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Old 01-07-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
dmax
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Help me keep my son off a motorcycle

My 18 year old son--a freshman at Berkeley--squared away nicely...mentioned a month ago or so that he was "thinking of getting a motorcycle."

Last night I see him writing a thank you note to his Uncle...I learn that his Uncle, my brother-in-law, moron mechanic, is going to help him find a motorcycle this summer, teach him to ride it, so he can then buy one for himself in California.

I'm livid about this. My wife has said, "he can do what he wants, he's an adult."

She's right, but he's our kid and we have influence over him. She's aiding him in this purchase, rather than just saying "no" and ending it.

I've told him I love him and don't want him to die; I've discussed the reasons why motorcycles are dangerous.

Any of you have any hints that might help persuade him? I trust him...but not road surfaces, not other drivers. I have to try to convince him...and part of my trying is asking here.

I can't convince my wife, which astounds me, so I have to work with him...which is probably the right path anyway.

I know many of you ride and ride safely, but hope you can understand I don't want my son on one. If you can help me figure out how to convince him it's not a good choice, I'd appreciate it.

I'm pitching driving his car to California...would be a great trip for him...or selling it and getting a smart car (babe magnet!)...something like that.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:46 PM   #2
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Really man, let go. Motorcycles are dangerous, but so is everything else in life. I road for a year straight, just picked up a harley ultra classic that needs some work. I can't wait til i get her back on the road.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:14 PM   #3
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just picked up a harley ultra classic that needs some work. I can't wait til i get her back on the road.
I've been kicking that around for the last year.

I might dive in this spring and pick up a Road King or a street glide.

Post some pics.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:48 PM   #4
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:52 PM   #5
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why? motorcycles are awesome.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:54 PM   #6
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"There's no way in hell your getting a motorcycle, but you can get a smart car."

Seems legit.

How would you even know if or when he ever got one? How long will be be deciding what he can and cannot purchase? You have influence in his life like you said, but not control. Have a calm, cool, and collected conversation about your concerns (don't approach him "livid") and get a reasoning why he wants a bike in the first place. What kind of bike does he want?
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:56 PM   #7
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In the end, if you can't convince him to not get a byke then atleast try to convince him to take safety motorcycle courses that you will provide for him...
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:07 PM   #8
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In the end, if you can't convince him to not get a byke then atleast try to convince him to take safety motorcycle courses that you will provide for him...
I haven't been livid with him...though maybe he'd think so...

The safety course is a great idea. His moron uncle (my b-i-l), said he'd help my son buy a bike this summer, learn to ride, so he could buy a bike of his own in California...this moron once drove his new jeep into a puddle...that turned out to be a 6' deep pool of water!

I know bikes are awesome, but they're inherently more dangerous than traveling by car...nothing against the rider as much as against many road surfaces, but mostly other drivers. You who ride know how dangerous it is because of moron car drivers, right? I'm sure that's your greatest threat on the road.

My son has only been driving 2 years. His situational awareness isn't developed like yours is. I need to do what I can to try to convince him to find alternatives...and if you can help me, that'd be great.

I know they're fun and awesome...but here...I'm a dad who loves his kid and wants to keep him safe. And, before you go on about how risk averse I am, I'll just say that a large part of that might be because my brother was killed by a train when he was 8 years old. I was 10. I lived with what my parents went through then, which was more than what I went through (I was only 10)--anyway, I need to give it the old college try to convince him.

I'm hoping he'll just drive his car out there. How bad would it be to have a car at/in Berkeley? Oh, also, how gheybe is a scooter around there? lol For some reason, maybe stupid ones, I think a scooter might be safer.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:11 PM   #9
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lol For some reason, maybe stupid ones, I think a scooter might be safer.
since your worried about other people on the road, a scooter would be no different.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:27 AM   #10
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I haven't been livid with him...though maybe he'd think so...

The safety course is a great idea. His moron uncle (my b-i-l), said he'd help my son buy a bike this summer, learn to ride, so he could buy a bike of his own in California...this moron once drove his new jeep into a puddle...that turned out to be a 6' deep pool of water!

I know bikes are awesome, but they're inherently more dangerous than traveling by car...nothing against the rider as much as against many road surfaces, but mostly other drivers. You who ride know how dangerous it is because of moron car drivers, right? I'm sure that's your greatest threat on the road.

My son has only been driving 2 years. His situational awareness isn't developed like yours is. I need to do what I can to try to convince him to find alternatives...and if you can help me, that'd be great.

I know they're fun and awesome...but here...I'm a dad who loves his kid and wants to keep him safe. And, before you go on about how risk averse I am, I'll just say that a large part of that might be because my brother was killed by a train when he was 8 years old. I was 10. I lived with what my parents went through then, which was more than what I went through (I was only 10)--anyway, I need to give it the old college try to convince him.

