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.

Comments

            •  

              @CheeseBeans: Grew up around rally cars, have done many bike trackdays, also own a fast car.
              Personally cars freak me out more than bikes. Thats just me

  • +2 votes

    make her happy by listening to her, she will make you happy too :)

    your options

    1) Buy lego Harley fat boy, when on sale
    2) buy a VR and high speed pedestal fan and enjoy.

    if you are still not convinced, along with your wife try watching few videos on youtube where couple are taking a road trip on bike, your wife might change her mind, I did the same to convince her to buy a puppy by making her watch puppy videos (youtube is flooded with them now on my recommendations)

  • +2 votes

    I don’t think you are dealing with a woman thing so much as an ignorance thing. Maybe take a softer approach and engage with your wife and listen to their point of view then use your knowledge and experience to demonstrate your points and how the stats for motorcycle injuries and deaths apply or don’t apply to what you are doing. Would you be off road all the time and take your bike to and from the locations you ride by trailer rather than on the highway could be a point worth raising or considering. This is a team you are in and teams make joint decisions sometimes which come about by better understanding each other’s points of view.

  • +1 vote

    Have you considered sports parachuting instead? It's not a dissimilar experience.

    •  

      I have an intense fear for adventurous sports where I can't hold the controls. Its a really bad fear. I can ride a bike at full speed down a mountain, but I can't para sail for instance.

  • +24 votes

    My lovely wife rarely says no to anything I want to do or buy. However, she draws the line at a motorbike.

    This is because, years ago, when newly married, I lost the front of my motorbike on a wet tram track. I was Ok, just a shattered collarbone. However, as a precaution, the Ambo's put me in a full neck brace.

    Whilst knowing that all I had was a broken collar bone, me in my bulky neck brace was the first thing she saw when she came into emergency. It was a huge shock and I understand why not riding again is the only thing (so far) she is so firm about.

    Skydiving, sure, ok. Bungy, sure, ok. Motorbike, no.

    Am I sad? Yes. Do I want another thumping bike between my legs? Yup. But, I also love my wife so much more for the unlimited love and trust she gives me. So, I suck it up and respect her on this. I also love her more for her standing pat.

    Give your wife this one. She sounds like a good catch. Let her have this and go about with something different.

    • +5 votes

      Well written

    • +6 votes

      You forgot to sign off with…….

      "Your loving wife"

  •  

    Stealth E Bike… the B-52

    best of both worlds, claim it as a MTB

    Wife happy, you Happy.

    •  

      Had one of these come into our bike shop.
      Geezus she's quick, got her up to 80km/h on the flat and backed off.

      But yeah, highly illegal, although as long as it's only used off-road go for it.

  • +4 votes

    Back in my early twenties, I saw a motorbike accident happen in front of my eyes. After being hit by the car he pulled out in front of, the man limbs went places they shouldn't. He was clearly broken beyond repair. My advice, if you love your wife, don't get a motorbike. Be glad she likes you enough to want to keep you.

  • +2 votes

    Maybe you need to retire first.

  • +8 votes

    Deal with it, or divorce. TBH you sound a bit whiny. You get plenty of time to yourself and plenty of other toys. Don’t try and weasel your way into a hobby that is going to add additional unnecessary stress to your family life.

  •  

    My family won't let me get a motorcycle either. I have learnt to live with their decision. Have a nice sporty car instead.

  • +1 vote

    My wife encourages me to buy a bike but I'm too sensible these days to get one. Had a good run for 10yrs with no incidents and won't push my luck.

  • +4 votes

    Maybe try and see it from her perspective.

    So your campaign succeeds and she gives in and reluctantly agrees to you getting a bike. Now she has the stress of worrying that something bad is going to happen each time you are riding it.

    Would you he happy with that?

  • +4 votes

    Adventure before dementia. I'm lucky to have a missus that understands that it helps mentally. I also tour and don't commute which is a bonus.

  • +2 votes

    M husband always rode a road bike prior to us dating and pretty much stopped riding after we got married (I'm a bad wife that picked our wedding date on Moto GP weekend). Then our son was born two days after our wedding anniversary so he had to be present for parties haha. The reason he used to ride so much was because his car is his work ute full of tools. When we moved in, he used my car to get to A to B that wasn't work related.

    Hubby prior to us dating had been hit by cars twice, both times people not paying attention etc. He has been lucky.

