Wife Won’t Let Me Buy a Motorbike!

TLDR; preferably after advice from married women. Help me understand the mentality behind this. My wife won’t let me buy a motorbike because she says she doesn’t want me to die in an accident and leave her and child behind.

Before getting married, from the age of 18 - 22 I used to commute to the city on a sports bike for uni and work. I have been a mountain biker for the better part of 15 years and I mainly ride down hill and enduro, for those who know this is largely very technical high speed and dangerous riding that I do almost every weekend of the year unless it’s raining. I also used to cycle using a road bike and I did this for 5 years but since stopped as I didn’t enjoy as much as dirt plus it committed a lot more time.

Recently I have rekindled my desire to get a motorbike again, so I am looking at buying a trail / dirt bike to head into the bush to ride.

It’s a bit of a natural progression for me and I love riding so it’s just an extension of the leisure I already undertake.

My wife who is normally very accommodating, flexible and understanding of my antics (whether it is going away for camping trips, boys weekends, or spending money on hobbies) has put her foot down on this in a big way and completely against it.

She is making statements like;

‘I would be extremely let down if you go ahead with this’

‘This is very selfish, if you died you would leave me behind to deal with everything’

‘I won’t stand by if you buy a motorbike and let it happen’

‘Don’t think you can just do this’

Really really strong language is used when the topic is brought up. Similarly I do not ever bring it up, I love watching the stuff on YouTube and usually then she raises it and makes a comment. Likewise if she sees somebody on a motorbike next to us while we are driving she’ll just randomly say stuff like ‘don’t think you can do something like that person’ - almost like she is trying to stamp out the thought so the action doesn’t follow.

For me it’s just a natural progression two wheels have always been a part of my life. So buying a dirt bike feels very normal and I am very confused with all this.

Likewise I don’t do do anything else that one would consider a vice - clean as a whistle (no drinking, smoking, drugs, infidelity, gambling, reckless spending, selfish spending, dishonesty, mistreatment, absenteeism) nothing. I spend a lot of time with my son, so I’m not an absent father either. I spend a lot of time with her so I’m not an absent husband.

I work extremely hard, I’m an adult and I take care of my family and make sure I always do my best so I don’t see why I can’t make a decision like this if I want too.

From my own reflection there are 3 incidents which I feel have shaped her mentality to date but this is just based on my own internal reflection - I could be wrong which is why I’m asking for advice as I can be WAY OFF.

1 - I usually go hard on everything. When I mountain bike, I ride hard, when I start a new hobby I research everything from top to bottom, when I work I really put it in. She may think that once I have a bike things will get out of hand based on my personality? I’ll ride hard, have a big accident and hurt myself.

2 - I had a road cycling accident, no broken bones, just a broken ego and smashed up body and some stitches. I fell off at speed on concrete and had to sit on the side of the path until she could come and pick me up to go to the doctors. She freaked out and tried to ban me from riding a bicycle again.

3 - She had a cousin die in a motor vehicle accident. At the time she was a baby so I don’t think they were very close but it occurred in her life so she may remember it or at least remember the impact on the families.

I would love to hear the mindset of some women who might feel the same or differently so I can gather a better understanding of this situation. She is an amazing woman and the above is not reflective of her personality which is why I am so confused because I can almost do anything with impunity and no oversight, but not this. If I said I’m going on a holiday with my mates for a week next month, she will just say ok have fun.

I would love to figure out how I can make the experience less stressful on her but also make it enjoyable for me and get a bike.

There is also the possibility to never buy a bike and just listen. But then what is the purpose of anything if you can’t do the things you enjoy. We live in an age of decadence, once we stopped working to survive we started working to create enjoyment.


              • @pjetson: Don't buy or ride on until you got the life insurance. I think there is 1 year waiting period.

            • +3


              Sign up a life insurance and tpd insurance with $100M payout, and put her as beneficiary.

