What Age Can a Child Ride on the Back of a Motorbike In The UK?

Have you ever wondered what age a child must be to ride on the back of a motorcycle in the UK? Well, you’re not alone.

There are, in fact, no limits on age when it comes to the minimum age to ride pillion on a motorcycle. However, there are a number of restrictions in place, meaning it’s only practical for children at least 10 years of age to ride as a passenger.

Read on, and we’ll explain everything you need to know about carrying a child pillion.

Child riding pillion on the back of a motorbike

Can a Child Ride on the Back of a Motorcycle?

Yes, you can take a child on the back of a motorcycle. Assuming that all of the usual requirements for riding with a pillion have been met. 

Here are some key points to take into consideration:

  1. Riders must hold a full license for the motorcycle in question and be insured to carry pillions.
  2. The motorcycle must be fitted with a pillion seat and footrests that the child can reach.
  3. The child must be able to comfortably sit astride the motorcycle and securely hold onto the rider or passenger bar/s.
  4. Passengers must wear a suitable, well-fitting helmet that’s securely fastened.
  5. The child should wear protective clothing (boots, gloves, jacket, trousers) made from a suitable material.
  6. Parental consent is required.
  7. You must not exceed the manufacturer’s maximum weight limit for the motorcycle.
  8. Any manufacturer recommendations (such as increasing the rear tyre pressure) should be carried out.

Is there a Minimum Age Limit?

While there is no minimum legal age, it is strongly advised that you follow all of the points mentioned above.

Who is Legally Responsible for the Safety and Wellbeing of a Child Pillion?

As the rider, you are solely responsible for the safety and behaviour of your passenger*.

*This rule applies to both adults and children.

What Else is There to Consider When Carrying a Child Passenger?

In addition to what we’ve already discussed, there are several other things to consider. Here are a few things to think about before carrying a child pillion.

Passenger Responsibilities

Riding two-up is a joint effort, and the child must understand what is required of them as a passenger. This includes:

  • Leaning with the rider and not against them.
  • Dealing with braking and acceleration.
  • A set of gestures and/or signals to communicate with the rider.

The child must also understand that dismounting the motorcycle without the rider’s knowledge could be detrimental to their safety.

As the rider, it is ultimately up to you to establish a set of rules with your passenger. These will help to keep everyone safe and ensure you both have a great time!

Short Attention Span

If you’re a parent, then you’re probably all too familiar with this…

Children often have a much shorter attention span than adults and are quite easily distracted.

The world’s a pretty fascinating place when you’re young!

With this in mind, we recommend starting with short journeys and working your way up from there.

Oh, and don’t forget to factor in plenty of toilet breaks!

Rider Responsibilities

On top of meeting the legal requirements and establishing rules, the rider is also responsible for adjusting their riding style.

Like riding in the rain, the rider should avoid any harsh inputs and reduce their overall lean angle. This is to account for the extra weight and new centre of gravity.

The rider should also have a firm understanding of how carrying a pillion will affect the motorcycle’s handling. Some noteworthy changes include:

  • An increase in braking distance.
  • Reduced acceleration.
  • Longer time to overtake other vehicles.
  • Less manoeuvrability.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has helped clear up any questions surrounding the age a child can ride on the back of a motorbike.

Be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more popular topics, frequently asked questions, and more!