Hi from California – Future rider in need of assistance!!
August 4, 2009 at 8:55 pm #3234
I’m new to the forum, and also a future rider but I’m in need of some help. I’m currently 17 years old and I’m in need of some assistance convincing my parents about allowing to get a bike and begin riding. Unfortunately, they are too concerned with the horrors of motorcycling so I’m having dificulty attempting to talk to them about riding.
The only way I can convince them is through riding a persuasive paper on the perks of riding motorcycles. Another problem I have is with the vehicle I am driving. It is a 1995 Mistubishi Montero/Pajero. It is a strong, sturdy vehicle, but is quite a pain operating because i’m 6’3 and I often have painful trips while I use the car because of the lack of extra leg room. I’ve told my parents about this situation and they have understood my problem, but they unfortuantely lack the funds to purchase a new car for me. Here is the alternative, a motorcycle/ widow maker and object despised by many drivers. I absolutely am in love with them, and I’ve had my eye on the kawasaki ninja 250 for quite a while.
Here’s where I need your help. I need you guys to help provide the positive perks of riding a motorcycle, but also outline the dangers which I will use in my proposal to my parents. I would love to be a new rider and I don’t have an intention of riding the freeway, I just want to get out of my stupid car because its killing me!
Please help!August 4, 2009 at 9:03 pm #21215MunchParticipant
Now perks… lets see…. fresh air, all the Vitamin D you can ask for, riding can actually make you a better driver due to forced heightened sense of awareness. Keeps a smile on your face. Limits you to how many passengers (aka bad influences) you can take with you.
Down sides… no protection like that of a car/ SUV/truck. Weather can be an issue depending on locale and sensitivity. Depending on maturity can promote “squidliness” and not to mention fairly high insurance rates due to youth and in experience.August 4, 2009 at 9:22 pm #21218
Although hopefully you won’t be getting that much extra vitamin D. The only skin that sees UV light when I ride is the back of my neck.August 4, 2009 at 9:29 pm #21219
Most of these aren’t really the perks, but other things that you can potentially talk to your parents about.
Taking the MSF course is a good start to convincing parents. It shows that you want to have a responsible start to your riding career, which means that you’ll be more likely to be a responsible rider in general. (And telling your parents that taking the MSF reduces your chances of getting in a wreck by 50% or so isn’t bad either).
Unless your parents really hate motorcycles, why not see if they want to take the MSF course with you. They can see for themselves that you’re being responsible and that “motorcycle” is not synonymous with “deathtrap.”
The fact that you’re looking at a 250 means that you’re not looking for the fastest bike on the road so that you can pop wheelies at 100 mph. You’re looking at a good beginner bike, which is another responsible move.
As Munch mentioned, the downsides are that you don’t get the same protection that you get in a cage. You’re also less visible than in a larger vehicle. The weather can be a serious problem if it’s your only means of transportation, although probably less so in California than here in Massachusetts.August 5, 2009 at 3:03 am #21234
I think that it is a great thing that your parents are willing to consider letting you ride a motorcycle if you can persuade them via a research paper. While you said early in your original post that you are having difficulty discussing it with them, it sounds like they are willing to discuss it if you put real thought into the issue.
I guess then that us giving you the highlights would be cheating, now wouldn’t it? I know, I know, I’m terrible.
My suggestion would be to take your time and do it right. Don’t rely on anecdotal evidence from the forum. Instead, look for published sources regarding the pros and cons. My suggestion would be to start with David Hough’s Proficient Motorcycling. This one is a very balanced look at the risks of riding a bike and how to manage those risks.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation also has a book called Guide to Motorcycling Excellence. This is basically an expansion on the book that they give you for the BRC. It doesn’t have as much information about actively managing the risks of motorcycling, but it does talk about basic riding skills development.
I read the MSF book first and then Hough’s book, but for what you are doing Hough’s book will be the better resource.
Also, for the pro side, you might think about putting together a dollar cost analysis for the two vehicles. Insurance, maintenance, fuel, gear, etc.
Finally, use footnotes, endnotes, appendicies, list your references. Maybe put in an appendix with specific information about the 250 that you are interested in. Put it in APA or MLA style. Do whatever you can to make sure that they know that you are serious about it.
Best of luck!
