Protect Young Children On Motorcycles

I am sure you don’t think too much about this one. At what age a child should be able to ride as a passenger on a motorcycle and what mandatory equipment should he be equipped with? Why is it that a 6-year-old is allowed to ride on a motorcycle, but the same 6-year-old is legally required to be in a car seat and buckled in while riding in mom’s minivan? Most states currently have no age limit requirement for children riding as passengers on motorcycles. But all states require a minimum age and a minimum weight to ride in a car without a car seat. Even though national agencies specializing in safety recommend children under 16 do not ride as passengers on motorcycles, there is no law preventing babies and children too young to be out of a car seat from riding on motorcycles, which have no similar safety restraints. Since the motorcycle does not have seat belts, the law no longer applies. Like me, especially in bike rallies and parades, you have seen parents endangering the life of babies and very young children who don’t have the strength to hold to the riding parent. I think that the legislature should care more about this than worrying about the fact that we could have modified our engines, carburetors and exhausts. As a biker and parent, what do you think?  

48 Responses to “Protect Young Children On Motorcycles”

  1. 1 Jun 18th, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Cyril, you raise an EXCELLENT point. I have to admit, i’ve not spent anytime thinking about this type of lapse…but it makes perfect sense. Just like you, i’ve seen countless kids holding on for dear life while their parent either blasts off from a stop sign or knee slide around a back road. While we hate to advocate “legistlation” or getting the Govt involved in our business more than they have to, this is one point that needs to be addressed. Wonder if there are any statistics out there with AMA or others on passenger deaths and ages? Thanks for reminding everyone that it’s not just us that’s riding!
    Guilty Customs

  2. 2 Glenn Jun 18th, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    A law was proposed in Tennessee making it illegal for any child under the age of 11 to ride on a motorcycle. That was shot down in committee before it was ever put up for a vote. ABATE published statistics that if I remember correctly stated that in the last 10 years only 2 children died and one of those was questionable in that it was unclear that the child was actually on the bike.

    My son grew up on the back of my bike. I don’t want any more legislation from the safety whackos, state or federal. Everytime something like this gets legislated a little more of our freedoms and rights go away. States have laws on the books that state a passenger must be big enough to reach the passenger pegs or footrest. It is and always has been illegal for toddlers and really small children to ride. That’s enough.

  3. 3 John Jun 19th, 2007 at 12:25 am

    That’s a pretty interesting stat about just two children dying….

    Yep, you’re right- there are already laws on the books to address this- more legislation is purely about politicians grandstanding;

    It’s a less-than-clever attempt to back-door in helmet legislation, I think- first the kids, then the kids will need helmets, then if the kids need helmets, blah blah……

    Just be happy with our organ donation program, and leave us alone already…(!)

  4. 4 Jun 19th, 2007 at 8:57 am

    yeah, right…everything is a conspiracy theory to keep us down. How come we always default to that conspiracy mindset when issues are brought up like this? maybe it’s just common sense issues we need to deal with and stop looking for boogy men under the bed…

  5. 5 Jun 19th, 2007 at 9:02 am

    I started riding at 9 years old. Seat belts weren’t required in cars nor helmets on motorcycles. I live in a helmet free state for adults. The biggest problem with all “protective” or “nanny” legislation is that it allows the state or federal government to assume a form of parental or familial responsibility. Rather than hold individuals or families accountable for themselves or their children, the state steps in and says we will take your money and or put you in prison for not doing this or that. The people that choose to ride have to toughen up up and take their bruises and broken bones when they crash. If there was a law broken by the driver of another vehicle that maimed or killed the motorcyclist, they should be held fully accountable. There is no room for blindness on the road using the excuse of “I didn’t see ’em”. Now,48 years of saddle time has not changed my perspective of this at all.

  6. 6 Chris Monrovi Jun 19th, 2007 at 9:35 am

    I don’t think Cyril was requiring more legislation but more responsibility from the parents. The sight of a 2 years old in the back or even held in front of the rider who ride with one hand and hold the child with the other is very scary. I saw this in parades. And as any insurance company will tell you, parades are dangerous rides. Irresponsibility can be found anyywhere, including among bikers.

  7. 7 Jun 19th, 2007 at 10:11 am


    I certainly did not see Cyril advocating more legislation.

    The problem amongst bikers is that we are very complacent when it comes to policing our own. Oft times, the current riders are just too “politically correct” to stand up for what is really right. They won’t tell someone that they ride poorly or dangerously. As a result of this timid inaction, we, as an entire community must bear the brunt of lost liberties.

  8. 8 chesshirecat Jun 19th, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Goldiron…you didn’t see Cyril advocating more legislation?
    I do…here’s the quote…”I think that the legislature should care more about this than worrying about the fact that we could have modified our engines, carburetors and exhausts.”