              She'll buy you the motorbike then

          • +1

            @TheBilly: Driving - buy something with airbags, a good safety rating.

            Aneurism - don't smoke, and give up professional boxing before your rumble in the jungle.

            Lunch - do try and chew, and careful with new foods, particularly those known to cause anaphylaxis in people who are alergic.

            Also, unless you literally can't live a happy life without riding, don't get a motorbike.

            Tell your wife she's welcome.

          • @TheBilly: As a rule of thumb, your new top life ambition should be to see your little one grow up. Part of seeing that ambition come to fruition is to integrate a healthy dose of risk-aversity into your daily mindset.

        • How much insurance does the ACCC pay if I complain to them about a deceased family member?

      • +17

        Yo Bills, re:

        'I’m getting roasted'

        You are most certainly not 'getting roasted'. We're not making jokes at your expense (that it 'roasting'). You are getting ADVISED. Take the advice or leave it, but don't insult the peeps taking the time to advise you by erroneously claiming that they are 'roasting' you.

        • +2

          OP isn’t insulting anyone… he’s just acknowledging the (disappointing) consensus in a humorous way.

        • I'm merely implying I thought it would be a neutral response when I posted, but it is heavily skewed to the 'NO'

          • -1

            @TheBilly: I'm sorry* you're reading things you don't want to read.

            *Not actually sorry

          • @TheBilly: There's a good reason for this, and it's got little to do with what the right decision is. People are always more risk averse, and therefore more concerned about what they may stand to lose than what they might gain, this is just human nature. Secondly, you are asking a question of a random group of people about a hobby that probably less than 1% of the population participates in, as such, they can't relate to why you want to do it, and are inclined to say "who cares about your hobby?". Third, because of the second point, people are self assured that they themselves have made the right decision not to get on a bike, and therefore you should be equally as cautious as them. Unfortunately questions like this are very hard to get the right answer about.

            I think the question I'd ask myself is "does my wife prevent me from doing many of my hobbies?" or "what would my life have been like if I only did things that my wife/mother approved of?" I know that in my case, I wouldn't have done half the things I did if I listened to my mother, including riding motorbikes, going on overseas holidays, long road trips, investing, having g/fs before marriage, you name it. Could I have lived the life my mother wanted me to? No way on earth. Maybe ask yourself the question in reverse: Is there anything that I missed out on that I couldn't get over and will regret on my deathbed?

            • @Jackson: In all honesty I'm only torn about the whole thing because she is pretty good like that.

              If I were to flip it tonight and say I'm not buying a dirt bike, instead I'm buying a sports car that costs double what I originally wanted to spend. I won't have any resistance at all. Likewise if I wanted to go travelling on my own or with friends she wouldn't care. If I picked up a new different hobby tomorrow that was reasonably safe, she won't mind.

              If that was not her personality and she was aggressive and controlling, I wouldn't stand for it for a minute. I'm only emotionally torn about this, because the whole resistance thing is new too me and I cannot understand it. Hence the call for community advice and alternative perspectives.

              • +6

                @TheBilly: With respect, I find it odd that you can't understand it. Bikes carry risk, as a rider, I'm sure you know that. I grew up in the Hunter Valley in NSW, I lost a few classmates to motorcycle and quadbike accidents on properties, I know of 2 fathers who died on their own property from accidents.

                I've had a accident on a property with going up over a crest and someone had put a brand new barbed wire fence in and forgot to mention it, nasty, nasty experience.

                A number of mates of mine used to ride before. I don't, after a mate of mine passed away, was riding with another mate and hit a pot hole on a country tlad lost control of the bike and hit a letter box.

                About half a dozen other blokes in my circle have all progressively given up riding after having kids. Some because their wife asked them to, others because they didn't want the risk any more.

                Yes, all anecdotal, but I'm just trying to illustrate accidents happen, and also, your wife's perspective isn't uncommon. Heck, it's not even that uncommon in some of my mates, and others in this thread who chose to give it up themselves for the sake of lowering the risk for their kids.

