Trail riding 2-up with 5yo Son

So I just purchased bikes for my wife, my 2 sons (7yo and 5yo) and myself. Personally, I have been riding dirt most of my life starting at 5yo myself, but my wife and of course my kids are new riders.

 

My 7yo has taken right to it (though his braking leaves a bit to be desired), but my 5yo doesn't seem to be ready just yet. He tried to ride the little crf50 that I got him but quickly dropped it twice at fairly low speeds. He is having trouble with throttle control and is apprehensive to get back on and I don't want to force him to do so until he feels ready.

 

He does however, love riding on the back of my WR with me and I am perfectly fine with that as I have installed pegs and am looking at those kidney belts with the passenger handles. Naturally, he is still required to wear all of his gear on my bike just as if he is riding his own.

 

My question is around whether anyone else on here does this with success and about the legality of it. I'd like to take them out to some Arkansas NF trails so they can enjoy something more than just a field, but I don't want to get 10 miles down a trail and be stopped by a forest ranger.

 

As far as I can tell, the law for AR is 8+ and for TX (our home state, but has almost no riding near us in Northeast TX) is 5+. But this appears to be targeted toward street use as they describe a "passenger seat required". So is this just simply not legal on dirt or?? I am curious if anyone does this actively and whether there has been any problems with law enforcement.

 

Thanks!

Legal? Probably not a problem. Insurance and liability? Very possibly a problem.

 

I'd never take a little kid like that on the back of a bike unless it was on a smooth field at 5 mph for a single lap.

You are expecting a child that does not understand the basics (most do not) and expecting him to hold on and anticipate terrain at adult speeds.

Plus a dirt bike is not passenger friendly. Too easy to get legs caught in rear wheel, chain, etc. Fall from that height (instead of a low mini bike) is much higher risk of injury.

Legal? Probably not a problem. Insurance and liability? Very possibly a problem.

 

I'd never take a little kid like that on the back of a bike unless it was on a smooth field at 5 mph for a single lap.

You are expecting a child that does not understand the basics (most do not) and expecting him to hold on and anticipate terrain at adult speeds.

Not at all at adult speed! I am talking smooth trail riding at 15mph or so. No way I would risk my little guy's health at higher speeds.

Plus a dirt bike is not passenger friendly. Too easy to get legs caught in rear wheel, chain, etc. Fall from that height (instead of a low mini bike) is much higher risk of injury.

Yeah, maybe you are right. Although the pegs are immediately below the number plates, he might still decide to take his feet off them. Oh well maybe this Spring he'll be ready to try his 50 again.

Nephew didn't want to ride his 50 until he was 15! :-)

Why not seat the little one in FRONT of you?

As much as I hate to say it, some kids are more comfortable on a quad at first. It would help with the throttle control as he wont be tipping over going too slow.

Edited by CRFRida1605

bad idea.

 

doubling someone is kinda tricky. kid or not.  even doubling an experienced rider that knows how and when to lean isnt easy, any bit of a hill, rock section, root section, etc would be very scary.   ever been doubled?  its hard to hold on when you dont got the bars to death grip when things get rough and rocky. and dont know what to expect like the driver does.  

 

what if your front tire just so happens to kick out on the weirdest loose spot, run, loose rock, angled root, and it slams you both hard to the ground?

 

dont to it. 

Edited by cdf450

Why not seat the little one in FRONT of you?

That way he can wind up being the middle of a sandwich if something were to happen. Ya that sure sounds like a great idea...   :bonk:

I've seen a guy riding with his son in front of him. He was just taking it easy obviously and I think the kid was holding onto the bars.

I've seen a guy riding with his son in front of him. He was just taking it easy obviously and I think the kid was holding onto the bars.

It's a shame to see natural selection at work when it involves an innocent participator.

My dad used to put me in front of him when I was a kid I loved it until we crashed it took a few week to get me to ride again after that

Why not put him on a set of training wheels until he learns the controls of the bike? My 4 year old has them down already, and we have been practicing without them. It would take the falling out of the equation so he can focus on throttle and braking techniques.

Get training wheels for the 50

Not at all at adult speed! I am talking smooth trail riding at 15mph or so. No way I would risk my little guy's health at higher speeds.

 

You can get very badly hurt at 15 mph on a dirt bike.  BAD idea.

Why not put him on a set of training wheels until he learns the controls of the bike? My 4 year old has them down already, and we have been practicing without them. It would take the falling out of the equation so he can focus on throttle and braking techniques.

Ok, fair enough. I asked him this morning if he'd feel better with training wheels and he said yep! So, do you happen to have any recommendation on which ones to get? Adjustable I suppose? Are they pretty much all Chinese?

Thanks for the advice guys. I went ahead and ordered these as they are made in the USA and have a warranty:

 

http://www.mcenterprises.com/garage/whatshappening.html#poptw30

 

We'll see how he does as he says he is really excited to try them out.

 

I think all of the braking/throttle/balance fundamentals at once were just making him nervous. It's probably my fault though with just too much coaching beforehand and making it seem more daunting than it really was (per my wife).

 

It's hard to do it like my father did in the 70's though - "Here's a motorcycle and a helmet.. Don't kill yourself.. Be home by dark.."

Thanks for the advice guys. I went ahead and ordered these as they are made in the USA and have a warranty:

http://www.mcenterprises.com/garage/whatshappening.html#poptw30

It's hard to do it like my father did in the 70's though - "Here's a motorcycle and a helmet.. Don't kill yourself.. Be home by dark.."

Sigh, I miss the seventies, I'm old enough to have caught the tail end. Aside from hair-metal the eighties weren't all that bad either.

We've definitely gone backwards since then.

Back on topic: get the boy his training wheels, is nessary put a limiter on his throttle, and ride him two up on your bike just enough to give him a taste of the good stuff.

My boy didn't need training wheels, but he was pretty good on a bicycle before he got motorized, my little girl is on a razor with training wheels now, and she will need a throttle limiter, she's a wild one, but will probably also bring home some trophies later.lol.

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