Children and Motorcycles
Many children grow up in families where motorcycles are a part of life. I can remember my husband taking our boys for rides as soon as they were old enough to walk. This was scary for me as I donât have a great deal of motorcycle riding experience. However, my husband has been on them since he was a toddler so it was just a natural process for him.
Most children love riding on motorcycles, but the issue is very controversial. I am an overprotective mom, so it is hard for me too. However, all of my children love riding on them and I trust my husband to have their best interest in hand all the time. I really hate it when my children are on the highway because I know accidents can happen so quickly. We do make sure they were long sleeved shirts and pants. They also have helmets to wear that fit them properly.
They make motorcycles for children to ride on their own by the time they are four or five years of age. My children all learned how to operate one as soon as they were able to ride a regular bike without training wheels. Of course the motorcycle, called a 50, is very low to the ground and doesnât go very fast. When I look back at it now, I think it was very good practice for them to learn about operating vehicles.
This is not to say that everything went smooth! My oldest son crashed his motorcycle into a fence when he was seven as he lost control. I think me tried to stop but panicked and pushed the gas more. My other son loved to go as fast as he could, so we were hesitant to move him up to a larger bike because with the size came more power. Children should never be left to ride a motorcycle without the proper safety equipment and without parental supervision.
Since children canât legally ride their motorcycle on the street, they have to ride them on dirk trails or motorcycle trails. Make sure the type of motorcycle you purchase for them is designed for such rough terrain. You should also consider purchasing them a helmet that has a full face cover. It is common for children to crash their motorcycle, and hitting their chin or mouth on the handle bars is also common.
If your child is a rider on a motorcycle with another adult, make sure that adult has a license to operate a motorcycle. Smaller children can ride on the front of the motorcycle but they are encouraged to ride on the back. Make sure they always wear a helmet even for a short ride. Children are allowed to ride on a motorcycle on major highways, but this is a personal decision for the parent. I will tell you it is not one I am comfortable with for my own children.
Never allow your children to operate a motorcycle with another child on the bike. This can lead to the child trying to show off and for accidents to happen. It also shifts the weight of the bike when you add an extra person, and the child operating the motorcycle may not be able to handle the extra weight.
While operating or riding on a motorcycle can be dangerous for a child, it can also be a great deal of fun. They will have fond memories of it as well. Parents have a responsibility to keep their children safe while operating a motorcycle. Donât share helmets among your children as they wonât fit each of them properly.
Many children enjoy operating a motorcycle, and parents will find that it can help them become more responsible. They also learn valuable skills about operating vehicles and safety at a very early age. Children who wear safety equipment as a child will continue to do so as an adult. They also develop skills to make them safer drivers so that when they are old enough to operate a motorcycle on the street, they have plenty of experience.
The History of Motorcycles
Most of us have ridden on a motorcycle at one time or another. The idea for their design came from the development of the bicycle. I guess people were looking for a faster way to move their bicycle along, or perhaps one that wasnt as physically exerting for them. The first motorcycle every made is credited to Gottllieb Daimler in 1885. This gas powered motorcycle was basically a gas engine attached to a standard bicycle. However, Gottllieb decided not to pursue making motorcycles and choose instead to focus on manufacturing cars.
During this time period, many other individuals were also tinkering with the motorcycle concept. A couple of the men behind this experimenting were William Harley and Arthur Davidson. You guessed it, the dynamic duo behind the amazing line of Harley-Davidson motorcycles that have become popular all around the world since 1903.
People were very interested in this convenient mode of transportation because it was very economical. The public loved the idea of motorized transportation, but cars were still more expensive than most people could afford. However, some people soon realized that they would need to purchase a car instead of a motorcycle in order to transport their entire family.
A few of these motorcycle pioneers were able to successfully establish companies such as Harley-Davidson. However, many never had the money to start the venture properly and make it prosperous. Others left to go fight in the war and still others went bankrupt trying to market their motorcycle ideas during the Depression.
One downfall to motorcycles in the 1950s is that you had to have a great understanding of mechanics to be able to operate one. The American bike manufacturers didnt pursue making advances in that department until they started facing competition from Japan. They developed the electric start system that motorcycles offer today. This important feature allowed motorcycles to transform from small mopeds and scooters to powerful machines.
American motorcycle manufacturers did not see Japanese bikes as a threat, but this was as serious miscalculation on their part. It didnât take long for American manufacturers to realize that they were losing consumers to the Japanese market. This lead to the introduction of many new models to prevent them from losing more of the market. Baby boomers continued to purchase Japanese bikes as they offered more power and were sold at an excellent price.
Motorcycles have certainly changes since their introduction. Today, the market is saturated with brand names that are well known in the motorcycle industry. Each one offers a variety of models to choose from as well as unique styles and designs. Regardless of the type of motorcycle you are interested in, you are sure to find one with the features and power you are looking for.
