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I'm an 18-year-old guy from EU, and I'm completely passionate about motorcycles - sport bikes to be more exact.

I don't have a job currently, am living with my parents, and in my first year of college. I know motorbikes and parents don't go too well, but I was wondering of some way to convince them to allow me to get one. Yes, I don't have a job, but I don't want them to buy it for me, I just want permission, whom when I asked for, they went something like "I'd rather burn the money than buy you a bike", and that really was NOT the reaction I was looking for.

I don't want to brag but I could say I'm pretty responsible and I most likely wouldn't kill/harm myself on a bike.

Some may wonder why a motorbike, well:

  1. Cheaper to buy,
  2. Cheaper to maintenance,
  3. Spend way less gas,
  4. Cheaper insurance,
  5. They're cool!

I am hoping some of you have got in similar situations and hopefully found the way out of it, so you can share the experience with me and they way you did it.

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    @Ilirixx9 Have you tried explaining the 5 points you listed here to them? If they are so unwilling to let you have a bike, what is their proposed alternative? Do they plan on getting you a car? Public transit? You are going to have a lot more success if you can 1) hear and understand their objections and be able to respond to them calmly and rationally and 2) be able to justify needing your own set of wheels. So far, your post hasn't specified that you have a need for a bike. It's a lot harder to argue with "I need a bike to get to school" than "I just want one because they are cool." – Becuzz Feb 5 '18 at 14:39
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    How are you getting around now? Did they buy you a car? Responsible does not make a motorcycle safe. – paparazzo Feb 5 '18 at 16:17
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    Many of the risks of motorcycles are simply from other drivers, regardless of your level of skill or responsibility. You really need to know their reasons to make your case. – zugzwang Feb 5 '18 at 18:24
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    I too don`t want to brag, I got into racing go-karts at 10 years of age. So probably dynamics-wise I drive better than 99% of population. And well I also thought I was a very responsible person. At 18 I got in a nice crash (fixed the car and walked away so no huge deal) and that taught me that IT IS NOT DRIVING SKILLS NOR "MATURITY" THAT COUNTS, it is learning to interact with the other elements and users of the road that matters. Having a sport motorcycle at 18 with no previous 2 wheels experience is a recipe for TOTAL DISASTER. Get yourself a nice moped and in 2/3 years a (basic) motorbike. – Caterpillaraoz Feb 6 '18 at 10:39
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    As for the "responsible" I meant I wouldn't to crazy stunts and ride like a lunatic. As Ron Beyer said, it's not really if you'll go down, it's when you'll go down, if you're a part of traffic continually, you'll get in an accident sooner or later. – Ilirixx9 Feb 6 '18 at 12:03
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Being on a motorcycle and young is a recipe for a disaster I'm sorry to say, and your parents are probably right on this. When I was 28 or so, after college I decided to buy a bike. During my motorcycle training (through a professional organization) the instructor said that it isn't "if you'll go down, but when you'll go down".

Now wearing proper riding gear and riding sensibly is a big part of safety, but there are two major things you need to think about:

  • Your personal maturity level. If you are subject to showing off (as young people do so often), a motorcycle is the wrong place to do it. Aside from that a lot of things can affect how you ride, not just showing off, but if you are irritated about something you may end up riding without your mind on the road.

  • Everybody out there on the road is trying to kill you (something I kept in mind as I rode). If that makes you mad, such as when somebody cuts you off, you shouldn't be on a bike. Take a drive a few times on your route you would travel and notice how often you witness a car doing something wrong, cutting you off, getting too close to you, talking on the phone, drifting into other lanes, stopping short, etc.

So, being a parent I would agree with yours. The best time to get a bike isn't while you're trying to finish (or start) college and get your career going. It is after you have those things and you can think clearly and responsibly. I'm sure you are a reasonable, responsible young adult but the statistics are not on your side.


