How old should a kid be to be a pillion? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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How old should a kid be to be a pillion?

Hi

My niece and nephews (boy 3, girl 4, boy 5) all enjoy sitting on the V when I visit.

How old should they be before;

a) I take them for a ride up and down the quiet street on the back of the V wearing their bicycle helmets? or

b) I take them to school, wearing a proper motorcycle helmet?

On that note how small a helmet can you get?

I have a large Givi top box with a back rest.

Although I have had Miss Jaffa (Burnt Orange 2007 Versys) for a while, I still have a lot to learn.


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 11:50 PM
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To me, that seems kind of young. My 10 year old son has been riding with me since he was 8. At age 8, he was able to safely reach the pegs and hold onto me on the back of my Yamaha cruiser. I also have a top case on my V and he rides with me all the time. When he was 8, I was able to get a Youth motocross helmet that was light enough that he could wear it and not be overwhelmed by the weight of the helmet. That being said, my daughter is now 8 years old but is not the same size as he was at that age. I have been able to put her on my Yamaha safely for rides in the cul de sac, but chances are it will be atleast next summer before she is big enough to fit safely into proper riding gear so we can venture out of the cul de sac.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 11:55 PM
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Old enough to know to hold on tight, not let go, not get spazzed if a fly hits their helmet, etc. Maybe old enough to ride their own bicycle and to comprehend how it works without training wheels.

Each child is different. I would love to strap my 3 year old niece to the back of the bike (she is 3.5' tall now) so her size isn't too bad but there is no maturity or understanding. I will wait until she is at least in her double digits.

I know that I was taken in a sidecar rig many times as a child and the youngest age I can remember being in it was 5 with an adult and then age 6 or 7 by myself. On the back, I think I was 9 or 10, though my grandfather really complained later about how I didn't understand about looking and leaning in curves. (Still have the same problem 20 years later! )

Most important thing is safety and this of course is my opinion, but that kid would have all the safety gear and then some! Espeically Element's recommended airbag.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 12:06 AM
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When my oldest boy was 6 took him to school on back of a 250cc road bike I had at the time, teachers were not impressed as i did take him out on the open road as school was just outside city limits, looking back was a bit young but still think there is to much PC in todays life. If the parents are happy with it and take them for a safe granny type of ride and keep them safe it should not be a problem
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 12:08 AM
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Just did a google search and came up with these. I didn't read it all but one thing that also came up was age limits. Might want to check if there is an age limit where you live for children to ride as a passenger.

http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/str...ids/index.html

http://www.whybike.com/motorcycle92.htm

Edit: Just had another thought...some people say that when the childs legs can reach the footpegs...they do sell lowering kits for the passenger footpegs...then again, they sell highering kits too.

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Last edited by bill_milstead; 09-03-2010 at 12:13 AM.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 12:25 AM
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This is a great question. I think it depends totally on the kid and where you ride. I started taking my son around the block when he was six after I found a youth helmet that fit and he could reach the pegs. Now he is nine, I'll take him on short hops on back roads on Sundays keeping the speed down. He has a leather jacket and wears his mom's gloves. My dumb brother on the other hand rides with his five-old son sitting on the tank of his Dyna-Glide. The funny thing is he's a pediatric PA.

I mostly am concerned about being hit by other traffic with him on the bike and try to minimize the risk as much as I can. Of course my love of motorcycles came at about the same age riding with my grandpa on a Honda CB350. I also think it is important that kids learn safe riding early on to minimize making poor choices with friends later on.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 02:32 AM
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It great having my kid riding with/behind me.
Used to ride behind my dad many years ago. Used to hold on tight round his tummy.

As protective gear for our kids:
1, Helmet with hard visor
2. Long sleeve jacket
3. Long pants (jeans preferred)
4. Proper shoes.
5. Buddy belt would be super: http://www.buddybelt.com/

http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/str...ids/index.html

Regardless of what I/my kid has on, I ride like a snail when he's onboard.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 06:07 AM
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Its really up to you the parents and how mature the child is. As stated they need to understand how to hold on and pay attention. I take my daughter now 8 on my ATV, I been doing that since she was about 5. I have one of those big seat/ storage boxes she sits in and is contained with in it on three sides. I also stay on the flat open trails...nothing too technical.

However I haven't taken her on the motorcycle. Mainly because the danger factor is much higher, considering the higher speed and the ease she could fall off.
I personally don't feel she is ready to ride with me even the short distance to school. I do see a couple of other parents drop off their kids on their cruisers.

Keep in m ind riding a motorcycle is dangerous, its a risk I accept for myself I am nit sure I am willing to accept it for my daughter or any other child that can't weigh the consequences of a crash. I am sure the parents must have an opinion on you giving rides...
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 06:46 AM
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I doubt if small or big children can make an informed decision on these matters.

I will never take a passenger as its a risky business and I cant put them at risk , let it be your kid or mine for the matter.

