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.


  • Based on what you just said, don't buy a bike.

    I know a guy that got in a motorcycle accident last year, he still has multiple surgeries scheduled. You may be a great biker but other people are shit drivers.

  • I can confirm - your wife is correct you are more likely to die in your commute or be badly injured. I cannot speak for trail bike riding but on the road you place your life in the hands of others. It is a common occurrence for motorcycle involved fatalities to end up with the coroner, and it is not newsworthy by itself.

    The unethical prolife tip is to get a bike and park it away from your house and either swap vehicles or park it at your bike riding mates house. When you have an accident make sure you die then you don't have to explain why you couldn't just listen to your wife.

  • +1

    You're an adult. Just buy a bike.

  • +1

    hey, I changed my mind. Listen to your wife, it's not worth her sleeping with many other people to get over what you're going to do.

    • +2

      Perhaps he backs down and doesn't buy a bike. She then loses respect for him so she starts sleeping with her facebook backups? Who's to say?

  • Take 2million life insurance on your self for her.

  • From someone who previously had a sports bike, this is a risky business. I got hit by a car at a traffic light. the driver was on the phone and did not see me. i couldn't walk for 6 weeks and this was a minor accident.
    getting a new bike is not on my list now (accident was 2 years ago), but i think i will get one in the future. i suggest to park the idea for some time and revisit in few years.

  • Nut it out. Just buy it and ride out the consequences. Boy’s need their toys. Life is to short for regrets. If anybody tried tell me what do— well they can go and get (profanity) or on their bike.

  • +1

    Could you store the bike at a mate’s place or something?

  • +1

    Who made your wife the fun police?
    I'd be bouncing right out of this.

  • +1

    If you want it buy it, at the end of the day it will make you happy, the most important thing is your own sanity and the joys of riding a motorcycle.

    I've been riding on and off since i was 17, fell off twice, got hurt but still haven't scared me off to completely stop.
    When you start riding you will become more aware of your surroundings, you will read cars ahead and behind a lot more then usual, this is due to the mentality "everyone is out to kill you" so you automatically sharpen up your sense around you, this will follow when you drive your car, automatically becomes second nature.

    No one knows when we are going to die, but if you start thinking i will die if i ride a motorcycle then you could die if u walk to the shop and a car swerved at you by a drunk drier…. anything could happened and that possibility are endless.

    Unless you drive a much bigger car or a car with a bull-bar you will be hurt badly in a car accident (lucky if you're not disable) again coming from my own experience on both side.

    Riding a motorcycle is so much fun and freedom, you will enjoy it!

  • +2

    Your wife comes home tomorrow and tells you she's going to kill herself tomorrow. What do you do? plan a child minder to look after the kid while you're at work? get used to a single income? organise a funeral, leave the friends who make life hard while you're newly single and widowed? What plans have you made for this? Does she have life insurance yet?

    Idk, maybe this is what you're telling her. Maybe you should get a divorse and ride a motorcycle. You can be a present father, and a not horrible ex-husband and have a sick motorcycle. Its your decision. If that doesnt work, take up extreme knitting while riding a unicycle.

  • 2nd point.

    motorcycles are expensive. motorcycle insurance is expensive. life insurance with a motorcycle is expensive.

    divorse is expensive.

    be cheap, walk to work, take up uphill hiking(save on heart doctor bills in your 40's)

    • That's a very general statement. Motorcycles are cheaper depending on how far you commute and insurance is cheaper most of the time. The guy wants a dirt bike for recreation not road use.

      • uphill hiking, a recreational activity and a form of commute. cheaper.

  • The roads now are a much different place to when you were riding at Uni.
    A whole lot more impatientness and anger out there being expressed on the roads.
    Judging by the words and the type of language that you have shared that is coming from your wife in relation to this.
    Wesley Snipes has 4 words for you - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I33jjMEJtk

  • Can this become one of the new ozbargain in-jokes?

