Updated: Mar 7, 2020
"How do I get my wife to ride? I have no problem with her as a passenger, and she enjoys our moto trips together. But I thought it would be great if she could ride her own, and she has expressed interest in riding before. Is it cool if I bring it up again? Or should I wait for her to express interest again? I’m not sure... what's the right thing to do?"
Significant others are a major influence to owners of motorcycles. Whether they participate, prevent you from riding, or want nothing to do with it, it's hard to know what's right for the both of you.
This is a question I've been asked often, especially at gas stations when I'm alone. I suppose this could be framed as “How do I get my significant other to ride his or her own motorcycle?"… I've also known a few lady riders who asked about their guy or girlfriends, or siblings, or… you get the picture. We like to share and want our favorite people to join in the fun. My questions I would ask you to consider are the following:
1. What are the reasons you want her to ride her own motorcycle?
Will she be your hot wife that rides? Do you want more luggage room on those long moto trips? Do you want to share something together that could be fun and rewarding? None of these have right or wrong answers. Unless, you're forcing her to do something she doesn't really want to do. It'll cause stress and resentment if she feels she has to learn to ride to stay in a relationship with you. However, if she’s really into it, then why not encourage her to go for it? There’s nothing wrong with that. But then you'll have to ask and consider the following…
2. She's expressing interest in riding, but what are her reasons for wanting to ride?
Does she feel she has to do it in order to stay with you? Is she seeing other women riding in your group of buddies and feeling jealous? Are you starting to wonder if it's you or her engaging the turns from the pillion? It would be good to consider the reasons now, before she gets a whole new bike with all new gear only to find out she doesn’t really enjoy riding.
3. She wants to do this. How do I teach her how to ride?
If this a go, then take a few steps to make sure it’s right for her. Don't try and teach her how to ride yourself. Just in case she’s doing it for you instead of herself, then recommend that she enroll in a riding course. That way she won’t have you judging her as she learns, and she’ll get real instructors teaching her good habits from the get-go. Also, she can take this time while taking the course to decide if this is something she really enjoys. She won’t feel shame from any friends or lovers while she learns and can make an honest assessment. Also, as a perk, some safety schools offer discounts on motorcycle insurance and she can take the test there, instead of at the DMV. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is a good place to start.
I also recommend taking the course with a school that is not affiliated with a motorcycle brand. I know, I know… but Harley Davidson and BMW offer the classes…. don’t do it. I’m not saying they're bad schools, but there's a reason they're doing it. They want you to buy from them, of course. Maybe… she won’t want a Harley or a BMW?
4. Does she really want that enormous bike?
You gotta let her pick her own ride. It might not be the ride you would pick for her. It’s a very personal choice, like fancy underwear. She might wear the thong once, for you, but she really wants to wear the briefs. Let her pick her own ride for crying out loud! I see so often beginner riders on powerful expensive motorcycles as their first bike, and the unwieldy beasts end up convincing them that riding isn't for them. Let her pick whatever makes her comfortable. And soon, after lots of practice, you can enjoy the road together.