I'm hoping he'll just drive his car out there. How bad would it be to have a car at/in Berkeley? Oh, also, how gheybe is a scooter around there? lol For some reason, maybe stupid ones, I think a scooter might be safer.
bikes offer a lot cheaper fun than a car....are you willing to help him out with the difference?

My parents took a more extreme approach - as long as they were helping me with college I wasn't allowed to get a bike. They did compromise a little bit and didn't say anything when I picked up a 450hp+ trans am though.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:56 PM   #11
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Motorcycles are not that dangerous as everybody thinks.

On a motorcycle you are more connected to the road and aware of your surroundings which makes you more conscience and prevents you from doing anything stupid.

Most people have gone 200KM/H in a vehicle because it feel safe. But most people aren't going to go 200KM/H in a motorcycle because it feels dangerous.

Make sure he has a good thick leather motorcycle jacket, helmet, and he should be pretty safe.

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:00 PM   #12
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Motorcycles are not that dangerous as everybody thinks.

On a motorcycle you are more connected to the road and aware of your surroundings which makes you more conscience and prevents you from doing anything stupid.

Most people have gone 200KM/H in a vehicle because it feel safe. But most people aren't going to go 200KM/H in a motorcycle because it feels dangerous.

Make sure he has a good thick leather motorcycle jacket, helmet, and he should be pretty safe.
Exactly, the people surrounding you are more dangerous and more often than not, cars don't see the motorcycles and that's how accidents happen.

Even if you are the greatest motorcycle rider ever, the car driving next to you is probably one of the worst drivers ever.

Please tell me how you can prevent drivers from hitting you?

Edit: I see you are from Canada, which probably means no one else is on the road when you are.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:58 AM   #13
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Edit: I see you are from Canada, which probably means no one else is on the road when you are.
You mean: "I see you are from Canada, I forgot they actually teach people how to drive before they give them their license there"
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:03 AM   #14
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You mean: "I see you are from Canada, I forgot they actually teach people how to drive before they give them their license there"
yup....it's sad to see some people behind the wheel that have absolutely no business being there. they shouldn't even be allowed to walk outside. getting a license in the US is a joke , like a lot things.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:39 PM   #15
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...which makes you more conscience and prevents you from doing anything stupid...
Does that really apply to the average 18-year old..???

Dmax, your concern is a valid one. I can tell you so because I've almost been plowed down a couple times by careless drivers. Also because I know how I ride today versus when I was 18, and there's a big difference. I'm a natural when it comes to driving/riding but some of the things I did back in the day make me cringe today. I'm lucky to be sitting here typing this out.

A lot of unknowns make you more vulnerable on a bike - other road-users, adrenalin, road conditions, weather conditions, lack of a crumple zone, just plain old stress etc. etc.

But you need to rationalize your fear. If you think he's not ready for the responsibility yet, that's your judgement to make as a dad. However, don't expect to remote-control him and keep him off a bike long-term, that's not fair. Also, if he is bent on getting on a bike, you can't keep him off one. If it's not now, it'll happen next year, couple years down the line, sometime.

IMHO, you need to first put your foot down with the uncle and let him know clearly that he's not helping your son with this without your consent. Then you should have the conversation with your 18-year old, but be reasonable. Tell him you think it's best he waits until he's older, until he's out of college. The only way you can get him to go with your idea is to be reasonable, frank and caring. You need to appeal to his best senses and he needs to understand that your motivation is because you're more experienced in life and are concerned about his safety above everything.

I guess that's the best you can do. It may take some persistence on your part, but be patient. Maybe he'll grow out of the idea, maybe he won't. If he doesn't, then you need to think of the ways you can serve as a facilitator to introduce him to riding responsibly when the time is right.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:59 PM   #16
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as long as he promises not to snake between cars i think he will live cause honestly that's the only time drivers rarely see people on bikes
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:00 PM   #17
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Maybe try convincing him to get a car instead.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:00 PM   #18
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I was told I would be totally cut off financially if I ever got a bike. I got a bike 4 months after I graduated and got a job. If you're helping him out at all then you still hold all the cards.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:56 PM   #19
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I was told I would be totally cut off financially if I ever got a bike. I got a bike 4 months after I graduated and got a job. If you're helping him out at all then you still hold all the cards.
This.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:02 PM   #20
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alright, i know he is your son and in your eyes hes still your little boy, but look at it this way, at least he isnt enlisting in the military and going off to war to get shot up or hit by an IED.

help him find a safe motorcycle for a beginner. hook him up with safety gear and a motorcycle course. tell him you love him and let him ride. or better yet, go ride with him
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