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Hi guys! So I'm new to this forum and new to riding. Actually I have never ridden a motorcycle and I've come here to get advice. As you can read from my title, I am a 17 year old female who has recently gotten into the idea of owning a motorcycle. I have talked to my parents about this and they are ok with it but are on the edge of saying no.

The other day I went to a motorcycle shop with my mother just to see what's out there (I've been reading a lot about the ninja 250 and wanted to see it in person). And the sales man came up to me and my mom and basically told my mom she was very foolish for letting me get a motorcycle & Not long after that my mother also talked to a friend who rides motorcycle and he said the same thing the sales man said.

I know most parents would be against letting there teenager ride but I am very responsible (I have very good grades, my own job, and will be paying for the motorcycle) and have promised to take the MSF before even getting on a bike.

With that said, is it still that dangerous or is everyone around me overreacting?
 

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The BRC is a great place to get a taste of motorcycling and see if it's for you. I was right where you were in 2012, taking the BRC with no experience. I'd take the class before making any decision on a bike. The small sport bikes are good starter bikes as they're light and nimble, forgiving of the mistakes that will inevitably happen, though the insurance on sport bikes can be higher. There are other options as well.

It looks like you've got a level-headed approach to this, which I think will make for a good rider. Motorcycling is more dangerous than a car because basically, you've got no protection. With practice and experience you can minimize your exposure to hazardous situations, but it is not a risk free proposition, few things in life are. I guess everyone has to decide for themselves whether it's worth it. Good Luck.
 

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.................. is it still that dangerous or is everyone around me overreacting?
First off, if you want to ride a motorcycle, you are not alone. There are tons of folks from 16 to 90 that DO ride, and "want" to ride.

Is it safe? Yes and no. Yes, you CAN "safely" ride a motorcycle, in the sense that you can learn how to do it correctly, and ride in a manner that is likely to produce a safe and enjoyable riding experience.

No, it is NOT safe, in that there are some inherent issues that you have when riding. Being "visible" to others on the road that are around you, is a biggie.

Another "inherent issue" is the fact that you have less of a base beneath you. When you ride on four-wheels, your contact with the road is broader and more stable. That is NOT to say that a bike ISN'T stable, but just that the bike will have more potential for being off-balance and have more angular options in relationship to the road.

Taking the Basic Riders Course (BRC) from your local Motor Vehicle Department is not only likely "required" but also gives you a discount on your Insurance, when completed. It is a valuable starting point, to find out how you personally "do" on two wheels. I've seen lots of flops take the course, who later improved tremendously, and I've also seen riders who did well in the BRC and went out and got killed a week later.

Avoid some of the obvious mistakes like buying a bike too big for "you." Avoid attempting maneuvers on the bike that are a bit beyond your skill level as a beginner. Stuff like that is important.

I was on "two wheels" from a VERY young age, and put my first "motor" between my legs when I was younger than you, and I'm glad I had all that time (up to my mid-thirties) on two wheels, before I moved up to a full-size motorcycle. I already had a good understanding of balance, obstacles, and the feel of riding, before I got on a "big bike."

Is 17 too young. No, I don't think so........but it CAN be, if you take an irresponsible approach to riding. Only "you" can gauge that for yourself, but........ask a trusted friend; someone who will be honest with you; someone who will give you an objective response. Ask THEM if they think you would be a good motorcycle rider. If THEY are a motorcycle rider themselves, so much the better. They will have an understanding that someone who DOESN'T ride, can't possibly have.

You're entering a phase in your life right now, that puts you on the precipice of a lot of potential debt. From a financial point of view, watch out. If you have any "College" plans, you need to be prepared for enormous debt associated with "School." Adding any additional debt to that fact, (like a loan for a motorcycle, for example) will be a burden to you that you don't need right now. So from a "financial" point of view, buy a motorcycle that you can "pay for" without a loan. One that is big enough, but not too big, that runs well and will be dependable. Do your homework, on that score.

Some random thoughts from an aging biker..........

-Soupy
 

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I would take the BRC course first and foremost. I don't know where you live, but in my state the class is $125. Even if you never ride a motorcycle again, it is worth the cost.

