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To not allow my DH to buy a motorbike?

70 replies

Doodledumdums · 08/04/2013 23:07

I feel like I am probably being unreasonable, but I am not really sure I can change my views! DH has never had a motorbike before, and he has known ever since we met how I feel about them (Which is that I think they are dangerous, and that no matter how safely you ride one, there are idiot drivers on the roads who don't drive carefully and could easily knock you off or cause an accident). The trouble is, I have also known ever since we met how HE feels about them, and I know that he wants one- so we're at a stalemate!

Ultimately I am not trying to be mean, but I love DH very much, and we have a 13 week old baby, and I just can't face the thought of him doing anything which I personally consider to be really dangerous.

Partly my feeling may be down to the fact that I am a very anxious person, and have suffered from anxiety disorders in the past, so I have a tendancy to let my worries run away with me. For example, if DH is late home from work, it is not long before my mind has wandered and I am panicking that he has been in an accident and that I will be shortly getting a call from the police. So I can only imagine that if he has a motorbike, my anxiety issues will be hugely magnified because of my pre-existing feelings about them.

I really hope I don't offend anyone by posting this, I don't mean to cause offence to anyone who has a motorbike, or has a DP with a motorbike. I would just like to know whether I am being unreasonable by putting my foot down and saying that he can't have one. (To be honest, he's an adult, if he really wants to get one then I can't stop him, but as we are a couple, I don't think he would do that unless he had my blessing.)

OP posts:
everlong · 09/04/2013 10:32

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bobbywash · 09/04/2013 10:43

I had Motorbikes when I first met my now ExW, when the DD's were born I gave it up. I couldn't bear the thought of them growing up without me, and whilst I accepted the everyday risks, I wasn't prepared to accept the additional risks that go with owning a Motorbike. When the DD's started secondary school I bought another one, and went and did some refresher training.

For me, if you say no that breeds resentment, but if you say yes but hows about waiting until the children are older, and explaining your anxiety, you may get a better result.

Just on no account ever let him buy a Harley

GandalfsHat · 09/04/2013 10:54


Doesn't matter how good a driver or how responsible he may be, the problem is often other road users. My friend, who has a 4 year old and a one year old, lost her DH 6 mo ago after a collision with a truck - the truck turned into his lane. A manager I had a few years ago also died in a bike accident, the force of the impact ripped her leg off. I worked in A&E for a few years (I'm not even registered anymore, was a few years ago) and nursed many patients who had been in bike accidents, ime bike accidents only go 2 ways, people walk away unscathed or end up with major trauma, and even something like a completely smashed knee (a guy coming off his bike on a mountain pass, no other vehicles involved) is major trauma, he will have trouble with that knee for LIFE, it will impact his hobbies, doing stuff with his kids, limit what he can do at work, etc.

I do feel very strongly that when you have kids/are married, you cannot take decision like this without taking your family into account. I keep myself fit/healthy etc as much for my children and my husband as for myself, as me being sick or whatever will impact them greatly. Obviously there are things that you cannot control - cancer, I can be hit by a bus tomorrow, whatever, but I have to do everything in my power to be healthy and keep myself safe for them, as much as for me.

If he does insist in buying this bike, you have to look at his life cover and also some kind of injury protection insurance. Sorry if this sound alarmist and crazy, but believe me, I've seen the fallout, bikes are awful things. DH had one before we got married, he will never have one now (yes, I will not allow it, however controlling that may sound) and my sons will never have it either as long as I can help it.

Good luck x

MandragoraWurzelstock · 09/04/2013 11:00

Bobby I agree HDs are hideous, but they are probably safer and slower than track bikes or many road bikes.

Fwiw I saw some idiot bikers the other day, they overtook me on the other side of the road with oncoming traffic - total dickheads. With pillions. I am not bike-weighted in my analysis here but it is a vulnerable position to be on a bike of any sort.

specialsubject · 09/04/2013 11:18

things to consider:

  • the motorbike accident rate among the over 30s peaks at the start of good weather, where men who are not as fit or as thin as they were the previous autumn get on their bikes. So he needs to look to his fitness and do some training.

