Most of the time motorcyclists are alone on their machines. But sometimes there is a desire or even a need to take children with you. In some cases, children simply want to experience what riding a motorcycle feels like. In other cases, the car is in the workshop, so the idea arises to deliver the offspring to school by motorcycle.
But often the participation in driving lessons is a long time ago, which is why some bikers no longer know whether and under what conditions they are allowed to take a child on the motorcycle. It is important to be aware of this issue. Participation in public traffic with a motorcycle is linked to completely different risks compared to driving a car. Accordingly, several aspects must be taken into account.
Taking a child on a motorcycle – these rules apply
All relevant regulations can be found in the road traffic regulations. By the way, this does not stipulate a minimum age for riding on a motorcycle. Instead, the physical maturity is decisive. In concrete terms, this means: The child must meet certain physical requirements in order to be able to assume a good sitting position, reach the footrests and hold on tightly. Finally, the body size is important.
In general, children should meet these requirements from approximately the advanced age of primary school or older. From an age of approx. Meet eight years of age. For smaller children, there are children's socioseats, which are sometimes also referred to as child seats for motorcycles. They have a backrest for better stabilization. However, the use of such seats is only a compromise, that is, an ideal solution is not offered.
In addition, the motorcycle must also be suitable for taking a child – and this in two respects. First of all, it is crucial that a passenger is allowed on the motorcycle at all. Assuming a bike is designed for only one person, the rest is unnecessary. It is not permitted to move the child seat, for example onto the tank.
If a pillion passenger may be taken along, it must be ensured, especially when riding with children, that footrests and any handholds are easily accessible. Accordingly, some motorcycle models are more suitable for taking children than others.
Taking a child on the motorcycle: children need an introduction
It is not enough to simply put the child on the motorcycle and do a few practice laps before riding off. Children need a detailed briefing so that safe riding is possible. The driver has to teach how the child can hold on and how to lean in curves.
The key here is to get feedback from the child several times to see if they are comfortable with the situation. In addition, it is important to find a way of communication. The child needs to be able to make his or her desire to communicate known while riding, for example by tapping on the rider's back or a thigh.
Remember motorcycle helmet and protective clothing
Even if only a few laps around a block of houses are planned, the wearing of a motorcycle helmet is also indispensable for the passenger. By the way, a bicycle helmet is not enough, because it does not provide sufficient protection in an emergency. Suitable children's helmets are offered in specialized shops. The same applies to protective clothing, which is an issue at the latest when longer motorcycle tours are planned.
Adapt the driving style
Due to their height and strength, children find it much more difficult to cope with the forces acting on them when riding a motorcycle. Especially when accelerating. Brakes have to work much harder in comparison. Similarly, air resistance occurs at the helmet and has to be compensated with the neck.
The driving style must be adjusted accordingly, i.E. You should accelerate and decelerate more carefully. In addition, it is important to approach the task slowly and to obtain feedback again and again so as not to overtax the child.