting helmets.swva a buddy of mine was just here and hes a pa state cop here in pa if the feet dont touch the pegs its a big fine so check the laws in your state for sure.i have a water craft belt which has 4 grab handles on it that my 11 yr old holds on to ,she still wants me to wear it any time she ride.lol she says im to big to hold on to.(i think its her way of sayin dad your to fat).
 

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believe me she don't go out on the road with me. I live at the end of a dead end road with 500' driveway or so. We go down the drive way and turn around in a wide spot on the road and back up. I was thinking VA was written the same way. It has been a while since I looked it up. I don't think they put and "Age" to it. I kinda figured if the right cop gets ya he could slap ya with child endangerment and all of those other charges.
 

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On the MSF course here in MD they teach you that as long as they can reach the pegs, they can ride.
 

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On the MSF course here in MD they teach you that as long as they can reach the pegs, they can ride.
Personally, I never like 'hard and fast' rules like that. But that's me.

There are plenty of adults who would be unsafe on my bike, even if they can fit the pegs! If they aren't strong enough to hang on in an emergency, attentive enough to pay attention to the rider, and calm enough to sit still and pay attention; and mature enough to understand it's a dangerous and powerful machine if it isn't cared for, then it can be dangerous. Plenty of adults riding their OWN motorcycles fail one or more of those qualifications!
 

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Personally, I never like 'hard and fast' rules like that. But that's me.

There are plenty of adults who would be unsafe on my bike, even if they can fit the pegs! If they aren't strong enough to hang on in an emergency, attentive enough to pay attention to the rider, and calm enough to sit still and pay attention; and mature enough to understand it's a dangerous and powerful machine if it isn't cared for, then it can be dangerous. Plenty of adults riding their OWN motorcycles fail one or more of those qualifications!
I totally agree, just stating what was taught and how the law would look at it. That law could fit for some adults too...you know, the ones that are vertically challenged.
 

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IL has no mandatory helmet law for adults, nor child. All riders must wear eye protection, regardless of age. I just pulled my current copy (2012) of the IL Motor Vehicle statues and there is just nothing there regarding children on bikes.
 

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VA requires a DOT, SNELL, or ANSI approved helmet for EVERYONE.
 

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VA requires a DOT, SNELL, or ANSI approved helmet for EVERYONE.
Same with MO. Except for one month of the year; during Sturgis. Apparently the state is losing too much money due to folks riding AROUND us (as the only helmet state in the region) to get to Sturgis. (One might think that a law that can be justly pardoned for a short time need not be enforced any other time, hmm? Is there a purpose to a law that can be turned on and off? But I digress...)

It's passed through the state congress several times but our current governor continually vetoes it. Even though he promised a motorcyclists political group that he would get rid of the helmet law! Politicians for ya. You'll never catch me on a bike without a helmet. Full face; in fact, AND gear. But that's my choice. I can sleep just fine at night if my choice isn't enforced on other people who feel differently by the government. If you wanna run around without a helmet; go for it. No skin off my nose! (Just yours! hehe).

I do like the eye protection requirements though. Keeps folks from CAUSING accidents. It's a bit different story when someone other than yourself is put in danger due to your own decisions.

IL has no mandatory helmet law for adults, nor child. All riders must wear eye protection, regardless of age. I just pulled my current copy (2012) of the IL Motor Vehicle statues and there is just nothing there regarding children on bikes.
Guess I'm not surprised, IL has some pretty lax helmet laws (and some pretty STRICT laws on a lot of other things; go figure!). What I said above; applies to adults! LOL. I sure hope if you're going to ride around with your kid on your back you'll put a decent helmet on their head. Maybe I'm wrong; but I just think kids ought to wear helmets until they are adults and old enough and mature enough to understand the risks and make that decision for themselves.
 

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Maybe I'm wrong; but I just think kids ought to wear helmets until they are adults and old enough and mature enough to understand the risks and make that decision for themselves.
Sometimes they're in their 30's or 40's by the time this happens....
 

