I just started riding myself at age 53 so I'll chime in for what it's worth.
No wife here either, just an ex who wouldn't have minded, though her father, an RN, made her promise to never get on a motorcycle. I know she broke that already before we met though. I also have no children so that's another worry I don't have.
But I am generally not a big risk taker and a pretty careful person. On the other hand, I am certainly not timid or a hand-wringer either. I thought about it in terms of one of my other hobbies of turning money into noise, being a private pilot. The statistics on private flying of the kind I do actually show the risk to be pretty close, maybe just a touch less, than the risks in riding a motorcycle. BUT as we often discuss on pilot boards, if you remove certain easily prevented causes of fatalities that risk goes way down. Namely, exclude fuel mismanagement and exhaustion incidents (basically just plain running out of gas, though the multiple fuel tanks and feed systems in some planes have lead more than one pilot to land in a cow pasture somewhere only to remember he had fuel in another tank - that's "mismanagement" rather an "fuel exhaustion"), continued flight into deteriorating weather conditions, and what I call "stupid pilot tricks" like low level buzz jobs and the risk is reduced dramatically, to something much closer to, but slightly higher than, driving rather than motorcycling.
Now one can take this kind of thing too far. It's always tempting to think we are superior and would not do the dumb things someone else did. But I can say confidently that, at least in the airplanes I fly (which have two tanks and a fuel selector with a "both" position) I am not going to run out of fuel. (Such accidents are not big causes of fatalities though because usually the plane lands safely or with minor injuries in an open area somewhere, we train for that.) I am definitely NOT going to buzz over my friend's house at 50', or generally go below 500' and rarely below 1000' except for landing and take off. Continued flight into bad weather CAN happen inadvertently to even the most careful pilot, but is usually
due to pushing on too far until options are exhausted. I try to say "stop" way before that happens, and I am also working on my instrument rating to fly in non-visual weather.
So I rationalized motorcycling as being "only" as dangerous as one of my other hobbies, but then I thought about the fact I know most - not all but most - of the risks in flying can be greatly reduced and I reduce them. But then I started looking into motorcycle accidents and I found that while, yes, there are far too many where the biker could not avoid the accident, a fair number of them COULD have been avoided simply by riding more carefully. If you watch some YouTube videos you'll get an idea of just how many are clearly due to riders riding outside their ability. The other thing that struck me was how many of those I saw where the rider got up unhurt or nearly so. Protective riding gear certainly won't prevent all injuries but it DOES work much better than I would have thought before I saw it in action. I also know a lot of people who have been riding for decades without a serious accident, so the idea that "that thing will kill you one day" is far from true. Might, sure, will, nobody can know that.
I took the BRC class in December and bought my 2007 Yamaha V-Star 650 in February. I'd lost a lot of what I learned plus the V-Star is much bigger and heavier than the 250cc Suzuki in the class. As I said, I'm a pretty cautious person, and I put over 350 miles on the bike just riding around my neighborhood, 10 - 25 miles at a time. I live where this is quite possible and has some hills, some flat areas, some good streets, some broken pavement from water line work, and many cul-de-sacs to practice turning so I'm fortunate in that respect. When I first ventured outside the neighborhood, other than 40 - 50 mph feeling like I'd engaged the warp drive
it was just not that big of a challenge. I've been riding for a bit less than a month outside the neighborhood now and put over 1k miles on my bike in that time, not counting the original 350 or so before then. I've done one day-long ride of just over 140 miles with friends, my first buddy ride the weekend before that, and many rides of 60 - 100 miles on my own. I'm having a blast, but I'm trying not to push the envelope.
If you like the looks of the Harley 48 my strong suggestion would be to buy a good used medium sized metric cruiser of 500 - 750 cc or so first. This is NOT a diss on Harleys, Harley fans! Rather, you will most likely drop and/or tip over your first bike, probably more than once. I have. I don't mean you'll crash, I mean you'll fall over in very slow riding, or drop it while moving it around or, as in my most recent bone headed move, get off the bike and forget to put the kickstand down.
You want a) a bike you can pick up without too much strain (the Harley 48 weighs only about 30 lbs. more than my bike so no big concern there) and b) something you won't be as bothered about a few scratches. I say a metric (meaning a Japanese brand, any of the big 4 won't disappoint) because Harleys hold so much more resale value. You can pick up a nice metric cruiser in the size range I'm talking about for $3k - $4k, very likely less if you want, ride it a year or two, and sell or trade it for likely not much loss, maybe none if you buy in the winter and sell in riding season.
That will give you experience on a bike you won't fret over as much, the chance to see how much you like it before spending big on it, and an idea of what you really want to look for in your next bike. Or, if you decide you DON'T care for it that much, again you can sell without much loss.
Good luck and if you do it have fun!
As for whether you will like it, well, here's something I just posted on Facebook: