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  1. #1
    CPS Fanatic mlohry's Avatar
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    Kids on motorcycles

    Not sure where to put this...move if needed.

    Would you allow say a 12 year old on the back of a motorcycle? My FIL has a gold wing and it's come up a couple times that our kids want to ride on it, but they don't have proper helmets so it's never happened.

    Then the other day DH brought up maybe getting himself a motorcycle for commutes back and forth to work in the summer for gas efficiency. We live in WI, most of the commute would be on back country roads, no freeway. IF we get a motorcycle, would you think it's ok to let our kids go for rides on it, of course they would have appropriate youth motorcycle helmets and I would only allow day riding as there are way too many deer around here at night. This is all hypothetical, I've never seen a motorcycle discussion on here.
    Monica-former CPST, now just a car-seat safety freak.
    Samuel, 12 yrs, seat belt middle passenger row of our Odyssey.
    Mitchell, 10yrs, back row, Amp.
    Lucy, 6 years, booster. All of us occasionally ride in a Honda Fit.

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    I would never allow a child of mine (under 18) on a motorcycle at all, no way, no how. But that's just me.

    I spend so much time, effort, and energy making sure they're properly restrained and protected in vehicles with cages, crumple zones, airbags, seatbelts, etc., there's no way I could then put them on a vehicle with absolutely no protection except a helmet.

    If adults want to go ahead and do that, that's their decision, but as long as I have a say over my kids, no no no.

  4. #3
    CPS Fanatic 1mommy's Avatar
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    Re: Kids on motorcycles

    I have fond memories of motorcycle rides from my adult cousin when I was around that age and maybe a bit younger. Me personally I would say short 10 minute trips just for fun around the neighborhood, but really its up to you as a parent and how comfortable you feel.

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member Baylor's Avatar
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    Re: Kids on motorcycles

    Dh got rid of his when we had our last son. There are a lot of men killed here in this area on bikes and that morning he decided a guy had been killed on 95 when a car ran right into the back of him..

    So no. Not me. Maybe if I had private property but no. Not while they are living in my house.
    A five stepper and a booster rider

  6. #5
    Senior Community Member T4K's Avatar
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    Our solution to this issue was to buy a Jeep Wrangler.
    Mama to Baby Girl N - two years old
    Loving Stepmother of wonderful girls, H-9 and S-5

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy sm1982's Avatar
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    My friends parents did ambulance for years and in their house they referred to them as donorcycles because so many riders in accidents were killed. That's alway stuck with me. I've never rid on one myself and I'm not sure I ever want to. So no, I wouldn't let a 12 year-old ride on one. I don't even let my 12 year-old cousin ride shotgun if there's an open seat in the back.

  8. #7
    CPS Fanatic mlohry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LISmama810 View Post
    I would never allow a child of mine (under 18) on a motorcycle at all, no way, no how. But that's just me.

    I spend so much time, effort, and energy making sure they're properly restrained and protected in vehicles with cages, crumple zones, airbags, seatbelts, etc., there's no way I could then put them on a vehicle with absolutely no protection except a helmet.

    If adults want to go ahead and do that, that's their decision, but as long as I have a say over my kids, no no no.
    Really good point, about how we try so hard to protect our kids in the car and buy the "safest" seats and cars. And in motorcycles they get no protection. Point well taken.

    Just a good discussion since I've never seen anyone talk about this.

    How about ATV's? Any opinions there? My kids have been on those, my in laws own 280 acres, so we do allow that. They wear their bike helmets, which is better than nothing like the other grandkids wear. We are VERY conservative driving and there are no roads, just trails. We are buying a house with acres next year so I know we will end up with 4 wheelers. I will be buying proper helmets for them at that time.
    Monica-former CPST, now just a car-seat safety freak.
    Samuel, 12 yrs, seat belt middle passenger row of our Odyssey.
    Mitchell, 10yrs, back row, Amp.
    Lucy, 6 years, booster. All of us occasionally ride in a Honda Fit.