                Whatever you do, please see your wife's perspective as legitamet, rather than not being able to understand it. Once kids come along, it changes thing.

                Your actual dirt bike activity risk profile might not have changed, but the consequence of you having an accident has now sharply increased.

                She sounds like a great woman, who lets you do a lot of things, maybe give a little in this instance :)

                Sorry for what probably came out too much as a lecture, wasn't my intent. Just passionate here mate. I've seen and experienced too much.

              • @TheBilly: The only other perspective I can give aside from what I already have and the obvious "it's dangerous" is that there's probably no more visible way that a partner can display their independence outwardly than owning a motorbike, it's the ultimate finger to the world/who dare's wins in some ways, (especially as a teenager getting one against one's families wishes which was my situation, when every relative would introduce me as "the crazy one with the bike"). It's possible that with such universal push back/misunderstanding of motorcyclists and their desires, it may display (even if incorrectly) to smaller minded relatives, that your wife has no say in what you do at all, even though that's not the case, but just because the relatives then have to band her in with your "craziness" (she either agrees with your craziness or is powerless to stop it). Sorry if that didn't make sense.

              • @TheBilly: From a statistical point of view, this couldn't be more clear. You are safer inside a metal box with crumple zones.

                Kudos for looking outwards to crosscheck yourself. Sit on the advice provided here for a bit and I'm sure you'll come to terms with it.

  • +11

    she doesn’t want me to die in an accident and leave her and child behind.
    I ride hard, I’ll ride hard, have a big accident and hurt myself.
    I had a road cycling accident, I fell off at speed on concrete and had to sit on the side of the path until she could come and pick me up to go to the doctors

    she is correct. she thinks that she'll have to come with a shovel next time.

    • -1

      Nobody escapes the shovel. It’s just a question of when.

      • +1

        Of course, but you want the "when" to be after your kids are grown up enough to look after themselves.

      • +14

        This attitude on its own doesn't make you a considerate and safe rider.

    • +1

      Its this headspace that concerns me. You simply cannot ride a motorcycle hard or aggressively on the road and enjoy a decent life expectancy. Bikes and traffic conditions have changed a lot over the years and TBH you would be in the highest accident bracket of returning riders.

  • +2

    Need a new wife.
    But seriously motorbikes are death machines.
    I find cycling is good without putting 100 horsepower between my knees.

    This is where you consider what's more important, your relationship or your lifestyle, if i was making too many compromises i couldn't live with myself as i'd lose my identity.

    • +1

      so I am looking at buying a trail / dirt bike to head into the bush to ride.

      Try 50-60hp tops

    • +2

      i couldn't live with myself as i'd lose my identity.

      This is how it makes me feel

      • -3

        If your other half isnt happy with how you are and wants to change you i'd seriously be pushing back

        • I thought this way as a young man, however have come to realise that once you have found your life partner and moved through a life phase or two that influencing change on one another is inevitable, and in a healthy relationship is generally for the betterment of both.

          • @cydia9k: IMHO a healthy relationship is one where both parties are happy. And if you're forced to give up something because the other party doesn't like it then i'd definitely be reconsidering it, personally it's not worth giving up the things you love just because someone else thinks that it's a terrible hobby.

            I've changed my lifestyle to cater for my relationship a couple of times and both times have ended seriously depressed as I wasn't living my life in a healthy way. Some people don't mind this though (one's without hobbies/interests) and i get that and that's perfectly fine, but if someone's limiting you from living your life to the fullest i'd reconsider if they're really there for your best interests.

  • Ever looked into aggressive inline skating ?
    You'll find it nothing like riding but will hook you hard and also give you the rush you're maybe looking for.
    It's a strange suggestion I know but after my last curb and concrete conversation I had on my 2 stroke beast it has become my new passion. Believe me when I say I'm glad to have found the sport and the people I meet and skate with make it a worthwhile substitute.
    Anyways good luck and happy grinds !