    What car should I buy?
    Make sure you check under the bonut thingy if something goes wrong you need bikies, but only if you can convince your wife to get them.

  • -1

    I echo your wife's sentiments. My partner loves his motorbike and has been riding to and from work for the past few years. Everytime he leaves home I feel a tiny knot in my stomach. Every single time he's late (which is rare), I fear the worst. He has been riding motorbikes his entire adult life and is a very safe and responsbile driver. But that doesn't help much. You may dismiss the 'leave her and child alone' to overreaction but I can tell you, that fear is very genuine. Motorbikes are one of the very few things my partner really loves and that's the reason I cannot make myself let him give that up despite how I feel. Having said that, I will never agree to him getting a dirtbike.

  • I have a friend who gave birth to a baby girl last year. A few months after, she became widowed after losing her husband suddenly on a MB accident.
    So I definitely understand where your wife is coming from.

  • You can be the best trained rider, yet its the idiots in cars who don't see you that cause the problems, I've learned the hard way on 3 occasions and I consider my training over 30yrs on bikes 2nd to none. Sadly today bike riders are killed way more than car drivers and usually bike riders ain't at fault, Take the wifes advice.

  • She lets you do anything you want except this, which is undeniably dangerous.

    I recommend you think about her feelings. Literally lets you do anything else you want. Think about that.

    I am a married woman with young children. You have it good.

  • Ordinarily I'd say get the bike and just let her deal with it. I have 3 and I rarely ride these days but I'll be damned if I'd let anyone tell me to get rid of them.

    However, you said that you will ride it hard and if that's the case, I'd say….shudder…. take your wife's advice and save yourself a hospital stay or worse.

    I always say to people thinking of riding; if you're a calm, patient driver go ahead but if you're not, leave the riding alone.

  • We only live once, go get your motorcycle, make sure you ride with gear. Riding is good for your mental health too. Ask your wife if there is anything she has given up that she wants to do. It's a partnership and she shouldnt guilt trip you for living your life as long as you are contributing in all other areas. Also get some good insurance death and income protection.

  • -1

    I had only ridden bikes for a few years, i have my full size licence too (was commuting daily in peak traffic for 2 years, 30mins each way - i dont anymore). Anecdotally Ive heard more stories of bike riders being seriously hurt , broken limbs, paralysed, brain damage (my mates cousin), dead (a guy i knew when i was 20), than people involved in car accidents. I'm sure there's stats that show that when something happens, you're far worse off on a bike.

    But, good safety gear, safe riding practices, the fact you'll only be in the bush so no issues with cars, its not so bad right?

    That not really the issue is it.

    It's the fact that the emotional toll on the wife is significant, because be it anecdotal or stats, no matter how safe you might actually be, your wife has communicated to you that she will be worried - genuinely stressed, and that has a very real negative affect on her

  • +1

    Is a track bike an option? I think that is the best way to satisfy both parties.

    I was in a similar position for a while but since letting it go I have sort of got the green light to buy a bike, but I haven't as it's not a wise financial move for us atm.

  • +1

    Get a new wife

  • +3

    Wow I am just amazed by how many people let fear be their guide in life! Doesnt surprise me though given what's currently going on in the world. I ride a motorbike because I love it and its great fun. It keeps me in a good mood and my MRS knows how much I enjoy it. Do what you love in life and you will have a great life.

    • 100% agreed.

      Safe riding, mate.

  • A mate of mine just got knocked off his Bike in a hit and run with an Uber Driver. Fortunately he'll recover, bike is write off. He's basically said he won't be riding again. Granted, dirt bike is bit of a different proposition, however presumably you're progressing from mountain to dirt because of the speed and power.

    You only have to come off once in the wrong way to ruin your life, or worse.

    That's the risk you have to take.

    Either that, or divorce her. :D

  • Serious question: In the same way it's possible to get comprehensive insurance for your car to protect your assets in the case of damage whether yours or someone else's fault - is it also possible to get insurance as a motorbike rider to insure your damage to your body (spine, legs, arms)?

