Not sure how to take this


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My 18yr old daughter informed me tonight that she wants to get a motorcycle, seems like part of me is stoked and part of me is not happy at all , as I ride myself it is not her that i would be worried about it is all the morons out there, deep down I am hoping it passes over but at the same time I don't want to not do something she does not want to do. I don't think she really liked the idea of me asking to take the MSF course first then decide, I know she is 18 and legally she can do what ever she wants to.

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Legally yes, but what about finding? Does she have the money to buy one?  If it's your tab you get a say.

you could always encourage her to do the courses and learn the right way to ride.  Irrespective of wether a bike gets bought or not. 

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With the idiots texting and talking on cell phones combined with the deer population I have opted not to buy a Ducati which I would sorely love to have. A good friend died a few years back in a bike/deer incident. I would try to steer her toward a sports car instead. 

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1 hour ago, rhcolbert said:

Well I commend that! Good on her for working and wanting to pay for it.  I say do the classes don't be pushy one way or another and just lay out the pros and cons.

if you've raised a girl who at 18 works and can pay her own way then she sounds light years ahead of everyone else her age and will do the right thing. 

If you have the coin, find out what she can spend on a bike, and maybe consider matching it for a sports car. My buddy has a tricked out mini that really hauls.  Fine, it's not a sports car, but it's still badass as hell of you're an 18 year old girl. Don't tell my buddy I said that. 

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2 minutes ago, dominattorney said:

If you have the coin, find out what she can spend on a bike, and maybe consider matching it for a sports car. My buddy has a tricked out mini that really hauls.  Fine, it's not a sports car, but it's still badass as hell of you're an 18 year old girl. Don't tell my buddy I said that. 

Don't think this is going to work she bought a 2001 focus zxs at 16 we paid half of it, which she has done some work to, at 17 she went and bought a 2004 explore sport trac on her own, cash, don't worry i won't tell 

1 hour ago, rhcolbert said:

Well I commend that! Good on her for working and wanting to pay for it.  I say do the classes don't be pushy one way or another and just lay out the pros and cons.

if you've raised a girl who at 18 works and can pay her own way then she sounds light years ahead of everyone else her age and will do the right thing. 

Thank you you don't know how good it makes me feel to hear a comment like this 

,I'm gonna try not to be pushy ,she did tell me she did the online permit practice test and passed without reading anything ,thinking about handing her my packet from the course if she brings it up again (lots of bad scenarios in there)

1 hour ago, Winchester21 said:

Agreed

see above Thank you 

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Not sure if I have any advice, but I can give my two cents on riding and taking the MSF course. Maybe you can explain some of these to her and it'll help her see the advantage of the MSF course. I grew up riding off-road dirt bikes and quads; so transitioning to a full-size road bike or crotch rocket wasn't an issue.  I took the MSF course to get out of taking the practical portion of the DMV exam and only take the written exam.  Now, I went into the course thinking it was going to be a waste of my time and I was just there to check a box.  Man was I wrong.  Here are a few things that stuck with me:

  • The classroom portion teaches you about motorcycle behavior.  How different loads will effect things, how passengers effect riding conditions, where to focus your eyes during a turn, what causes high-siding and how to correct it, how different road conditions effect braking, etc.  Some of it was common sense.  Some of it was stuff that I had no idea about or never thought about and really gave me a different view on riding and gave me fundamental techniques that I still follow every time I ride.
  • The practical portion of class lets you apply everything you learned in class.  They really bring it down to a beginner level (this is a motorcycle, this is how you mount the bike, this is how you break, this is how you change gears, etc).  That may come across as a little condescending, but MSF teaches as if the students have literally never been on a bike before.  It was a good refresher for me for some things.
  • You're on a loaner bike that no one cares about if you drop. Better to learn on a loaner bike than drop your own when you make a u-turn too slow, or can't break fast enough, or whatever it may be.
  • Most importantly, you get to practice your riding skills, no matter how novice or advance you may be.  They put obstacles in your riding path for you to navigate, they have you speed up to a set speed then break as quick as you can, or do some "emergency breaking" and maneuvering, among others.  It was good to test my skills since I hadn't been on a bike in a couple years.

I'm sure I'm missing a lot (took the course 5+ years ago), but off the top of my head, these were the main points I remember.  Like I said, don't really have any advice, just my experience that will maybe help you in convincing her the course is worth taking.  I've definitely had to apply the lessons more than once in my time on the road.

