In my article, Evans Off Camber – Precious Cargo: Riding With Kids, I had photos my daughter using a Children’s Riding Belt which actually straps her to my body. While I still think that it’s a good idea for longer rides where her attention could wander or she could fall asleep (I’ve seen it happen with other peoples’ kids), I’ve been looking for something more convenient for running errands or school drop offs. So, I contacted the folks at Left Coast Mobility Systems about getting a Grip-n-Ride to test. In a matter of days, I had not one but two Grip-n-Rides in my possession. The first is a standard $89 Grip-n-Ride. The second, a limited edition Street Art Collection Grip-n-Ride, priced at $169.

Grip-n-Ride

The standard Grip-n-Ride (top) and the Street Art Collection Grip-n-Ride.

The Grip-n-Ride is similar in design to a kidney belt or lower back support belt. The standard belt is constructed of a soft, padded plastic outer layer backed with a nylon mesh for cooling airflow with an open cell foam layer in the middle. The Street Art Collection differs in the slightly stiffer outer texture of the belt on which the design is printed, but the interior is the same. The standard belt also has a small pocket. Two pairs of handles are mounted on the belt: one vertical about six inches apart in the center of the belt, the other pair is located on the sides and are at an angle for an easy grip. The grips themselves have foam padding – complete with finger notches – over a solid core. One end of the belt is a three inch wide nylon strap backed with the loop portion of Velcro. The other end is a similar width elastic band with the hook fastener. Because of the length of the nylon strap, the entire belt is adjustable in size from 28–54 in. which should fit most people. A second nylon belt is secured via a sturdy plastic clip, giving additional security to the belt.

Grip-n-Ride front

The dual belts give maximum adjustability and two levels of security.

To don the belt, you simply center the grips on your back and wrap the long strap across your stomach. The elastic strap is pulled across the first strap, making a snug fit. Next, the secondary plastic clips are closed. Depending on the type of bike you ride, your passenger may find either the center or side grips more comfortable. For sportier riding, the manufacturer says the belt can be rotated around, placing the handles in front. While I can see how this would be good for canyon riding with an adult, my daughter’s arms are too short to comfortably reach around my torso.

Grip-n-Ride sportbike

Note how the Grip-n-Ride has been rotated around with the center handles in the front which would give an adult passenger a sportier riding position.

My daughter preferred to use the outer handles in all of the riding situations we tried. She said she felt more stable with them than the center ones. Either way, she’s now excited for me to take her to school on a bike. Before, with the harness belt attached to her body, she wouldn’t even entertain the idea of me riding her there. Not surprisingly, she felt the harness negated all of the coolness of showing up on a motorcycle. That trepidation is gone with the Grip-n-Ride.

Grip-n-Ride handles

The padded handles have a solid core and finger cutouts for comfort.

I need to take a moment in this product review to make an editorial statement: I’m more than a little puzzled by the website and promotional videos put together by a company that claims it “was born of the necessity to make the power-sports industry as safe as possible for passengers as well as riders” while showing riders and, more troubling, child passengers not wearing proper motorcycle gear. If Left Coast Mobility Systems bills itself as a manufacturer of a safety product, it needs to walk the walk about motorcycle safety. Yes, adults have earned their right to make decisions – even bad ones – but putting a child on a motorcycle in an adult-sized helmet? Remember, an improperly fitting helmet can cause injuries in a crash. Letting a child ride in shorts and short sleeves with no gloves? I just don’t get it. End of rant.

Grip-n-Ride scooter

The padded handles provide better grip than having the passenger hold on to the rider’s waist.

I’m happy to have learned about the Grip-n-Ride. It is now part of our family riding gear. (Although, I will probably still use the harness on longer rides out of the city.) While some people I’ve shown the Grip-n-Ride felt that the $89 price was a bit high, I think the quality of the construction will make it last quite a while, and by the time my second daughter is old enough to ride without the assistance of the handles, I will have gotten more than $89 of use out of it. Also, it’s hard to put a price on knowing that my daughter feels more comfortable on the bike – which will translate into more father-daughter rides. The additional cost of the Street Art Collection is a matter of personal preference. If you like the designs, you’ll be more likely to want to pay the additional $80. However, Left Coast Mobility Systems also offers the service of producing a Grip-n-Ride with your own custom design. If this appeals to your, check out their website: grip-n-ride.com.

