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Old 7 Mar 2011
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Want to ride RTW with our children

My wife and I want to go RTW with our children, and by motorcycle. The kids are currently far too young for such a trip, but in due time, they will come of age. And when the time comes, we want to be prepared.

Anyone heard of anyone who has done something similar and can share some info?

Anyone have any links to blogs, articles, forum threads, etc???? Any books written on the subject??? Any other tips for researching the matter?

I know there was a couple from New Zealand who did an RTW on motorcycles - and with no prior riding experience on the mom's part, and with the kids being only 6 and 8 yrs old I think - and it was a great success according to articles written about their adventure. Now I can no longer remember their names or any links to any web pages covering their story. Anyone in here that know their names or links to articles?

I'm not looking for general articles related to riding with kids - there are tons of those. I'm looking for info on long adventure rides with kids, going to distant places and being away for a long time.

Also, if anyone has any type of input at all, that would be great. I do know about cars and all their benefits though, so I'm more interested on thoughts and ideas regarding RTW with children and motorcycles... maybe even side cars.

Thanks a lot.
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Old 7 Mar 2011
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found the album to the Cooper Family, riding Yamaha xt 600 and 250... photo2

As for their blog, no luck so far, but i did find a local paper who has covered much of their trip: Search results for 'cooper family' - Hawke's Bay Today

Last edited by Wheelie; 7 Mar 2011 at 13:41.
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Old 7 Mar 2011
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What a fantastic idea. Certainly not easy, but fantastic. I don't believe your kids could get a better education than that. I am 48 now. But, growing up, my sister and I toured all over Europe on the back on R60/2 and in sidecars. I have fond memories from those days.

Do you consider sidecar rigs for you and your wife?

"Hey, ...I'm just ridin' shotgun"
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Old 7 Mar 2011
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These guys have done m/c travels with their kids: Nina Rasmussen and Hjalte Tin - Lectures, Books, Articles, Photos og Background I saw a talk of theirs once. It was v good.
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Old 7 Mar 2011
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I travelled in India for a while with an Australian couple and their daughter who was about 12 at the time, they had an R80G/s with sidecar. They all seemed very happy and had travelled together for several years, taking advantage of the Australian home school system. They said having a child with them was a great ice breaker with locals and had better interaction with them as a result, it worked well for them.
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Old 7 Mar 2011
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Some challenge indeed

Kids get pretty fed up very quick (Are we there yet? Are we there yet?)
Doing it day after day will be a real tough ask on both them and you so I'd suggest that you plan for lots of time out.

There was an interesting documentary series some time ago on a families doing big trips with kids. One family travelled from Cape Town to London with two kids (ages around 10 I guess). I really felt for them cooped up day after day. They were slow to get to know the locals but reluctant to leave when they did.

I did sense that their frustration put pressure on the parents. There was a major crash as they pushed to get somewhere - luckily no major injuries but they had to buy a new vehicle.

Personally I wouldn't bring kids on the back of bikes, and wouldn't be mad keen to do it in a car either. But a side car hmmmmmm maybe. One fitted with a machine gun on the front would keep them occupied for months.

Sidecars being more stable reduces the risk of an OFF and allows the kids to see around. Also considering the amount of luggage that you will need, I'd think that you'd need the additional capacity.

I don't envy you but I do admire you!

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Old 7 Mar 2011
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Just be aware that some countries (ie Australia) require pillion passengers to be a certain age.

8 years in most of OZ

http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/licensing/...s_handbook.pdf page 64
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Old 8 Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by Wheeee! View Post
Some challenge indeed

Kids get pretty fed up very quick....

I think there will be some acclimatization period, a couple of weeks maybe. But then one gets into the routine. The kids will have their chores preoccupying them, as well as games and lots of small adventures. I believe a clue here is to involve the kids and not only leave them as bystanders waiting for playtime - after all, they all want to do as the grown ups do and to help out a bit:
  • Take part in the itinerary planning
  • Checking inn and out of accommodation
  • Navigation
  • Keeping log books, journals, blogging, facebook, etc
  • Refueling
  • Servicing the bike
  • Setting up camp
  • Cook
  • Light camp site fires
  • Photography
  • Etc.
The change in life, going from being just an average kid, to becoming an important integrated part of a family team surely must be an uplifting experience for a child? It will help build self confidence, self respect, self pride, and make them feel great about being both useful and competent to both learn and deliver. Also, I think learning a bit of patience as well as being able to cope with things that are not all fun and play, simply because as an integral part of a team one is obligated to pull ones load or help out someone in need, are all good things to learn even at a young age. But, of course, they are kids, and need to be able to be kids, so a healthy balance must be stricken between play and responsibilities... more like being allowed to play "grown up" once in a while.

As for entertainment en route, kids can easily sit in the back and read, play video games, watch movies, listen to music, photograph, or do animal spotting, sing, catch up on some sleep (wearing a harness strapped to the rider) or whatever.

Reading up on local history, legends and folk lore, wild life, doing a bit of storytelling, etc, paves the way for exiting exploration and enable the kids to see the world arround them with amusement and curiosity. Bringing some fun toys that enable them to interact with other children (balls - all kids love balls), storytelling, swimming, seeking out playgrounds, pet animals, seek out farms, or even the occasional amusement park/aquarium/zoo (where available), theater, movies, etc. Bringing small instrument like a harmonica that they can practice playing, even while riding... The opportunities are endless...

Imagine being a kid and be with your two biggest heroes all the time (mom and dad). Camping, storytelling, playing card games, exploring... What a blast that would be. Also, wherever you go, you are welcomed as a tiny pop-star. I am more worried about returning home and how they will adjust to "normal" life.

As for cars - cars are a pain. Every time we get in one, my wife and all my kids start snoring after 15 minutes, leaving me to focus on the road ahead. The difference between a bike and a car, as quoted many places, is the difference of seeing a great movie and being in one.

For added safety we will be wearing harnesses where the kids are strapped to the rider. That way, if one needs to get off the bike in an emergency, the kid comes with. And also, there are no worries about the kid falling asleep. Strapping the kid to the bike however is a no-no.
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