    • I'm assuming you don't mean for medical treatment as that's covered anyway. If you are referring to some sort of disability insurance then yeah I'm sure you can get TPD insurance with a life insurance cover. I suspect the premium will reflect the risk.

  • Sounds like she is saving your life.

  • listen to your wife, you will live longer.

  • You are are father now. Act like one.

  • Well, sadly I am on the op side in this matter. I love motorbike especially Harley for a long trip away from home. Nothing beat that freedom feeling with cold air, loud muff noises. And I am lucky so far that I don't have to choose between my bike and my girl, even after a few accidents. Finger cross this will last.
    However, your wife is right too. She have every rights to worry, whether for your own safety or for the whole family as a whole. Grab a beer/wine, ask her nicely to see whether she willing to sit down and calmly listen to you. And then, you will listen to her reasons too. I think it is a debate about risk/happiness and not about right or wrong. Just bring in the table all of your "valid" reasons whether it is your childhood "dream" or that is what makes you happy (be careful here or you will get "so I am not make you happy" and such…

    About the life insurance, if your wife don't like the idea of you are on the bike, then life insurance will not change her mind. Do it so you have your own peace of mind for your family rather than to convince her.

    Good luck and have fun

  • My wife is pushing me to get a motorbike………. :(

  • A dirt bike might sound safer but a motorbike will always be dangerous. Two years ago a mate was on a dirt road on his bike, got cleaned up by by a kangaroo, took him a while to fully recover from those injuries. Kangaroo, tree stump, hell just a rock on a dirt road is all it can take to flick you off the bike

    As much as I love going fast, you won't catch me on anything that doesn't have a steel cage around me, one tiny mistake by yourself or someone else and its all over.

  • My wife was completely against me getting a motorbike. I explained to her that I had always wanted to ride and asked her if she really wanted to be married to a guy who would let his wife dictate what he can and can't do, then I got my license and bought a bike. That was nearly 5 years ago. These days when my wife can see that I am stressed or bothered by something she's the one telling me to go for a ride. She still doesn't like motorbikes, but she can see the positive impact riding has had on my mental health. I know this particular point doesn't help your case, but because I ride on the road it has almost halved my commuting time, meaning I can be home in time for us to have dinner as a family and to help get the kids to bed. I have had a couple of scares along the way but my wife has been understanding and supportive; not once has she tried to tell me I need to give it up. It's honestly depressing reading all of these comments - I feel sad for these people who think that life has to end the moment you get married and/or have children.

  • This thread is full of people who didn't even read that he's buying a dirt bike and not for use on the road. Obviously they are keyboard warriors that don't have any experience with motorcycles or had a look at any of the relevant statistics. You people do realise that they let 6 year olds ride dirt bikes on tracks right? Even on road, where the risk of fatality is higher, you literally have more chance of dying from falling down a set of stairs than you do on a motorcycle, yet you don't hesitate or shudder every time you use them.

    While your wife is against you getting a dirt bike for the right reasons, I'd highly recommend you have a sit down and go through the risks together from a numbers standpoint, not from testimonials from people in this thread saying 'Oh I had a friend who had an accident and can't move his legs'. Anacdotal experiences are not relevant, and as someone who picked up riding after getting bored of other hobbies, you'll probably regret not doing it for a very long time.

    The only concern I would have is that you've demonstrated that you're a 'go hard' kind of person, just make sure you've got the experience and you're in the right situation for that behaviour, because that's when accidents happen on bikes

  • I have been denied a JetSki, boat and a motor bike, but wife had no issues me buying an exotic car. Guess it’s more the safety issue in her mind.

    • water can't injure you though?

    • She can be seen as being successful in her circle of friends riding up in a prestige brand - it helps :-)

      None of those other things help her improve her social standing.