    While he hasn’t come right out and said…”We need our congressmen and lawmakers to make LAWS….” He has said they need to do something besides look at HIS end of the buisness…so now he is giving them something to look at.

    In every state I have lived in there is a law as stated above, the passenger MUST be able to reach the foot pegs in order to ride.
    I was one of those irresponcable parents who raised her daughter on a motorcycle. I bungeed her to my waist. I was a lucky parent…and she was a lucky kid…we never got hurt, stopped by the law, or questioned about it. I could of lost her in an accident…God knows what I was thinking. (This was 30 years ago.) There were circumstances that I choose to use as my excuse…and I was lucky those excuses didn’t kill her.

    One thing that can not be used as an excuse today though…is…
    “I never thought about it.” Today, the health and wellfare of our children is ever paramount in our minds…do to expanded awareness of safety issues. We worry about our kids in cars, our kids walking to school…our kids at home alone…if you haven’t thought about your kid as a passenger on a motorcycle…then why not? I have a 9 year old grandson…who has yet to ride with me …and won’t till he is tall enough to balance himself by reaching the foot pegs set at the length the factory has perscribed for my bike.

    I was part of the problem…and I don’t condon people who ride their kids as passengers…I have talked to people I have seen riding their kids around on bikes…who cares what they say back to me at first thought? On second thought…they know I’m right.

    I don’t want anymore laws telling me I can’t do this or that…just inforce the laws we have. See a kid riding with his parent on a bike? Feet don’t reach the pegs? Cop should stop him, ticket him…and call someone to pick up the kid from the stopped location…oneone in a car.

    No more laws to enforce the laws we already have. Just enforce em…that should be good nuff.

  9. 9 Jun 19th, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    I think that if you have read him (Cyril) clearly, you may notice that he understands that we have more than enough laws. What he is asking for from the legislators is the teeth for the courts within the existing laws to take a big bite out of the rear ends of irresponsible idiots.

  10. 10 Chris Monrovi Jun 19th, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks, Goldiron. You got it (and him) right!

  11. 11 chesshirecat Jun 19th, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Perhaps…yes…what he wrote could be interpreted that way. It certainly is not clear…not to me…and not to others I have shown this thread to. But you have made your case…and I will concede to your point of view (and interpretation.)

    I am not backing up…nor wavering from how I read what he has written…just giving room to others with a differient inerpretation.

  12. 12 Jun 19th, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    To make things clear, I dislike administration and doesn’t require more legislation. I am not looking for more, but for less. And for this, bikers should act such a way that they don’t endanger the life of their own very young children by taking them on their motorcycles when these kids are unable to hold by themselves and reach the pegs. It was a call for parents responsibility, not for extra legislation.

  13. 13 John Jun 19th, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    “yeah, right…everything is a conspiracy theory to keep us down. How come we always default to that conspiracy mindset when issues are brought up like this? maybe it’s just common sense issues we need to deal with and stop looking for boogy men under the bed… ”

    Hmm…. While it’s clear that you missed my point, “Warden”, you do raise an interesting point of your own….

    So if what you say is true, we should accept what we are told at face value, eh? Always assume the powers to be are benevolent? Hmmm- your point is rather Marxist, actually….

    How bout “Guilty, Comrade!” choppers? C’mon- unique, you gotta admit….
    “Party Leader” is WAY cooler than “Warden”!

  14. 14 chesshirecat Jun 19th, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    OK…I just went to a website…checked the laws regarding riding passengers. Guess what? In the state of TN. the only restriction regarding passengers and foot pegs is that the bike MUST be equipped with them. Nothing regarding the passenger being able to reach them…(although common sense dictates that…)
    My guess? I bet when you go to your state and check…the same thing I found…is what you will find. MMMM Now what Kemo Sabie?
    I also went to the state licensing book…and while they do state that it is the operators responsibility to ensure the passenger’s feet touch the pegs well enough to ensure his/her stability…there is no LAW regarding it. Nothing but common sense, and hopefully the operator of the bike acting responsibly and not allow a child to ride until he/she is tall enough, sensible enough…and strong enough to maintain a stable seat while riding.

    And thank you Cyril for the clarification on your blog.

  15. 15 Jun 19th, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    John….your post to my post….”Hmm…. While it’s clear that you missed my point, “Warden”, you do raise an interesting point of your own…. So if what you say is true, we should accept what we are told at face value, eh? Always assume the powers to be are benevolent? Hmmm- your point is rather Marxist, actually…. How bout “Guilty, Comrade!” choppers? C’mon- unique, you gotta admit….“Party Leader” is WAY cooler than “Warden”!”

    What i’m sick and tired of is bikers not taking the responsibility that is ours (and only ours) to police ourself…not waiting for someone else to do so! The biking community sheds tears and crys “woo is me…dont’ tread on me…i’m oppressed…there’s a conspiracy!” All because we get legislation imposed on us when it was our responsibility as adults (or supposedly accountable) for our own actions. Grow up bikers…and quit crying because we get legislation slapped on us for not doing what we were supposed to be doing in the first place….

