The 10 Best Kids' Motorcycles
Why Your Kid Should Have A Motorcycle Before A Car
Many parents can be hesitant to give their child a motorcycle, seeing it as a big leap from a bicycle that perhaps they're not quite ready for. But what moms and dads out there have to remember is that there is something faster, and far more complex that will come into your child's life in the future — a car. And even though more teens are opting to wait to get their license, when that day comes, you want your kid to be as prepared as possible. Rather than seeing a kids' motorcycle as a big jump from a bicycle, see it as a safe, measured introduction to driving a motorized vehicle. Giving a child a small motorcycle before he gets his drivers license can actually put your mind a bit more at ease when that big day occurs.
Kids' motorcycles allow children the chance to become comfortable driving something that can go a bit faster than their bicycle. It will also teach them to respect the hazards that come with a motorized vehicle. On his motorcycle, your child can learn about things like taking slow, wide turns, reducing speed early for stop signs, and keeping an eye out for pedestrians. You'd probably much rather he learn about these important driving rules for the first time on a kids' motorcycle, that can only reach limited speeds, than in a car. And, by the way, the more confident you are that your child is ready to drive safely, the the more prepared he may actually be. Studies have found that there is a correlation between teen success rate in earning a driver's license and their parent's level of belief in them. You'll probably instantly feel more secure about your child taking the car wheel if he's already had some practice behind another motorized vehicle.
Motorcycles teach kids about more than safety. They also instill a sense of care and responsibility for the vehicle. Your son or daughter will take pride in his motorcycle, and want to keep it clean, as well as store it somewhere safe — much like he'll one day need to do with a car. Many kids' motorcycles need to be recharged before they're ready to hit the road again. Some new teen drivers don't properly plan their gas station trips, finding themselves with almost no fuel when they're already running late. Remembering to charge his motorcycle will train your child in the important lesson of having your vehicle fueled up in time for a big ride.
Some Guidelines For Motorcycle Riding
Before giving your child permission to hop on his ride, there are some rules you should go over. Your child should have a helmet that fits him well and offers full coverage. It's too common that parents just try to put their own helmet on a teen, or repurpose a bicycle helmet for the motorcycle. But your kid should have one that fits snugly on his head and protects his whole head, including the jawline. Even if your child only wants to ride to the nearby park for some beneficial outdoor play, he should still wear a helmet.
Teach your child about proper riding attire, too. Kids should never drive their motorcycle in sandals or flip-flops. Make sure they put on sturdy shoes that cover their entire foot. You can always encourage them to wear safer footwear by buying them a fun pair they've been asking for, like light-up shoes or high-tops. They should also have on long sleeves and pants, as some motorcycles can become very hot when exposed to the sun, and could burn bare skin. Giving them elbow and knee pads isn't a bad idea either.
When a child starts riding their motorcycle is a good time to teach them about distracted driving, too. Make sure he puts away his phone before hopping on the bike. You might even require him to put it in his backpack or under his seat before he even starts the ignition. And while your child may not venture far beyond your neighborhood, he should still obey all traffic laws, stopping at stop signs, yielding to pedestrians, and so forth. When your kid is aware of these rules, you'll have more peace of mind each time he goes out for a ride.
Choosing The Right Motorcycle For Your Kid
There are tons of kids' motorcycles to choose from, so you'll just need to ask yourself a few questions about your son or daughter's phase of life, skill level, and habits. If your youngster has just graduated from the tricycle, then you'll likely want a model with a low speed limit. Some only reach a modest 10 miles per hour, and are good starter choices for the beginner rider. Meanwhile, if you have a young teen who is craving a bit more independence and responsible enough for faster speeds, you might want one that can reach around 25 miles per hour.
Your child's personal style will be a factor, too. If your kid is a big Motocross fan and wants to imitate the professional riders he loves, you can find him a sportier looking design. Meanwhile, kids with an eye for all things retro may want a model that resembles a moped or Vespa. And as for younger riders, there are some adorable models that look like police motorcycles, feature popular Pixar characters, and more, that the 12 and under kids will love.
Think about the conditions your child will ride in, too. If you live in an area with a lot of dirt roads, you may want a model with all-terrain tires that have good tread and can handle mud and gravel. There are a few other features that can enhance a sense of control, too, like hydraulic brakes and circuit breakers that automatically shut off the motor when they sense a problem. Whichever design you choose, you'll be giving your kid a gift he'll be proud to take around the neighborhood.