OwlieAugust 5, 2009 at 8:30 am #21251
Thanks. Also , my parents use AAA as their vehicle insurance provider and I found out that they pay around 5K a year for insurance. I went to AAA to get an insurance quote for a young new rider and confused myself a bit messing around with it. Besides that, are there any more perks?August 5, 2009 at 5:49 pm #21262
5K a year? That’s insaaane. I live in a city and I pay $800 a year for just me (that’s just for my car, but since you’re just talking about cars, it seems more appropriate. My motorcycle insurance is considerably more expensive than for my car for less coverage).
I agree with a side-by-side comparison for cost analysis. Microsoft Excel could be quite handy for that.August 5, 2009 at 6:31 pm #21267eonParticipant
I’m not so sure about the cost analysis if you plan on using that as a justification. Bikes are probably cheaper to own & run than cars but not by as much as people think. For example, I’ve just had to replace my rear tire after 8000 miles (and on my bike most people only get 6000 ~ 7000 miles). The tire cost around $80 and then another $120 to fit it. I’ve also had 600 and 6000 mile services that totaled around $600. Unless you can do a lot of mechanical work yourself then bikes are not as cheap as you might think. Just a heads up.
One of the biggest arguments for having a bike IMO, is that it makes you more aware of your surroundings and therefore a better rider/driver. Modern cars can waft you along at 100mph in more comfort than your living room couch with as much sensation of speed. I’m convinced this is a major factor in the inattention displayed by drivers today, they are simply detached from any sense of danger. The first time you hit 60mph on a bike you are very aware the only thing between you and the concrete is your riding skills.
Grab a copy of Proficient Motorcycling. That spells out all of the dangers you will face on a bike and strategies for dealing with them. Trust me when I say there are a whole lot more than you realize and at first it is overwhelming. If you are the sort of person who is committed to improving their skills through continuous training then then slowly it will become 2nd nature to you to ‘read’ the road and you will be a safer rider because of it.August 7, 2009 at 2:23 am #21345
I agree with what you say about the cost analysis, but it is worth the time if you are researching justifications and you never know until you actually do it. Once again, even if it didn’t come out as a savings, it would show that the poster is putting thought into what would go into owning and riding a bike.August 9, 2009 at 8:50 am #21405paulurmstonParticipant
My 2 cents…
I just recently bought the a ninja 250cc… it’s my first ever motorbike. Before that I have only ever drove cars, and for the last few years I also got a scooter to help me get from a to b.
For me the +’s seriously outweighed the -‘s.
Tell your parents…
1. The MSF Course
MSF Taking a MSF will make you a better driver. Not only to ride a motorbike, but also as a car driver. It opened my eyes to how badly I treated motorbike users around me before. Now that I ride my bike, I must admit, when the cars cut in front of me, or simply look at me, then pretend I don’t exist and still change lane when they know I am still there makes me secretly smile… I used to be one of those arrogant people as well.
I live in a capital city. Not only is there the traffic jams, but also parking to consider. I use to burn through petrol in my car as if it were as cheap as water. My Mazda 3 had a 1.6 engine, and sitting in the traffic moving at a snails pace was upsetting as I watched the petrol needle simple go down and down. Not only that, but once parked, I then had to pay by the hour just to be parked close to my office. With a motorbike, my consumption is not even close. I drive as I would in my car. As the lights change to red. While the other cars remain behind each other, I use the opportunity to slip between then all and drive between the lanes. By the time the light changes back to green… I normally find I have jumped 15 cars in front of me, and am normally at the front of the queue. Your petrol costs will therefor be much less. I don’t condole swerving in and out of traffic (driving like that is suicidal)… but once the cars are at a standstill, there is little danger.
Also, with the bike I can park almost wherever I go. Meeting friends in a bar or restaurant… I simply park right in front. On the sidewalk hidden by trees, there is always a spot. jajaja thinking about it (more for you than your parents) it is actually cool when I arrive at starbucks and everyone starts looking at you. I can tell the guys in suits are looking thinking with envy… yep. Driving a motorbike had a spot in ever mans heart I am realizing.
