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Helping Your Kids Learn to Love Cycling Early

Most parents, the adventurous ones included, may consider motorcycles intimidating and want their kids to avoid them. Despite motorcycles’ dubious reputations, they can be fun and kids can learn to use them responsibly if acclimated early. At Sinclair Law, we see plenty of bikers every day, including those who’ve gone on to become more confident after accidents. Today, we’ll show you how to acclimate your child to a bike so he or she can enjoy it.

Know Your Child

The question “How young is too young?” seems to have no set answer. In fact, Harley-Davidson’s motorcycle tech Jake Herring claims he was “zipped up in [his] old man’s leathers and cruising around Southern California” two days after his birth. While this is probably exaggerated, motorcycles can be made for toddlers and preschoolers now. Yet, this doesn’t mean kids that young should be riding.

Know your child’s temperament; if he or she is naturally timid or fears heights, he or she might not want to ride. Be careful with rules like, “You can ride when you can reach the foot pegs.” That standard is different on every bike. Always make sure your child wears proper safety gear, and consider sidecars or other restraints for your youngest passengers.

Set an Example

Always wear your safety gear when riding, and invest in children’s safety gear as soon as possible after you decide your child is ready to be a passenger. Insist on a snugly buckled helmet, and make sure the one you choose is DOT-approved; many kids’ helmets are not. Teach your child the importance of good gloves, and go ahead and invest in a leather jacket. Leather jackets aren’t only a fashion statement; they protect your smallest passengers from wind and weather.

Position Properly

Never place a young child in front of you on a motorcycle, or allow them to simply cling to your back. Kids can fall asleep on long rides or easily fall off if you put on the brakes. Invest in one of many child-friendly restraints.