A parent’s job is to protect their kids and teach them life lessons that will allow them to excel later on in life. To that end, many parents shield their kids from things they deem unsafe. Little Timmy sees a motorcycle and it looks exciting, so Timmy’s parents tell him that Motorcycles are dangerous and to stay away from them, always!
But what happens later on in life? Little Timmy, still bit by the motorcycle bug, goes on to become a young adult, and he eventually buys a motorcycle anyway. But now, having little to no knowledge on motorcycling, Timmy has to figure it all out on his own. Maybe that’s why we see so many youths blasting around with little to no gear, on motorcycles they don’t know how to ride.
I say, embrace your kids desire to ride a bike. Look at it as an opportunity to do something together with your kid. Now you get an opportunity to enforce positive behavior, and instill in your kid habits that will benefit him later on in life. Show your kids how to buy a properly fitted helmet. Take your kids to the track where they can learn to fine tune those skills. Give your kid a motorcycle for Christmas instead of video games.
Motorcycling is a legitimate sport. It takes eye-hand coordination, strength, stamina, will. Many parents encourage their kids to play sports but overlook motorcycling simply because it is not as popular in the US. Let’s face it, maybe your kid is not interested in football, or baseball. Many kids aren’t! The skills required to be a good racer are no less as challenging, but the sport itself is very inclusive. Successful professional riders can be very tall (Jake Lewis) or very short (Dani Pedrosa), it doesn’t matter!
Motorcycling teaches positive behaviors, and encourages fore thought and planning. It’s not just “Go fast”, although that’s the best part. The best racers have mechanical aptitude, are great planners, and they understand that in order to go faster, they need to invest. They invest in themselves in the form of training and education. They invest in the right safety equipment because if they get hurt, that might end their season and delay delay their advancement.
You need good habits and a healthy lifestyle if you’re going to be serious about track days or racing. As parents, isn’t that what we want for our kids? If your kid shows interest in two wheels, take them to the local track, watch a Moto America race together. Let them experience the sights and sounds, and let them see what it takes to become a track rider or a racer. In the end, they’ll learn to be safer and smarter on a bike, and you’ll both have an absolute blast while doing it!
~ Tony Albaceli
Sales Manager – STG