  16. 16 Jun 20th, 2007 at 8:36 am

    there is a great country song popular right now…it goes like this..”we were born to mothers who smoke and drank..we were raised in cribs with lead based paint..we rode bike with no bottled water drank straight from the hose..and still here we are.”
    it kind of says no matter wehat we legislate it still comes down to as a race of humans we will survive and over legislating doesnt make a difference..its called taking accountability for your own actions..simple and a good way to live.

  17. 17 Jun 20th, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    A-1-Cycles….AMEN Brother!

  18. 18 Nicker Jun 21st, 2007 at 6:53 am

    Please, no more legislation.

    Before the CA helmet law, i road all my scoots without a helmet. I fell of some, hit two cars, but never coped more than some road-rash. I was lucky…..

    There is no way to legislate common sense and stupidity isn’t illegal.

    When i was a tyke, Mom & Pop sandwiched me between them. When i got old enough to hang onto the handle bars i got to ride on the tank between Pop’s arms. Pop rode that bike rain or shine, we had no car. Sometimes in the rain he fell off. He never fell of with me on board. He was lucky…..

    We have a family photo with me riding my bicycle, with me one year old sister sitting on the handle bars. What was my mother thinking? Both me and sis were grinning ear to ear.
    We were lucky…..

    Years ago, while riding with The Boys up I5 from Fresno, i looked over at the guy next to me. One of the girls in the case-car had let her 5-year old ride on the back of his bike. The kid was sound asleep. Not only didn’t his touch the pegs, his arms hung limp by his side. He was slumped up against the rider. 35 bikes, 70 MPH, splitting lanes, two bike length apart. The only thing holding the kid on the bike was gravity. He was luck……

    There are as many ways to parent as there are parents. Mine instilled in me a life long love of motorcycles. I never was able to thank them enough. The last ride Pop and i took together, his ashes were strapped to the seat. I was taking him down from Lake Tahoe to be buried next to Mon in Lafayette. I cried most of the way down Hwy 88 & 89. Some times it was hard to see, but we made it to Oakmont without incident. I was lucky……

    Your born, life is tough, then you die.
    For some inexplicable reason there will always be those who insist on making it their business to see that life is “safer” and “better” for the rest of us. As a result we’ve had 2 World Wars and we’ve been in the middle of WW-III since 1968.

    There is no way to legislate a “safe” life.
    No amount of Socialism, no amount of parent coddeling can make life safe.
    If it could, we’de all end up like Parris Hilton.

    You do what you have to do and you live with the result. If your lucky…..

    In My Humble Opinion, anyway;

  19. 19 Jun 21st, 2007 at 8:51 am


    I am wondering why California has half a million bikers or more and still has a helmet law?

    I am wondering why California has led to nation to CARB rules and virtually ruined the small motorcycle manufacturer and the small shop?

    This is all legislation that needs to be undone in California.

    Why are the majority of the California Bikers complacent victims of legislation?

    II am not picking on Californi in particular other than the fact that they can get 50,000 riders for a charity ride and yet, originate legislation that ultimately effects the nation adversely.

    One of the major problems that subverts and draws motorcyclists away from true issues is the adaptation of motorcyclists to outside issues. Whether they be veterans issues, charities, political issues or any other cause; motorcyclists join in and are supportive. Within the support of these issues come motorcyclist issues that are common to every rider.

    Many times, political activism is necessary to make changes for any issue.

    Occasionally alliances are made between various political action supporters that either include motorcyclists or outright depend upon motorcyclists for their existence.

    Lines of definition become blurred as these alliances merge. As these mergers take place, concentrated efforts about motorcyclist issues and motorcycle related issues becomes diluted. Many of these well meaning groups have rider meetings and have cursory mentions of safety. Many have a social interaction geared towards motorcyclist that include all sorts of trinkets, patches, t-shirts, raffles and other fund raising memorabilia. These folk have taken your dollars and thoughts away from true motorcyclist issues. I understand that you may and will become interested in their issues. Paying attention to these outside issues with greater fervor and greater dollars than the issues of riding and operating a motorcycle on the highways and byways of America and the world will kill you and kill motorcycling.

    These other groups do not support motorcycling with the same strength and dollars that you support them.

    Check yourself when donating time and effort to them and decide whether or not you would give up riding for them.

    If you are willing to give up riding, get off your bike now and forever.

  20. 20 Pop Jun 21st, 2007 at 9:51 am

    The question to be answered is whether we endanger our children unnecessarily by putting them on motorcycles in the first place. The key word is unnecessarily.