    He still has his road bike. It's old and 2nd gear is stuffed. He has had plans for the last 5 years to fix it himself but it has never eventuated.

    The husband got some 5 grand MTB and I was ok with that on the proviso that he wore a full face helmet and he wore clothing that had the protection/brace.

    I have come across a number of individuals professionally who have sustainable spinal cord injuries from non compensable situations. From hitting a tree while snowboarding to sadly a number of dirt bike accidents. Thankfully my husband hasn't shown an interest in purchasing a dirt bike. We live in suburbia and don't own a farm or land. Plus we physically don't have the room for it.

    If you will go for it, I strongly suggest you have an idea of some contingencies in place in the event you are seriously injured. Not just financially, but think about if your home is compatible to someone that may require life long care. People think oh I'm not going to be doing any Nitro Circus shenanigans but that tree stump or log might not be seen while riding.

    I have friends that live on 40 acres and have dirt bikes for the whole family, kids included plus ATV's. Everyone has to make their own risk assessment and realise if they are comfortable or not.

  • +3 votes

    At least you know shes cares about you

    Knew someone that worked in a trauma ward of a hospital - 90% of patients were motorbike accidents.

  • +1 vote

    If those statements you have listed are in order, I think your slowly winning her over. Don't give up just yet!

  • +3 votes

    Oz Bargain marital guidance counselling swings into action

  • +4 votes

    Replace the wife. Get the Bike. Winning.

  • +2 votes

    Stats are with her OP.
    I have had 2 sons go through the stage of wanting a motorbike. I am normally easy going but explained in both cases that if they brought one home I would break it.
    I have personal experience with MBs and an experienced rider will tell you that you will probably ‘throw it away’ sometime in the first 6 months. It’s just bad luck if a tree is in the way…….
    Here in Adelaide we have some hopeful smear himself over a tree about every 2 weeks, generally on the Lobethal road, often leaving wife/kids behind. ‘Who could have known???’.
    You have a responsibility to your wife and kids to not do things that may well injure or kill you, and make her worried when you go riding it is the last she’ll see you intact.
    Forget the bike. You don’t need it.
    The positive thing is that if you can quietly develop an interest in something else she’ll happily support you when you offer not to buy a MB.

  •  

    If I was your partner, I’d be more concern if you were contemplating riding on the road, less so your skills but more so careless drivers. Whilst dirt bike riding has its inherent dangers, as long as you don’t exceed your abilities, it’s bit of harmless and relatively safe fun. Maybe take her out to the bush where there are some riders and get her familiar with the scene, environment etc.
    This may alleviate her concerns and that it’s not as reckless as the hobby sounds.

  • +1 vote

    I’m a trail & road rider from my teenage years, but I stopped motorcycling during the family raising period. I restarted dirt riding in retirement, and am having a great time. For you, I’d recommend a safer more family oriented activity for the next couple of decades. 4x4 is a good option … when the kids are old enough they can come camping, fishing, etc. Bring some MBs on it.

  • +2 votes

    Unbelievable the number of people that get married without any kind of agreements or understandings in place prior.
    If riding was a big part of your life it should have been made clear it wasn't something you were willing to give up prior to getting married.

    Personally I'm married with one child still own and ride a registered dirt bike that I take bush a few times a year. I've changed my riding style since having a child no more racing friends or trying to go as fast as I can. If you ride cautiously and don't go flying 100kmph plus down every dirt track it's no more dangerous than MTB riding or many other recreational activities people do without thinking twice.
    Stick to more technical tracks and you will rarely exceed 20kmph.

    You really need to explain to her the precautions you will take and that it's not something you're willing to negotiate on. You're an adult after all, personally when I hit 18 I stopped letting others dictate what I can and can't do.
    It's unfortunate if you married your mum.

    •  

      @velcrocchicken

      Unbelievable the number of people that get married without any kind of agreements or understandings in place prior.
      If riding was a big part of your life it should have been made clear it wasn't something you were willing to give up prior to getting married.

      A really, really good point.

      In another thread I recently mentioned pre-nups (Binding Financial Agreements in Australia), and this is in relation to work, finances, etc. But equally important are other agreements and understandings.

      Surely, if one is intending to spend the rest of one's life with someone, planning to propagate their combined genes together, then really important personal beliefs, ideas, and activities should be discussed? And agreements made accordingly?