    • I have never even heard of this, I’ll do a google

  • +2

    ride on a race track or rent/lease a bike. It's technically not buying.

  • +11

    Everyone in my family rides dirt bikes (wife included).

    You lucked out buddy.

    Better luck next time sucker.

    My only hassle was finding a 4 bike trailer.

    • Lol

      That’s a rarity though. I’m pretty sure if even if Toby Price was married his wife would ride.

    • +2

      You lucked out buddy.

      "Lucked out" means to be super lucky, not super unlucky.

      • +3


      • +2

        Not here. Americans have that interpretation.

        • +2

          Crazy! I had a read about it and you're indeed right. Although it first appeared in American media in 1954 to mean "good luck", it has since taken on the meaning of "back luck" in Australia and Britain. You learn something new every day!

      • Well it depends really
        Could mean either
        Although i would've thought it meant you've run out of luck

  • +1

    Just stumbled upon a TV show "Stories of Bike" on right now on 10 Bold (CH 12) about how motorbikes have helped some men deal with their own issues. Get her on it now!!!

    • +1

      I’ll watch it, she doesn’t like it when I try to paint riding in a good light she gets agro. Even if I told it’s to help with depression, she would crack the shits.

      • I have a feeling the depression might be caused by a certain someone.

  • +5

    I have a dirt bike and wear compression armour. I've fallen off a lot since I first got my bike and license 4 years ago because I don't get to ride much and I like to challenge myself on the trails (plus it rarely hurts).

    For all the falling off I've done I have never come home with anything more than a few bruises.

    If you wear the right gear and don't aim for trees at 80ks an hour it's pretty easy to come home in one piece.

    • +8

      Erm, wow Mechers. Re:

      'If you wear the right gear and don't aim for trees at 80ks an hour it's pretty easy to come home in one piece.'

      … until it isn't.

      You seem to be under some sort of odd misconception that if you are wearing protective gear, coming off your dirt-bike at speed (no trees involved) cannot possibly snap your neck/render you a quadriplegic.

      It can.

      • +3

        I didn't get that from his comment? Where did he say that ? Or are you just making that up?

        • +1

          fair enough, becoming quadriplegic is still 'coming home in one piece'

  • +5

    Midlife crisis!

    This is why I haven't gotten married and started a family yet.

    I cycle on a road bike almost daily (commute and recreation) and some drivers just don't see you no matter what you are wearing - roundabouts are the worst, since the car windscreen A-pillars create a perfect blindspot for a cyclist to fit in.

    However, I know and accept that once I start a family, no question that I will stop cycling out on the road (and I will commute by bus). I'll be exclusively Zwifting on an indoor bike trainer and I would be totally ok with that. I definitely don't want to leave my child(ren) without a father.

    • OP won't be riding on the roads. He maintains he will strictly ride it in the bush.

      • +8

        Erm … yeah right. I have been hearing this 'only off-road' line for decades. It may start out as a genuine intention, but it inevitably falls by the wayside.

        • +4

          Yup, in five years it will be "I haven't crashed the dirt bike in the bush yet, I should be allowed to have a road bike"

  • +7

    Think of it as "your motorbike wont let you keep your wife"

  • +10

    She obviously sounds like she has an anxiety about it, yet it sounds like you're trying to shove it down her throat.

    You don't need ozbargain, you need a marriage counsellor

  • You know those ads they are showing on tv at the moment about controlling boyfriends???
    It's not only boyfriends who try to control their partners.

    • Not so sure about this one.

      False equivalence… No, that's not it.

      Ahhh, whataboutery… Nope, the opposite actually.

      Help please, what's the label for the faulty reasoning here?

  • +8

    As long as you are an organ donor, I don't see the problem with owning a motorbike.

