Pilots and Motorcycles


New Member
I want a motorcycle.

That being said...do any of you ride motorcycles, or know any pilots who do?

I was thinking..."Shoot, thats a big risk to losing my medical in the future." But then again, I've wanted one since my dad took me on his when I was little. My parents say NO WAY. If I am to do it, it would have to be on my own. Yet they are 100% supportive and willing to pay for my flying. Hmm.

Anyways...this was just crossing my mind.

What do you guys think of pilots doing other slightly "risky" activities? I'm an avid snowboarder, and would hate to give that up. I also do martial arts about twice a week.

Should I expect to give up things like motorcycles, boarding, and martial arts if I really want to commit myself and become a pilot?
Yeah, and you can get hit by a car crossing the street too.
I ride a motorcycle and know many pilots who also ride.
Why do you think you would lose your medical because you ride?
In inherant risk of hopping on a motorcycle and...I don't know...getting hit by a soccer mom yakking on her cell phone in a Yukon as she pulls out of her neighborhood.....Just an example

But what I mean is that you would signifcantly increase your risk of getting injured and losing your medical due to an unfortunate accident.

Don't get me wrong...I'm fully aware of the risk, and I think the fun to be had on a bike outweighs it. I'm just worried about it affecting my chances at being paid to fly.
The doctor putting you on certain medication will kill a medical just as fast.
You can't go through life being scared to do anything.
If you are safe and follow the rules, you will be ok.
It is when you start thinking you are getting so good at it, thats when things go bad.
I have ridden motorcycles for 22 years and have not had anything happen yet. I have many friends that have ridden for years and nothing has happened to them.
Thats not saying nothing will happen, it's just that the ones that have crashed on bikes that I have known, did it while doing something stupid or not paying attention to their environment. Situational awareness will lessen the chance of a problem.
If your still in highschool I wouldn't recommend getting a bike until you've had a few good years of driving a normal vehicle. Last year a kid on a bike at my H.S. got mashed up in the intersection in front of our school. It's your call though.
Flying's a lot safer than riding a motorcycle, bro.

Being a safe pilot is all about risk management. You may have great motorcycle skillz but in the final analysis you still have no control over every other moron on the road, which means the only thing that'll keep you alive will be driving defensively--and I've never met a teen whose defensive driving skills were worth a tinker's damn. You guys all still think you're bulletproof.

I think the suggestion of waiting until you have more driving experience is a good one, as it will give you insight as to just how hard motorcycles can be to see from a driver's perspective. By then, with any luck, you'll have a better sense of your own mortality and thus better able to make such a decision.
I agree with aloft. The difference is that in flying you have nearly complete control over your own safety. In street riding you have very little ability to increase safety after you have aquired basic riding skills.

My dad got a motorcycle (probably some kind of midlife crisis). Anyways he got rearended by a jackoff 16yr old trying to learn how to drive stick (he didn't know where the break pedal was - go figure). This is the kind of thing that you have NO control over and it can REALLY mess you up. Fortunately my dad was not seriously hurt (though looking at him you'd think he'd been through a war).

At least in flying, if you're gonna crash (heaven forbid) it's probably your fault, meaning that YOU have the ability to prevent it.

But still... do whatever you want; only no one here (including yourself) can garuntee your safety.
I have been driving vehicles since I was 10 years old. When I got my first motorcycle at 17 years old and there were differences in the way I drove. I always made sure I was never near cars, or in a right lane in an area where a lot of people make right hand turns onto. Basically, it is good to have defensive driving skills that are above par.

which means the only thing that'll keep you alive will be driving defensively--and I've never met a teen whose defensive driving skills were worth a tinker's damn. You guys all still think you're bulletproof.

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I have met plenty of young drivers with great defensive skills, you just happen to live in CA where everyone, including you, who happens to drive crazy at times. We do have a problem in ND with younger drivers, but more problems with the 80+ drivers who can't drive worth of crap.
I've never met a teen whose defensive driving skills were worth a tinker's damn. You guys all still think you're bulletproof.

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Hahaha... maybe I should have read the whole post before I said I agreed with it.

Ahem... well you DID meet Iain and I in MYF... so actually, you've met at least two teens who skills are worth just a bit more than a tinker's damn... But the bigger issue is what the hell is a tinker.
Thanks for the replies.

I didn't mean for this to become a "should a teen get a motorcycle" thread. I don't plan on picking up a bike anytime soon. My dollars are going towards my liscenses!