      Is it surprising that 30% to 40% of marriages end in divorce? (Oh, and add in de facto relations separations, and permanent marriage separations which never divorce.) So probably half or more of all permanent relationships end in separation.

      Thus it seems likely that in the medium to longer term the OP will probably not have the concerns he has now anyway.

    •  

      @velcrochicken

      Unbelievable the number of people that get married without any kind of agreements or understandings in place prior.
      If riding was a big part of your life it should have been made clear it wasn't something you were willing to give up prior to getting married.

      This is a good reason to delay getting married to give you time to figure out what your interests are. I guess the main ones that a future wife would disagree with would be motorbikes and firearms. So, ride dirt bikes, go shooting at the range or hunt before you get married. You can always give it up later, but will be hard to get started after getting married.

  •  

    If you eliminate sharing a road with cars and trucks you eliminate 95% of the risk but where are you going to find roads like that?

  •  

    I think if you always had bikes when you were younger. A recreational dirt bike is a good compromise I think. No different then any other high risk sport. You could even say its safer then football or snowboarding due to the safety gear.

    I don't think I could ever justify a road bike for commuting in traffic now though. If you need the open air experiance, get an MX5.

  • +2 votes

    So you aren't even going to use it on the road? No issue with having a dirt bike.

  •  

    Women dont understand risk taking being fun but they do understand a motorbike has 0 star safety rating.

  • +2 votes

    As a rider myself I find people who don't have a distorted perspective on how dangerous it is. You will see 99.9% of potential hazards ahead of time and then it's just reacting appropriately. Maybe help alleviate her concerns and increase your life insurance, get ambulance cover if you don't have it, offer to do a motorcycle safety course and buy the best safety gear you can get.

    • +4 votes

      As a rider myself I don't think you should ever lie to yourself- it is reasonably dangerous.

      Honestly, OP has the kind of attitude that doesn't suit a bike well. Sounds like the kind of guy that says "oh man, I'd get a bike, but I'd be way too sick, and go like 500 everywhere on it, and do wheelies while standing on the seat in sixth" except he actually wants to go get the bike now.

  •  

    I'm a mtber, done some push bike road riding and just from that I understand some of the risks, people just don't see you…

    That being said I would love a motorbike, it's everything that I would enjoy. But I won't get one because I am a risk taker and would not put that burden on my wife and children. We have a duty to avoid the things that shorten men's lifespans to be there for our families, it's a burden and a joy of marriage. We sacrifice some things that we want but we also have family that love us and cherish us being around.

  • +3 votes

    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.

    This sort of personality is not suited to motorbike riding.

    I ride a big boy motorbike and it's easy to get yourself into trouble.

    If you are going to be an aggressive rider like one of those idiots that treats the road like a racetrack, it won't be long until your wife gets a call that you're in hospital or in the basement.

    Watch this https://www.9news.com.au/national/south-australian-police-re...

    Riding isn't for people with that personality. listen to your wife.

    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.

    Everything in life is a calculated risk. You take a plane to a holiday destination and accept the risk of a crash, you drink a bottle of wine knowing that it's not good for you, or you eat junk food. If you calculate the risk and decide it's worth it, go for it. But just realise that if you have an accident and die, become paralysed or whatever, you aren't just affecting YOUR life…..

  • +1 vote

    If you value your relationship then do not buy the Motorbike, I sold mine 2 years ago, I loved riding the trails and it was a great fun way to spend Sundays out but I met a woman who was really not keen on me riding (she did not try to stop me though).

    I realised the fact of being away on Sundays (as well as other activities) instead of being with the family was not fair and her problem with it was the risk of serious injury, unfortunately these happen all the time (you will hear of people in the rider community having injuries regularly) and when they do it is game over for life or at least the life that you had.

  • +6 votes

    I just put my big boy pants on and bought a bike. YMMV…

    Edit: Wow, just read over this thread and there is so much anti-motorcycle hate and misinformation.

    • +2 votes

      Italian 50cc bikes with electrical issues don't count
      🙂

      • +1 vote

        But I love my Vespa… Well, on days that it runs that is…

        Pretty safe bike if it spends most of it's time on my bike bench being "serviced"…

        • +1 vote

          I re-iterate. A Vespa isn't a bike.

          •  

            @newjerseydamo: Thanks for correcting me… it’s not a bike, it’s a “motorcycle”, and a fantastic one at that. Italians certainly know how to make a fantastic motorcycle… :D

            •  

              @pegaxs: No it's not.

