Parents, Partner and others wont let me get a motorcycle
Riding a motorcycle is awesome, there are so many positives that come out of the experience. If your here reading this you probably don’t need convincing how awesome it is, you need help reasoning with others or maybe even yourself on why you should do it. There is usually a long list of people in your life that will have a negative attitude toward riding a motorcycle, no matter who you are. These people include:
- Work colleagues
There is a simple reason why these people don’t want you to ride a motorcycle other than the obvious point of money (it can get expensive). That reason is usually perceived danger. The fact of the matter is that its dangerous to ride a motorcycle and people only hear about the bad stories…actually its dangerous to do a lot of things. First we need to talk about the positives, negatives and dangers of riding a motorcycle to gain a deeper understanding of the situation. Then we can look to discussing the situation with the people in your life that are worried about you.
Positives of owning/riding a motorcycle
The feeling of freedom and the atmosphere of the surrounding environment while riding a motorcycle is basically impossible to replicate
- useful and cost effective mode of transport, especially in cities
- can double up as a hobby (track days, group rides, weekend trips etc)
- makes vehicle storage and parking an ease
- mental heath benefits
- a usually boring commute is more fun
- more environmentally friendly, take up less space on the road
- increased brain activity and long term cognitive function
- opens up the opportunity to meet like-minded people
Negatives of owning/riding a motorcycle
- motorcycles and the gear needed with it can be expensive
- can only transport yourself and possibly 1 other person
- very limited luggage space for any travel
- can be restricted by weather conditions
- insurance and registration costs
- inevitable upgrade of safety gear required
- Service and upkeep of the motorcycle needed
- Very little protection from accidents or the elements
- Accidents usually have much more severe consequences due to the limited protection
- Other road users are a big risk to your safety
- The environment plays a much larger role in safety, eg: road surface and debris, animals, bad weather conditions
- Harder to see on the road compared to other vehicles (also other drivers tend to look for cars, not bikes)
- Mechanical or tyre failures can have much bigger consequences
- Lapses in concentration can have big negative consequences
Risk assessment and management
The fact of the matter is its dangerous to ride a motorcycle. You can’t control all the variables that go along with it, and its quite possible for you to have an accident and cause damage to yourself, others and property. This philosophy of not being able to control all variables can be applied to basically everything you do in life and is not just limited to motorcycle riding. This is called risk assessment. When living our lives we do risk calculations even if we’re not thinking about it. Taking certain steps can increase or decrease this risk leading to a topic called risk management. Everyone knows the risks that come with riding a motorcycle so we can’t convince people that this risk doesn’t exist. What we can do though is take steps to decrease this risk as low as possible. Below is a risk management list of riding a motorcycle that you can use as the bulk of your argument. Chose the points you can apply to your situation, the more you add the stronger the argument. Lets split this list into 3 categories:
Risk management for riding a motorcycle
1. Elimination – take steps to eliminate the risk
- Track or dirt bike riding only (eliminates the risk of other public road users)
- Don’t ride at night
2. Reduction – take steps to reduce the risk
- Purchase/ride a smaller cc motorcycle
- Wear motorcycle protective gear (this gear comes in varying degrees of safety)
- Only ride in certain locations or during certain times with less traffic
- Make an agreement to only ride during certain times of the day/night
- Stay riding within certain speed limits
- Purchase/ride a newer motorcycle with more safety features such as abs, traction control etc
- Wear high vis clothing
- Don’t lane split
3. Improvement – take steps to improve your abilities within the risk
- Take a motorcycle safety course
- Improve your skills with a rider improvement course or other ways
- Learn more about the machine your riding and its capabilities
- Improving driving and general road experience/knowledge of road laws
- improved road experience from driving another vehicle
As you can see from the list above, its hard to eliminate risk but much easier to reduce it by taking certain steps or simply improving your own abilities. Experience is a key to self improvement when riding a motorcycle, but this doesn’t help you in the argument for why you should ride in the first place other than the argument that you will get better with time. Everyones situation is unique to a degree and everyone has different people who are close to them or whom are the most passionate about preventing you from riding a motorcycle. Regardless of this, to help structure your thoughts and discussions on the topic, we will split these people into 3 seperate categories.
This category will only really apply to you if your young, living at home and/or are financially dependent on your parents. If not, you’re a true adult and can do what you like regardless of your parents thoughts and opinions. You are not a true adult because of your age, but because of your responsibilities. If you’re expecting a parent to help out financially with any part of owning or riding a motorcycle, you have bigger issues going on than motorcycle riding.
First, lets start by saying most parents love and care about you, they have invested many years and countless dollars into your upbringing, so understandably they are very protective of you. If your living at home then your parents have a considerable say in what you do and how you live your life – You have to respect their wishes and rules regardless of if your an adult or not. If your financially independent but living at home, this makes things easier but you may still need to store the motorcycle at the house, giving them ammunition to shut down the idea for example. If you end up going against your parents wishes in this situation, expect some problems in the relationship and household to arise and beat your ass. If your responsible for the roof over your head, your bills, your food and your life, then you’re a true adult and can do whatever you like. If not you need to respect your parents wishes until you’re a true adult.
That’s a solid moral view to hold when approaching this subject, but that doesn’t stop you from trying to convince you parents to let you buy or ride a motorcycle of you are legally allowed to. If you have your own money, and can legally go out and purchase a motorcycle, you can always just do it. It’s easier to apologise afterwards than ask for permission before. Understand that this approach will most probably have negative consequences you will have to deal with. This isn’t my recommendation but we must present all the facts here.
This is the toughest category because its a bad idea to go against the wishes of your wife/husband/partner/girlfriend…its not just yourself you need to be responsible for anymore, and if you have kids we can upgrade this to the almost impossible category. That being said, all relationships are about compromise. The only true way to own or ride a motorcycle besides just doing what you want and excepting the consequences is to put forward a solid argument for the reasons why your going to ride a motorcycle and why they should not stop you. We can strengthen our argument by using risk assessment and risk management. This in itself is proof you are serious about your own safety and have given lots of thought to the subject. Your better half will probably never fully consent to your decision to ride a motorcycle, but we just need them to understand its importance to you, and that you have put loads of thought into keeping yourself safe while doing so. It may take some time, but they will slowly start to understand the situation a bit better the more you put forward your logical arguments, facts and opinions.
This category contains everyone else in your life that doesnt fit into the first 2 categories. This may be friends, work colleagues or parents in law for example. To put it bluntly these people really shouldn’t influence your decision on whether to buy or ride a motorcycle. It’s always a good idea to collect different viewpoints and listen to people that know more than yourself, but at the end of the day these people are not usually in your inner circle. Letting these people have a say in how you live your life is not advisable. If a friend or work colleague can talk you out of your motorcycle dreams, this means your inner doubts about the subject were stronger than you think.
Sometimes all 3 of these categories are against you. This makes the situation much harder to deal with but the same thoughts and reasonings can be applied. Remember to keep your cool and present a logical argument for your reasons of why you want to ride a motorcycle and the extra steps you plan on taking to stay safe. These types of decisions take time to make so theres no rush to get your motorcycle by tomorrow. Anyone who has experienced death or hard times due to motorcycle accidents will have an increased negative opinion on motorcycle riding, and rightly so (you will need to be much more sensitive around these people). If these people are part of your inner circle, good luck! At the end of the day everyone’s an individual regardless of our responsibilities we have to ourselves and others. You must live your life the way you want as our time on this planet is limited.