Now for my personal story. Like I said, I got a bike around 28 years old. Took a professional motorcycle course and bought good safety gear (gloves, helmet, jacket, boots). I spent a lot of time commuting in Houston traffic without too much incident (but a lot of near misses). I felt that I was a safe and proficient rider but one day I got cocky and gunned it on a back road near my house. I wiped out at near 80mph. I broke 3 ribs, collapsed one of my lungs, broke my collarbone in 2 places and broke my tibial plateau (right knee), along with quite a bit of road rash (jacket rode up and I didn't have my gloves on).

I was in a wheelchair for 3 months. It cost me over $18,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses (covered expenses exceeded $75,000). I had surgery to repair my broken clavicle which resulted in a severed nerve and no feeling in my left bicep. My knee bothers me daily and some days prevents me from doing too much. I was around 29 when that happened and now those are things I have to live with for life.


So to answer how I "found a way out"... My parents were similar to yours. My friends/other family had motorcycles, four-wheelers, and snowmobiles yet I wasn't able to. My parents refused to let me purchase those things. The way I "got out of it" was to wait until I was older, living on my own, and self-sustaining. It can be painful to wait, but it really isn't worth pushing your relationship with your parents. Wait this out, you'll get it, or you'll realize later in life that it was a good thing you didn't.

  • Great answer, and I think that a "mnemonic" commonly taught in flight training applies also to road users: "The right-of-way is a duty but not a right" – Caterpillaraoz Feb 6 '18 at 13:50
  • @RonBeyer I dont think that being young and owning a bike is a recipy for disaster. I am 21 years old, got my bike with 18. Drove my whole live on the back of my dads bike and learned to be responsible. Of course a slip (already had) or bigger accident can happen, and more likely than with the car, but if you are responsible i dont see the problem. My bike i had since i was 18 is about 65hp, which is not crazy strong but enough to kill you and never had more than a few scratches. – MansNotHot Feb 6 '18 at 14:02
  • @MansNotHot It isn't just about injury but the financial/personal aspects that come with the recovery. Breaking an ankle or wrist is very easy and can happen just with the bike falling over. If that happened would you be able to continue making it to your university classes? Work? How would you pay bills/medical expenses? There are a lot of young people who responsibly ride, and maybe that fits the OP, but is the risk worth it when trying to focus on college? Maybe it is, the OP's parents don't believe so though and I would agree. – Ron Beyer Feb 6 '18 at 15:28
  • @RonBeyer Well always depends where you come from. In your example. If i were to break something i would go on medical leave and back to work (programmer) and the state pays for allthe medical bills. I know that for some its not so easy but i can only talk for me. Still I always think, live is inheirately dangerous and if you wanted to live "save" you would not be able to do anything except for sitting alone at home. – MansNotHot Feb 7 '18 at 7:23
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I think I can kind of see where they are coming from.

In my years I've known 3 people who rode crotch rockets. One I have a picture of as he is mid air at 60mph with his motorcycle about 10 feet in front of him without him on it. I'm amazed he lived. The second has a necrotic liver and a secondary transplant he has to be on anti-rejection meds for the rest of his life because someone didn't see him as they pulled out in front of him. The third was me and on a mere 50cc engine I managed to send it flying under a car in a parking lot, while also in a separate instance managing to get citations for everything you can get a motorcycle citation for.

When I was young I burnt through a decent fortune building, repairing, and maintaining a street racing VW Golf... in hindsight it was a total joke. Like adding a rocket engine to a gremlin. No matter how fast you do a quarter mile, you still did it in a gremlin, plus who cares anyhow? Many years later, I wonder what I was thinking. What could taint my mind in such a way that would somehow see transforming an economy coup into a race car as a good idea? Was I bored? Did I think it was "cool?" I may never know. I will also never get back what I poured into that pile of trash.

Like what you like. If you want to live to ride and ride to live, then go for it. Forget the blessing and buy a powerful engine with wheels and certain death and make your own decisions because after all it is your life to live.