            •  

              @pegaxs: I'm with you - my bike was a Yamaha Tmax. Technically a scooter but it is more a bike than a little postie bike or dirt bike. I used to get up to 145km/hr on that thing. Could probably have gone faster but didn't dare. It was glorious. Vespa has larger bikes too.

  • +2 votes

    So your post is that…

    Your partner relies on your valuable contribution to parenting (as well as the romantic relationship).

    You usually ride hard, so hard, you've had an accident riding a nonmotorised bike.

    She has deaths in the family which have come about through vehicular accidents.

    And you are looking for other people to, what, change the facts?

    Go research the stats, you said you love to research top to bottom, convince her that while there is statistically significant increase in risk of death if you choose to ride a motorbike, the size of that increase is small enough that it makes little difference to the way you'll live your life?

    Don't ask for more opinions.
    What's your research say?

  •  

    If you buy $2M insurance policy, your wife may let you ride the bike.

    •  

      I proposed it once, but she is not a money person.

  •  

    I remember when I got my MC licence, a couple that were old friends of mine said they wouldn't talk to me if I got a bike because they had know 2 or 3 guys that had died in MC accidents.
    I got one anyway and they still talked to me. So you could call her bluff but it's not something I'd do with the wife (it really is happy wife happy life).

    I lived in a country where speed limits (not unusual to do 160kph) were a more a guideline and thousands of people die in motor vehicle accidents annually, my best mate came off his bike three times in the first two years we had bikes (worst was a broken wrist, somehow). When I started riding I accepted that it was more a matter of when and not if, I was always expecting to come off eventually, the odds are high.
    Biggest reason I don't have a MC now is the weather in Vic isn't really worth it, but I'd likely have one if I lived in Qld or WA.

  •  

    It's like your wife telling you to stop smoking.
    You enjoy it, probably not good for you. Cost a lot. Higher chance of dying.
    So you quit.

  •  

    Get the bike and enjoy it. just don't do anything stupid

  • -2 votes

    When I was younger I worked in a video store (a long time ago obviously). We had a local cop who would sort of keep an eye on the store, and he'd drop off his videos/dvds when he was doing rounds near by.

    One day he dropped his movies off late, and I mentioned it to him just as a side comment (which I felt horrible about 30 seconds later), as he informed me he was coming to drop them off the night before but, on their way, they got called to a motor cycle accident. They could see the emergency crew down the road, and there was evidence of the crash from where they were all the way down the road to where the crew were.

    As they were driving down towards the scene they felt a small bump in the road but didn't think much of it. When they got to the crew, the noticed people were looking around for something - it was the rider's missing arm. I'm sure you can guess what that bump in the road was some distance back.

    He looked me dead in the face and goes "Don't ever, ever ride motorbikes. We call them "Temporary Australians"."

    •  

      Cool story bro… I'll be sure to let all the ambos and coppers that ride motorcycles with us to look out for arms on the road…

  • +1 vote

    It sounds like you might be the the issue mate, not the motorbike itself or your misses. She probably wouldn't have a problem with you getting one if you quote:

    "I usually go hard on everything"

    Sounds like she knows exactly what you're like and fears you getting a motorbike will only end badly, not just for you but for her and your kid.

    If she was 100% sure you were a responsible person that would put yours and your families safety first, ride like a normal person and make good/safe decisions, I bet she wouldn't have any issue with you getting one. That fact she's saying no is because she doesn't think you are.

  •  

    Worst case isn't even that you die in an accident necessarily.

    Imagine you had an accident and became quadriplegic or had a serious head injury. Your wife is probably thinking about how that would leave her and the kids.

    I think parents have to make sacrifices for kids - I would consider holding off till your kids are grown up, then getting back into it. Would you be able to wait that long?

    It's a tough one but motorsports are inherently risky and I think many partners think some risks aren't worth taking in relationships once kids are in the picture.

  • -2 votes

    goto harley for additional $5 they will write you an invoice of the amount you told your wife you paid!.

  • +1 vote

    Bought it despite having the same argument with my wife. Had multiple encounters with idiots changing lanes suddenly and without indicating, but always managed to catch that in time and avoid it.