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       * She's 18.  If 21, you might have a bit of a tussle, as that's legal "I'll make decisions for myself!" age. But if I were you, I think I'd forbid her - for now. And yes, as a parent you do have to go by your gut instinct. She's young, eager, etc., etc., etc.  She might get mad, protest, etc., etc., etc. and so on. But believe me, despite what today's society and IMHO WRONG attitudes and definitions on near baby's "rights"...youth WILL appreciate your being The Parent, and making your decision for her known. You don't okay kids' desires on everything. There are times you'll have to say "NO".  I know that riding a motorcycle is quite a rush...I've heard motorcycle riders say that it's like a drug; once you ride one you don't want to ride (or drive) anything else. But rather than have your own hair turn gray with worry - I'd tell her "NO" and let her decide when she reaches the magic Twenty-One. My 2 cents.

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My parents (thankfully) convinced me to wait til I was 21.  I took the course to get out of the license test, actually learned a lot.  Still nearly killed myself.  Luckily I was wearing full gear and landed on the median.  I still ride like an idiot, but that's just my nature.

Since you ride, you know crashing is not a matter of if, but when.  Surviving it depends on many things, but mostly luck.  Age, maturity, independence; none of these have anything to do with avoiding or surviving accidents.

I would calmly ask her to wait a couple of years, otherwise forbid it.  If she doesn't like it, she can get her own place.  If you won't do that, pay for the course and insist she take it.  If she crashes low speed in a controlled environment, she might get scared and give up altogether.  My brother did after crashing in our driveway.  It was his first time on a rice rocket after passing the course.  Never got on a bike again.

Good luck brother

Edit: What do you ride?

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@SpeedingGizmo she has been riding dirt bikes and four wheelers since 6 ,yes these are some of the points i remember well , it has been 15+ since I have taken the course so might consider taking with her. Stuff from the course has saved my ass more then once

@cigcars in PA 18 is legal age except alcohol , yes it is a rush 

@Winchester21 the morons texting and driving is what truely scares me 

@DBNInc A year ago a close friend of the family died right in front of his driveway had been riding for 50+ years (i still think the whole truth is not out) and yes not are you going to but when ,the course is free in PA,will see if she brings it up again, I ride a 2012 HD Ultra Classic. you? 

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I have two boys and will undoubtedly be told this at some point. I would strongly urge against it, but it's their decision ultimately. As long as they can pay for it. I won't contribute.

The reason is other drivers. It has nothing to do with my boys. Other drivers are the majority cause for motorcycle accidents.

Look around as you're driving. Better yet, tell her to take notice as she drives. See how many drivers are focused on things other than actually driving. It's scary.


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"I don't think she really liked the idea of me asking to take the MSF course first then decide, I know she is 18 and legally she can do what ever she wants to"

 

insist she takes it.

you should be able to explain that it is because you love her, then offer to help her learn and maybe help pick out a safe bike.

give her the image of outings together, trips you both can share.

if you cannot make this a fun and workable experience, that would be a shame...........  

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3 hours ago, playindirty said:

A year ago a close friend of the family died right in front of his driveway had been riding for 50+ years (i still think the whole truth is not out) and yes not are you going to but when ,the course is free in PA,will see if she brings it up again, I ride a 2012 HD Ultra Classic. you? 

Sorry to hear that.  That's awesome that the class is free!  I've been looking at Harley's, the wife can't handle two-upping on sports bikes anymore haha.  I'm currently riding a Yamaha FZ6R

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I raced motorcycles for over 15 years. They have been a regular part of my life. Of course, I blame the spinal stenosis that I have on racing bikes and the recent surgery and pain that it has caused me in every joint in my body.

I suppose I would not give back a moment of it, nor think twice about doing it again.

I cannot comment about others and how they drive, when your time is up, it is up. For me I came closer to it with a heart attack than any MC event. I still ride, but my joints keep me off the long hauls. I have a Harley these days, regardless of working for Yamaha in my younger days.

Frankly, I would like to see young riders spend some time on lighter machines in the dirt. The dirt... lack of traction teaches you just about all you need to know about riding (not the other guy, but aspects of motorcycle handling).

When you fall a few times in the dirt or the pavement you learn about motorcycle riding the hard way. The dirt is easier on your body and your checkbook and generally happens at lower speeds. Frankly, most people that ride need to go down a few times to learn (MHO). In the street is a costly way to learn a lesson. If you cannot pick yourself up and dust yourself off, riding is not for you. I cannot emphasize what crashing in the dirt teaches you. Mostly brake control and corner control as anyone can ride in a straight line... 

