Persuading Your Parents to Let You Get a Motorcycle

If you're anything like me, when a sport bike flies past you on the freeway or group of Harleys rev through your town, your eyes widen and your jaw drops. Unfortunately, protective parents may not share this enthusiasm with you, and receiving their permission to ride can be one of the hardest things to do. Here are some strategies that can help you earn that bike.

Are You Sure You Want One?

Before you really dive in to the world of motorcycling, understand that riding IS dangerous. Research statistics on motorcycle accidents, injuries, and deaths. Talk to motorcyclists you know, or look for stories on the Internet. As the popular phrase goes, "There's only two types of motorcycle riders: Those who have crashed, and those who are going to crash." See if you can find an experienced rider that has never crashed. Educate yourself on safety gear as well as motorcycle laws in your area. Your parents will be impressed if you did your homework on the subject. Finally, keep in mind that a majority of motorcycles crashes aren't the rider's fault. Just like in a car, you might be doing everything right, but that won't stop another driver from causing you to crash or hitting you. Are you willing to take that risk?

Talking to Your Parents

There's obviously no point spending weeks and weeks looking at motorcycles if you're parents won't allow you to ride one. Getting permission from your parents or guardian is vital - especially if you're under 18. There are, however, a few ways to try to convince your parents.

Approach Them at the Right Time

Try to find a good time to ask your parents about it. Be patient, and the opportunity will present itself. Catch them when they are in a good mood, or after making positive comments about motorcycles. Avoid asking them after work, when they are clearly stressed out, or while they have other things to focus on. Maybe slip it in during a meal.


Chances are, your parents will not excitedly exclaim, "Of course you can!" and rush out the door to buy one. Work with them on a deal you all agree on. Tell them you'll start on a small motorcycle, avoid highways and busy streets, and not ride at nighttime. Also, tell them that you will take a safety course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (which is a MUST), and express a desire to purchase safety gear. It will show that you care about your safety just as much as they do.

"I'll get one when I'm older, anyway."

This is perhaps the most effective way to persuade stubborn parents, and it worked for me. Tell them that once you are independent, you will buy one anyway. Explain that it would be beneficial to you to get some riding experience early. If you treat the matter as a lifestyle choice and show them that you are approaching it with careful planning and responsibility, they may consider you mature enough to make your own decisions.

Don't Fight It

If, after all this effort, they still say no, understand that they are only doing this to protect you. As their child, you are their responsibility, and riding motorcycles is a dangerous activity. Frequently asking them will only annoy them. It is likely that you will have to wait until you're on your own to purchase one, but this doesn't have to be a bad thing. Use the time to fully educate yourself on how motorcycles work, riding strategies, or picking out the perfect motorcycle for you.

For most teenagers, the hardest part about getting a motorcycle is persuading your parents. I used the above strategies to convince my own parents, so they are likely to help others as well. While the rewards of riding are great, the level of risk is too high for some parents to handle, and you often have to prove your maturity if you ever hope to ride while you live under their roof.

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Do you plan on using these strategies? Did they work for you? Let me know in the comment section below!

Comments 2 comments

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Ugh! Great Hub. I've been struggling with this issue since I was 13. Your advice is sound, reasonable, and useful. I no longer need to justify the purchase to my parents (heck, one of them would fully support it anyway), but I DO need to figure out where I'll find the time to properly learn. So many complications!

Norm 3 years ago

I am almost 20 and have been trying to get a bike for the past 4 years. To no avail have I won. I have a part time job as well as year round college courses (through the summer as well). I have tried to justify a bike purchase to them, but i spend my own money on a bike, then they say that i can afford to pay for all of my expenses including housing.(I live at home) The only way to get away with a bike in many situations, is to do it behind their back, or just wait it out. Even though i am respecting my parents and not getting one right now, if they were to disown me and kick me out, i would shut them out of my life. Every action has consequences, chose wisely.

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