    10 months into bike ownership I've another one, but couldn't avoid it this time. The accident was relatively minor, I got away with a scratch (and a permanent scar) on my lower leg, but I could walk/run/ride normally 10 mins later. However, it did open my eyes to the fact that a) it could have been much more serious and b)you might be as careful as you possibly can, but your life is essentially in the hands of the idiot driver of the other car. And unfortunately, in "Car vs Bike" the car is more likely to win.

    Sold my bike after that incident. I miss the convenience of getting around the traffic on the way to work, but a happier wife and me being able to enjoy other activities that require full body movement still outweigh that.

  •  

    i know a few people that have given up bike riding due to the amount of accidents and the other party insurance chase arounds.

    there was one bloke i worked with that was traumatised from an accident that resulted in him selling off his bike collection bar one antique.

    bikes are good all in all although there is more of a chance for serious injuries due to other drivers lack of awareness.

  •  

    A good friend of mine wanted to buy a motorbike but I advised him against it. Why? I care too much about him. He's had 3 car accidents over the past 15 years, all involving him rear ending stationary vehicles. And that doesn't include the time he ran over a roundabout. I honestly think he'd severely injure himself on a bike.

  • +1 vote

    Some things might be worth putting your foot down with, I think though you need to really talk it out and tease out of her the reasons why she feels this way, don't accept "I'm just saying no", you can only really accept it if you know why she is saying no.

    I've been through this in past relationships to different extents, so when I met my (now) wife, it must have been our 2nd or at the latest 3rd date, things were going really well, and I laid it out for her. "I'm a motorcyclist, I'll always be one, you will not be able to stop me riding. I will be reasonable, I don't need to have half a dozen bikes, but I'll always have at least one, and I'll always want to go for rides."

    Admittedly the amount (and intensity) I ride now that I'm a dad has diminished, but I laid it out so plainly at the start that she has fully accepted that this is part of my life, for better or worse.

  • +8 votes

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

    Can most please stop quoting road trauma. OP wants a dirt bike for fanging in the bush.

    • -5 votes

      Can most please stop quoting road trauma. OP wants a dirt bike for fanging in the bush.

      Probably just as dangerous in my opinion. Generally you don't go for a leisurely ride in the bush on your dirt bike.

      •  

        in my opinion.

        Oh, so not based on facts.

        And generally, that is exactly what I do on my dirt bike when I take it off road.

        •  

          well colour me purple

      •  

        Wrong. The most dangerous part of riding on the road is the complete morons sharing that road with you, that try to run you over at every possible opportunity.

    • +2 votes

      Finally someone said it!

    • +2 votes

      Sure thing. In Victoria, 14% of motor-bike fatalities are off-road riders, 37% of MB-related ED presentations were off-roaders, 45% of motorbike injuries requiring hospitalisation were off-roaders. Nearly one-in-ten off-road injuries was intracranial (ie brain).
      -Vicroads Motorcycle Levy Extent of Injury Among Off Road Riders report.

      •  

        From their definition of off Road: "Off-road: injuries incurred by motorcyclists from a non-traffic accident." What does that even mean? Does that mean single track in the bush like OP wants to ride? - no not at all.

        there is a HUGE differences between dirt bikes on single track in the bush vs adventure/touring/dirt road biking.

        Single track in the bush is by far one of the safest forms of motorcycling and probably results in less injury than your average ball sports like Footy and Rugby

    •  

      OP should make that (dirt bike offroad) bold in his post.

  • +5 votes

    I have 7 motorcycles ATM from sports bikes, naked, adventure bikes, cafe racers, enduro and cruisers. Its my mental stress release.
    If she is not supportive of what you do get another wife! Life is too short to be under someones thumb. PS : I have a 7 figure life insurance, so if anything happens she will be taken care off.

  • +2 votes

    I'll weigh in here.

    Male, married and have previously ridden motorbikes up until about 4 years ago (a year into our marriage).

    I will preface this with the fact that I loved riding. It can oddly be both exhilarating and calming, nothing beats hammering through a country road.

    I always rode very defensively, but there were many times where I was almost killed or seriously injured by driver negligence. No amount of defensive driving can save you from some idiot crossing 4 lanes and almost hitting you (true story).

    I no longer ride as I consider myself coming off and being injured or killed too great a risk because:
    -I leave my wife with a financial burden and a mess to clean up. Not to mention the emtional trauma of injury or death.
    -I run a small business - If I'm injured and can't work that business will cease to exist (which is a problem in itself, I'm working on it).
    -I'm studying so I can change industries - An injury or death will delay / make all I've been working towards pointless.
    -I am a gym rat, any injury will obviously be a set back to my goals.