I would take a daughter (if I had one) out on a small dirt bike into the woods or desert and let her get a feel... and crash! If she digs it... you got a rider on your hands. If she says, enough is enough dad, my date won't like the scabs, she was not made for it.

I have nothing against rider schools but they don't teach you to RIDE... They teach you some about motorcycles.

Perhaps not what you wanted to hear, but that is my input!

-Piggy

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if her mind is set on a sportsbike on her own dime, perhaps ensure she has the best gear?

there are brands of excellent quality (dainese, alpinestars) that have purpose AND are stylish.  that last part is important - if she feels that it looks stupid, she might not wear the gear all the time.
same for lids - arai, shoei.  make sure the fit is correct.

cage drivers that are not paying attention is not the problem - a riders awareness level is.  as you ride yourself, you probably learned anticipation & leaving yourself "outs" in street riding.  that will teach someone to be a better driver in any situation.

have her practice/learn countersteering.  my MSF had no idea of what that was.
ride with her.

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15 hours ago, cigcars said:

       * She's 18.  If 21, you might have a bit of a tussle, as that's legal "I'll make decisions for myself!" age. But if I were you, I think I'd forbid her - for now. And yes, as a parent you do have to go by your gut instinct. She's young, eager, etc., etc., etc.  She might get mad, protest, etc., etc., etc. and so on. But believe me, despite what today's society and IMHO WRONG attitudes and definitions on near baby's "rights"...youth WILL appreciate your being The Parent, and making your decision for her known. You don't okay kids' desires on everything. There are times you'll have to say "NO".  I know that riding a motorcycle is quite a rush...I've heard motorcycle riders say that it's like a drug; once you ride one you don't want to ride (or drive) anything else. But rather than have your own hair turn gray with worry - I'd tell her "NO" and let her decide when she reaches the magic Twenty-One. My 2 cents.

What does some arbitrary age number have to do with anything?

It's odd that one would be asking for advice about one's daughter wishing to ride on a cigar forum to begin with. I'm a proponent of "life of hard knocks learning", but a MC is certainly scary and can have fatal consequences at the flip of a coin. I worked a mortuary transport job for a while and while there certainly were plenty of car accident victims, there were an inordinate amount of MC crash victims.

I don't know you, I don't know your daughter. Doubt anybody here does. What I do know is that MCs are far more dangerous than cars and if it were one of my future kids, I would be very, very wary...

I would imagine it would be similar, yet to a lesser degree, to joining the army. As a parent it must be normal to be scared as all heck, while still feeling a huge sense of pride.

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@Jimmy_jack 2 boys dang I know the hell me and my brother put my parents threw lol

@garbandz I will insist she takes it if she don't let up 

@DBNInc Nice on the bike ,it is all good ,sucks that your wife is getting beat up 2up

@PigFish that is cool you raced she rode 2 wheels from 6-12 went down plenty of times early on then she got a 4 wheeler 

@lafabrica Oh she knows the drill on gear which she has maybe not the sportbike style but she has gear, yes rider awareness is a big part of it , the MSF instructors I had made countersteering a huge part of the course, I felt they went above and beyond on all aspects ,plan to if she does go for it 

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2 hours ago, shlomo said:

What does some arbitrary age number have to do with anything?

It's odd that one would be asking for advice about one's daughter wishing to ride on a cigar forum to begin with. I'm a proponent of "life of hard knocks learning", but a MC is certainly scary and can have fatal consequences at the flip of a coin. I worked a mortuary transport job for a while and while there certainly were plenty of car accident victims, there were an inordinate amount of MC crash victims.

I don't know you, I don't know your daughter. Doubt anybody here does. What I do know is that MCs are far more dangerous than cars and if it were one of my future kids, I would be very, very wary...

I would imagine it would be similar, yet to a lesser degree, to joining the army. As a parent it must be normal to be scared as all heck, while still feeling a huge sense of pride.

      Well, DANG, Shlomo - I guess it was that MOST of us were trying not to scare poor Dad any more than he already is about his daughter's desired foray into the world of - as you put it - MC's.  Yes, I worked for a doctor too, who had to teach classes with VERY gory pictures of accident victims, and also I worked in emergency services and made the rounds of those unfortunate accidents too. And I STILL prefer to refrain from going into anymore detail than necessary about MC accident victims. I'm not a parent and that's because I chose not to be...I can't deal with all the things poor parents of nowadays have to put up with when it comes to something one loves that much. I'm not a strong person when it comes to that kind of thing. So for playindirty all I'll say is that I realize the day will come when you don't have command and say-so anymore over your children...WHEN they reach a particular age, regardless of what state they reside in. So, parents just  have to let go and pray their kids survive whatever field, foray or action they want to go in, same as WE did when we were approaching young adulthood. I know most of us can point to numerous real dumb, crazy, idiotic risks and spills we gleefully and recklessly dove into. By the Grace of God we survived - some of us with life long scars and stitches to brag about...

