How To Coach Your Kids To Ride A Motorcycle

How To Coach Your Kids To Ride A Motorcycle

Posted by Team Motorcycle on Jun 26th 2016

We love riding motorcycle, that's a given. And what we would love even more is if our offsprings would love to ride as well. Many parents dream of going riding with their children. And many do... but....!

There is one major “but” in the story. Never, ever, force your child to ride!!! The idea MUST come from them. No prodding, no hints, no promises. The child must “beg” to go riding themselves. And once they do want to ride, you will need to pay attention.

Having kids learn to ride at a young age is very good, if not excellent, but you must follow the rules, if not your kids will learn bad habits that can get them killed.

Many parents are scared that their child will get hurt, or even get killed. But if you do things right, the risk is minimized. A few years ago, I interviewed a 12 year old kid that is climbing the racing ladder. He is showing a lot of potential to become a world-class racer, and he started racing at the “ripe” age of 4. When I asked him about his accidents, he said he had broken both his arms, and one of his legs, a collarbone and some ribs. That is all! And then he grinned, and said “but none of this was on a motorcycle, all of it was on a bicycle”.

In other words, it was far more dangerous for him to be riding a bicycle than a motorcycle. Riding a bicycle meant he was on his own doing things kids do, while riding a motorcycle, meant he was coached and followed by specialists.

Now to the coaching part. If at all possible, don't coach you kid yourself. Like coaching your spouse, it's far more difficult to get accepted. If at all possible, get a professional to teach your kid. But that is not always possible, particularly if you just want to do some simple riding on a child's motorcycle.

Here are some simple tips to help you coach your kid:

1. Never, EVER loose your patience. Your kids must have fun, if not they will not like riding. Patience, keep your emotions in check, unless the emotions are positive (like cheering, or giving them a “attaboy”).

2. If ever there was a real need to properly gear up a rider, it's for kids. Even a little innocent tumble can have life-long effects on the kids. Get a child's helmet, jacket, boots and preferably trousers – all with armor. Have a look here to see what's available.

  3. Don't stand behind them giving instructions. You will have no idea if the kid is listening. Go down on your knees, in front of the bike, and explain/coach/tell. This way you are looking them straight in the eyes, and you can gauge their reactions. Being down at their level, gives them a more comfortable feeling.

4.  KISS! Keep It Simple. Don't over-explain, don't go technical on them. Simple words, simple explanations will do the trick. You really don't need to impress them with your knowledge. It's a given that you know more.

5. Don't expect your kid to get on a motorcycle and ride like a champion. It takes time to get to grips with riding, so don't expect too much.

  6. Take them to a place where there is no traffic, typically a parking lot that is closed for business, and on a road with no through traffic. You do not want to be spending a lot of time looking to see if there are any cars coming since you need to concentrate on your kid.

Once your kid has shown a real love for riding, then maybe you should start thinking about the next steps: racing. Many racing clubs cater to children. The younger they are, the better it will be. You can try going off-road, or on a circuit. Find the right club close to you, and take it from there.

And who knows, maybe when they reach their mid-teenage years, you have the next Valentino Rossi or Marc Marquez on your hands. They both started racing when they were 4 years old.