Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Oxnard, CA, USA
I have 3 - oldest 2 are boys (13 & 11) and a girl (9). The first time they were exposed to motorcycles was when they were 8, 6, and 4. At the time I only had an '87 Ninja. Two rules - they had to be able to reach the footpegs, and of course they had to WANT to go for a ride.
It was funny because the oldest boy didn't want to go at first. It was only after the middle boy got his ride that changed the oldest's mind about going. Sabrina always wanted to go but she couldn't reach the pegs until she was 5.
At the time we lived in Oregon, so there were some nice back roads just outside of our neighborhood so we never had to really go into traffic to go for a ride.
At first, we'd just cruise around the neighborhood, but as they got used to the bike, and could demonstrate they could handle more we'd go for longer and faster rides.
What I remember most was the first time we had to go in some traffic. This seemed to make the biggest impression on the oldest boy, who commented that it was "different" than those back country roads.
I never pushed them, and always told them if they wanted me to stop to tap my leg. I also instructed them on how to brace themselves in case we had to stop suddenly, and to keep their head on the side that we're turning to.
Now, 6 years later, I have 3 young motorcyclists, and they all love the LT! I still have not taken Sabrina on the freeway, but both boys have been and don't mind it at all.
For gear: helmets, gloves, hiking boots, jeans....they boys can fit into my wife's leathers, although the oldest is getting too big for the jacket and will be getting his own gear this season. And, that's part of the reason why Sabrina hasn't been on the freeway yet - no heavy duty gear that fits.
Also, just to see how they'd do on their own, this past Thanksgiving we all rented ATV's at Pismo Beach and had a blast!
So, I'd say if they can reach the pegs and want to go, take them for a short ride and work up from there.
Good luck, and if you'd think it would help for your wife to speak with mine let me know....
2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200S - Red
2007 R1200S - Black - Sold
2003 K1200LTC - Silver - Sold
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