As the top motorcycle manufacturers continue to strive to come up with models that will please the consumer while out shining their competitors, you will have even more choices. As technology advances you will find faster, more durable, and less expensive motorcycle options on the market. Harley-Davidson continues to be in the top position, selling more motorcycles than any other manufacturer. In fact, the majority of their bikes are sold before they even leave the factory. While they remain one of the most expensive motorcycle producers, consumers are willing to pay for the quality and the power behind them.
When it comes to the motorcycle industry, consumers have come to learn that quality and reliability are more important than saving a few dollars along the way. A motorcycle is generally a large investment, and consumers want to be happy with the product they choose. The issue of brand name loyalty also comes into play with motorcycles. Since each manufacturer now offers a full line of different models and types of motorcycles, there is no reason why you canât purchase both the brand and the style you are looking for.
The development of Yamaha motorcycles is one that took place quite by accident. In 1953 the company was already developing a variety of other products. They were looking for a use for idle pieces of equipment that had once been used to make propellers for airplanes. The ideas for this equipment included sewing machines, auto parts, scooters, all terrain vehicles, and motorcycles. The decision was made to focus on manufacturing motorcycles because of the market demand for them.
The first Yamaha motorcycle was introduced in August of 1954, called the Yamaha YA-1. This bike featured a two stroke single cylinder engine. By July of 1955 Yamaha was creating 200 quality motorcycles each month with a staff of 274 people. The YD-1 was introduced in 1957 as a racing bike. The bike quickly became popular and was featured in the United States Catalina Grand Prix in 1958.
This gave Yamaha the invitation to start selling its motorcycles in the United States with a private dealer in California. To further attract sales in the United States, Yamaha Motor Corporation USA was established in 1977. In 1959 Yamaha introduced the idea of offering a converter kit to consumers. This allowed the motorcycle to be used for both street riding and motocross racing.
By 1960 Yamaha was producing 135,000 bikes per year. 1965 saw the advancement of no longer having to mix oil with gas due to the automatic oiling system. By 1973 Yamaha was selling more than 1 million motorcycles each year worldwide.
During the 1970s they began working on developing four stroke models to compete with other manufacturers. The results were faster motorcycles that met emissions regulations and were even more economical than the two stroke models. However, they also realized the potential to continue selling two stroke models to consumers as well. Many other manufacturers focused only on four strokes, so Yamaha was able to meet the needs of that target market.
1974 brought the introduction of the YZ250. This model quickly became the largest selling motocross bike because it featured a single horizontal rear suspension system. Yamaha built a racing track right next to the plant, allowing them to continually observe the quality and capabilities of their products.
Yamaha created one of the fastest racing bike models in 1985 with the introduction of the V-Max. This was classified as a muscle bike, with power that was not for the beginning rider. They continue to produce some of the fastest bikes on the market both for street riding and for racing.
Yamaha has never been satisfied to simply stop when they had a good thing going. They always had a vision of achieving more and to strive to further customer satisfaction. The visions and philosophies of the company have proven to be effective in every aspect of motorcycle production. The fact that they offer so many different models means the consumer has the opportunity to find the exact motorcycle they are looking for from a brand name they know they can trust to offer them a quality product.
While some of their models of motorcycles havent sold well, many of them have. Yamaha has always focused on the future of motorcycles while keeping in mind what consumers are wanting. They have been able to diversify their developments, and it has paid off by allowing them to reach a large portion of the motorcycle market without compromising their vision.
Today, Yamaha is the second largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world behind Harley-Davidson. They continue to make fast, reliable motorcycles that customers around the world are proud to own. They also manufacture motorcycles that have won more races than any other brand on the market. Their diversity and dedication to making quality motorcycles that meet the needs of the consumer have kept them a top seller in this growing industry. Yamaha dealerships can be found around the world, offering a full range of motorcycle models to suit your tastes.
Obtaining a Motorcycle License
To operate a motorcycle on streets, an individual must obtain a motorcycle license. You do not need a license to operate a dirt bike as long as you keep it off of the streets. The procedure for doing so varies by state. In most states, you can obtain one at the age of 16, the same age for obtaining a regular drivers license. The process involves a written test as well as a motorcycle driving test.
Keep in mind that if you get caught operating a motorcycle without a valid license, you face the same penalty in your state as driving a motor vehicle without a valid license. It is also very likely that the motorcycle you are operating will be impounded. Nationwide, 32% of motorcycle accidents involve those who do not hold a valid motorcycle license. Likewise, any person who has a suspended or revoked drivers license wont be allowed to obtain a motorcycle license either.
Each state offers a motorcycle operator manual for you to review free of charge. In some states, you can even review the information online. It is very important that you read the manual thoroughly and ask about any information you are not understanding. The information in this manual is what will be on the knowledge test you are required to pass in order to obtain a valid motorcycle license.