    • +1

      I would see the funny side of this comment, but remember that the OP has at least one child; and I assume that child loves him/would prefer to grow up with a father.

      • +7

        that depends whether the OP's kid at the moment would be old enough to remember him

        wont be long till s/he calls some other bloke daddy

        • +1


  • +3

    It really sounds like she's worried about your safety, since according to you she's "normally very accommodating, flexible and understanding of my antics".
    So I don't think how much of a good husband you are really matters in that view? She's worried about your safety, she's not punishing you or controlling you to not enjoy things out of spite.

    Is this concern valid or not? As someone who never drove a bike, I would not know; that said as someone who've never driven a bike before, I would probably show similar concerns if any of my family member talks about bikes. I think my brother once talked about getting a bike and my mother freaked out.

    I'd probably talk things through with a counsellor. There has to be a middle ground between what you want to do and what she wants to do.
    Maybe she's not seeing things your level, maybe you are not seeing things at her level. Who knows.

  • +3

    I MTB a lot, XC and Enduro, and was also going to orogrree to dirt bikes.

    Wife says 'no', I ask 'why?'. She says similar about me killing myself. I explain that it's probably very similar to MTB in that it's all under my control (for the most part) as there are no cars etc and it's not in traffic.

    We have discussion about her concerns for me including what my reasons for buying were. Turns out her concerns are more knee-jerk from being unaware of what it included, eg. Extra layers of armour vs MTB, plus I e-bike now so costs are similar and I'm already travelling at higher speeds than past.

    At the time of discussing, we only had one child

    She appreciated the talk and agreed that she trusted me to be safe, so we agreed I could buy.

    In the end I didn't end up buying as I saw the time commitment for that sport took me away from my family, and now we have two kids so I want to spend more time with them. I would've had to travel further away from home to use the dirt bike vs being a lot closer to where I could MTB/eMTB.

    Similarly the cost outlay was more than I thought, being not only bike but transport trailer as I had no intention of riding on road.

    I realised a dirt bike, for me at least, would have just ended up being another personal hobby toy sitting in the garage for many years. Kids are where all my spare time goes into now - love them to bits and live vicariously through them, eg teaching eldest to ride.

    So never ended up buying it and later wife asks 'why?'. I explained above.

    You're ride riding, in my opinion, is more risky than dirt biking, but she might not understand that. If she's made aware of that, I wonder if she'll stop you from that type of riding.

    But my wife knows that my riding is not only a form of physical exercise, but also mental de-stress so she knows that a bit of time commitment for me makes better for the family, just like I give her her time away from the family too.

    Sounds like though that this is only something you and your wife can resolve.

    • Great explanation. I feel Billy's misso isnt seeing the comparison either.

  • Do you 4x4? I mean real 4x4ing where you need dual lockers and muddies.

    Just up your game or start if you don’t. You can make that as challenging as you want and can range from building a car that needs thought and planning for driving hard technical tracks, or build a mouth breathers landbarge on 40s that requires a heavy right foot for driving mud holes.

    It still gets you out into the bush, you build camaraderie with mates or club members with spotting and recovery etc., and you can take your kid with you when they’re old enough.

    • I don't do the power line style tracks but I do go regularly and generally stay within the limits of an ARB kitted type vehicle. As the thought of owning a dirt bike slipped away, I always thought of doing this. A Nissan Patrol with a massive lift and Trepadors.

      • You’re always going to want a bike, but if you focus your attention on building a custom 4x4 it will help take your mind off it.

        One other option which I don’t know if it’s been mentioned is you that you could get into side-x-side/can-am racing. It’s much more fast paced than regular 4x4ing and still safer than dirt bikes.

  • Have you considered trials? Not without risk but maybe more palatable for the wife.

    • This is a good idea. Won't scratch the itch for speed but the terrain can be matched to the evolving skill level.

    • I have thought about starting trials on my MTB just locally wherever I can find walls or ledges and then working up to a proper trials bike.