As far as bikes go, the Ninja 250 is the most common starter sport bike. It is inexpensive, easy to ride, and plenty forgiving. You can pick them up for $1500-$2000 and sell them for the same money down the road if you decide to move up to a bigger bike. I wouldn't buy one from a shop though, you'll spend too much. Find a nice clean one online and take someone who knows a thing or two about mechanics with you to look at it.
 

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Riding can be safe if it is approached the right way. If you go in with the mindset that you are invincible, well, the outcome will not be good. You have to accept the fact that there is a high probability that you will get hurt or possibly die from riding a motorcycle. Cars are a big cause. You can be the safest rider in the world and still get taken out by a left turning cage. Your parents can't decide this for you, your friends can't decide this for you, only you can decide this for you. How much of a risk are you willing to take?

Take the BRC and listen to what the instructor is telling you. He will be honest with you about your abilities. Some people aren't made for two wheels and that is perfectly fine. Some, like me, take a bit more practice than some. Others pick it up right away.

17 is not too young depending on the person's maturity level. My son is 17, but not mature enough yet to accept the responsibilities of riding. Find another family member you know well enough to ask if they think you are responsible enough and mature enough yet. Listen to what they have to say and accept it.
 

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I was 15 when I got my first motorcycle, a Honda 50, and it was certainly economical transportation. It was inexpensive to buy, cheap to operate (at 100 miles to the gallon), and maintenance was minimal. The 50 was a great bike to start on and after a year or so, I traded it for a 305. That was over 50 years ago and I am still riding. I have never had a ticket on a motorcycle and never been in an accident so a motorcycle CAN be safe if you are conservative and pay attention to the idiots in cars and trucks!
 

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When you look at statistics, it is about 17 times more likely to be involved in a crash while riding a motorcycle compared to traveling in a car.

There are many ways to reduce the chances of being involved in a crash, however. Safe behaviors can eliminate or reduce many of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes. The first one is don't ride while impaired. That alone will double the odds of staying safe. There are many other ways of protecting yourself, although there is always risk involved. Understanding the risks and how to avoid them is the key to staying safe on two wheels.
 

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" Is it a good idea for a 17 year old girl to buy a motorcycle"

-Absolutely. In fact, since you're already 17, time's a wasting. Get to it!

And being female has nothing at all to do with your decision. Women have been riding as long as men and are just as capable as men. In fact almost 100 years ago, in 1915, two women made a 9,000 mile round trip across the USA. New York to California and back. Most dudes today won't even try that, and we have better bikes now and actual roads.:)

(Sure, some women shouldn't be riding, but some guys shouldn't either. It's the individual and not the gender.)
 

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" Is it a good idea for a 17 year old girl to buy a motorcycle"

-Absolutely. In fact, since you're already 17, time's a wasting. Get to it!

And being female has nothing at all to do with your decision. Women have been riding as long as men and are just as capable as men. In fact almost 100 years ago, in 1915, two women made a 9,000 mile round trip across the USA. New York to California and back. Most dudes today won't even try that, and we have better bikes now and actual roads.:)

(Sure, some women shouldn't be riding, but some guys shouldn't either. It's the individual and not the gender.)

^^^^ this
 

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+1 to all the great advice given so far. IMO the real question is "should any 17 year old get a bike?" whether it is a girl or boy shouldn't make a difference. Confidence maturity & proper attitude are key, not gender.

...The other day I went to a motorcycle shop with my mother just to see what's out there ... And the sales man came up to me and my mom and basically told my mom she was very foolish for letting me get a motorcycle...
I don't understand this part at all. Why would a motorcycle salesman try to talk you OUT of getting a bike?? I have to ask, what's your height/weight/general fitness? Maybe you're a "bad fit" on a Ninja 250?
 

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Good for you wanting to ride. My daughter got her first motorcycle at 15 she's 17 now and rides everyday. She even picks her boyfriend up for school each morning and he rides on the back :biggrin:
 

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Eye_m_no_angel said:
(Sure, some women shouldn't be riding, but some guys shouldn't either. It's the individual and not the gender.)
That's it. Plain and simple.
 

