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Hey guys and gals. I have recently been having trouble talking to my parents about getting a bike. I am only 16 so I understand why they worry, but I am trying to convince them to let me get a bike. I was wondering if anyone had advice on how they convinced their parents when they were teens. Thanks in advance!!
 

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I didn't have to convince my Dad - he suggested it. :biggrin:

I was working after school and weekends on the other side of our small town and walking to and from work. If I want to go anywhere, I either had to walk, ride my bicycle, or catch a ride with someone so my Dad offered to finance a Honda 50 for me. My mom wasn't too happy about it but Dad was pleased - he had been a motorcyclist in the 1940s.

I think what made it easier was that my folks knew I was responsible, down to earth, and wouldn't be stupid on a bike and that a bike would be practical transportation for me. It wasn't a case of "I want" but of usefulness.
 

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Aging & Worn
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If your parents have any experience in riding a motorcycle, that might be useful in your request; but on the other hand, that "experience" they have might HURT your position as well. Especially if their experience(s) are negative.

How about this: "Dad/Mom: I'm thinking that I'd like to take a Basic Riders Course for Motorcycles, offered by the Motor Vehicle Department. It doesn't mean that I will just run out and buy a bike, but I'd like to get proper training on one, just to see if I like it. I've been told that it gives me a 10% discount on Insurance as well, when and if I ride one day for real!"

Let them see that you are interested in proper supervised training. That should go a LONG way toward your goal. You're not saying you are buying a bike; you're saying you'd like to explore the idea under controlled conditions. It doesn't cost all that much, either.

Start there...........

-Soupy
 

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How about this: "Dad/Mom: I'm thinking that I'd like to take a Basic Riders Course for Motorcycles, offered by the Motor Vehicle Department. It doesn't mean that I will just run out and buy a bike, but I'd like to get proper training on one, just to see if I like it. I've been told that it gives me a 10% discount on Insurance as well, when and if I ride one day for real!"
That's a good place to start right there. What ever you do in addition, just make sure you stay level headed and give your parents the respect they deserve. You may not like the term but you are and always will be their baby. They are only looking out for you in the end.

Never get mad or throw a temper-tamper. That will only prove to them you are not mature enough to handle the real task of being a motorcyclist. If they are going to change their mind it only be with constant and mature discussion of the issue.

The burden of proof is in your hands whether or not you can prove you are mature enough. You do after all have time on your hands. You may not break them down in a week a month or a year. You simply cannot change from a positive mature approach.
 

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What Soupy said.

I think for a lot of us, going against our parent's (or wive's) wishes, or behind their backs was a right of manhood when it involved buying our first motorcycle.

I don't recommend that approach. There are smarter ways to establish your independence, ones that don't burn bridges with the two people in this world who care about you more than anyone else ever will.

Be a real man. Work with them. Respect their wishes --- for now. Tell them you will allow THEM to make the final decision but that you'd like to at least go take the safety course.

My mother was an RN (nurse) and banned me from even SITTING on a motorcycle. I chafed, but went along. She'd simply seen too much in the ER, most of which was before ICU's and Life Flight and, and, and. Motorcycle riders died in accidents, that's what they did.

At 45, after her passing I finally got a MC. And realized just how dangerous these things, actually, OTHER DRIVERS are.

At least I didn't have the levels of testosterone I did when I was 17, that would have had me riding 100mph with an unhelmeted GF on the back on city streets where it was entirely inappropriate.

I honestly think she saved my life with her ban.

As an older, hopefully wiser rider, I choose to accept the risks. But I do everything in my power to minimize them. I ride conservatively, wear lots of safety gear (boots, NEVER sneakers), got trained -- starting with MSF, and never stopped learning.

On the other hand I sorely WISH I had learned to ride, especially dirt bikes, when I was younger. Those "lifetime" riders have a level of skill I will never match.

Do the honorable thing. Show your parents respect. Work with 'em. If necessary, defer bike ownership FOR A WHILE. In, say, forty years, you may be glad you did.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If your parents have any experience in riding a motorcycle, that might be useful in your request; but on the other hand, that "experience" they have might HURT your position as well. Especially if their experience(s) are negative.

How about this: "Dad/Mom: I'm thinking that I'd like to take a Basic Riders Course for Motorcycles, offered by the Motor Vehicle Department. It doesn't mean that I will just run out and buy a bike, but I'd like to get proper training on one, just to see if I like it. I've been told that it gives me a 10% discount on Insurance as well, when and if I ride one day for real!"

Let them see that you are interested in proper supervised training. That should go a LONG way toward your goal. You're not saying you are buying a bike; you're saying you'd like to explore the idea under controlled conditions. It doesn't cost all that much, either.

Start there...........

