These guys have given great advice, and most have been riding a lot longer than I have. I started about 5 years ago, although I'm around 100k~ miles already, so I'm not what I'd consider "green" anymore either. I've been doing it long enough to necessitate taking action to save my bacon several times now. So really all I can share is my experience, and tell you a story.
Like you, I always loved the idea of riding a motorcycle. When I was in my late teens and early 20s I had friends with bikes, and I always envied them. I was also a broke college kid, so that wasn't going to help a somewhat expensive hobby like this. For nearly 20 years I let the usual "fears" rule the decision. Bikes are dangerous, you're going to die or get severely injured, etc. At the age of 37 I was on the tail end of working a horrible Software Development job (although it was from home at least) that frequently caused me to have to put in close to 80 hours per week. I was burned out, pissed off, and generally depressed and in a bad mood -- all the time.
At the time I lived in Evergreen, Colorado which is a beautiful town up in the mountains near Denver, and as such is a magnet for motorcycle riders. All of the roads leading up there except for the interstate are awesome curvy canyons with awesome scenery in every direction. Starting in the spring of 2012 as I'd frequently traverse these roads to Denver and back, I started watching the numerous motorcyclists passing me in the other direction. Remember, at this time, I was miserable in general. Instead of staring at the bikes, I began to watch the riders. Yes, most "Harley" riders around here ride sans gear, so usually no helmets. Not only did they look cool, but I would watch their faces... all I can say is they generally ranged from obvious contentment, to half smiles with their heads cocked back enjoying the breeze. I would sometimes see ladies on the back with their arms stretched out and faces toward the sky, etc. Often the 2-up's were talking to each other and smiling. They were obviously having the time of their life.
Then it hit me, in a way that it never had before. I was pushing 40, and if I were lucky, MAYBE I was not quite
half dead yet. I had a job I hated, and I was generally burned out and stressed to the point of it being a health hazard. What I had going for me, was nearly 20 years in the IT industry and a healthy salary for many years. Also, my wife, who is incredible. Something "clicked" one day in the summer of 2012 on route 74 outside of Evergreen, west of Morrison Colorado as I watched at least 25 bikers pass me on the way up the canyon in the only 5 or 6 miles since I had left home. I remember the moment clearly, and I know exactly what section of road it was... I was alone in the truck, and I suddenly said "f--- it!", surprising even myself. I had decided I was GOING to buy a motorcycle. Call it a midlife crisis if you want, I guess it was in a sense... I was done wishing.
Suddenly all the fears of dying were replaced with fears of not living
, and having regrets later. That scared me more than anything. I went home that night and out of the blue declared to my wife that I was going to take a class, and buy a motorcycle. She looked shocked for a moment as in our 12 years together at that time, I had never once mentioned this desire. She paused and said, "Oh wow! That sounds awesome! I wanna go too, and I want my OWN bike!" I told you she was incredible.
We attended the class, and both passed. Unlike you, I had no doubt I would be able to operate the machine. It came pretty easily to me, but I also attribute that to driving manual transmission cars my whole life. Still, it is a SKILL, that can be LEARNED, by anyone
determined to do it in my opinion.
I now tell people that buying a motorcycle is the best decision I have made in my adult life. I moved on from that job to a far less stressful one that generally only demands about 40 hours per week. Riding is my passion now, and I no longer fear what might
happen. I do what I can mitigate risk, I ride within my limits, and I wear gear that makes me comfortable.
The moral to this story? I guess its fairly cliche... Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams. Where there is a will, there is a way, and all that.. You can always take a stab at the class again, but this time, chill out. Enjoy it.
If you don't pass, you can take it again. It is ok. I am certain that you CAN pass it. And if/when you do, get a small inexpensive bike, and play around on side streets and parking lots for as long as you have to. Wear lots of gear. Try to enjoy it. You can always back out if you decide it is not for you.