How do you respond to non-riders who say “motorcycles are dangerous”?

It’s difficult to explain the mental clarity and focus that comes with responsible riding to those that haven’t tried it. After some close calls, you begin berating yourself for lapses in attention or judgment. Then you start to realize that driving a car is also very serious business. Or at least it should be.

Paradoxically, the inherent increased risks of riding a motorcycle vs. driving a car seem to make me safer on my motorcycle than a car. Between ABS, traction control, airbags, etc., it’s pretty hard to get seriously injured in most car accidents. Even relatively serious accidents have people walking away from them with just bruises most of the time. This means people often take risks in a car that they wouldn’t on a bike. In a car you will gun it through the yellow light, or try to zip around another car with less than optimal clearance. On a bike, I don’t take those chances because the downside is far greater than a dinged fender.

Nothing compares to the feeling of cruising down the road on a motorcycle. It’s a visceral thrill that a non-rider wouldn’t understand – and it outweighs any increased risk. For me, riding my bike is 10x the fun, so even if it’s twice as risky as driving, it’s worth it.

When someone says to me that motorcycles are dangerous, I try to tell them that I understand and accept the risks. I’ve taken steps to mitigate those risks, including wearing safe riding gear and attending safe riding courses.

And at the end of the day I feel any remaining risk is worth the experience.

How do you respond to someone who says motorcycles are dangerous?

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