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Thread: Sharing this sport with your children?

  1. #16

    Shared passion

    Five years ago I bought a Honda 650 dual sport with two ideas. Something to ride off-road (I had an 1150RT at the time) and a starter bike for my 17 yr old.

    He took to it like a duck on water. His summer job is at the local BMW shop and he and I have taken trips to Colorado, China, Guatemala an places in between. It's a share passion that we both love.

    This is us at about 14,000' on the Silk Road from China to Pakistan.

    Last edited by rcryan; 11-20-2009 at 09:55 AM. Reason: added image

  2. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Lethbridge, AB
    Motorcycling was not part of the equation when I was young and so I started to ride in my mid 20's. Our kids were 9 and 10 when I got my first BMW and I got them gear and would take them out riding. My son came to the Missoula rally in '84 as a passenger when he was 14 and my daughter rode with me to local events. I got them mini bikes when they were 12/13 which they rode on our acreage with minimal injury but gained lots of great experience. They both took the road riding courses at the local college when they were old enough and both purchased bikes and rode.. he at 17 and her in her 20's. Both were proficient riders. I had the heart stopping experience of watching my son take his first "offroad" adventure. As he was a new rider I had him following me and we were riding well within limits. It had been a long day and it was heat, fatigue and a lack of concentration that took him off the road. I believed him when he told me he was not tired when I really should have stopped for the day. Luckily he only suffered a bruised ego, a few scrapes and scratches and his leather gear was scuffed. It made me wonder if I had made the right choice in letting him ride but he knew what errors were made and we both learned.

    Neither "kid" currently ride or own bikes because of family needs.. both are married with young children and mortgages etc but both hope to own bikes and to ride again. My son has had me take his daughters aged 9 and 11 out for their first riding experience and hopes he can ride with them in the future. My daughters boy is just under 3 and spends as much time as he can around my shop and motorcycles. I'm sure he will get out when he is big enough.

    It was difficult to let our kids get into motorcycling but both had the desire, followed by the appropriate training, good gear and they had shown good common sense in other activities we pursued as a family. It was wonderful to watch them mature as riders and it gave us another activity to pursue together. When I started them skiing I noted that they were watching everything I did on and off the slopes. This brought me to the conclusion that "do as I say and not what I do" was not a realistic expectation especially with with riding and driving. Motorcycling is a dangerous activity... however if you give your them the opportunity to learn properly, you demonstrate good skills/practices and you work with them as they learn their skills you reduce (not eliminate) the risk of serious injury. It's not for everyone but hopefully this gives a little insight and helps with your decision.

  3. #18
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Tampa, FL
    Not having children, I can only read this thread with fascination. I applaud all of you for your conviction and dedication, both to your families and our sport.

    Be Safe. Ride Well...

  4. #19
    You can either be an example to your kids of doing all the risky things you love to do responsibly, or you can be a boring twit of a dad, shelter them from everything mildy dangerous for as long as you can, and then they learn to do all those things from their friends when they're teenagers.

    I'm teaching my kids not only responsible riding, but also how to paddle a canoe, woodsmanship and navigation, how to shoot and handle firearms safely, how to hunt, how to use hand and power tools...

    They will end up making their own mistakes along the way, but my responsibility as a dad is to teach them as much as I can to enable them to become responsible adults. If I can instill some basic skills, understanding, and safety rules in them before they reach their teens and I become too stupid to listen to, then I figure I've given them a better chance of surviving those years where their friends become smarter than me and they learn more from their own mistakes than what I try to teach them.

    Rocketmanli, impressive article from your son a couple months back. Well written for an 11 y.o. Good job, Eric!

  5. #20
    Registered User rocketmanli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Bay Shore, NY
    Thanks for the kudos on Eric's article. He actually entered that story in his local Middle School's essay contest, and won locally, but was beat out regionally by some other kid who entered some sort of artistic photograph. Just on a whim, I submitted his article to Mandy and Vince at ON, and to my friends, Brian and Shira from Backroads magazine. To our delight, they both published it. My son was grinning from ear to ear for months. Its easy for him to write about something he feels so passionate about. From our first rally when he was 8, he's been my best riding buddy for many thousands of miles since. He wears great quality safety gear, some of which was imported from in the UK. His jacket and pants rival my Olympia and TourMaster gear in quality (and in price!). But safety is primary. His riding with me has met with some unfortunate negative comments and publicity, from of all folks, other local BMW riders. But he's my kid, and if I'm safe, I know he'll always be safe. Eventually, he'll be riding solo, and I can only hope that some of the values for riding safe, cameradery and enjoying this beautiful country of ours, will stick with him when he's on his own. He already has great plans of turning 16, and hopping on a GS for an Alaska run; but that's still 4 years away. Boy, they sure grow up quickly! My younger girls (9, 7 and 5) have a great interest in bikes, and Samantha (9) just started crusing locally with me this Summer. She's still a little young (maturity-wise) to do the long trips with me, but she's getting there a little at a time. All in all, its great to share something this enjoyable and unique with my kids, and I only wish my dad and I did this when I was younger. Our relationship might be a lot different today, than it is.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by motorman587 View Post
    Just teach the correct way of motorcycling. Just my opinion...........
    I think that's the most important point right there. I have a 2 year old and a 4 month old and already the elder loves saying "motorcycle!" Any anything that's scary in life - bikes, drugs, or even the birds and bees - it's best to learn it from us. Otherwise if you never address it or try to avoid it who knows what will happen.

    Enjoy your kid no mater what you decide!

  7. #22
    On the Road
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Southern Kalifornia

    Sharing this sport with your children

    My 8 year old granddaughter on her first ride. I pick her up from school, and the boys think it is Sweeeet she gets picked up on a bike. I make her sing "I don't want a pickle..." before I give her a ride.
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  8. #23

    Image added

    [QUOTE=rcryan;513991]Five years ago I bought a Honda 650 dual sport with two ideas. Something to ride off-road (I had an 1150RT at the time) and a starter bike for my 17 yr old.

    He took to it like a duck on water. His summer job is at the local BMW shop and he and I have taken trips to Colorado, China, Guatemala an places in between. It's a share passion that we both love.

    This is us at about 14,000' on the Silk Road from China to Pakistan.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #24
    Thanks to all for your comments, particularly the comments from Richard / pffog.

    Part of what I needed was to hear other parent bikers share their thoughts on this topic. The communal musing is comforting in a way and appreciated. I do see the value in my role as mentoring him through risk reduction (in all aspects of his life); versus the alternative, and fear based, recoiling from life.

    peace and safe riding to all.


  10. #25
    Registered User 119240's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Took my son to Max's Thanksgiving Party today - no other kids there - sad to say.
    But did he get noticed by everyone - It me feel good. He even thanked Max personally - which I think got Max choked up as well. I even got a picture of my son with our new Cities R12RT-P bikes.
    Thank you
    '91 K75S, '06 K1200S
    BMWMOA #119240
    YB # 1463
    NRA #154764753

  11. #26
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Live Free & Ride, NH
    Doh how did I miss Turkey at Maxes? Glad you enjoyed it!
    Gail Hatch
    SheRidesABeemer's Blog
    05 R12GS
    87 K75CT

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