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Sometimes they're in their 30's or 40's by the time this happens....
Well that may be. I admit I cringe when people have somehow convinced themselves that riding WITHOUT is SAFER, even though every legitimate study has disproved that. BUT, if you're willing to understand that it's an additional risk (but so is motorcycling!) and you're okay with that risk; then go for it.

But then, I guess taking your kid on a motorcycle AT ALL places certain risks then, so I dunno.... We'll just leave it at "I don't like it" then. It doesn't bother me to see adults riding without a lid. I imagine it would bother me to see a young child out on the open road doing the same.

Bear; I've got a question for ya; what are IL's laws for car seats and booster seats? Reason I ask if I have a niece whose 7 but small for her age and still has to have a booster seat under MO law, so; even if the law allowed her to legally ride the bike; could she ride without a booster seat? Are motorcycles somehow exempt from those sorts of requirements? Just curious here. I just thought of that.
 

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Homework!

Well that may be. I admit I cringe when people have somehow convinced themselves that riding WITHOUT is SAFER, even though every legitimate study has disproved that. BUT, if you're willing to understand that it's an additional risk (but so is motorcycling!) and you're okay with that risk; then go for it.

But then, I guess taking your kid on a motorcycle AT ALL places certain risks then, so I dunno.... We'll just leave it at "I don't like it" then. It doesn't bother me to see adults riding without a lid. I imagine it would bother me to see a young child out on the open road doing the same.

Bear; I've got a question for ya; what are IL's laws for car seats and booster seats? Reason I ask if I have a niece whose 7 but small for her age and still has to have a booster seat under MO law, so; even if the law allowed her to legally ride the bike; could she ride without a booster seat? Are motorcycles somehow exempt from those sorts of requirements? Just curious here. I just thought of that.
Hey, Great question! (Insert puzzled look here.) I'll hit the book and get back to the group. Knowing IL politicians, I bet they too never thought of an exception for bikes! Gee. Does that mean that I can ticket bikers with kids, on bikes, without car seats? Scary thought. I'll be back in a bit...
 

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I wear a full face helment, sun/clear glasses, and leather gear. Why, because I want to not because the law tells me too. I don't like the idea of laws telling us what do when the only person it harms is your self. I agree with Romans with the shield/glasses because that can cause you to loose control and hurt someone else if you get hit in the eye by rock/bug or what ever. It feel the same about seat belt laws. But I guess you would still have the person who things they need to armor-all their vinyl bench seat and not wear one while sticking a horse shoe curve at a high speed.

Oh and on child seat laws. They are a good thing and if there were not any laws on it my daughter would still be in one because I have seen first hand one a poorly placed seat belt can do it people. It's not pretty.
 

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Under Act 25 (Child Passenger Protection Act), IL 625 ILCS 25/4a, 25.3 "Definitions. The terms "highway", "motor vehicle", "owner", "police officer", "recreational vehicle", "roadway", and "street" as used in this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, have the meaning ascribed to them in The Illinois Vehicle Code, as now or hereafter amended(1) . For the purpose of this Act, "motor vehicle" does not include motorcycles." P.A. 83-8 & 3, eff. July 1, 1983. (1) 625 ILCS 5/1-100 et seq.

So that means that Child Seats and Booster Seats are not required on motorcycles as they are exempt by definition. (I think I need reading glasses. The ILCS is in the tinyest font, that I think, can be printed!) So in effect if you don't have a child safety seat, in IL, you can just haul them around on your bike. No age, no size restrictions. No safety equipment required. Being exempt as a motor vehicle, per this act, then they may not even need safety glasses. Wouldn't want to fight that in court though. (Loophole?) As I said before, knowing IL lawmakers, this is screwy and not well thought out.
 

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Check your state laws. My brother in law has road my niece through the yard for a couple years and is now riding with him on the streets, she is now 7 years old. Take it slow to see how your child reacts to different movements of the bike, leans and stopping starting. When you do decide to let her ride, keep them short at 1st, through your neighbor hood for example.
 
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