  • It sounds like your wife is very anxious about you getting a bike. Perhaps this is a huge issue for her and you could do worse than discuss it with her.

    I sustained an acquired brain injury from riding a motorbike many years ago. I would not step on to a motorbike now. A couple of times a year I think 'mmm maybe it'd be good' but then look around me on the road and see how many more cars are driving around, how clueless, inconsiderate and selfish they appear to be and how you have zero protection on a motorbike in the event of a smash. Also, I would not put my anxious wife through the trauma of knowing that I am at a considerable risk each time I rode my bike, EDIT: road OR dirt.

    I recently bought a convertible car and it's the closest thing to riding a bike that I've ever experienced. It's a very good second prize to the real thing.

  • If your going to put your dirt bike onto a trailer and tow it in the bush land to go for a fang, not sure what the problem is?

    You dont have to worry about other cars out there - being hit by a car on a dirt bike trail would be pretty slim to none. So alot of the arguments about other motorists is a bit null and void, that is unless your going to be riding from home to said track.

    I would buy the bike and then beg her for forgiveness, oh & armour up.

  • Ebike for commuting modded for >25km/h then you can ride on bike paths avoiding idiot drivers and recover from weekend MTB.

    I've had lots of road & track bike racing crashes over the years here's a decent one I'm at the back of that pile up red bike can see my leg and glove http://users.spin.net.au/~boostlinux/RAW08-Crash.PNG

    after years of racing crashes (fearless sprinter type) multiple destroyed helmets and commuting getting hit by multiple cars my worst injury was a 2018 head injury in the bathroom when I passed out due to brain cancer chemo( complications.
    This paralysed my left side I'm still learning how to walk properly.
    sometimes it's better to burn out than to fade away. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv9ZGP1_JUo

  • Your experience and love with bikes sound like my Dad when he was young. Apart from riding as a hobby, he also rode to work everyday on the company's motorbike. My Mum would always worry that one day he would get into an accident. He did and nearly died. When he was discharged from the hospital and resting at home, that's when I saw him for the first time after the accident. I cried and didn't want to go inside my home, because what I saw was a really swollen head and bruises all over the face. I was a child then so I naturally got scared. I could not recognise my Dad. I still have that picture in my head to this day but am glad that he's still alive and saw me grow up. Your wife has the right to worry about you and make those statements. Find another hobby for the sake of your wife and child.

  • get a new wife. problem solved

  • How about meet her half way and get a tricycle instead?

  • But then what is the purpose of anything if you can’t do the things you enjoy

    Sorry mate, but this makes you sound quite selfish. Have you ever thought about all the things your wife gave up, once she became a mother ?
    Given all the supporting evidence you've provided about her, I'm not even sure why you've raised this question. She sounds (profanity) awesome.

    Let's put to one side the road fatalities and incapacitations, and also gloss over the fact it sounds like a very clear dealbreaker; and consider this - your wife is speaking on behalf of not only herself, but also the kids.
    They'd all love to have you around decades from now, and all those experiences inbetween, but she is scared she is gong to lose the man she committed her life to.
    Or worse, have the man she loves living as a paraplegic, unable to look after himself. Or look after the kids. Or help her through difficult times.
    Who will bring in the money, if she has to look after both the kids and you ?
    Who will pay for the medical bills, the surgeries, the medications ?
    This is what goes through her head, when you start jabbering on about having a motorbike.

    You, however, are still talking from a 'me first' point of view, which if you were a single man with no committments, would be fine.
    But like it or not, you do have obligations to her and the kids, which should be prioritised over what you want, no?

    Now, I suspect it is the traffic element that bothers your wife, so there could be a compromise. If the thrill of riding a bike is just what you're after, maybe only if you ride it on a track, she might be more open to the idea.
    But that would have to be a iron clad promise to her, and you'd have to arrange a way of transporting the bike to and from the track each time.
    Honestly, given the tone of your post, I don't think you have that level of discipline in you, but ultimately that's between you and her.