When time is right for them to ride share your riding experience with them and that will be beneficial to all.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_milstead View Post
Maybe old enough to ride their own bicycle and to comprehend how it works without training wheels.
This was one of my requirements with my daughter. Also she had to be able to touch the footpegs will sitting on the bike and not stretching to reach them. It's not an age thing so much as a physical and metal ability to appreciate what's involved as a rider, same as with any pillion of any age. My kid reached that threshold during winter so we were able to take some time getting her geared up for when riding season arrived. We took it seriously but made sure it was fun (first ride was to get ice cream).


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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 08:43 AM
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Watch it. No matter how much you tell kids to hold on, some kids like to hold their arms out like they're flying. You'll know when they do this when you get a pair of shoes in your arm pits. Gets real interesting at that point. Don't ask me how I know.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 08:48 AM
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They need to be tall enough for their feet to sit firmly on the foot pegs. This is a law in many states.

And get them proper helmets.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 09:40 AM
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Riding a motorcycle or being a passenger requires a person to accept certain risks. Yes, it's possible I'll lose control of the bike. Yes it's possible I could be rear-ended at a stop sign. Yes it's possible somebody will pull out in front of me and I will be involved in a collision. Yes it's possible when I get on my bike and leave for work, I may never come home. These are all decision adults are capable of making. What child is capable of making the decision to risk his/her life for a ride on a motorcycle ? Is it not the parents making that choice for the child ? We've seen the results to motorcycle and rider after all of these incidents. There is currently one of our forum members in a nursing home recovering from severe injuries. As parents, are we ready to put our children at risk and make life-altering decisions in their stead ? Sure we make life-altering decisions that are in their best interests all the time, but is being a passenger on a motorcycle in their best interests ?

I'm certainly not judging anybody that puts their kid on a bike. My dad did it and I turned out OK. Most riders ride incident-free their entire lives. I am just putting it out there to remind everybody that we're accepting certain risks for our children, that at the appropriate age for them to be capable of understanding the risks, they may choose not to accept.

Regardless, ride safe.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 10:07 AM
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Automobile accidents are the lead accidental deaths among children. (and adults for that matter)
Yet I bet not a single parent on this forum hesitates to put their child in a car.

How many parents on this forum have a pool at their residence?
Drowning is the number two accidental death for children.


Parents make many seemingly simple decisions everyday that could lead to the death of their children. Adding a motorcycle ride to mix isn't going to be an automatic death sentence.

BTW - Parents ARE the legal decision maker for children.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 03:56 PM
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I wouldn't ride anywhere in traffic with a child on the bike. I had my wake up call on a back street.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 04:24 PM
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Automobile accidents are the lead accidental deaths among children. (and adults for that matter) Yet I bet not a single parent on this forum hesitates to put their child in a car.

Adding a motorcycle ride to mix isn't going to be an automatic death sentence.
Agreed. We all put our kids in the car with little thought to the danger.

I have been riding my daughter on the back for a little over a year now. These are great times we have together. She is just shy of 9 years old. She has DOT full face helmet, Jacket, Gloves, Jeans minimum. Her feet easily reach the pegs. I highly suggest a good backrest so they don't fly off the back. We only go out for 20 minute or shorter rides. She sometimes gets sleepy if longer.

Don't get me wrong, I am not ignoring the danger. I have been riding for 23 years and my experience pushes our odds to my favor. I know that external factors can change the course of our lives in a flash, but I refuse to sit home and not live life to the fullest.

I completely respect those who do, and chose not to let their kids ride. Its a personal choice and I see the benefits of both sides of the argument.

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 10:15 PM
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I rode with my boys (one at a time) from when they were around 3 or 4. I took some seat-belt webbing (maybe 24"...?) and had loops sewn into each end so their feet would fit in the loop; looped it over the rear of the gas tank and slid it down between the tank and the seat so the loops stuck out on each side. I then had him sit on the seat IN FRONT OF ME with his feet in the loops (now he can support his weight rather than having his weight on his crotch) and my arms surrounding him. They had a choice of either holding the bars or, settling back, and putting each hand onto my respective forearm. They were in FULL gear (MX stuff from THEIR bikes...) and the helmet was well below my line-of-sight.
The one time I ran into a problem (imagine THIS if he was behind...) was coming back from watching a race and my older boy started dropping into a sleep. My arms contained him, and I pulled over and attached a scarf around him and me, and he slept the rest of the way home.
This worked for me....

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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 10:25 PM
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If you guys think that putting your child, strapped in to a car seat in your automobile is the same risk as putting them on the back of a motorcycle, your deluding yourselves. Transporting your child in an automobile is a necessity. I do think of the danger, that's why my daughter is always buckled in properly. If you choose to ride with your child that's your business. I don't think I could live with myself if I was in an accident, and had to deal with seeing her seriously injured or killed knowing it was my fault...
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offcamber View Post
If you guys think that putting your child, strapped in to a car seat in your automobile is the same risk as putting them on the back of a motorcycle, your deluding yourselves. Transporting your child in an automobile is a necessity. I do think of the danger, that's why my daughter is always buckled in properly. If you choose to ride with your child that's your business. I don't think I could live with myself if I was in an accident, and had to deal with seeing her seriously injured or killed knowing it was my fault...
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