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Early 30s, looking to purchase first motorcycle

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  • Early 30s, looking to purchase first motorcycle

    I am looking to purchase my first motorcycle. I have never ridden a bike (well I did once the other week) but I have had a desire to get into it and learn.

    Good/bad idea? Is it possible to learn and ride safely?

    I'm early thirties, just out of residency, and everything is moving along swimmingly. I am a very positive and energetic person. I would hate for something bad to happen (who wouldn't right). I am single (if this matters), in my early 30s, lots of ventures outside medicine. I live in such a climate that it would only be possible to ride a bike 4-5 months out of the year maximum.

    One of my closest friends and girlfriend is against it, my friend more so. My vision is also not the greatest.

    A few newer friends locally are encouraging me to get one. I would really appreciate any feedback.

  • #2
    Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.


    • #3
      Usually if you have to ask whether it’s a good idea, you probably already know it’s not.

      According to Wikipedia, riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a car. We will probably need Will Smith to make a Concussion-type movie about it to get the word out about the dangers of motorcycles though.


      • #4
        They call them Donorcycles for a reason. Of course, it's your life, so do as you wish.

        I added an electric motor to my bicycle, and that's all the danger I need in my life.




        • #5
          I do not have as many anecdotes as CM, but here's a recent one:

          One of my cardiology colleagues bought a fancy motorcycle to help assuage his midlife crisis. On the way home from the dealer, he crashed and fractured both upper extremities and one femur.

          If you decide to go for it, check your DI to see if you are covered for injuries on a motorcycle.

          I am naturally risk-averse, and if I am being honest, given the context of your question, I find it ridiculous that you are even considering it.


          • #6
            The first year as a rider is the most dangerous. If you're ************************-bent on getting a motorcycle, I'd recommend a used Honda 450 that you won't mind laying down if you have to. Don't buy more bike than you can handle when you're learning to ride. Spend more on your jacket, boots, gauntlets, and helmet than you spend on your used bike.

            Since you're a military doc, take advantage of the excellent motorcycle safety classes offered on base. You need to complete the motorcycle safety class to be allowed to ride on base. These classes are generally quite good. While we usually are trying to keep first term enlisted troops in their late teens or early 20s from maiming or killing them selves, the class should work well enough to keep a medical officer in his early 30s alive.

            There are a lot of experienced riders who want you to be safe and enjoy yourself. Take safety courses, get track time, go on group rides with safe, experienced other riders on the weekend. You want to get plenty of experience and avoid getting too much bike and getting overconfident.

            Minivan drivers who don't check their blind spots really are trying to murder you. You might be okay to drive a car after a couple beers. On a motorcycle the right number might be one or zero. Because you don't have 3000 lbs of metal around you, you're now responsible for not how only you drive but how everyone else around you drives. A lot of collisions that might lead to a discussion with an insurance adjuster if you were driving a car will be a discussion with your next of kin if you are riding a motorcycle.


            • #7
              I don't ride, but I've got several friends and former roommates who did ride when they were company grade officers in their 20s. Most of them gave it up when they got the wife and kids.


              • #8
                Don't be insane.

                .... what would convince you one way or the other?


                • #9
                  Crazy.....Two docs at my hospital have had serious wrecks and survived.  If you live somewhere that has a good place to ride off the street it would be much safer unless you get into jumping over stuff.


                  • #10
                    I've ridden many thousands of miles , all safely. I learned to ride in my late 40's, although I played around on dirt bikes as a kid. Definitely take some safe riding classes, they make a big difference and when you get out there take it easy. When I started out I always rode with a friend with more experience. Later on , I would just ride for fun and relaxation.  After many years and thousands of miles of long road trips I gave it up. I just wasn't using it as much as it deserved and we got into boating. My wife would never ride with me so the boating is a compromise.

                    My buddies still give me heck for not riding with them anymore. Too bad, statistically I lucked out and had safe ventures. No sense pushing it too far. Boating accidents generally involve writing large checks, vs motorcycle accidents which are often deadly.


                    Wear a helmet even if your state allows you not to. Oh, and there really is only one bike out there: A Harley!



                    • #11
                      I had one in college.  A "crotch rocket" too.  I still miss it to this day, especially on beautiful fall days like today.  I hope to get another bike in the next year or two, however, it will not be a sport bike.  Some quick thoughts.


                      • Definitely sign up for lessons.  Most states offer courses from pure newbies to more advanced.

                      • If you are not a good driver odds are you will not be good on a bike.  You have to pay complete attention as the margin of error is so much smaller on a bike than a car.

                      • Your comment about poor vision concerns me.  Do you mean you wear glasses with thick lenses or your vision is actually restricted such as poor peripheral vision?

                      • Always, always, always wear a helmet, long pants and heavier shoes or boots.  I always wore a leather jacket and gloves (it is amazing how sweaty your hands get when riding).

                      • Ride with someone experienced when you are beginning and as much as you can.  Both for safety purposes and to learn from them.

                      • Make sure you insure the bike for year-round not just during decent weather.

                      • Get something not too powerful and not too expensive to start with.  Makes it a lot easier to get rid of if you decide you don't like it.

                      Personally, I always stuck to less traveled/back roads when I rode.  I went on a highway once and it scared the life out of me.





                      • #12


                        • #13
                          well this is mostly a financial forum so the only advice I can give you is:

                          - make sure you have life insurance if your girlfriend relies or expects to rely on your income

                          - make sure you have disability insurance and see if it covers you on a bike

                          - make sure you have a will

                          - make sure you have a power of attorney and a living will.


                          • #14
                            Years ago during med school my buddy and I signed up for a weekend class at the community college to learn to ride. On my way home the night before I ran into a white sheet on the highway next to a bike. Took it as a sign and did not go to the class the next day. I also know myself. I love speed. I would get killed very quickly on a bike. If you go through with it be safe.


                            • #15
                              WCICON24 EarlyBird
                              There is no denying the risks on motorcycles are significantly higher than cars. They are definitely donorcycles. I can regale you for weeks about people getting into horrific accidents, deaths, dismemberment, etc....If it werent for motorcycles and blood thinners I might have actually enjoyed my neurosurgery rotations. I loathed them for the longest time after. Dont get me wrong I love bikes (had a motocross one as a kid, dad rides harleys, etc..., just got back from a bicycle ride actually (spent 100% in neighborhood and my cities sweet very long bike path, away from idiot drivers). Its just not a safe enough endeavor out there.

                              However, the issue is other drivers simply do not pay attention to you and you dont exist, and therefore are at their mercy. Then physics comes into play with you vs. car, you always lose. Then of course sounds like you havent really ridden much and wont be able to basically do it all the time which also means skills will deteriorate in the off season. Just recognize your risk adjusted issues go up, way up and predictably so. If you still do it, take a course, and not the driving one but some kind of performance one where you really learn to control and handle at speed and in bad situations. Then of course try to limit your super risky riding times, which Im sure are at night, bad weather, any time drunk drivers are higher, etc...