  9. #8
    CPS Fanatic agave's Avatar
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    I completely understand why people ride them but with the exception of 1 2 block ride in college watching my grandpa walk has been enough to keep me off of one. I grew up watching pain in every step and multiple knee surgeries to straighten out his legs. I will gladly let my kids drive the riding lawn mower as soon as they are long enough and have the coordination not to drive it into the pond.
    N - 6/08 51" 59 lbs, Backless Monterey
    E - 11/09 48" 48 lbs, Parkway

  10. #9
    CPS Fanatic jacqui276's Avatar
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    Re: Kids on motorcycles

    I wouldn't let my kids on one, but then again I also won't let DH have one.

    I have personally known 2 people who have died from motorcycle accidents and others with severe injuries. Not worth the risk in my opinion. It scares me to see how dangerously so many people on bikes zip in and out of traffic around here. Even if you are the safest of drivers though, that doesn't mean that everyone else is. I have been in over a dozen accidents that were someone else's fault (many when I was stopped in traffic or at a red light) that would have been much much worse had I not been protected by my car.

    ATVs on private property with careful driving and a helmet, I would consider.

    Jacqui - mom to: DS; 4.5yrs (50lbs, 46", Diono Radian RXT), DD; 12yrs (5'2, 5-stepping)

  11. #10
    SoCalCarSeatMama
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    Re: Kids on motorcycles

    I won't let my kids ride on the back of a motorcycle or drive one until they are legally able to. I have a dad in my 4yo son's preschool class that picks up his daughter frequently with it. In my state it is actually illegal until their feet can touch the foot pegs.

    ATV's are a different story for my family. I grew up riding ATV's and my children will/are too. I live in an area of Southern California where we have a couple sand dunes within driving distance so we spent/spend a good deal of time on winter weekends there. My kids wear riding gear and are taught how to ride and be observant of other riders, just the same way we teach them to ride a bicycle. Every extra curricular activity has risks, but with training and practice the fun you can experience from them far outweighs the minimal risks associated with them.
    Last edited by SoCalCarSeatMama; 05-17-2013 at 02:05 PM.

  12. #11
    CPS Technician gsdguenter's Avatar
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    I won't let my kids on a motorcycle before age 18. No way.


  13. #12
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    Re: Kids on motorcycles

    I think it depends on where you are going for a ride. We live in the country (not just a mintue from town either, out in the middle of nowhere) so my nephews and niece ride on motorcycles and ATV's all over the farm by themselves. They do not ride on highways just the dirt roads.

    So if they are going to be riding with someone else I would probably let them ride as long as it was open country roads that are not well traveled. I would not feel comfortable letting the them ride in any kind of town setting though. I don't think you need to be 18 to ride on a motorcycle either as long as the person who you are riding with is an experienced motorcycle driver.

  14. #13
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    Re: Kids on motorcycles

    I'll play devil's advocate here.

    My mom insisted that I never ride a motorcyle growing up and I did so on several occasions without her knowledge. If you think forcing your kids off motorcycles is completely effective you might be surprised. I would have been safer if I had learned to ride with the proper gear and proper instructions instead of the half-brain-dead instruction of my teenage friends.

    Back to the original question. I think it's a risk-reward thing. You can't eliminate the risks (riding in a car isn't risk-free either), but you can do quite a bit to mitigate the risks. Proper training for the rider, proper helmets, proper attire (this is becoming an expensive ride at this point), and a conservative route at a conservative speed would all be on my list of requirements if it were my child. There's still risk there, but personally I think it sounds like a neat experience for a grandparent/grandchild to share.

    I've ridden enough on motorcycles to know they can kill you and sometimes they try to kill you. I would still get on one again under the right circumstances. On a similar note, we will be packing our children in the car to head for a week of camping this summer knowing full well that we could be killed in an accident, eaten by a bear, etc... We'll mitigate the risks the best we can, but we'll have fun too.

  15. #14
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    My son rides on a motorcycle with my dh. I'll be honest, it terrifies me. I've never been quite comfortable with motorcycles, but I know how to operate one and ride on the back of dh's sometimes. The bike is a big part of who my dh is and he loves being able to share that with ds. He doesn't take ds on the highway and sticks to roads with low speed limits. My dh is an excellent rider and acts with great caution when ds is with him, and is very knowledgeable about evasive maneuvers. I'm confident in dh's skill, it's the other drivers on the road that I worry about.

    For *my* comfort, I would consider letting a 15-16yo ride passenger with an experienced rider.