  • notfishing

    Good Idea, thanks I’m going to get one.

    “my daughter’s arms are too short to comfortably reach around my torso.” — you do realize some of us have bigger bellies that may be the real problem?

    Which brings up the next question: Who decided 54 inches was enough ? (remember to include the obligatory leather jacket)

  • JMDonald

    I like this product. I seldom ride two up but if I do this would be a nice thing to have.

  • http://www.motou.info Gabe Ets-Hokin

    Ha! I interviewed Jack (owner of the company) for my column last year: http://www.motorcycle.com/features/skidmarks-aime-high.html

  • TheSeaward

    How many shades of grey does it come in?

    (Sorry.)

  • jose

    Sorry but this is a dumb product. If you are carrying a passenger,have a bike equipped with appropriate passenger hand grabs and have the passenger use them. If the passenger cannot reach and grabs safely do not take the passenger with you. Same goes with reaching the foot pegs. Can’t reach the foot pegs cant ride. Period. The last thing I want is for someone to hold on to me while I’m trying to steer the bike. The company is doing a piss poor job at encouraging safety. Shorts and tshirts for riding? Bad idea border into irresponsibility. Wear full gear or dont ride. ATGATT.

    • Tupack Shackur

      Or, and stay with me here, use this product instead of passenger hand grabs. Problem solved!

    • Evans Brasfield

      I’ll have to disagree with you on this one. Passenger grab rails offer the passenger less stability than actively holding on to the rider. Most put the passenger’s hands behind him/her, allowing only for bracing against braking forces. Additionally, by forcing the passenger to hold on behind their back, they give the passenger a nice pivot point to fall off the bike in a swerve. Finally, holding on to the rider makes the rider and passenger operate as one entity on the bike. By holding on to the rider’s waist, the passenger is in the perfect position for looking over the rider’s inside shoulder in corners. Finally, having a passenger close to you allows them to brace themselves better against you in a panic stop situation. If they’re sitting back away from you, you’ll get a surprise shortly after you start maximum braking when your passenger slides in to you. That’s why, when I was a motorcycle safety instructor, I told guys that, if they weren’t comfortable enough with their masculinity to have another man hold their waists when carrying a male passenger, they better only carry women on the back of their bikes. When you carry a passenger, they’re gonna have some pretty intimate body contact with you.

      I agree with you about the company needing to do a better job of presenting itself as a safety company, though.

      • jose

        I asked my wife about this product. She’s my usual passenger. She is a pettite gal which helps a lot and an outstading passenger. Most of the time is like she is barely there. We ride on my triumph tiger explorer which a decent size bike well fit for two up riding. She holds to the grab rails which are on her sides not behind her. I also have a top box with a back rest. We started riding together on my Kawaski Versys some years ago. From the beginning I ask her to hold to the rails. These provide a fixed point for her to hold on. I move a lot on the saddle when I’m riding. Especially in the twistes when many times I move on the saddle to the side of the lean. I do not want someone to hold on to me and restrict my ability to use my body when needed to safely steer the bike. I instruct her to look over my shoulder in the direction of the turn or the lean so she can see where we are going ( and not fight the lean). In her opinion this product does not add any value to us an does not make riding two up safer than providing the right safety equipment.
        We also believe that there is no safe way to ride with smaller children (under the age of 8 and under 40 inches tall) as passengers. They stay in the car in the booster seat.

        • Derek

          “I also have a top box with a back rest.” So no real need to hang on then.

  • Hot Stuff

    From the photos, looks like the “street art collection” has different grab handles than the base model. They appear to be a more solid rubber material (appears to be more durable), not foam over a solid core.