    That said, this is just how I look at it. You could have a completely different mindset.. For example I have a friend who has battled with depression for years. For some reason riding got him to the point he could kick antidepressants, it was an outlet. He has since stopped riding (financial / convenience reasons) but he's doing very well and I do sincerely believe that for him in particular, this was the catalyst that let him get into a much better mental state.

    It's all each to their own, and I understand where both you and your wife are coming from. There's always the option of taking a defensive riding course (pretty sure those exist) to both protect yourself and ease her concerns.

    • +1 vote

      I think my husband is much thr same. I did get my L's on the bike but having been on the back of his bike for many years, his head would constantly turn like those clowns at the arcade and tap my leg or yell out watch that car there. After I got my L's I acknowledged that I'm not as switched on as he is on the road so never ended up getting a 250. We had some great times on the bike but marriage and kids did change that somewhat.

  • +6 votes

    So many idiots writing about riding on the road. This has no relevance to riding in the bush. Cars don't change lanes in the bush.

    •  

      To be fair, I wrote about a single story that was road related. In saying that, I have met people who are in wheel chairs from dirt bike accidents, and have many second hand stories of injuries when I worked with CareFlight as a client who had to do a lot of rescues from severely injured people in bush/dirt bike accidents.

      • +1 vote

        I've met people in wheelchairs due to work accidents, car accidents, bicycle accidents, DIY accidents, horse riding accidents, etc…

        So your point was exactly??

        • +1 vote

          Please get inside your safety hamster ball. Nothing can hurt you in there.

    • +1 vote

      In Victoria, 14% of motor-bike fatalities are off-road riders, 37% of MB-related ED presentations were off-roaders, 45% of motorbike injuries requiring hospitalisation were off-roaders. Nearly one-in-ten off-road injuries was intracranial (ie brain).
      -Vicroads Motorcycle Levy Extent of Injury Among Off Road Riders report.

      •  

        From their definition of off Road: "Off-road: injuries incurred by motorcyclists from a non-traffic accident." What does that even mean? Does that mean single track in the bush like OP wants to ride? - no not at all.

  • +1 vote

    If your love for bikes is greater than your love for your wide…go for it

  • +2 votes

    I just looked up things more likely to kill you that riding a motorcycle. There are a lot, including falling down the stairs.

    Full disclosure: I own Husqvarna TE 250 but it's a shed queen.

  •  

    I was young once, and keen to get a bike as the main form of transport. My mother was an ex neuro-theatre nurse (i.e. assisted on brain operations). She made no comment but took me for a visit to the nearest major hospital to the spinal and brain injuries ward - As I recall 16 beds only one was a non-bike accident.

    Later, driving my car ( :-) ) I was following a car late at night, it was swerving erratically, so I slowed. I could see something coming the other way. The car swerved and hit the oncoming thing, which turned out to be a bike, with someone I knew, and his girlfriend - I slammed on the brakes and administered first aid - my mum had instilled I'm me, always carry a first aid kit, and refresh on St Johns Training every few years. The driver of the swerving car hadn't even noticed - it was his passenger that said "I think you hit something". The people on the bike, she lost one leg, he would spend his life with a calliper on one leg. Because of a timing issue on getting a blood sample, the drunk driver got off, scot-free.

    Finally, one of my best mates recently retired as an Acting Police Inspector - as such he was the "Duty Officer" for about half of Brisbane - he would be in charge at more accidents than he cares to remember and has lost track of the number of times that he has had to knock on a door late at night to inform someone that their loved one is deceased. It still haunts him every day…

    •  

      That's a lot of bush dirt bike riding trauma in Brisvegas

  •  

    Riding defensively and conservatively you can dramatically decrease the risks of motorcycles on or off road. The fact that you like to ride aggressively is probably a major issue for your wife. However, I think the risks are very hard to counterbalance when you need to consider a wife and children that you have some responsibility for. Sounds like a losing battle. You can still enjoy motorcycles vicariously.

  •  

    The problem with riding is you put yourself at risk of other people’s mistakes, not just your own. I used to ride but had too many close calls and eventually I needed to sell my bike anyway and haven’t bought another to replace it since.