Think about the CO2. I am sure (you have a jeep, right) Your MPG is going to be considerably less. As I said, I have had my bike now for 3 days… I filled the tank half full and have drove around a little… I don’t seem to remember the needle moving that much at all… if indeed it HAS moved. a 250cc engine uses so little petrol… it’s so cheap.
My commute time to the office has been cut to 33%. I can leave home at 8:40, and still get to work for 9am. I used to leave a little before 8.
You know, I never realized how free-ing a motorbike is. I find myself driving just to drive now. I realize I am out more often, meeting friends, meetings, whatever the occasion. I always find an excuse to jump on the bike and go there. There is no other similar feeling that just suiting up, jumping on the bike, twisting back the throttle, and feeling that thing go. It’s addictive. Anyone here will I am sure agree with me. Trying to explain the feeling to someone who has never done it before is so difficult. My girlfriend had an almost phobia about motorbikes. It took me a year to convince her that I wasn’t going to crash and die in 24 hours. I drive carefully, don’t do stupid tricks, and generally take every precaution I can. She changed her mind. She is now glad that I have my bike. She can feel how happy I am, and she knows that if life says it’s your time to crash… be it in car, bike, horse, wheelbarrow, roller skates… whatever.. Crash is crash.
Look. Do you want to wake up aged 60 and think… I wish I would have drove a motorbike? I waited 32 years… and I feel like I missed something.
I have plenty of friends who have had car accidents. Yeah sure, they are still alive to talk about it… but it doesn’t make a difference. We could all get hit by a bus tomorrow. Life is…. just that. Life. You never know.
So. be paranoid. Sell the jeep. Wrap yourself up in cotton wool…. or enjoy life. Get a bike. Get protection. Take a MSF. Be a respectful, careful driver. And have an experience that is unforgettable.
I only have had my bike for 3 days… I feel like I will never be without a bike for the rest of my life.
It’s such an enjoyable feeling.August 9, 2009 at 8:56 pm #21416Clenzer72Participant
I didn’t read everything, but my 2cents, for what it’s worth, I’m 6’1″ and feel a little cramped on the new 250. You being 6’3″ will definatly feel cramped. My legs are too long, arms too long…bikes just a little too small for my frame. Imlooki g at a couple mods to improve my fit, but it’s something to think about.
TAKE THE MSF. tell your parents that you’ll learn the skills and also learn if riding is the “right” thing for you. Explain that not all people are meant to be on two wheels and the couse will allow you to make that judgement as well as learn the fundamentals.August 9, 2009 at 9:36 pm #21417Clenzer72Participant
After reading a little more of this thread check out the HURT report and accednt facts about motorcycles. It will open you and your parents eyes to how “dangerious” a motorcycle is vs how dangerious a Rider is.
I was reading an article the other day and can’t remember the numbers…but from what I barely remember and is probably not actuals
60% of accedents were with unlicensed riders
of those over 50% had a BAC making them impared.
You can find alot of data that supports a point of view that rider responsibility is the most important factor. If you have good grades and no accedents on 4 wheels you can show your responsible and do not fall Ito the catagory of the “statistic”
the great thing about stats is you can find whatever you wantto support your theory and make numbers work how you want them to.
Kind of sounds like a fun project with lots of possible approaches.
Good luck! Once your done, or before you submit to the parents maybe post it here and let us give you some feedback…I’m sure there’s some parents on here that can give you the perspective of your audiance and help talior it to their concerns so you can be riding in no time.
Or just wait till your 18 and screw’em and just ride home with one!!!August 10, 2009 at 5:06 am #21434
Yes, I think some statistics might aide in my report. I just hope my parents won’t scrutinize the entire project to look for any flaws. If they do find any major problems, I’m screwed.August 11, 2009 at 3:25 am #21489
All the more reason to put the work into it to make it a solid and balanced report.
And in the end, even if they tell you you can’t get a bike now, in a few years, you will be able to make your own choices.August 18, 2009 at 5:45 am #21750
I think I found that book at Barnes and Nobles about 2 days ago, and skimming through it I fund that most of it talked about safety techniques. There was a bit more content to read, but I didn’t really consider it woth the purchase. Anyway, I am going to prepare the report now all I just need is some statistics and possibly some testimonies from motrocyclist. I found 3 riders that I know, but I was hoping maybe you guys could provide your own so I could include them into my litlle project.
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