Can kids ride on motorcycles?
It's a cool autumn Saturday morning, and the conditions are just right
to go for a cruise on your motorcycle. Your nine-year-old daughter is asking if
she can come with you. But you may be wondering: are kids legally allowed to be riding on the back of a motorcycle?
what is the legal age for a child to ride on the back of a motorcycle depends
mainly on what state you live in, and generally how tall the child is, but it
should also include whether you consider the overall conditions to be safe.
Five states have
laws that set a minimum age to be a passenger on a motorcycle. In the states that regulate motorcycle passenger age limits, the minimum age for riding ranges from five
to eight years old. Arkansas requires motorcycle passengers to be at least
eight years old. The minimum age is seven in Hawaii, and in Louisiana, Texas
and Washington, the set age is five years old. The other 46 states and
territories have no restrictions on passenger age or size; however, it's best
to use good judgment and follow the recommendations for safety equipment and
safe driving when deciding if it's safe to be riding a motorcycle with a
passenger, whether it's a child or an adult.
What age can you ride a motorcycle?
wondering how old you need to be to ride a motorcycle, while some
jurisdictions will issue motorcycle licenses as young as 14 years of age, most
states issue learners permits to
riders over the age of 16 and after you have taken a driving exam. However,
most jurisdictions don't allow people with learner's permits to have a
passenger of any age ride with them.
No matter what the age, safety gear is required
2019, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely than
passengers in cars to die in a crash per vehicle miles traveled.
Head injuries are a real risk and can be an extremely unfortunate tragedy that
can result from being involved in a motorcycle accident.
If you are taking
your kid on a motorcycle, whatever the motorcycle passenger age limit, they
need to wear the same safety gear as you do. The state law in Tennessee states
that a motorcyclist must carry a passenger on a bike equipped with a rear seat
designed for a second person unless the motorcycle has a sidecar. Any child
riding as a passenger must also be tall enough for their feet to reach the
footrests on a motorcycle. Any violation of this law is considered a class C misdemeanor.
The standard in
most states is how tall the passenger is, not how old they are but are they
tall enough to reach the footrests and be aware of the need to hang on to the
driver. A motorcycle passenger must generally be four foot nine inches tall. A
child passenger must also be mature enough to handle the responsibilities of
being a passenger, wear a properly fitted helmet and other protective gear, and
hold onto you or the passenger hand-holds.
helmets lower the risk of head injury
by 69% and the risk of death by 50%. Children should wear a well-fitting
helmet, long pants, closed-toe shoes, a thick coat and gloves to protect their
hands. It's also a good idea to wear bright, visible clothing to be visible in
safety check should be a regular step before heading out on any ride, but doing
so to make sure your bike is in good
condition before taking a child on a trip on your motorbike is
Getting ready to ride with a kid on a motorcycle
Some tips for motorcycle operators to keep in mind
when riding with a child as a passenger include:
-� The motorcycle
must be designed to accommodate a passenger.
-� Have the
passenger mount after the motorcycle's stand is raised and the motorcycle is
-� A passenger
will affect the handling characteristics of a motorcycle due to the extra
weight and independent motion.
motorcycle's suspension and tire pressure may need adjustment.
-� Care should be
taken not to exceed the weight limitations specified in the owner's manual.
-� Ensure passengers
follow safety procedures.
personal protective gear is properly in use.
-� The child holds
operator's waist or hips, or motorcycle's passenger hand-holds.
-� Keep feet on
footrests at all times, including while stopped.
-� Passenger keeps
hands and feet away from hot or moving parts.
-� Avoid turning
around or making sudden moves that might affect operation.
-� Allow more time
-� Avoid extreme
-� Be ready for a
passenger "bump" with their helmet or whole body sliding forward
during hard braking.
Taking a kid on
a motorcycle ride could be the beginning of a life-long interest in riding for
a young person, and taking some precautionary steps before heading out can make
it an enjoyable and safe experience.