  • motorbikers are known in medical circles as 'organ donors'. Again, training, practice (lots of it), not thinking he is invincible, defensive driving etc etc.

but it will always be riskier than having four walls of metal round him. He does indeed need to think about insurance, working power etc, and whether a riskier hobby is reasonable with dependents.
Lueji · 09/04/2013 11:31

I think there's a map of roadkill fatal road accidents somewhere.
I remember checking it out for London and, apart from old people in buses, most were men in bikes.

Even my 8 year old was saying today that he won't ever own a motorbike because they are too dangerous.
I should have recorded it to play to him in 10 years. Wink

Andro · 09/04/2013 11:33

Just on no account ever let him buy a Harley

Harley's are awesome! There isn't another bike that comes close to the feeling of riding a well maintained Harley.

Lueji · 09/04/2013 11:35


YellowTulips · 09/04/2013 11:37

My DH is a committed biker. I knew this when I met him so I always felt it was part of the package so to speak.

I have never tried to stop him but to be fair he is very sensible and has over 20 years experience now.

I spoke to him about this and he said the biggest risk is the 30 something biker who can afford a top end sports bike that they lack the skills and experience to control. In addition as a biker you have to learn to ride "defensively" - basically assume everyone else in the road is out to get you and that's a very different style of using the roads that a former car user is used to.

So his advice if your DH goes ahead.

  1. Don't by a sports bike. Aim for a "naked" bike (without a fairing). You get the same thrill at lower speeds.

2. Don't buy an underpowered bike. Small 125's don't have the power to get you out of trouble. Aim for 500 to 750 for a first bike.
3. Do advanced classes. Learn about defensive riding.
4. Ride regularly. You need to build up hours on the road in all conditions - blasting around on a Sunday in fine weather is where you are likely to overextend your skills and get caught out if the conditions change.
5. Do not scrimp on kit. A good helmet is £400. Gloves, boots, jackets with back protection are NOT cheap. If you can't afford the kit don't buy the bike. Essentially you should factor ideally £1k into your budget for everything you will need.
6. Keep you bike in tip top condition. Don't underestimate how often you will need new tyres. Tyres are crucial on a bike so you can't compromise here. If you can't afford new tyres regularly (3 months for my DH - he rides every day though) again, you can't afford the bike.

Hope this helps. If your DH still wants to go ahead then the above should make it as safe as possible.
YellowTulips · 09/04/2013 12:13

Sorry one more thing. It may sound counter intuitive but apart from controlled situations like advanced training, don't ride as a group - especially with other novice riders.

There is always a "show off" and when people try and keep up is again when accidents happen.

Better to ride alone at your own pace.

WMittens · 09/04/2013 12:46

Excellent points from YellowTulips (and husband), but one thing I would disagree with:

5. A good helmet is £400.
An excellent helmet is £400. A good helmet is £150-£200. Even a £40 FM lid has to meet the EC22.05 standard. A more expensive lid will be more comfortable, more durable and provide increased protection. HJC, Laser, AGV, Nolan, Shoei, Arai all have decent budget models. I've found HJC to be an excellent fit for a very reasonable price (fit is dictated by an individual's head shape, and often suits particular brands more than others).

£500 all in is possible - agree about the back protector though, a lot of riders don't bother with them but I always wore mine.

6. If you can't afford new tyres regularly (3 months for my DH - he rides every day though)
This completely depends on the type and compound of tyre (and the power output of the bike) - somewhat ironically, the more expensive tyres tend to last less time/distance. A touring tyre on a low-ish powered bike could see 15-20,000 miles.

WMittens · 09/04/2013 12:49


- the motorbike accident rate among the over 30s peaks at the start of good weather, where men who are not as fit or as thin as they were the previous autumn get on their bikes. So he needs to look to his fitness and do some training.