    One I’ll not forget is riding behind a truck coming up to a T intersection (we are on the top of it and I’m continuing straight) the truck signals to turn left and slows down, at the same time, a driver in the T intersection is attempting to turn right and due to the size of the truck couldn’t see me behind her. Driver starts going though intersection, I see car around the corner of helmet and quickly brake/swerve to avoid. Front tyre of my bike ended up connecting with their front wheel bringing me to a stop. Needless to say I gave them a pretty big WTF. if I was 1-2 seconds later I’d have been a lot worse off.

    The other I won’t forget nearly killed me, nearly ruined my career and left me with a permanent injury (albeit minor). Driving up a highway, car comes down the other way and suddenly swerved to my side of the road right in front of me at 80km/h. I ended up hitting their rear quarter panel and went flying over the top and down the road. Lucky for me, I always rode in full leathers and riding boots, decent quality too with built in shoulder, knee and back protection. I skidded along the road, came to a stop, stood up and walked away. I still came away with a pretty bad hand injury nearly losing my finger. That was from my hand being crushed between the panel and the handlebar at speed. Even with full leather gloves (track gloves too with metal knuckles and pinky protection) my hand didn’t stand a chance. Ended up in hospital with a plastic surgeon to put my bones back together with metal rods and 20 stitches, my tendons were ripped and I was in a hand cast for 12 weeks. Plus about 3 months of physio to be able to move my hand again. I nearly lost my dream job because of my hand injury, I can’t play guitar half as well as I used to, and I can never fully straighten my little finger which luckily hasn’t been too much drama and I can make a full fist with normal grip strength but the physio to achieve this was horribly painful.

    Ironically I still rode for about 18 months after this incident. It was only when I was going overseas for 6 months that I knew if I left my bike there it would be a pain in the ass when I got home (Ducati which already had its problems lol). So I sold it.

    Since then I’ve returned, moved state, got a partner, and luckily my career wasn’t ruined after all but was a close one.

    Do I miss riding, absolutely. I still mountain bike ride just like you most weekends, and if I come off I’m also just as likely to get injured. My mate ended up in hospital on a ride we did last year with some pretty serious memory loss and concussion. The thing that’s different is, on a mountain bike you’re in control a lot higher percentage of the time than riding on the road. You don’t usually have to worry about some twat who isn’t paying attention or decides to drink and drive (the person who hit me in my second story - arrested, charged with drink driving causing bodily harm).

    I’m probably like your wife in some respects though. Every time I sit in traffic and see a rider in shorts and thongs, or no gloves, I fear for them. If I wasn’t wearing my protective gear they would have been scraping me off the pavement and I’d have lost a hand.

    If anyone wants to know what your finger looks like when it’s hanging on by skin and a bit of muscle have a gander https://imgur.com/a/WviOVAw. The bone just below the knuckle was shattered into three pieces, the one below that into two.

  •  

    Death is guaranteed - nothing will harm or benefit you other than as decreed, at a time and place appointed. You can deploy sensible risk mitigation strategies to the appeasement of yourself/spouse/parent/whomsoever, but you must ultimately rest assured that death is a reality that we will all face with certainty; dying in sleep, as the most common way of passing, need put the tempting fate argument to rest.

    •  

      All that is very poetic, and would do well condensed on a motivational poster. However, your argument rests on the idea of a fated time to die, and in this case, that same fatalism may indeed prove fatal.

  • +5 votes

    As most people didn't actually read past the first line in your post…

    Take the wife out camping and show her where you want to ride would probably be a good start. Is she an outdoors person ? She may just not have a clue on where you intend to ride the bike and after seeing may be more willing to compromise.

    Other than that say how much it means to you and await the inevitable argument ! Then see how far you want to go with it. Tell her your desperate enough you had to make a thread on ozbargain and ask random internet stranger's about it, she may offer some compassion! Or maybe not.

  • +3 votes

    Not a motorbike-hater; in fact, I've been considering learning to ride to deal with my morning commute. But, a big consideration for me has been the fact that I have no dependents. Unfortunately, you will always be at far higher risk of death or injury on a bike. Accidents which are minor in a car become much more serious when you're not surrounded by metal.

    Per QUT, bikes make up 6% of vehicle registrations, and 19% of road deaths. "Per distance travelled, the Australian rate of motorcyclist fatalities is approximately 30 times the rate for car occupants. The corresponding rate for a serious injury is approximately 41 times higher." And it doesn't get that much safer off-road.
    https://research.qut.edu.au/carrsq/wp-content/uploads/sites/...