    If primarily you believe that protecting your child from the vagaries of life is more important than sharing the joys of life with them then by all means call your congressman and insist that those of us who believe that a life well led is more important be restrained from polluting the minds of our children with militant concepts like living including danger and that being safe does not equal living.

    The very best memories I have of my dad are of me with my mitts jammed into the pockets of his leather and peeking around his giant back to catch gulps of wind.

    My daughter was raised on the back of my bikes and now my five year old grandson has seen time behind poppa on the bitchpad of an Indian.

    I guess I could dutifully drop him off at his gender neutral, non denominational politically correct, OSHA approved day care in a Hyundai or a Ford Focus or minivan some such thing, but I bet he’ll remember Poppa for the rides he’s getting now and he would have no memory of a Hyundai. Further, I could strap him in his seat with the restraints and air bags and then strap myself in my seat with all the restraints and the airbags and drive the Hyundai to the intersection and get t boned by a busload of nuns. This is a fairly simple equation of how much of life we are willing to give up in order to have safety and security. A common problem in this country for sure.

    I do not go kickstand up with any intention of being in a wreck any more than I put my truck in drive with the intention of being in a wreck. I will not overemphasize the inherent dangers of motorcycling any more than the dangers of merging at 75 mph onto an interstate or getting a chicken bone lodged in my throat or falling in the shower or getting high blood pressure. I’m going to ride and drive and eat and wash and age.

    More important to me is that I expect that my grandsons will, like their mother and like me before them, have a frame of reference to put into perspective the mewing and whining of a nation gone weak in the knees when and if they are confronted with the choice of relative safety or a life well led.

    I hope that, instead of most of us Americans, they are able to make their choice based on experience instead of the rants of hysterical fearmongerers.

  21. 21 Cheesydoesit Jun 21st, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Hey Pop…a little extreme don’t you think? And if your 5 year old grandson falls off and dies (God forbid), he will have no memories at all. Better yet, if he loses a limb, what do you think he will think about Grandpa 10 years from now? He will be saying fuck you for not looking out for my safety…you were the adult here, right? But, hey, if that’s all you can do to impress him it’s all worth it right? Bullshit. Your post is the epidemy of irresponsiblity, and it’s attitudes like yours that force us to need legislation. Fortunately for us this legislation will be looking out for your grandson (who has no voice) and NOT YOU.

  22. 22 Jun 21st, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    Common sense. Plain & simple. Loud pipes save lives & Helmet laws suck!!!

  23. 23 Cheesydoesit Jun 21st, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Hey Garage Goon…if the majority of people had common sence, we would not be blogging about this would we? I think too many of you are living in a perfect world, and if you do not want to wear helmets that’s fine, but you do not have the right to make that decision for a minor, I don’t care if he/she is related to you or not.

  24. 24 Pop Jun 21st, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    And of course well intentioned but sanctimonious people do not have the right to make the rules for what constitutes acceptable behavior for my family nor do you thankfully have any control over it.
    While you are busy reciting your list of doomsday what ifs like the rosary of some religion of fear, three generations of my family are enjoying the greatest bounty available in a constitutional republic. We are living in the now and enjoying the what is’s while others use their brief moment here to dwell on the what ifs.
    You will recognize us. We’re the ones flipping the bird to those of you that sit on your nanny state behinds and wish for some antiseptic, legislatively perfect marshmallow utopia to protect us from ourselves and to prevent us from raising our kids as we see fit instead of how you see fit. I just don’t know how we have survived without your guidance.
    Get over yourself. There’s enough highway available for you to get out there and put your knees in the breeze. The throttle is that thing on the right handlebar. If you want to deprive your kids of some of the joys my brood takes for granted in order to satisfy your own sense of security I can pity your poor kids but hey, it’s your call. In the meantime, stay out of my bedroom, my church, my gun cabinet, my medicine cabinet. Stay away from my motorcycles and while I certainly defend your right to offer your opinion of my parenthood, keep your bleeding heart sensibilities off of my family. We’re doing OK so far without an innoculation of what ifs from the wallflowers.
    Hey, I only been around motorcycles for 50 years myself. Raised on bikes, raised mine on bikes and now they raising theirs on bikes. WTF do I know?

  25. 25 Roadrash Jun 21st, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    People disagree but have a digital place to argue. Thank you Cyril.

  26. 26 dragon Jun 22nd, 2007 at 5:36 am

    i will go with glen on this one my was riding with me and his grandfather when he was two

  27. 27 Jun 22nd, 2007 at 9:04 am

    Balance is not an assumed risk.

    Balance has many definitions that all require equilibrium.

    The definition of balance is not a concept nor is balance a risk.

    Motorcyclists need to be afforded the right to live and the right to die.
    They wish freedom and fair usage of the highways and byways.
    They wish to travel unimpeded with freedom of movement.
    They wish to have insurance claims paid without lawsuit.
    They wish protection from the bully pulpit of government under the guise of democracy.