    P. S. I really hope I don't get attacked now lol

  16. #15
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    For those who would allow it, I have a question. And it's a sincere question, I swear. I'm not trying to be snarky at all--I really feel like there's something I'm not seeing.

    If you're comfortable letting your kids ride on a motorcycle, would you also be ok with him/her riding the same roads in a car, unrestrained, wearing nothing but a helmet? (Well, and other clothes )

  17. #16
    SoCalCarSeatMama
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    Re: Kids on motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by LISmama810 View Post
    For those who would allow it, I have a question. And it's a sincere question, I swear. I'm not trying to be snarky at all--I really feel like there's something I'm not seeing.

    If you're comfortable letting your kids ride on a motorcycle, would you also be ok with him/her riding the same roads in a car, unrestrained, wearing nothing but a helmet? (Well, and other clothes )
    I won't let my kids ride on one until they can legally (which will be around 16-18), but to answer your question, no I wouldn't let them ride unrestrained in a car. But you can't compare that scenario to riding without a seat belt on a motorcycle. There is a very good reason why motorcycles do not have seat belts or restraining devices. You don't want to be strapped to it in any way if you were ever to have something happen. Riders are taught how to lay down their bikes if it ever becomes needed (and if they have enough time to think and act). There is risk in everything. Some people choose to be riskier than others, but it doesn't mean that it is unsafe, just less safe than riding in a car. FWIW I refuse to ride passenger on a motorcycle. If I can't ride my own then I won't ride at all....which is why my husband still doesn't own a bike, because we can't afford two of them!

    http://www.physicsclassroom.com/mmedia/newtlaws/mb.cfm

  18. #17
    Carseat Crazy julia94115's Avatar
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    Re: Kids on motorcycles

    I have been going back and forth on this subject for a year. When DD started K last year we needed a way for DH to get her there because I take the car in the early morning.

    DH rides a scooter to/from work. DD's school is approx 1 mile from home. We ended up having to buy a new car for this stupid little tiny way to school because I was just not comfortable having her on the scooter. Her feet touch the foot pegs, the streets are all short blocks with stops at each corner. Meanwhile the car sits all day, all weekend and only gets used to get her to school in the morning.

    DH is Italian- (born, raised and has been in the US for just a few years.) and has been on scooter since before he could walk. When we're there (in Italy), we're all three on scooters, all over the place.

    The amount of money we are spending is ridiculous. The gas mileage on this little car is insane because the car never gets fully warmed up and used. Insurance is costly. It's really silly.

    So, still....I am unsure....
    DD- Oct 2007

  19. #18
    Carseat Crazy
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    There is no way I would let my child on a motorcycle. Even if the motorcycle driver is exceptionally careful....it is the other drivers I would worry about. This hits close to home though. My father was riding his motorcycle in April of my sr. year of HS. An older man didn't see him when turning out of a parking lot and turned right into my Dad. He was thrown from the bike....totalled the Harley....cracked his helmet and ruined his leg. He had his pelvis screwed back together and had a rod with screws attached to his leg after a fasciatomy to let swelling go down. Swelling didn't go down enough to properly close up his leg so they skin grafted the sides. He was in a wheelchair for awhile then had a knee replacement done. It wasn't a typical replacement and he doesn't get a full range of motion. After a long time with a walker and physical therapy, he walks but is in pain everyday. He wears compression socks on both legs to keep the swelling down in his leg and foot and because people seem to get offended by the sight of his grafted leg because you can see the muscles on both sides. He never complains about it which always amazes me, but he is just an amazingly strong man.

    Dr. told him he would need a hip replacement within 10 years at most and it has now been 14. His orthopedist says he should hold our on the surgery a bit longer as it will be a lengthy, complicated surgery because of the screws and plates in there. No guarantee he will be able to walk again if replacement doesn't go well. So his hip is basically starting to come apart and he is using a cane. He is scared to have the surgery because he now has type 2 diabetes which complicates everything.

    The accident completely changed his quality of life. He has trouble with stairs, cannot climb a ladder, etc. Prior to the accident he was an avid scuba diver, weight lifter, and deer hunter. He hasn't hunted or gone diving sincere accident and his mobility issues make exercise harder. Golf aggravates his hip as well.

