Monday, July 20, 2009

Can we guide the youth

I have had old BMW motorcycles since the birth of both my children, now 5 and 2.
Will this influence them in their choices of transportation in the future?
What lessons would a child learn growing up around vintage vehicles? Will it influence their sense of style? Their mechanical aptitude?
When I am out in the garage, they will pick up a wrench and want to help, but I don't want them to damage the bike, so they have a plastic wrench that they can use. I have not yet sat them down as I worked on the bike, pointing things out, and how they work.
Will it have the opposite effect. Will they want new things and turn their back on things that are old?
I grew up without vintage items and had posters of new exotic cars. Only when I got older did I grow to appreciate the vintage bikes.
I started with a 1974 BMW, the a 1968, the a 1953 and now I lust after a pre-war bike.
As every parent I am concerned about so many other things that may or may not influence my children. I want them to do the right thing at the right time. But I also what them to have a sense of the past, its place then and its influence on today. I think that it will give them a greater view of the world.


  1. Hello! I enjoyed your little blog post here, that I found through my friend Motolady's post...

    I grew up tinkering with Dad on my parents' vintage toys...everything from a '46 45" Flathead Harley to a '65 El Camino. Hell, the first bike I ever rode was my dad's '63 Panhead Harley. Now I'm 26 years old, and yes, I do retain a profound appreciation for all things vintage, but I also have a deep lust for all things new and innovative. My love affair with design and advanced technology led me to work with an Italian manufacturer recognized in both vintage and modern motorcycle circles. My name is Hannah Johnson, and I am the first female Ducati factory certified Master Technician.

  2. This post struck a chord with me. I'm curious how it has all developed over time.

    I have three children (22, 20 and 8). The older two have always been supportive of my tinkering but really only because they care about me. The gearhead thing is not their thing. The youngest? He is different. He got the gene in a major way. He had a serious gearhead interest before he could even speak. I'd take him to car shows as a toddler and he'd bend down to look under cars, examining their driveline. It's still almost all he thinks about.

    I believe exposing your kids to the hobby is great, especially to teach them that old things are not just disposable. That said I truly believe it's a nature vs nurture quality, gearheadedness. If someone doesn't get it, you can't really explain it. If they do get it... Watch out.

    I'd hoped to meet you at the Lemay show this year. Another time someday I hope.