    The true issue of laws for and against motorcyclists is control of a perceived balance.

    Many motorcyclists ride to live out a fantasy double life. For them, they have purchased the costume and accoutrements of a rebel or a tough guy sanitized in their attempts at living life to the fullest. For others, riding is a freedom of transport through the elements. Some others enjoy the use of skill necessary for survival and the challenges that are constantly changing. Still others enjoy the conspicuity of being a risk taker.

    Taking risks and meeting the challenges are totally different than risky behavior.

    Anti motorcycle and, anti-motorcyclist positions range from practicality of modality, myriads of protectionism of motorcyclists from themselves, to those issues of the environment. It has become fair game to blame the ills of society upon motorcyclists and motorcycles or the lack of them.

    Viewpoints have stated that, “one major source of urban noise, that of motorcycles, is optional and totally unnecessary. In a seasonal climate, it is clear that motorcycles are not an integral part of our transportation system for they cannot be operated during our long winter. The owners of motorcycles have alternative means of transportation. The motorcycle is an optional vehicle for pleasure, not utility. It is a toy, albeit an expensive one.

    Furthering the anti motorcycle viewpoint, they go on to say, “As pleasure vehicles, motorcycles tend to operate in groups and to concentrate in particular and limited traffic patterns. And, as pleasure vehicles, they are often operated in a manner that brings juvenile emotional satisfaction to their owners but distress to those who live nearby. The effect of all these behaviors is to saturate certain roadways of our city with high and excessive levels of noise.”

    Many well-meaning citizens abhor the death of another for their own selfish gain.

    They attach their own fears of death to the feelings and wishes of another.

    Many Americans view the motorcyclist as “fair game”. They would prefer to not hear us, nor hear our pleas. They have also shown a preference for not seeing us. They have even recommended that we be put in harms way. “Some cities have adopted technical monitoring as a check on such behavior. Others have restricted access to those areas where the uncaring motorcyclists have destroyed the quality of life for local residents, in effect distributing the noise pollution throughout the city at large. Because of the difficulty and cost of monitoring motorcycle noise, I urge that we adopt a policy to limit the use of parkways by motorcyclists — as we have for trucks — and thereby distribute their noise over a larger area.”

    The minority of motorcyclists is easy to pick on. The protections afforded by leather and helmets do not help us against prejudicial laws currently in existence or the ones yet to be introduced.

    The protective gear additionally fails us within the court system.

    The protective gear allows all to profile our “type” and predict our behaviors.

    We as motorcyclists try to demand an equal access (balance) to all these things and we are stigmatized by our own public dress and behaviors.

    Motorcyclists are portrayed constantly as irresponsible risk takers because of balance.

    Motorcyclists constantly fight for balance in laws and in life.

    The assumed risk, of wanting balance in life, wastes life and money needlessly when we assume the position of victim.

    As motorcyclists, it is the razor’s edge that draws us. The feeling of perfectly managing all those influences that result in what can only be described as the closest feeling to flying that can be experienced upon solid ground. When you’re riding on the razor’s edge, it’s the joy of feeling (and being in control of) personal perfection that is so seductive.

    This joy of feeling has now drawn many of us into politics and legislation to defend our sense of control and balance in our personal and societal lives.

    An amalgam of people ride powered two and three wheeled vehicles. Many choose to be law abiding and others choose to be lawless in varying degrees.

    Unless we choose to balance ourselves and unify within a framework of some common ground, we will always be victims of choice rather than have freedom of choice.

  28. 28 Nicker Jun 22nd, 2007 at 3:16 pm


    I suspect the dynamics of Helmet Laws, in the aggregate (nation wide), is/are as central to the above discussion as child safety..etc. So, setting aside the issue of what you should or shouldn’t do with Kids, because that gets into some real stick stuff about, like Roe-v-Wade, I’ll give you my spin on the Helmet issue.

    Understanding the Socio-political landscape of The Golden requires that you accept the proposition that for over 50 years various forces have increasingly pushed the political landscape to “the left.” Unfortunately, at this juncture we’re looking more like a Socialist Republic than the 6th largest free-market economy in the world (that we once were).

    For various reasons, we’ve a population that continually elects politicians who openly state that they are in agreement with Socialist Principals (Hayden, Brown, Boxer, Delems, etc.….). Today, more than ever before, people here are willing to allow the state to dictate behavior in exchange for a “safe life.”

    With its mild climate, CA probably tends to shelters most people from the ”harshness of reality.” And so human nature will want to extend that “comfort” to all aspects of life, like air quality, medical coverage, Social Services….etc. We have a “Governator” who is “very familiar” with European socialism.

    In a place where year-around riding is common, how tough does the average “biker” have to be? Moreover when the reason to get involved with motorcycling is more about identity than about motorcycles, then “the quality of the commitment” (for lack of a better term) to sustain any sort of activism beyond “having a good time today,” simply isn’t there.

