Kids these days grow up so fast. You won't realise it, but soon enough your little baby will be all grown up and ready to take on the world.
One of those major milestones in life is when they get their first kids petrol motorbike, which usually happens when they become teenagers.
If your child has expressed interest in owning a bike, there are some things that you need to prepare them for before handing over the keys.
In this article, we will discuss 6 steps that will help make sure they're prepared for making the big step.
Teach them how to ride a bike before teaching them how to ride a motorcycle
Before you think about teaching them how to ride a motorbike, you need to make sure they are able to ride a normal bicycle.
The reason why we recommend this is because there are many things that a child will need to learn in order to ride a normal bicycle such as:
- How to balance a bike on their own, how to brake and how to turn. This will teach them how the basics of balance and maneuvering different bikes work before they are tasked with mastering those same skills on a motorcycle.
- Remembering to lock the bike up when you're done riding is also something that kids need to learn.
- General maintenance involved such as cleaning, oiling, and ensuring it's safely stowed away in a shed or garage.
- How to treat members of the public with respect and consideration when they are out riding.
- Knowing the etiquette of motorcycle riders which is something that can be learned through trial and error, but it's a lot easier to learn in theory before you put yourself into any possible awkward situation.
- The importance of wearing protective gear on both their head and body.
Once they know how to ride, they will need to know how the various gears work. This is important because understanding how to use the gears will allow them to ride on different terrains and speeds.
It's important for kids to learn how to stop in a safe way so that they can come to a complete halt without crashing or putting themselves at risk of injury.
Kids should also be aware of all the rules and regulations that accompany being a bike rider, such as wearing helmets at all times when riding, not passing a car on the right, or pulling out from behind one unless you have first ascertained whether it is safe or not.
That motorcycles have a low centre of gravity which means they should always wear a helmet.
Finally getting on their own bike for the first time is something that shouldn't be taken lightly- it's an exhilarating feeling but can also be scary as well.
Ensure you're there to give them the support they need, but also let them know that if it doesn't feel right then let you know.
Start with a small bike
This may seem a bit obvious, but it's important to start kids on a small bike.
The smallest petrol bikes for kids are about 49cc and they have the power of about 15 horsepower or so. They're obviously not as fast as a grown-up bike, but they're not too slow either.
So starting with small bikes and then working up to a larger motorcycle is probably best for kids handling a petrol motorbike.
Kids will be able to get used to the less powerful engines before moving on so that when they do switch over it'll be a smooth transition.
In addition, it's important to get bikes with automatic transmissions because they're easier and safer for kids who might not be the most experienced riders yet.
Make sure the bike fits their body size and that they know how to operate it properly
Before you rush out and buy a petrol motorbike for your kid, it's important to make sure they'll be able to handle the bike properly.
This means considering things like body size, height, and weight because if a child is too big for the motorcycle then there are safety concerns that come into play.
It also helps if kids know how to operate throttle, brake, and clutch before getting on any motorbike.
In the early days, there will be a lot of trial and error as kids get used to their new set of wheels. It's important that they take their time and not rush the process.
You'll also want to have in mind to purchase a bike that is slightly larger so that your kid will grow into it.
The more time kids spend practicing and learning the basics of motorbike safety, the better they'll be when they're finally allowed to take their bike out on a solo ride.
Practice riding in the driveway or on a flat surface before going out onto the road
Your kids is going to be a little nervous when they're first riding on their own, and that's to be expected. It might take a little bit for them to feel confident enough to go out onto the open road.
One thing you can do is have your kids practice in an environment with less potential danger - like on your driveway or at a flat surface before taking it onto a dirt track.
Once they have mastered riding on flat surfaces, they can graduate to more challenging terrains.
Join A Club
Depending on where you live, there might be a kid's motorbike club or group that your child can join.
Joining this will not only provide them with an opportunity to practice riding but also socialize as well.
It's important for children to have a sense of community and belonging while they're still young because it'll make their transition into adulthood much easier.
They'll also get a lot of confidence when riding in a group.
##Plan for safety gear like helmets, gloves, boots, and jackets
We briefly touched on this earlier but it is just as important to buy the right safety gear when kids are first starting out.
Kids need a helmet that will provide them with protection from head injuries, gloves so they don't get their hands ripped up on gravel or dirt roads, and boots for extra support if they're riding off-road.
Buying these essential items is the best way to ensure they stay safe while riding.
Bonus - Know How To Make Simple Repairs
As your kid gains more and more experience, they'll need to learn how to make basic repairs on their bike.
You don't want them stranded miles from home with no way of getting back, so teaching them how to do some simple fixes will come in handy for years to come.
Some of the repairs would be:
- changing a flat tyre
- adjusting the chain tension
- tightening loose bolts on their bike
The best way to teach them how is by having them watch you make some simple adjustments, then giving your child an opportunity to do it themselves.
You'll find there's no better way to teach your kids to be self-reliant than by having them learn how to do it themselves.
It may sound like a little thing now but if you teach your kids to ride their bikes properly before they get on a bike with an engine, then when the time does come for them to take ownership of one themselves they’ll be more prepared and have fewer accidents.
The same goes for teaching them how to handle any other potentially dangerous equipment too; teach first so that when the time comes they are ready.
A motorbike is a powerful and expensive purchase, so it’s important to take the time to learn about how they work.
Before your child can ride one on their own, make sure they have the skills necessary for riding safely.
Be patient with them as you teach them new things – remembering that learning takes practice.
Give the child a chance to ride around in an empty car park without traffic first. Let them get used to how it feels.
This will also show you if they are ready or not. Have them wear their bike helmet and gloves as well so that when they do take off on the road, everything is secure and safe.
One of the best ways to prepare your child for owning a motorcycle is by joining them in an organization.
This way, they can learn about safety and responsibility from other kids who ride motorcycles too. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities to take their bike out on the track.
If you need any further advice or have questions.
Feel free to get in touch with us so we can help you prepare your kids to have their own petrol motorbike.
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