  • Probably not going to be a popular opinion, but this is my own….

    Are you not an adult? Do what makes you happy. It will cause tension but hey, that's for you to work out with her.

    Shit happens. Whether or not you ride, you could die in numerous ways. Maybe make sure your insurance is high enough to cover a worst case scenario as morbid as that sounds.

    I've had a friend fall off his bike and need back surgery so he's stuck with back issues.

    Most of my male family members ride both dirt and road bikes, most of them are married (approaching 50yo) with kids (teens). They go away on weekends together all the time as well, without their wives.

  • When my friend was doing his residency at the hospital, he would tell stories how the helmet was the only thing keeping the brain in their head.

    My friend had to learn to walk again and still has the screws in his back.

    Drove past a few accident where it was clear it was not a survivable accident.

    Your wife’s concerns are justifiable. You’ll understand if or when you have kids.

    It’s not you she’s worried about. It’s the other road users.

  • Stick with wife's advice :)

    Unfortunately, a friend of mine and his wife had a motorcycle accident yesterday and they are in hospital. There are too many drivers that are oblivious to motorcyclists.

  • Rode almost daily for 18 years, had some close calls and minor crashes including some with other cars. Riding a bike is risky but I prefer that than not riding at all, if you have the right gear and decent defensive skills you should be fine. My wife is fine about me riding as her dad rode motorbikes.

    I must say I loved every minute of riding too and would of regretted it more not riding than having an injury from it personally.

    Only stopped riding as I've got two small kids but when they are older I'll be on a bike for sure.

  • Good compromise? Buy a trailer & a jetski if you're close to a decent size source of water! Probably the closest thing to the feeling of riding a motorcycle & you could combine it with a bit of fishing :)

  • How about a motorbike Sim ride it in the house.
    Wife & kids can use it as well

  • It sounds like there's a pretty common consensus that riding on the road can be risky. I used to commute on a smaller motorbike and it took a lot of the fun out of riding for me and luckily I didn't have too many issues ( in Canberra) but I did have one scare that saw me fall off an almost get my head run over. Like others have said it's the idiot car drivers that will ultimately cause you a whole lot of grief.

    If you're looking to supercharge the MTB experience, then that's something only you can determine how important it is. It might be worth negotiating to say you'll never register the (motor) bike and it will be track/off-road only.

    Whilst you say your wife is reasonable etc etc this clearly is something you feel is important enough to ask a bunch of random internet users about.

    If not having this is going to cause resentment, it might be worth pushing harder for, noting that increases in adrenaline typically have increased risk of injury and death.

    Good luck, please do come back and let us know where you landed in the decision.

  • Seems like there are a bunch of stats experts on this Forum.

    So I take it none of you are married and all advise your close friends to never get married or have kids because the marriage failure rate is orders of magnitude higher than motorcycle death stats.

    And who wants to end up as a sole parent where poverty rates are higher, depression rates are higher etc, etc?

  • +1

    Your wife can't stop you from buying a bike. If you really want to buy it, do it.

    But like she said, Make sure you are covered for the loss of income, death and TPD insurance in case you become a vegetable from a motor bike accident and not able to assist your family financially.

  • The roads are full of people not concentrating on screens and drugs so if you want to be a target with a coffin on two wheels , its up to you .

  • I rather have a steel (Metal, plastic, w/e) frame and airbags around me than just my own clothes. Much safer in case of accident. Juat way too many idiots around these days.

  • Get a new wifey

  • Page 6 reminder to all the dunderheads advising on the dangers of road bikes — thanks for stating the bleeding obvious btw.
    Where would we be without you guys?!

    OP wants to cart his trail bike to an off-road location and ride it there

  • +1

    Work friend was you but got the bike, was in an accident had to learn how to walk again, he now on his second wife. He wouldn't reccomend a bike, a hint of regret but said he did live his best life with that bike.

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