  • Just don't do it OP.

  • +5

    As long as you wear protective gear on the dirt bike, I say go for it.
    My hubby was into bikes well before we got together. I tried road and trail, but I prefer trail.
    Do what makes you feel happy. You need an outlet as well.
    I support my hubby in his interests, and he supports my interests… they're not always the same…

  • @thebilly if you feel any better - my wife restricts me with random stuff that I can't logically accept such as night fishing from the beach or even chewing a gum.

    But I understand that she has certain fears that I don't and I don't want her to go through those fears so I choose to renounce these little things that would make her uncomfortable - as she is otherwise a perfect loving and caring wife.

    • Your wife doesn't let you chew gum? Wtf..?

      • Honestly, this makes me laugh. My wife chews gum, I've had to work hard at being ok with it. I'm the son of 2 teachers, who were very anti gum growing up (got shoved everywhere, and they had to often clean it up), so I took that into dating.

        I still don't chew myself though 😁

  • +15

    Lots of hate for motorbikes on here. Might as well sign off on any risk and buy a beige Camry with everyone else.

    I've ridden both, and still have a stupidly powerful roadbike in the shed for sunny weekend fun when I have spare time. You only live once, and it's short. Why sit around in old age saying "I wish I had…"

    In before the old: "it'll be shorter with a motorbike" or similar.

    • +3

      I’ll have you know, beige is not on the list of safe colours. Try yellow, orange or white.

      • Zook, KTM or Husky?
        I liked the white/red Yammies of days past.

        • Saw a '98 R1 last week in that scheme. Beautiful ❤️.

          • @drumondo: Offroad and motocross were fun when I was a kid, but dad funded 90% of it. You could ID a bike by the colour of the plastics — not these days!

            It's just Tamiya kits and VR 1/24 for me now. Sentimentality sucked me in to a watch and t-shirts too. Edit: games too. Much safer.

  • +23

    I love bikes. A lot. I've been riding for coming onto 40 years now.

    Riding is always a risk. If you dont accept this and ride accordingly then your already dead.

    The issue to consider is, if you end up creating and suffering significant injuries, what are the implications for your family?

    If you're killed, the missus gets a fat insurance payout, lots of people cry at your funeral, kids potentially end up with a step dad.

    If you end up a quadriplegic, wifey and kids learn how to feed/care for you.

    Yeah, lots of ifs. But the issue is YOU'RE getting the benefit of riding, while THEY are the ones that will end up having to wipe your bum for you if you end up a fcuked up unit.

    If you AND your family are happy to accept the risks and implications, then fill your boots.

    But just remember that there's not a lot in this deal for them.

    • +1

      Can't say I disagree with this logic at all

  • +1

    Get a sporty car instead

    • +1

      And take it off road?

      • +2

        And take off two wheels and the cage.

    • I've done this, its very fun but not as appealing to me as I don't like taking risks on the road. I don't mind going a bit excessive on a dirt track but I won't speed on the road ever.

      • Track days, motorkhanas, amateur gravel rally (2wd) are all reasonably cheap, low risk options.

        • So 3 people died in Targa Tasmania this year alone, but hey its our 4 wheeled happy place so go ahead.

          • @MCShobgite: The level of risk on amateur track days is so incredibly different to tarmac rallying in forests, and I really feel like you probably know that. You can't just accidentally go and enter Targa Tasmania in your stock road car.

            I ride/drive and race both motorbikes and cars, so I don't say this uninformed.

            The only amateur motorsport events I'd strongly caution against is anything tarmac rally (sprints) for that reason. Not huge risk to life and limb, but very real chance of writing your car off. But track days on tracks with heaps of runoffs, motorkhana/autocross in carparks, hugely unlikely you'll come unstuck.

            Sane goes for motorbikes, if you want a lower risk outlet there motard racing is cool (you'll still hurt yourself, but not so bad).