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When you picture carrying around a child on a motorcycle as a pillion rider, you might either cringe in horror, or delight in the idea of sharing your love of riding with him or her as you ride around London or other areas of the UK.
Whether it’s safe or legal to carry a youth younger than 17 depends, of course, on the age of the child in question. There is no legal age limit as long as the pillion rider—in this case, a child—can reach the rear pegs with their feet and hang onto the rider, pillion hand-holds or bar. You might have to adjust the pillion pegs so that the child can reach them with their feet. Once they can do this, then it’s time to get the kid some gear.
Keep in mind also that you have to a full motorcycle licence holder in order to even consider taking on a pillion rider, and it often helps to be fully trained—or at least have a refresher course—in how to handle a motorbike with extra weight on the back.
Including acceleration, braking and turning corners, as well as being completely alert to what’s going on. Parents and guardians, in turn, need to realize the danger of a child falling asleep, as well as their child’s needs of going to the bathroom and eating more often, to say nothing of a shortened attention span, so rides around town are what might work best for the child. Save the longer trips for older kids.
Granted, these rules are for the UK. Depending on the area you live in, such as Australia, you might actually have an age limit. In all of Australia, for example, each province has the age minimum of eight years of age, or if there is a side car, they can be younger, as long as they are wearing a helmet of suitable size.
Riding a motorcycle with your child can be fun, but keep the law in mind about the foot pegs as well as the relative maturity of your child. If they are not old enough to be able to truly concentrate on what’s going on around them, they really are not suited for being a pillion rider.