In some states, you will then be issued a motorcycle learners permit. This allows you to practice operating a motorcycle with the assistance of another licensed motorcycle rider. After a set amount of time or a set amount of practice hours, you will then be able to take a motorcycle operator skills test. Make you to bring along any safety equipment for riding that is required in your state. For states that dont issue motorcycle learners permits, you will be issued your license upon successfully passing both the written and skills tests.
Make sure you have spent plenty of time going over the proper procedures for operating a motorcycle before you attempt to take the skills test. Test administration is very strict because of the huge risk operating a motorcycle comes with. Some of the same rules apply as when testing for a traditional drivers license including looking in your mirrors, using signal lights, stopping appropriately, watching for pedestrians, and obeying posted speed limits.
Some common motorcycle skills you will be tested on include starting your motorcycle, stopping, turning, and balancing the bike. In some states, they set up an obstacle course for motorcycle testing that you have to be able to maneuver through. You can ask your local Department of Motor Vehicles what to expect on the skills test. This gives you plenty of time to practice particular skills before you test.
To find out the specific requirements including age, testing, cost, and other important information for obtaining a motorcycle license in your state contact your local department of motor vehicles. You can also find the information on the internet. If you are interested in learning to operate a motorcycle but donât have anyone to teach you, consider enrolling in a motorcycle instructional course. This is a great way to develop the skills you need to operate a motorcycle safely and properly. You will also get a discount from most motorcycle insurance companies if you can verify you successfully completed such a class.
What You Can do to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles are frequently found on our roads, especially during the warmer months of the year. With the high price of fuel, it isnt surprising that the number of motorcycle riders out there is significantly on the rise. It is everyones job to do all they can to prevent motorcycle accidents from happening. What can you do while you are on the road to prevent them?
For motorcycle riders, the answer starts with being responsible. Make sure that you always wear the proper safety equipment. Dont exceed the posted speed limit or ride your bike in adverse weather conditions. If you arent confident of your riding abilities then dont take that motorcycle onto a street that is busy or onto a highway or interstate. Doing so will only put yourself and others at risk of an accident. Always make sure everything on the motorcycle is in excellent working condition and that you can safely reach all of the necessary controls on the bike.
Drinking and driving is not acceptable for anyone behind the wheel of a vehicle, and that includes a motorcycle. Unfortunately, there are numerous motorcycle accidents that involve the bike operating consuming alcohol. Motorcycle operators have the responsibility of watching all the other vehicles on the road. Many vehicle operators dont stop to consider a motorcycle may be behind them or in a blind spot. You always have to be on top of such issues as you are riding. Make sure your motorcycle is has everything it needs to be operational at night. This includes a working headlight.
More experienced motorcycle riders are less likely to have an accident. This is because they understand the rules of the road in greater detail. They are also more relaxed as they are enjoying cruising on their motorcycle. However, a seasoned motorcycle operator can still end up in a accident if they arent paying attention. Always keep an eye on obstacles that may be in the road ahead of you. While most vehicles can run over a board or other debris without problem, it can be a major threat to a motorcycle.
Motor vehicle operators need to become more aware of the potential that a motorcycle may be in back of them or trying to pass them. The easily fit into a mirrors blind spot so take the time to look a couple of times before you make any moves. Always use your signal lights so that the motorcyclist can be watching what your actions will be as well.
Keep in mind that older models of motorcycles dont feature turn signals. The motorcycle operator should be using hand signals to indicate right and left hand turns as they need to. You should pay close attention to motorcycles at night as well. That one head light you see in the distance may be a motorcycle or simply a vehicle with one light out. Be prepared for either one.
Keep your distance from the back end of a motorcycle. Should another vehicle have to stop suddenly in front of you, a rear end crash isnt going to be as likely to injure someone as it will if that person is on a motorcycle. Rear ending one can cause the operator to loose control or to even fly off of the bike. Keep in mind that motorcycle riders are not as protected as those in an enclosed motor vehicle.
It doesnt matter if you are a new motorcycle rider or someone with years of experience, being involved in an accident can happen at any time. While it is impossible to eliminate very type of hazard, you can do your part to ensure your riding adventures are as safe as possible. For those who operate motor vehicles, keep in mind that you are sharing the road with motorcycles and pay extra attention to their whereabouts. Working together, motorcycle accidents and motor vehicle accidents in general can be eliminated.
Should I Allow My Teenager to Get a Motorcycle
As teenagers get older, the prospect of soon being able to drive on their own is very exciting for them. However, it can be a complete nightmare for a parent. Many teenagers start asking for a motorcycle rather than a passenger vehicle as this type approaches. Should you allow your teenager to get a motorcycle? This can be a hard decision to make and one that shouldnt be make quickly.
