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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks, this is my first post on any sort of motorcycle forum. As of today I'm not a motorcycle rider and never have been with the exception of the occasional jaunt on a dirt bike.

My question is this, how do I convince myself that I'm not being an irresponsible parent of three very young children (ages 6, 2, 1) by taking the training, getting a license, and buying a bike?

I LOVE the idea of riding one but it scares the **** out of me that I might be in a crash and leave my wife with our three kids and my three kids without a father or be in a situation where I become a 4th child for my wife to care for because I end up in a wheel chair eating through a straw.

Can anyone shed any light on this at all? I'm really struggling with it. Thanks in advance for any input you all provide. I would particularly like to hear from those who have younger children. FWIW, I absolutely love the new CB500f which is why I chose this forum to post this in.:)
 

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No one can assure anyone of 100% safety, we can't even do that with a car. You can take steps to make you as good a rider as possible (taking courses) and as safe as possible (wearing the right clothing, gear protection. good boots, knee pads good jacket with back, elbow and shoulder protection, good helmet and gloves.

Will this make you 100% safe, no it won't but at least you will know that you took every measure to be as safe as possible.
Otherwise you could wait until your children are older, which I know a lot of people do.
 

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Honestly, if you are feeling this way, motorcycling may not be for you.. The best thing you could do is take the course and then go from there. You may need to prioritize your life, and if motorcycling isn't anywhere close to the top, chill out for awhile until it can be, such as when your kids are old enough

Plus, talk with your wife ALOT.. People may say that its your decision and not hers.. Either their wives hate them or they aren't letting you see what really goes on behind closed doors lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, you both are right on point with your comments. As always, I'm not worried about me, I'm a responsible adult who is very cautious in terms of risk taking...it's the idiots we all worry about!
 

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Tough question and probably one only you can answer. But not everybody that rides a bike gets maimed or killed. Yes it happens, my best mate ran into a kangaroo and died. But the risks can be mitigated somewhat by rider education, wearing the right gear and avoiding risky situations. Also it really depends on what sort of riding your doing, as speed increases the risks get greater. The cb500 are a great choice of bike for the beginner and thus quite a few here are pretty new to the game. For this reason your question may actually be better of being asked in a larger more established forum , no disrespect meant to anybody at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Old Dog, perhaps I'll see if I can find another forum to get some feedback there as well.
 

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I am getting back into the hobby after having my first kiddo. I asked my self the same sort of question. Only I know it is on top of my "toy" priorities. Take out all the high risk rides, like riding to work or riding right before dusk. And ride with friends. That's how I approach it. Disasters can happen in any situation. Don't be dumb and know... No one sees you that's looking out of a car.
 
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I am in a very similar situation except my kids are much older. It's Harley time for me so I finally decided to get my bike license. Only XP I have was dirt bikes so after I did my basic Q Ride test I decided to go for the new CB500F and just take it really easy. Only going to use it when conditions are good and I won't be driving like an idiot. So basically I will reduce any risk there is....become a better rider over time and see how I feel after that. I know there are no guarantees but it's the same when you board an airplane. You can make it as safe as you can and keep the chances low of anything bad happening. That's what I'm hoping and aiming for. I would suggest you weigh up what options you have to make it safe and if the risks are too much then maybe you have your answer.
 

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Much good advice here so far!
Get plenty of good training (consider borrowing or buying a copy of Proficient Motorcycling), assume that you are invisible and that every car is likely to pull out in front of you, and make sure to have excellent financial support in place for your family should the worst happen.
Know that, while you should absolutely take a beginner rider course, taking such a course will likely make you an addict :)
Ride wisely.
 
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Hi Volrus,
At certain stages in life "to ride or not to ride" is a difficult decision. You may be in a position to ride with minimal risk by doing some trail bike riding at a sensible space. You don't have to be competitive!
Or possibly you may be able to do some trials riding. Again, if you stick to a social level of riding as distinct from competition this would be a great way to have fun and build up skills that will see you in good stead when you decide riding on the road is an OK risk. I'm told that some trials clubs are very family friendly.