    We were far more successful at holding off the helmet law when there were fewer people riding. As i recall, “The Boys” started the MMA to help finance a DC lobbyist. The MMA was abele to hold off the CA helmet law at a time when a 100 bike event was considered large. But it had enough political clout to get the parks department to allow The-Boys to formally take over a camp ground outside Freson CA . By agreement, no Police went inside. I doubt anyone in the industry could pull that off today.

    So, the ability to muster 50,000 riders for an event in CA today doesn’t translate into the political activism” required to flip legislation (even if there is the will to do so….. which there isn’t anymore).

    I wish I could find those old MMA news letters. One of them had a report from the lobbyist telling of a conversation he had with Joan Claybrook (Sec. Of Transportation under Nixon) in which he quoted her as saying she was “going to legislate motorcycles off the road.” That should provide a baseline for calibrating “conspiracy theories.”

    In the emerging “Green-mania” spawned by global warming. Motor-sports in general an be viewed as the “Miners’ Canary” of freedom. Setting aside motorcycles for now, the question we have to ask is:

    “For how long will we be free to transport ourselves and our families to the place of your choosing, at the time we wont to go, and in a convenience we prefer to apply”

    And squabbling about how we should or shouldn’t be conducting ourselves is one reason why outside forces will be able to “name the tune to which we’ll be dancing.”
    In one of the other threads some one took me to task over “Socialism” as opposed to “The Left.” I’m constantly amaized how acceptable the concept to “Socialism” has become in this country. The freedom and control of their own lives that people are willing to trade for promises of safety is truly scary. And i’m not talking about some “it takes a village” abstraction. I’m talking about real stuff that’s going on in front of our very noses. People in power TODAY are talking about
    – “a new world order”
    – needing to “do something about talk radio”
    – wanting to “change America”
    – individualism is out in favor of “we’re all in this together”
    – equality in outcome, everything and everyone is equal
    – you can’t make value judgments, they are inappropriate

    Custom Motorcycling in CA has changed into a mainstream activity.
    Mainstream Californians aren’t activists.
    Most Californians don’t have a negative image of Socialism.
    Socilaism rewuires people conform to a specific social order.
    Trying to get people to conform to a unified vision of social order has been at the root of most human misery.
    Most don’t know or care that…. Hitler was a Socialist.

    The long way around the barn, but that about covers it…….:-)


  29. 29 Jun 23rd, 2007 at 6:50 am

    Cheesydoesit for the sake of clarity I didn’t mean to imply the helmet thing to children. So I get yer point. I respect peoples right to wear one and would never bag on that. I’d want the little shavers wearing one. Not to go to deep into the adult rider helmet thing…well we could go all day on that. Stay safe everyone. Live free.

  30. 30 MotoGuzzi Thomas Mar 22nd, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Freedom would be nice. However we no longer have that in the U.S.
    Even though we try and win it for Tibet or Iraq… whoa the irony!
    Should we give up trying to get some freedom back? Nah. Not yet anyway.

  31. 31 Nicker Mar 23rd, 2008 at 3:09 am


    “…Freedom would be nice. However we no longer have that in the U.S….”

    Ya, well there are many levels of “non-freedom.”
    The average American doesn’t know much history or what’s going on outside the US (even today).
    So, any discussions about “freedom” are .

    Basically, the average American doesn’t really know how bad “lack of freedom” can get.
    Nor do they understand the mechanisms by which those tyrannies come about.

    We take out 1st. Amendment Rights for granted.
    We still get to flip-off another driver and even yell “A-Hole!” out the window.

    Try that in Germany today and your subject to a $500 fine.

    “…Should we give up trying to get some freedom back….”

    Try to get some back….?
    Hell, most people ya talk to wonder why Mccain-Feingold was such a big deal.
    The broadcasting “Fairness Doctrine” is just around the corner.

    Justice Kennedy loves the idea of using laws in other countries as a precedent.
    How far away could “Hate-Speech” legislation be?

    “…Freedom would be nice…”

    Would be nice, Hell!
    It’s your birthright!


  32. 32 Frodo Apr 14th, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    We need only 1 more law. One requiring a license to reproduce… There are too many STUPID, IRRESPONSIBLE, and UNWORTHY parents out there. We don’t need more laws just more inteligence.

    As an electronics engineer for 20 years, I’ve noticed making things idiot proof only creates more idiots. Example: The Automatic Transmission.
    Oh, and have a nice day.

  33. 33 Boca de Sino Sep 27th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Aside from the Constitutional debate here I was hoping to find some common sense guidelines based on others’ experience. It sounds like I’ve got to wait until my 15-month old can reach the footpegs. That’s going to be a long time. I guess I’ll just keep towing him from my bicycle on the bike path. It’s pretty fun, and good exercise, but it ain’t to be compared with the freedom gained from motorcycling.