There are a few advantages to allowing your teenager to have a motorcycle. For one, they will only be able to have one other passenger with them. That is if you allow it. Some parents make the rule of no passengers for the first year. That is a personal decision. Many passenger vehicle accidents occur because of the car being full of kids and that is a major distraction. They also wont be able to hide any alcohol on a motorcycle as they can with a passenger vehicle. Having been a teenager once ourselves we know this is a likely scenario in a car.
For the most part, purchasing a used motorcycle for your teenager will be less expensive than purchasing a used car for them. The insurance can also be cheaper too in many cases. The cost of gas that they will be burning up is also going to be significantly less than will a car.
You are going to have to take an honest look at how responsible your teenager is. For those who have allowed their teenager to ride on and operate off road motorcycles for years, then the issue wont be as large. This is because you know they are capable of handling the equipment and know how to properly operate it. If your teenager has a need for speed or is a risk taker you will need to be more cautious with this decision. You will also have the issue of how your teenager is going to get around when the weather is cold or too bad to operate a motorcycle in.
For the most part, if you agree to allow your teenager to get a motorcycle, you should be able to come to agreement on the terms and conditions of this taking place. Start with safety requirements. Is your teenager willing to wear a motorcycle helmet without fail all the time when operating the bike? Some teenagers are too concerned with their hair or looking like a dork in front of their peers to agree to this. If they wont then the motorcycle definitely should not be considered.
Is your teenager willing to take a motorcycle safety course? If they arent willing to give up one weekend to be involved in such an activity, do you really want to turn them loose with such a machine? Regardless of the power behind a particular model of motorcycle, it is still a bike they will be riding with other cars on the road.
Once you have discusses the guidelines and terms of your allowing your teenager to get a motorcycle, you will have a clearer picture of what your teenager is willing to do for it. If they are willing to abide by your rules then you should trust them to make the right decisions. It is a good idea to put the agreed terms in writing as well as the consequences for breaking them. This way everyone is clear on what is expected from them regarding this decision.
It can be difficult allowing our children to grow up. The rite of passage that comes with obtaining a drivers permit isnt easy for most parents. Allowing them to be on their own and operate a motorcycle is a tough decision and one parents have to make all the time. As a parent, it is your responsibility to do what is in the best interest of your teenager even if they dont agree with the decision.
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
For anyone who loves to ride on a motorcycle, attending various rallies is a real treat. They provide fun opportunities to enjoy your motorcycle, get to know other riders, and have a break from the daily grind. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an annual event held in Sturgis South Dakota. This rally has been taking place each year since 1938, and continues to grow in size each year. In the early days, the main attraction was a spectacular motorcycle raise that drew the top riders from around the world. This annual event was canceled in 1944 and 1945 due to fuel shortages as result of the war. Keep in mind that each state has their own motorcycle laws to follow. When entering South Dakota to reach Sturgis, you are going to have to obey these laws. They are strictly enforced and you do not want to spoil your trip by having a serious fine to pay as a result of violation such laws. Every motorcycle must have at least one headlight, and a maximum of two are allowed. There also needs to be at least one tail light that is in working condition. The handle bars on the bike cannot be higher than the shoulders of the individual who is operating it. Motorcycle helmets are mandatory for anyone under 18 years of age. However, they are strongly encouraged for anyone riding a motorcycle. Eye protection is required for each individual on a motorcycle, regardless whether they are the operator or a rider. The eye protection may not be tinted after dusk. Noise ordinances are also enforced so make sure your motorcycle has a muffler on it. Motorcycle operators much have a valid motorcycle license. If they dont, their motorcycle will be impounded. While you are encouraged to have a great time while attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, code enforcement is strictly enforced. This is because of the sheer volume of people. There are fines for public intoxication, fighting, indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, careless driving. There are also Zero Tolerance laws regarding drugs. It does not matter the type of drug or the amount, you will be arrested and prosecuted. There are many great places to hang out while attending the Sturgis Rally. There are also plenty of great concerts taking place each night. Some people decide to get married in Sturgis as well! There is plenty of food, fun, and motorcycle activities to keep you entertained for the entire rally. If you own a motorcycle and enjoy attending rallies, then you should plan to attend the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this August. Keep in mind that thousands of people attend each year. It is important for you to plan early and to schedule your accommodations. Many who come for the rally decide to stay in a tent they bring along. Others prefer the comfort of a hotel. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a yearly tradition for many motorcycle owners. Many of them have made it a family tradition with fathers, sons, brothers, and even grandfathers all traveling together. An average of 500,000 riders make their way to Sturgis each year to participate in the many events as well as the wonderful entertainment. It is a few days to enjoy being around other motorcycle riders as well as the pleasure of the ride getting there.