-Soupy
Thanks for the advice Soupy. My parents do have a bit of experience from when they were younger. Thing is it is bad experience. My mom was in a crash when she was younger and hasn't been on one since. My dad has a lot of family that are doctors and they all tell him about the horrible stories they have heard. I am trying to tell them that I want to take a safety course but they won't budge. I even told them I won't take it to the streets until I am 18. I am going to stay persistent and see if they change their mind eventually. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What Soupy said.

I think for a lot of us, going against our parent's (or wive's) wishes, or behind their backs was a right of manhood when it involved buying our first motorcycle.

I don't recommend that approach. There are smarter ways to establish your independence, ones that don't burn bridges with the two people in this world who care about you more than anyone else ever will.

Be a real man. Work with them. Respect their wishes --- for now. Tell them you will allow THEM to make the final decision but that you'd like to at least go take the safety course.

My mother was an RN (nurse) and banned me from even SITTING on a motorcycle. I chafed, but went along. She'd simply seen too much in the ER, most of which was before ICU's and Life Flight and, and, and. Motorcycle riders died in accidents, that's what they did.

At 45, after her passing I finally got a MC. And realized just how dangerous these things, actually, OTHER DRIVERS are.

At least I didn't have the levels of testosterone I did when I was 17, that would have had me riding 100mph with an unhelmeted GF on the back on city streets where it was entirely inappropriate.

I honestly think she saved my life with her ban.

As an older, hopefully wiser rider, I choose to accept the risks. But I do everything in my power to minimize them. I ride conservatively, wear lots of safety gear (boots, NEVER sneakers), got trained -- starting with MSF, and never stopped learning.

On the other hand I sorely WISH I had learned to ride, especially dirt bikes, when I was younger. Those "lifetime" riders have a level of skill I will never match.

Do the honorable thing. Show your parents respect. Work with 'em. If necessary, defer bike ownership FOR A WHILE. In, say, forty years, you may be glad you did.
That sounds like how it might be for me lol. I am going to keep trying but my dad said he won't let me on a bike until he dies. We'll see.
 

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Gone
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Here in Illinois you need parental permission to take the course if you are under 18.

Look at it this way: This will give you at least two years to save up money for motorcycling. It's not a cheap hobby!
 

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Consider signing up for safety classes and teaching them about the gear that helps save lives while riding bikes. Your only 16 so you must prove first to them that you are going to be more responsible and more safe then most riders. Don't forget LOUD pipes!
 

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Double Secret Probation
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You might start off trying to get a 49cc scooter. There's a perception out there that little scooters are safer. So, it might be an easier sell. Then, once your parents give in, you can work you way up. By the time you're 18 you'll be riding a Hayabusa and your parents will think it was their idea.
 

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The 43rd Poser
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I was on a bike when I was in diapers.

Grew up around them... everyone in my family had one.


Convincing not necessary.
 

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The solution I'd suggest is that you ask your parents to take the BRC with you. It's such a fun and informative course, that they may get bikes too.
 

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If nothing else, given the resistance you are experiencing from your parents..........maybe it's just a "timing" thing. Perhaps, to keep peace at home, you should put off your desire for a couple of years?

-Soupy
 

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There is no way to convince a parent that it is OK for you to ride. My dad still gives me crap every time I show up on a bike and I am 67, almost 68, years old. The most you can do is conduct yourself in a mature manner in all things so that they may begin to trust your judgement. Once you have that trust you might be able to convince them that at least they should give you a chance to learn more about bikes. That might give you an inroad into requesting a chance to take the MSF BRC course as others have suggested. It would be a way to continue to show the maturity of investigating something before participating in it.
 

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Sorry, I'll have to side with your parents, at least for a while.

As someone who has been riding since I was 6 y.o. and now the parent of a 16 y.o. new driver, I would say demonstrating that you are a responsible and safe driver first would get you started in the right direction.

However, if my daughter came to me and asked to jump on a street bike with such little driving experience I would say no way, no matter how much formal instruction she has had. As others have suggested, taking a safety course would demonstrate maturity and a willingness to learn in a safe environment. Nonetheless, that still doesn't add up to being ready to handle everything that comes with safe riding on the road. There is much for a young driver to learn.

And just for the record, even though I've been riding since 6, my parents also refused to let me have a road bike in my teen years. I didn't get my first one until I was 20 and in the military. I know your pain, but it'll all work out in the end. As wadenelson said above, don't burn your bridges with your parents for the sake of a bike. Use your time to show them you are mature and responsible. Eventually, they'll learn to accept it.
 

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Put it off for as long as you can....but while you're putting it off, research research research. Makes sure when the time comes for you to actually buy a bike you know what you want to buy, how to do basic maintenance on it, if said bike has any big flaws to it like some models do.

Plus who knows.....they could be telling you no so they can buy you one for graduation as a surprise.
 
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