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Good for you wanting to ride. My daughter got her first motorcycle at 15 she's 17 now and rides everyday. She even picks her boyfriend up for school each morning and he rides on the back :biggrin:
I love how you don't even try to conceal the grin haha
 

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Ride at 17

Yes.
There are a lot of distractions riding a bike. It does take time to get used to that. We need to be more attentive than driving a cage.
I always prefer a new rider to practice in the dirt. You can learn so much. You will fall over in the dirt. Better to do it there, than on the pavement.
I agree with all the posters that preceded me.
In 014 Moto 3, Jack Miller finished second for the year. He is 19.
First place finisher is 20.
I got my licence at 15, which was 53 years ago.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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My dad bought my first bike in 1969. I was 12. I had ridden mini bikes prior to that. I rode until I turned 16 and got my first car. I rode once in a while but not very often. I bought my next bike in 2005. I was 49. I am still riding at 57. I really don't know why I quit and am so glad I started riding again.

I don't know where you live nor why the salesman said you shouldn't ride. Do you live in a busy city? Are you really small? Help us to understand a little more about you.

I agree with everyone else, take the BRC!!! I took it in 2012 and it really helped me build more confidence in my riding abilities. Good Luck to you.
 

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I have to share a couple of my favorite pictures, both were taken when my daughter was 16. One is from a toy run we went on and the other is her working on a bike. Don't let someone tell you you cant do something, especially a guy.



 

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Well im 14, I have mediocre grades and well im really uncoordinated EXEPT when I am riding, right now I only ride dirt but next year im going to get a street legal 650cc dual sport beast to get my permit on. I say take the course and ride when YOU feel comfortable on the bike, and you cant go wrong on a ninja.
 

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If you have your parents approval and really want to ride, take the BRC course and get your feet wet with it. Do that before you buy a bike though. Also, if you don't pass the BRC the first time, do not get depressed over it, you will still know if you want to ride and can give it another shot later. possibly after getting a permit and some riding time. You won't forget what was taught, but you will be able to use it to get a little more experience.

If I ever had a salesman tell someone it was a stupid idea to have them buy the item he was supposed to be selling, I would have let him find the door without a second thought. Working on commission though, I just can't see someone not wanting to put food on the table. Hopefully he was just trying to steer you to a different style of bike and it just came out wrong. A good salesman will try and sell something that the customer will grow bored with in a year and want to trade up next year.
 

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At some point in your life, whether 17 or 34, you have to make some decision your parents UTTERLY disagree with....and then make peace with them afterwards. You are approaching adulthood. You're not quite there yet. You are NOT as wise as they are, no matter how smart you think you are. But declaring your independence HAS to be done at some point. Is this the right point or would you be better off to respect their wishes a while longer.

There's no goiing back once you step across that line; for me, buying a 1964 GTO muscle car, well, my dad and I never really communicated after that. I guess he wasn't ready for me to grow up, earn my own money, make my own decisions, and buy my own car. Especially a muscle car. I wish he could have realized that for ME it was part of growing up, but he never really did. He was just angry and brought it up every time we disagreed about anything. For years.

So is this the right time to declare your independence, and suffer the consequences? Remember, you crash this thing, you'll desperately need your parents help, not just financially. Worse yet, it may cost you whatever relationship you have with one or both of your parents, like it did me.

But you can't stay under their wings forever. At some point you have to step up to the side of the nest, take a deep breath, and ....step off.
 

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I may be a bit late to the party but let me give my thoughts. First, being young or being female has nothing to do with whether it is a good idea. Only you can really decide that. As Eye said, bikes have a higher accident rate than cages so that is a fact to keep in mind.
I would suggest that you delay your decision until after you have taken the BRC. If you pass that course and find you have a real passion for riding, go for it. If you end the course with a feeling of "well that was nice" maybe you are not a rider. If you find you are a rider then ignore the dealer salesman. There are people who feel that age and gender are important, both attitudes are mere prejudice. Heck I am a 67 years old man but started riding at 18 with no instruction. There just wasn't any available back then. Some folks try to tell me I am too old and fragile to be riding, they just don't get it.
IMO the world needs more young independent minded ladies out doing all kinds of things that are not traditional for females to do. If nothing else it will make the men up their games.
 
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