It's not fitness that's the problem, it is the riding skills that haven't been practised over winter.

MandragoraWurzelstock · 09/04/2013 12:53

I agree about helmets. Mind you if you hit a wall you hit a wall.

Before having kids I used to lark about - I'd take the bike up the road or round the block with no helmet, wearing a cardigan, I didn't care. I had a £30 open face helmet which I continued to wear after falling off onto it.

The bike was like a part of me, a physical attachment if you like. I felt very confident. Later when my riding was less often I wore the proper stuff and felt like a stuffed teddy bear, which didn't help with riding safely.

Now I have kids I wouldn't go out without proper protection (though still use open face) not because I feel the clothing makes me ride better, but because I think I'm more likely to fall off, because I don't ride as much.

I hope that makes sense - if your H isn't going to be riding a LOT then he will be vulnerable just through lack of a physical attunement to the bike.

DontSweatTheSmallStuff · 09/04/2013 13:31

Yanbu, especially if he has never had a bike before. My first reaction reading your post was could it be a reaction mid life crisis to having a new baby, life suddenly changed in a big way type thing. I'm maybe being a bit harsh but it does happen.

My view is slightly clouded because my brother was killed in an accident almost a year ago. He had all the good kit, years of experience etc but none of that helped him. Luckily he didn't have a wife/children.

Bike are dangerous even if the rider is the safest/best in the world. To want to start biking now with no previous experience and a 13 week old baby is imho a bit irresponsible.

Pantah630 · 09/04/2013 13:32

If he really wants a bike why didn't he have one before you met OP? Find this sudden desire to become a motorcyclist, later on really odd, this from a committed Biker btw. :)

YellowTulips · 09/04/2013 14:02

Wmittens - I'll take your word on kit costs as DH isn't around, though I do feel I may have been oversold on the price of kit for him to get want he wants rather than needs based on your posts!Grin

That being said I never begrudge what he spends on jackets/helmets/boots/gloves etc. I want him to have the best kit he can afford (I even bought him a heated inner jacket for Xmas that plugs into the bike to keep him warm)Smile.

He uses his bike year round and thinks heated grips are a godsend!

My father used to ride up until
I was a year old and then stopped because my mother hated it and used the new baby argument.

When I met my DH my father ended up taking 3 only months to buy a new bike and get back into it after a 30 year break. He recently qualified as an advanced riding instructor Smile - my mum tbh is less than thrilled but my Dad says he wishes he hadn't stopped in retrospect and though he would never say outloud a little bit resentful.

Having said that unlike the OP he had bikes pre me and pre my mum so that is perhaps the significant difference here.

Strangemagic · 09/04/2013 14:07

My husband is 52 and has been riding motorcycles since he was legally able.We have 3 ds and would never dream of telling him that he couldn't ride his bike. YABU

YellowTulips · 09/04/2013 14:18

If I told my DH "it's me or the Honda" he would laugh and go for a ride on his Ducati stopping in at my parents to check out my Dad's Aprila.Grin

There are some battle you just can't win - does mean I get to choose the cars though Smile

RevoltingPeasant · 09/04/2013 14:36

Thing is, OP, it's not like he had a bike when he met you that he's now giving up.

My DH is very sensible and doesn't get het up about things. Just before Christmas he happened to be getting a bus into town which was following me on my morning commute on my (push) bike. He said his heart was in his mouth watching me pull out onto a massive laned roundabout.

These are legitimate things for Hs and Ws to worry about, and it doesn't make you unreasonable or weird. I am sufficiently uncontrolling that DH goes on holiday by himself - walking hols where he can't make contact due to no reception - but I'd baulk at this.

edwardsmum11 · 09/04/2013 15:18

Yabu, I'm sure as a grown up hubby knows the risk. Although I would be concerned it was a midlife crisis if my hubby got 1.

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