Many of us have been through long non-riding periods (40 years in my case) and it's all the more enjoyable when the opportunity finally comes.

Good luck with whatever decision you make.
 

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Just ride and do not wait for your kids get older.
Life is short and with proper measures and protective gear with slower speeds, it is not that easy to harm yourself. There are risks while driving a car too!
 

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I asked myself the same question earlier this year but motorcycling is just something I love to do. You definitely need to be cautious when riding, wear the right gear all of the time and be aware of what's around you. I'm always careful to leave lots of space between me and the car in front as I want lots of room to brake or move out of the way so I don't get run over by the guy behind me.
 

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I love riding motorcycles. It's in my blood. I resisted street bikes telling myself the risk wouldn't be worth it. I got my fix on MX/dirtbikes over the years. I always wanted a streetbike, but never got one.
On the dirt, it's YOU, the bike, and the dirt. I felt safe, because it was all up to ME.
On the street, I was worried about all the other idiots in cars that shouldn't even have licenses. The streets are full of horrible drivers that don't pay attention while driving.
I have no control over them. This kept me off of streetbikes.
As I got older, I don't get to go out with my dirtbike as much as I would like to.
I'm not getting my fix like I used to. When I saw the new CBR500R, it was calling to me.
I always liked sport bikes, but I never liked the riding position. I do not want to be laying across the tank while riding.
I also don't need 150hp, or 190mph speed. Sport bikes are also very expensive.
The new CBR500R seems perfect for what I need. A fun, inexpensive bike with a more comfortable riding position, and sportbike looks.
I decided to go for it. My plan is to just ride it around once in awhile for fun.
I don't need to use it for work. I will stay off the roads during high-traffic periods.
I will be as careful as I can, wear safety gear, and hope the other road toads don't run into me. We'll see how it goes.
I don't have the bike yet, they had to order it for me. I already have my riding gear.
While I am waiting for my bike to arrive, I will be working to get my motorcycle license.
I am looking forward to it, but I am also a little apprehensive about the whole thing.
Excited, but nervous. I don't have a death wish. But I need to cross this off my bucket-list eventually.
It's a tough decision. And one that we all have to make for ourselves.
 

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My kids are 6 and 3. Two years ago I bought a 450 nighthawk, took a motorcycle course, and set out on two wheels for the first time in my life. Some people, including myself, asked me the same questions you are dealing with now. I really had no answer other than I had been waiting 20 years and felt it was time. I am so glad that I did, and that I waited until now. I'm pretty sure, the way I lived my youth, that I would not be here to write this had I done it back then. Safety in/on any vehicle is about making the right choices. You are starting in the right place with a motorcycle that you can handle and that will give you confidence. Next take the course and get proper gear. Then ride with caution, stay aware, maintain good distances, and expect the worst from every other driver on the road. The end result will be some of the best times you will ever have. And you will even likely become a better/more responsible driver while in your car as well.
 

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I came back to riding after our first child was 12 months. The truth is that you have asked all the right questions and more importantly the fact that you are cautious is the main strength a rider can have hence you have won half the battle. As has been said numerous times, take a course and see how you feel. Trust your gut instinct too and also make sure you have the wife onboard in any decision you make. The worst thing is to go ahead and get a bike and have a p*ssed off wife. that won't help anyone.

Finally, you have to enjoy it. Confidence coming with riding experience (guess everyone knows that! but worth mentioning).

Out of interest where are you based?
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow, sounds like a lot of you guys have been in my same shoes before. Thanks to everyone for your thoughts.

I had an interesting thought driving into work today. Perhaps it's just me trying to figure out a way to justify the risk, but I currenlty ride a road bike (actual road bicycle) on many busy suburban roads and rural back roads. I would actually think that would be more dangerous than a motorcycle. On my bike, the only course of action I have to avoid an out of control car/driver is to jump into the ditch. On a motorcyle I have more options for avoiding a potential crash. Also, I will be more visible on a motorcycle than I am currenlty on a bicycle. Am I delusional, or does this make sense?

By the way, I'm in Tennessee.
 