  34. 34 Hipston Apr 19th, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    This is a major issue which did not come to my attention until very recently. The father of my stepdaughter has the audacity to think that it is ok to transport my 6 year old stepdaughter on the back of his motorcycle. I don’t have any problem with short rides at low speeds, but this fool lives about 70 miles from my home. Considering the relatively short attention spans of children, there is WAY too much time between here and there for her to get distracted and forget to hold on. I had ed the local law enforcement agencies to find out if there was any legal means of prohibiting him from picking her up on a bike, only to be informed that passengers are allowed on bikes as long as they wear a helmet, can reach the foot pegs, and can hold on. The officer I spoke to was quite concerned that he would do something so stupid, but told me that there was no legal course of action. She stated that it was left up to common sense, of which this man is devoid. Is anybody up for devising some kind of amendment to the current motorcycle laws?

  35. 35 Nicker Apr 19th, 2009 at 11:29 pm


    “… The father of my stepdaughter …… this fool …”

    Unfortunately, idiocy is not illegal.
    A “fix” for such problems requires either euthanizing idiots at birth or allowing the government to dictate every aspect of all our lives.

    Are you suggesting that the rest of us will have to adjust our behavior to compensate for “This Fool”…???

    Le-me suggest that the biological mother of the 6 year old should have been more discriminating in her choice of breeding partners.

    It’s very simple really, no breeding, no kids at risk.
    So, exactly what are you doing hanging with “This Fool”…… ???


  36. 36 Hipston Apr 20th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Unfortunately, the fool in question is my wife’s ex husband, a relationship I must endure out of necessity. I agree with your statement regarding the legality of idiocy. As far as your comment regarding having “to adjust” your “behavior”, would that not imply that you are engaging in the same acts of idiocy as he. I pray your comment means something else entirely. Anyhow, I’m not here to bicker with Nicker. I simply find it sad that things which are supposed to be a matter of common sense have become troubling issues. Apparently, common sense is no longer common. I would much prefer alternative means of rectifying this potentially fatal situation as opposed to attempting to drum up some kind of law, however, there are those who make very stupid choices for those who cannot decide for themselves (funny, but it almost sounds like government). I don’t wish to infringe upon the rights of all bikers…just those who believe in toting 45 pound, 6 year old children about on the back of a motorcycle at seventy miles per hour. The amendment I had in mind would only affect a very specific target, i.e. those such as my wife’s ex husband. I am about as anti-big brother as anyone, but, since we can’t exactly make stupidity illegal and murder already is illegal, what other alternatives have we?

  37. 37 KRYSTAL May 27th, 2009 at 10:06 am

    My ex thinks it’s a good idea to take our 6 year old, 50lb, daughter on a 500 mile road trip on his motorcycle to North Carolina for a vacation. There’s nothing I can do to stop him because there are no laws to stop him. In my opinion if she can’t be in the backseat of my car without a booster seat and seatbelt then it’s irresponsible of our government to not have laws on the books to stop him from putting her on a motorcycle!!

  38. 38 KRYSTAL May 27th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I’m with you! I think that if we don’t petition to change the laws then nobody else will. It seems that people are more concerned with keeping another law from being put on the books then they are with protecting innocent children from idiots who care little for their children’s safety!

    Unfortunately I wasn’t aware that my ex was one of those idiots who finds it perfectly acceptable to risk our childs life on a motorcycle when i had a kid with him. I’ll be more discerning in the future!

  39. 39 sandra gibson Jun 30th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    I thank there should be a state law in tennessee, It isn’t o.k. for the car, But it is ok for a open bike, Let one of these people loose one of there kids on a bike and see what they say then, please pass a law

  40. 40 Jul 1st, 2009 at 5:48 am

    Sandra Gibson,
    I am sick and tired of relinquishing any and all liberties to the various governing bodies within the USA. To hell with your lawmaking. If you are a parent then parent and quit thinking that a law makes lax parenting okay.

  41. 41 Laura Jul 4th, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Well I think as parents WE need to make sure our children are safe not anyone else. I am a grandparent raising a toddler and a biker also. I would never think of putting my 3 year old on the back of the bike, but there are ways to still enjoy both. I got a sidecar, put his carseat in there and away we go. He LOVES is and I do feel he is safe.
    So lets all use the brain the good Lord gave us and think before we do something to put our loved ones in danger. Do not wait for someone to pass a law saying it should not be, you step up and PARENT.

  42. 42 nicker Jul 4th, 2009 at 11:23 pm


    By having to modify my behavior i mean that you would have me conform to the lowest common denominator law that would be required to “fix” your problem.

    When i was a kid i rode between my parents…… everywhere.
    Mainly because we didn’t own a family car (till 1954).