    So....nope, no motorcycles for anyone in this house. Just too exposed on a motorcycle. I'm so very thankful that my Dad wasn't killed that day.

  20. #19
    SoCalCarSeatMama
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    Re: Kids on motorcycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Carolinadaisy View Post
    There is no way I would let my child on a motorcycle. Even if the motorcycle driver is exceptionally careful....it is the other drivers I would worry about. This hits close to home though. My father was riding his motorcycle in April of my sr. year of HS. An older man didn't see him when turning out of a parking lot and turned right into my Dad. He was thrown from the bike....totalled the Harley....cracked his helmet and ruined his leg. He had his pelvis screwed back together and had a rod with screws attached to his leg after a fasciatomy to let swelling go down. Swelling didn't go down enough to properly close up his leg so they skin grafted the sides. He was in a wheelchair for awhile then had a knee replacement done. It wasn't a typical replacement and he doesn't get a full range of motion. After a long time with a walker and physical therapy, he walks but is in pain everyday. He wears compression socks on both legs to keep the swelling down in his leg and foot and because people seem to get offended by the sight of his grafted leg because you can see the muscles on both sides. He never complains about it which always amazes me, but he is just an amazingly strong man.

    Dr. told him he would need a hip replacement within 10 years at most and it has now been 14. His orthopedist says he should hold our on the surgery a bit longer as it will be a lengthy, complicated surgery because of the screws and plates in there. No guarantee he will be able to walk again if replacement doesn't go well. So his hip is basically starting to come apart and he is using a cane. He is scared to have the surgery because he now has type 2 diabetes which complicates everything.

    The accident completely changed his quality of life. He has trouble with stairs, cannot climb a ladder, etc. Prior to the accident he was an avid scuba diver, weight lifter, and deer hunter. He hasn't hunted or gone diving sincere accident and his mobility issues make exercise harder. Golf aggravates his hip as well.

    So....nope, no motorcycles for anyone in this house. Just too exposed on a motorcycle. I'm so very thankful that my Dad wasn't killed that day.
    Life altering accidents happen in cars, on motorcycles, buses, trains, planes, on bicycles, and people just walking down a street. Obviously we are all on this site because we are safety minded, but when does it become too much? One of my best friends died on a wave runner when she was younger but I still go to the lake with my children. My other best friend nearly died in a car accident and I was by her side for the months of recovery it took her. I still get in a car. The risks are everywhere. I try to minimize them where I can but I refuse to live my life in fear. Just my . I don't think anyone is wrong here (except the dude at my son's school that sticks his 4yo on his bike with a bicycle helmet...that's wrong!) and this is one of those areas that there will always be a great deal of differences in.

  21. #20
    Carseat Crazy newyorkDOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julia94115 View Post
    I have been going back and forth on this subject for a year. When DD started K last year we needed a way for DH to get her there because I take the car in the early morning.

    DH rides a scooter to/from work. DD's school is approx 1 mile from home. We ended up having to buy a new car for this stupid little tiny way to school because I was just not comfortable having her on the scooter. Her feet touch the foot pegs, the streets are all short blocks with stops at each corner. Meanwhile the car sits all day, all weekend and only gets used to get her to school in the morning.

    DH is Italian- (born, raised and has been in the US for just a few years.) and has been on scooter since before he could walk. When we're there (in Italy), we're all three on scooters, all over the place.

    The amount of money we are spending is ridiculous. The gas mileage on this little car is insane because the car never gets fully warmed up and used. Insurance is costly. It's really silly.

    So, still....I am unsure....
    This is funny bc as you all know we live in Italy and DH does the school run Wednesday mornings. He had the nerve to ask me if he could bring DD on the scooter (it's 250 cc). Parking is near impossible around the school and there's no drive-up drop-off set-up. I believe it is illegal here until age 11 as a passenger but 14 year olds can and do own 50 CC like a Vespa. They are required to take drivers Ed to get the scooter license.

    I don't know when I'll feel ok with get riding as a passenger. Not before it's legal (though you see it often and cops don't even know/care that its illegal). When she does she will have a proper helmet and jacket with various protective gear in it.
    Mom to Caterina born January 12, 2009 and FF in a TWE and Julian born September 6, 2012 and RF in a Varioguard

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