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Hey volrus I'm in the same position as you. I have an 11 month old about to have her first birthday next month. The only experience I have is riding a friends 90cc trail bike around our neighborhood. I've thought long and hard about whether or not to get a motorcycle and I've decided I'm not going to let others (drivers out on the streets) hold me back. The CBR500R will be my first bike. I plan to take the motorcycle class in July and will use the bike at first to ride with friends who have years of riding exp and stay away from heavy traffic areas.

I have a great wife that is totally on board with my decision and I plan on wearing full gear (helmet, riding jeans, boots, gloves, & jacket) 100% of the time!

Stay safe and good luck!
 

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I had an interesting thought driving into work today. Perhaps it's just me trying to figure out a way to justify the risk, but I currenlty ride a road bike (actual road bicycle) on many busy suburban roads and rural back roads. I would actually think that would be more dangerous than a motorcycle. On my bike, the only course of action I have to avoid an out of control car/driver is to jump into the ditch. On a motorcyle I have more options for avoiding a potential crash. Also, I will be more visible on a motorcycle than I am currenlty on a bicycle. Am I delusional, or does this make sense?
I think you are trying to rationalize/justify your decision.
Nobody can predict what might happen to them in the future.
If we are in the wrong place at the wrong time, we are going to get nailed.
On a motorcycle, things happen FAST. If a car or truck pulls out in front of us, sometimes there is no way to avoid the collision.
Riders on motorcycles get nailed sitting at a stop sign or a red light. Car or truck fails to stop and slams into them from behind. They never see it coming.
Not a thing anyone can do about it. These situations are what scares me.
You hope it never happens to you. Some of it is "reducing risk". Some of it is just plain "luck".
Harley riders are a superstitious lot. They give each other little bells to put on their bikes.
The bells are supposed to give them luck. ( Keeps the "road gremlins" at bay, they claim. )
You can't buy your own bell and put it on your own bike. Someone has to give you the bell as a gift.
It took me 25 years to decide I wanted to ride. I am finally going to do it.
I could have done it 25 years ago, but perhaps I wouldn't be here now if I had. Really makes ya stop and think, doesn't it.
 

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Folks, this is my first post on any sort of motorcycle forum. As of today I'm not a motorcycle rider and never have been with the exception of the occasional jaunt on a dirt bike.

My question is this, how do I convince myself that I'm not being an irresponsible parent of three very young children (ages 6, 2, 1) by taking the training, getting a license, and buying a bike?

I LOVE the idea of riding one but it scares the **** out of me that I might be in a crash and leave my wife with our three kids and my three kids without a father or be in a situation where I become a 4th child for my wife to care for because I end up in a wheel chair eating through a straw.

Can anyone shed any light on this at all? I'm really struggling with it. Thanks in advance for any input you all provide. I would particularly like to hear from those who have younger children. FWIW, I absolutely love the new CB500f which is why I chose this forum to post this in.:)
Hey Volrus,

Nice to be so considerate when making such a decision. It's hard when you have so much going on already but the way I see it is you only live this one lifetime to do everything and anything you want. The safety factor is the same as a motor vehicle. there is no guarantee that you are 100% safe in that cage but if its your time to go then that is it. Just make sure you have the right safety gear for prevention and eliminate and narrow down the chance of a accident and live by that. Hope you figure it out soon.
 

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Well, I'm going to disagree with an earlier post - looks like you chose a very good place to ask this question, as the last two pages of thread will attest. Some great viewpoints and advice shared. What a great group of people we seem to have stumbled upon!

For me, I represent a slightly different outlook - I primarily ride as a cost-effective means of commuting. Even with buying a new bike, it'll cost about a third of the equivalent daily train ticket. Even so, if I were to have a child (I don't, so can only imagine) I don't think I would change that. As has been said, not everyone is killed or maimed, and it is all about mitigating the risk - good protective gear, right mindset, decent level of training. But there's still a level of risk, slightly elevated to that of driving a car. Talking it over is also a good idea, especially with your better half.

Personally, I lost a friend not long ago to a diesel patch on a roundabout. He thought he was a riding god. :(
 
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