    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

    The mentality is that she doesn't want you to die in an accident and leave her and child behind.

    You're your own person and can ultimately do what you want. But if you go ahead and get one, don't be surprised if it causes problems down the road.

  • +2 votes

    My wife wants me to get a motorbike but I don't want to because I think it is too dangerous.

    • +3 votes

      Wife Swap: OzBargain

    •  

      i think your wife hates you haha.
      Did she take out a life insurance policy on you recently?

  •  

    Listen to the wife and move on. Go to those places that let you ride for fun, that has a course designed to ride on. If you die there, well at least it was your fault and not the added risk of idiots on the road. I drive every single day and I fear for my life in a car.

  • +1 vote

    From what I can read, a trail bike for bush trails is quite low risk, Probably the same as any recreational sport like snowboarding.

    I think what your Wife is worried about is your past and that you might go too hard at it and hurt yourself. You might be able to convince her in the long run but it will be a long process. Just seed the idea in her mind and work on it over a year or so.

    Pro Tip 2: Don't ask these kind of questions here, people here are savage and there isn't much backing from moderators.

    •  

      Pro Tip 2: Don't ask these kind of questions here, people here are savage and there isn't much backing from moderators.

      I'm pretty thick skinned, I appreciate all the feedback. I just wasn't expecting a response so heavily skewed in one direction. I would say it's like 90/10.

      • +2 votes

        That's because 99% of the numpties haven't read that it's for a dirt bike, not a road bike.

  • +1 vote

    Time to get a new wife :)

  • +4 votes

    I ride dirt bikes and mountain bikes. I despise the fact that a lot of mtbers hate dirt bikes and dirt bikers hate mtbers, they are both fantastic in their own ways.

    Honestly, mountain bikes and dirt bikes are arguably 2 of the best hobbies/sports going, the best places I have been to in Australia are dirt bike access only. To those who are hating, you don't know what you're missing out on.

    I have had far more injuries on my mountain bike and have never had one on my dirt bike and I attribute this to a few things:

    1. Dirt biking has a lot of safety gear, knee braces, body armour, thick boots etc. I religiously wear it.
    2. Avoid 4x4 tracks and only ride single track, when you have to commute on a 4x4 track go slow and always be extra careful on crests and blind corners because there are so many 4x4's who hoon in the bush.
    3. Don't be an idiot, no need to ride fast to get thrills on a single track, the slow speed log hopping stuff is the most challenging. Practice your skill and it becomes the most rewarding with minimal risks.
    4. Never riding on the road (black top), I always trailer to a dirt bike location.
    5. Knowing the tracks and riding to the conditions. There are plenty of tracks I would never drop into after heavy rain and certainly not during mid winter. Go with people who have an understanding of your skill and the tracks to develop a knowledge.

    Dirt biking in the bush on single tracks is probably one of the safest hobbies out there, much safer than playing footy/soccer etc. Don't be an idiot and make sure you put in the time to develop your skill before you try the hard stuff. I have been riding a few times a month for over a decade and have never been with someone that has hurt themself. Roads, cars and hero dirt bikers popping wheels in 5th gear are the problem.

    • +3 votes

      Thankyou for putting into words exactly what I have been thinking.

      My family of four have been bush riding for the last decade. Awesome family time. The only injury has been to my teen son who had to dodge a kangaroo. He locked up the rear unexpectedly, bike got out of shape and he went over the bars and the bike ended up resting near him. He received a burn on the arm from the expansion chamber which melted his jersey too. Still has the scar. Pity it didn't melt Pro circuit inversely into his skin. He would have loved that.

      •  

        Wouldn't have to pay money for a pro circuit tattoo then?!

        The other thing I forgot to mention is single track riding is slow speed stuff, my average speed is generally 15 kph. For anyone saying that enduro riding is dangerous, you only go as fast as you twist the throttle…..

      •  

        I didn't grow up riding dirt bikes and I don't know anyone who rides them but I've been wondering lately what the best way to get into dirt biking is. I assume the easiest trails to access are in state forests? So, say I get a motorbike licence and a dirt bike with a recreational rego, how would you recommend I actually learn how to ride it properly/safely? Are there courses? Or is it just a matter of going out to trails, taking it slow and learning by yourself? I've got an MX track near me, but I've got no idea how suitable it is for beginners and I don't think I'd want to be riding over massive jumps at this point. Any advice?