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Well, I am going through this very struggle myself at the moment with my 20 year old son. He is finishing 2nd year of college away from home in Orlando, and he wants a motorcycle.

I have tried to talk him out of it, using many tactics. Scaring him didn't work, so I offered to buy him a car - he lives on campus. He didn't want one. I tried to compromise that I would buy the bike, so long as he keeps it at our house. No dice. He works, he saved enough to buy it. And he went through a clever plan to realize his dream.

First he talked about it. Then he started buying safety equipment, including full armored gear from head to toe. Then he did the MFC course. He did it all on his own and with his own money.

We showed up at his apartment yesterday to pick him up on the way to my daughters graduation in Gainesville. He came out and said I want to show you my bike... he had just bought a 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250, parked outside.

The range of emotions going through me is extensive, and mostly it is worry for his safety. But I'm selfish, I'm scared and don't want him to get hurt... or killed. So it's all about me, my fear, my troubled history with two wheeled anything. I so wish I could keep my boy off the darn thing, but it's not possible, nor fair to him.

In the end I would still try every possible option to prevent him/her from getting it, all the while making sure s/he has the appreciation for the possible outcomes. But short of permanently damaging the relationship, there is not much you can do.

Like others noted, it's not my son I worry about, it's the other poorly trained, distracted, drunk drivers behind the wheels of 2-ton missiles that will kill my son over a text. My only comfort is knowing he is smart, he is very safety conscious, he is a great driver, and he is aware that we are very worried and distraught over it.

But I have to get over it, I have to let him live his life. I have to turn it around and help him survive this episode. I don't know how we'll get through it, but I have to figure it out RIGHT NOW.

Reality has a way of smacking you in the face! I just got sucker punched.

I wish you the best in your situation. Try to be calm and talk through it, ask lots of questions, don't judge, but test her readiness. Make sure she is equipped fully, with every possible piece of safety equipment. And get the best possible insurance to the max just in case.



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An anecdote.

My neighbor is a retired detective. His son is a cop. His daughter is married to a cop. The daughter, married to the cop, who is best friends with the son (also a cop) live together... Cops are an insestious bunch (read with rhetorical license, no offense, likely out of fraternity, just what I have noticed over the years).

The son-in-law rides. No one ever knew the son was riding. Son crashes, ends up in the hospital (all okay, no tale of woe here) ends up with a broken leg, parents are pissed off!

The son is a cop for Christ's sake. He works in a dangerous environment. While I live in a suburb and somewhat rural area, these guys work in a metro PD... Not exactly the safest place to work...

Moral of the story... The kid is going to ride anyway! I think especially the OP's daughter. She rode dirt bikes. You said it was okay... You took her, introduced her to it and she likes it. She is telling you she is going to do it... Would you rather know or not?

When you lead a life of adventure, or misadventure and your kids see it and enjoy it, expect them to do it too. That would include becoming a cop, smoking dope, doing drugs, riding bikes, smoking cigars etc... Me, I would rather see them outside riding than drinking and drugging. I would rather see them working in the community or serving their country than carrying a protest sign they are too shallow to understand the consequences of. You taught them to take life by the horns and enjoy it. Live it. What did you expect? All, just my humble opinion.

When you raise your kids to be 'stout of heart,' to have a robust constitution it is something to be proud. Yes, it comes with some worry. I hope it all works out for you.

No balls, no blue chips!

Cheers! -Piggy

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I have been riding for years and have racked up over 200k miles on different bikes ( my current BMW has 120 on it). A couple of suggestions come to mind.

 

First take the MSF course with her. 

Second find a well used GJC ( generic Japanese crap) in the 500 to 750 cc range. These are bikes that can be dropped on their side without causing a grand worth of damage. Zero mph falls are common when starting out. After 3 or 4 months the bike can usually be sold for close to what you paid.

Lastly take her to get fitted with a quality helmet.  Most European motorcycle dealers carry both Shoei and Arai brand helmets.  All helmets are not created equal. 

Good luck. 

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