Try to consider the value of this decision though. Your family probably won't roll around in their sleepless nights crying as they wonder whether or not you're being dragged across the pavement on fire after some brutal motorcycle incident. They'll probably just occasionally feel nervous and eventually calm down about it. But IF you happen to get hurt once they might creep closer to the edge of insanity and slowly become that person who will never stop nagging you about getting rid of that casket on wheels.

In the end, they're probably right. Everyone I know on a motorcycle probably should never have got on one. Actually, most people I know who even rode bicycles have been hit by a car on one at some point. One even died. Why do people ride things with 2 wheels around a sea of idiots in cars? It's probably not even the motorcycles that are dangerous in themselves. It's the collective wealth of total morons you have to ride around who may eventually send you under a car and if you're lucky only end up with a liver transplant and a lifetime of medication.

Bottom line is that you have to decide what you want to do with your life. Nobody could talk me out of building a $50,000 drag racing VW pile of crap. It's possible nobody can talk you out of buying an engine between your legs. But if you want to come to terms with your parents about it, you either never tell them or you do tell them and work out their reactions without the advise of the internet.

  • Reminds me of someone.... I poured more than I can count in my 18 years old Mini.... – Caterpillaraoz Feb 6 '18 at 13:52
  • I really dont get why everyone is so negative about motorcycles... I know soo many people with bikes, none of them died. Of courec accitents can happen. But they will with a bike or car. Nothing is ever in your hands alone and that is a risk you can take or not. It's a risk i definetily like taking for all those long rides through beaitiful nature WITH my parents I've had in the last 3 years (since i got 18). Yes its a risk, but for many a risk worth taking :) – MansNotHot Feb 6 '18 at 14:07
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    @MansNotHot - I'm negative about anything operating with a combustion engine and the stupidity of the human race and their self centered agendas. Put them together and you have a bunch of morons plowing through the city in heavy machines containing several thousand explosions a minute while putting on makeup and glancing at the unimportant minutia on their dumbass cell phones. They can barely manage to avoid hitting other cars. Motorcycles are like much smaller, more invisible cars with no defensive matrix. It's hard to believe we trust society with either. – Kai Qing Feb 6 '18 at 16:07
  • @Caterpillaraoz - lol... yours was at least a mini. People might like those and you might be able to sell it as a classic if nothing else. Mine was a VW Golf. That's like pouring tens of thousands into a dodge neon or a hyundai accent. The only race I won was the race of the idiots with the grand prize as a lifetime of regret. I managed to place well, at least in the "nobody got killed" circuit. I'm sure others have found themselves at much greater loss. In hindsight, tossing $50k in nickels into the street would probably have brought more amusement and overall satisfaction to me. – Kai Qing Feb 6 '18 at 16:11
  • Dude cheer up! I do not regret doing that, it gave me endless amusement and lots of tech skills. It probably was the same for you :) Btw I still have that car, it incredibly survived to this day. – Caterpillaraoz Feb 7 '18 at 8:16
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My parents are dead against it too, I had to teach myself to ride a pushbike, let alone a motorized one!

Here's some thoughts:

  1. Consider a Moped first? They might be more amenable to you getting a low powered moped first, ok, they are definitely not cool (unless you are a 1960's mod), but are a lot safer form of transport while you practice being motorized on two wheels.

  2. Although you have to do in the UK a basic course before you can ride a motorbike, consider doing an advanced training course. It shows you care about safety, and it will make you a better safer driver too.

  3. If I wanted to ride a motorbike, my mum would NEVER be happy about it, but i'm an adult, so they would just have to deal with it. You might never be able to persuade them, If so, just appreciate that they can't stop you, but you should respect their wishes if your still living with them and being supported by them.

Appreciate that your parents just don't want to see you come to harm, Motorbike riding is inherently more dangerous than driving a car. For example my dad doesn't have any motorbike owning friends left, because they all died in motorbike accidents. However taking safety seriously, wearing correct gear and being sensible can really lower these risks.

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