Things to Know About Having Child Passengers on a Motorcycle
Many parents are very concerned about the prospect of taking children on a motorcycle or quad bike. However, there is no law against having child passengers. If you are interested and want to share your love for the road on your bike, make sure you know how to make this a safe and fun experience for everyone. Lear about some of the precautions you need to take and the serious issues that can occur if you’re not prepared.
First Thing’s First
Something that might render this entire article moot for you: check with your motorcycle insurance company to make sure that you have the appropriate coverage. With another person on the bike (no matter how big or small) the risk of an accident may increase. Make sure you know the limitations to your coverage as well as any other guidelines your provider may have.
You wouldn’t get on your bike without your safety gear, and the same goes for your child. However, don’t just give them your old helmets and leathers. If you have an accident and you have a ten year old in an adult’s helmet, the helmet will simply fall off and give no protection whatsoever (this can be a problem for adults who don’t ensure their helmet fits perfectly also). Many helmets for children might be ‘off-road’ variants for quad biking, etc., so make sure you buy the appropriate kind and make sure there’s maximum protection in the event of a mishap. Don’t buy a larger size than they actually need so that they will “grow into it.” If you want to take your child on the bike, buy new equipment as needed to secure a proper fit and provide the right protection. When it comes to jackets, always buy one made for the purpose of being ridden on motorcycles, otherwise you’re taking an unnecessary risk.
Don’t put kids in front of you on a bike as they can easily fiddle with the controls and do some serious damage. You need to put your kid on the back. The problem is that you can’t control them, they might fall off the back or sides, they might not hold on properly, and many more issues. You need to judge whether your child will listen to what you teach them about safety before hitting the road. This step is about trust; however there are belts which can be bought to ensure your child stays with you.
Take it Slow
If you’re not yet comfortable taking your child on the open road, consider a deserted stretch of road or car park. You can demonstrate what you’ve been teaching them about motorcycle safety in a more controlled environment. It is important that your child fully understands the consequences of recklessness on the road.
Sharing your love for the open road (or field) on your motorcycle can be a wonderful thing. That being said, it’s crucial that safety is your top priority. Instil good habits with your children and let to good times ride.