    As Mike, i too am sick and tired of allowing a “Nanny State” increasing control over what i do in order to protect me and others from themselves. And yes, i take as much exception to the “Car-seat law” as i do to proposed mandatory ASB systems.

    Life is full of danger and unfortunate situations. Your moron x-husband is one of those situations. You have my condolences……… BUT, not my support.

    i don’t consider protecting my freedom “bickering.”
    The dirty little secret about freedom is that it’s messy.

    Sorry about your problem. But you-all need to come up with your won creative solution.
    The message is simple….. Don’t make your problem my problem.


  43. 43 Nov 12th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Has anyone ever thought of making a device that would make it safer for a child to ride on the back of a motorcycle rather than just be quick to making laws to banish a child from riding on the back?

    We I have! I have developed a child riding harness called the “BackRider Belt” which attaches the child using a full five point harness, to your waist. This device has successfully passed an independent engineering product evaluation test (from OnSpex, a part of the CSA group of companies).

    The product was developed over two years of testing and prototypes based on the back of all of our customers over the past few years along with our own input as we use this product to take our two children out for “Family Motorcycle Rides” when ever possible. There are many great features incorporated into the belt and it’s easy to put on and take off too!

    To find out more about the BackRider Belt including seeing some of the test results, please go to our website at .

  44. 44 Feb 24th, 2010 at 7:25 am

    I am glad I found your website on msn. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my brother were just preparing to do some research about this. I am very glad to see such great info being shared for free out there.
    Best wishes,
    Frasier from Laredo city

  45. 45 Robin Sep 8th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    I have an 11 year old daughter who gets to ride on the back of her dad’s motorcycle and it scares the daylights out of me. I dread the thought of my daughter being accicently hit by a passing car and being dragged on the concrete and horror of horror……other cars unable to stop running over her small body. There is absolutely no protection from the other vehicles traveling 70 miles an hour on the congested freeway of Southern California. This seems like a nightmare to me that I don’t want my daughter exposed to. The danger is real.l Although the incidents may be low, it’s not somethng I want to expose any child too, expecially my own. It may be fun to think of a child experiencing a ride on a motorcycle……but can you image what it would be like for them when the driver of a car is not paying attention. It gives me the creeps whenever I see a young child live my 11 year old daughter who is so unaware of the danger she is placed in by an adult motorcycle driver.

  46. 46 Jeff Aug 30th, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    This is an interesting blog. I was looking up Cali state laws to see if my 4 foot 6 year old son could ride my motorcycle with me. I must say, valid points, but also ‘valid’ opinions from all. Simply, it is up to YOU as the parent if YOU feel comfortable enough to have your child as a passenger riding your motorcycle with you. It is YOU the parent who should decide. Yes, there are some irresponsible people out there, but those are the ones who also give the rest of us riders a bad rap. Like, all of us riders, safe riders or not, are more likely to kill our children on a motorcycle than you are driving in a metal box with seat belts and/or air bags. We are not more likely. More children have died in those metal boxes than on motorcycles. How many of us knew that? Sure, us riders do not have metal boxes with seat belts and/or air bags, which in SOME accidents can save your life in comparison to motorcycles, but driving in those metal boxes with YOUR children, that very same ‘I might get in a wreck, seriously hurt or kill my children, my fault or not’ risk is there. Bottom line: some of you do not feel comfortable riding a motorcycle with your children. That’s fine, you shouldn’t if you are not comfortable. The rest of us, do feel comfortable and are safe in doing so. Just because you do not feel comfortable, please do not push your, ‘I think I am right’ ploy onto other people who know better. It’s about what the parents are comfortable with and how they make it safe, riding or whatever, for them and their children. Period.

    Peace and Love

  47. 47 Mrs Abramenko Jan 5th, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I totally agree, I was actually just arguing this point to my son’s other set of parents. They just up’ed the law for children to have to ride in a booster seat until they are 8yrs old or 4’9″ (like that happens often) but yet legally he has been aloud to ride on the other parents motorcycles. How is riding in a car not safe for an 8 yr old but riding in an unprotected unstable fast moving vehicle safe for them??? I think we should definitely have a law with a minimum age. At least 12 years old that way they can learn the balance are strong and responsible enough to do so before they are legally aloud to take off and drive them by themselves.

  48. 48 Kat Jan 28th, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Ok, I can’t even get through all the comments, but here you go:
    as a comedian has stated “if you are stupid you should wear a sign”. laws were established for those that were not taught common sense (the naive) and those who chose to endanger those ( in this case minors) regardless of their intelligence. Yes before you light my sexy tight derriere up about today’s politics…..bottom line is THIS IS MY CHILD AND GOODNESS GRACIOUS I AM GOING TO SUPPORT LEGISLATION THAT WILL SUPPORT HER SAFETY!!

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