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Hey all;
I would like to know how to convince my family like my mom, and my 3 brothers who used to all ride, except for my mom, that riding motorcycles is a good thing??


My mom, and most of my brothers want to go for a bicycle ride this coming weekend with me, but at least 2 of the 3 brothers are so convinced that they will not ride a motorcycle because of it being inherently dangerous, when they all used to ride dirt bikes when I was growing up, and now I am the only one in my family who actively rides a motorcycle that is such a dream to ride.


Is there a way to convince them to try and ride motorcycles?? I have even offered for them to start out with a Kawasaki Ninja 300 as a learner bike, or a Honda Rebel, yet they remain convinced that riding or driving a car is safer than riding a motorcycle.


My mom wanted me to go to California this year for a family reunion, but I told her that I am going to school right now to get a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She understood, but she wanted me to go out there, with her paying for the plane ticket, but I also told her that if I do go out there, it will be on my motorcycle. She does not feel that it is a good idea.


I would love to hear you all's input on this.
 

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I feel your pain, man. But let's get one thing out of the way first: Riding a motorcycle *is* more dangerous than riding in a car. There's no mystery there. If you look at per-capita accident rates, you will see that you are more likely to be injured on a motorcycle than in a car. Note that there are several factors which can influence this, however. Rider training is one of those factors. I would never encourage anyone in my family to ride unless it starts out with a motorcycle safety class, such as the MSF courses that many Departments of Motor Vehicles recommend. I also feel like anyone who has to be "convinced" to ride a motorcycle probably should not be riding one. I remember way back when I was learning, I talked my wife into trying to take my Virago 700 for a spin. I spent a long time explaining it to her: the clutch, the brakes, the throttle, everything. She started out nice and slow, doing 1st gear laps in the yard, then 2nd. When she was ready, I let her take it out on the road. There, she executed the prettiest, longest-riding wheelie I have ever been priveledged to witness. Seriously. The front tire went up in the air, and it just stayed and stayed and stayed until she ever so gently lowered it down and brought the bike to (what appeard to me) a perfectly executed stop. She was terrified. Of course, the wheelie was unintentional. She did have on a helmet, but just thinking about how badly she could have been injured makes me wince now. It could have been bad.
My point is this: If someone wants to ride, they will put their feet along that path. If you encourage them to ride when the interest is clearly not there, you may be setting them up for something really bad down the road. Sure, you can be a motorcycle ambassador, guiding them when they need it and pointing them in the right direction. But you want to stop short of being a motorcycle salesman.
The best way to convince your family that you, personally, are being safe and minimizing your risk is to encourage your family to do some research and show them that you have done it too. Let them see you reading motorcycle books, give them an educated opinion on why safety gear is important, or just do your best to smash stereotypes when you see them. We are not all Power Rangers or Pirates, after all.
Be safe, let others see you being safe, ride hard and with all your heart... because ultimately, you are the only one on your Road.
 

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Totally agree that you cannot and should not try to convince anyone that it is as safe as in a cage. Only thing I can add to that rather complete statement that @shane gave is to do all you can to show that you are doing everything in your power to manage the risks of riding. As said, mc riding is more dangerous, but there are things we do to manage those increased risks... such as the mentioned training and MSF courses, as well as ATGATT with quality protective gear (not just leathers, but armour under the gear). My wife has told others she believes I am the safest mc rider she knows or has ever seen. I can't say anything to that other than I do my best to mitigate the risks. I have been in a low-side accident half way around a hairpin curve going about 30 mph. My gear was trashed from the helmet down to my boots, but I only felt as if I was on a wrestling mat doing an easy tumble! No injury, no aches or pain later. Most damage to me was my ego. Result was all new gear and new parts on bike thanks to good insurance. Point is to do all you can to manage the risk of the danger that riding presents to enable you to enjoy it.

I cannot say how to handle how your mom feels about you riding cross country to her. My mom feels the same and tells me so anytime I tell her I am interested in riding the bike to AZ from my home. I'll likely do it anyway someday but since that trip is always a family vacation we drive the SUV cage. If I ever go alone on that trip I would want to take it on the bike. Someday. :D
 

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I have had some "rich" friends and family explain to me how dangerous motorcycles are. In some areas of the country...I would not have a motorcycle, just too many drivers not paying attention.

However, the truth is this: Minimize risks and you are going to be just fine. What is "minimizing risk" you ask? Lets see...a majority of the motorcycle accidents occur after having a few too many drinks and THEN going riding. From our perspective, riding a motorcycle is about enjoying the great outdoors, and has the sensation of flying, being free and out in the wind. For a majority of the riders who engage in the "poker runs" and other things that go along with owning a Harley :) :), a motorcycle is essentially a means of arriving at the next bar.

Seriously, if you have normal motor skills and know what situation awareness is, it really isn't all that dangerous. I have more miles on motorcycles than in cars, and I drive the motorcycle a little more on the defensive side. Rider education is a must, for me I never drive right next to a cage, I throttle up and drive in front of them so I KNOW they see me. Every intersection I approach, I check to see eye contact with the driver AND I usually will run the high beam when it is bright sunshine so I know they see me.

The other train of thought is - if it's your day to go, its your day to go I.E. if you hadn't been in the motorcycle accident, you would have fallen down the stairs or drown in the pool - what a thought, huh? :)
 

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Lots of good info here already. The reality is, riding a motorcycle really isn't as safe as riding in a cage. But, for that matter, neither is crossing a busy street on foot. Most riders are aware of that and make every effort to mitigate the added risks when on the road. Fact is, you're probably not going to convince anyone to change their mind if they feel very strongly one way or the other about it. Best thing is to just do everything you can to make your riding as safe as possible, and understand and be sensitive to the concerns of your loved ones by not trying to force the issue with them. They may not ever agree with it, but most likely they'll eventually come around and at least accept that it's something that's important to you.
 
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