I have always planned to get one as soon as I had a decently paying (post-college) job and money allowed. What I've been considering recently though is "Yikes! If I become a professional pilot as my decently paying job...getting a bike might not be such a good idea!". But, from what shovelitis (by the way..with the 2.5 feet we got here, I know whatcha mean!) is saying, it might not be such a terrible idea afterall.
There is risk in almost anything you do. You have to live life to the fullest. I SCUBA dive and that is risky especially when combined with flying (which I do not combine). I own a motorcycle and let me say that there is nothing like it. What better thing to do than cruise the open roads in Florida by the beaches on a motorcycle with the wind blowing in your face? If you want a bike, go get one...I did! And I don't regret it!
I've been riding bikes since i was 12.
Just be aware of everyone around you and you'll be fine.
Probably a good way to start that scan practice.
And remember that as@#$#e that has his bumper out in the lane is probably gonna go and say he didn't see you.
To offer a different opinion, my dad was a surgeon and often said he spent a large portion of his career trying to sew motorcycle riders back together. (with varying degrees of success)
Almost all of us are involved in some sort of fender bender at one time or another. The vast majority of these result in little more than some bent metal and an insurance claim. This same accident on a bike can have horrific consequences. There is a reason why doctors call bikes "donor mobiles".

Not to preach I just had a vision of my old mans favorite lecture when I read your post!
To offer a different opinion, my dad was a surgeon and often said he spent a large portion of his career trying to sew motorcycle riders back together. (with varying degrees of success)

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I think the opinions of medical personnel are pretty much synonymous. My mother, who is a R.N., has also dealt with many motorcycle victims in the past, and unfortunately the outcome is usually bad… I did, however, rent a moped in Key West, Florida this summer for the first time. The "hog" had a top speed of 28mph, which was just fine with me!
I had always wanted a motorcycle growing up but the parents said no way, which was smart at the time. However, when I was on my own and able to afford it, I broke down and got a street legal dirt bike. I rode it for a year and sold it to help pay for my flying. I guess I got it out of my system, plus its more fun if you have someone to ride off road with and I didn't. If you want a bike, start small, go off road and stay off busy streets. I agree with most posters here that its the idiots who aren't watching out for you that you have to be aware of. I feel safer in the air than I did on the streets on my motorcycle.
Aviator...you sound like my parents! Hehe.

My mom's grandpa was a policeman all his life, and had his share of stories about motorcycles. "Murdercycles" he called them. Any time I bring up the prospect with my mom, she tells me the exact same thing. "Do you know what your great grandfather used to call those things? Murdercycles. He always said that there were two kinds of motorcycle riders...Ones who had crashed, and ones who were going to crash. I don't want you crashing and ruining your future etc etc etc etc ad nauseum." My parents are divorced, so my Dad (who ironically bought his first bike the day after their split-up) isn't here to defend me. Oh well.

Heh. So basically...she says that if I want one, it will have to be after I'm officially out of her care. And even then I would be smart to just not tell her.

I can take that advice. No problem. But as soon as I get out on my own...hehehe. My plan is to get a motorcycle ASAP. Looks like tons of enjoyment to be had. At a practical cost as well. Though I can't picture myself taking off my wet motorcycle leathers/helmet to put on my shirt/epaulets as soon as I get to the airport. Might be smart to own a car too, just incase I want to bring my flightbag....and stay dry once in a while!
But as soon as I get out on my own...hehehe. My plan is to get a motorcycle ASAP.

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You'll be amazed at how much your thoughts and ideas will have changed by then...
I thought it was funny how you said you plan on getting a bike when you have a good paying flying job. So your going to get a cbr900 when your 50? I can't wait to see that

back on subject, last summer (2002) I was on the beast and a car just ran me off the road and onto somebodys lawn and mailbox. Hurt like hell, and it happened so fast. It was like I was on my bike then I see this car just shove itself into my lane then INSTANTLY, I am on my back and my leg and hip was bloody shredded by the mailbox and my left arm was broken. That punk never came back and I am not even sure if he/she knew that they hit me OR I WAS EVEN THERE. Two chicks saw it but were too far out to get a plate #. I didnt lose my medical (you have to lose both eyes or be dead to lose a civilian medical) but I havent been back on a bike since. You just cant count on other people. Id get a snowmobile or a jetski or a dirtbike before I got another crotch rocket.
Speaking of pilot and bikes, one of my (and Copaman's) friends Greg White from ERAU got into superbike racing after college. After all, no one was hiring back in 1993 and you might as well have some fun.

Anyway, to make a long story short, he ended up with a television show on "The Speed Channel" and it airs on tuesdays.

Check it out!

Here's a link to Greg's Garage/Two Wheel Tuesday
Well, I, for one, am not too high on motorcycles. When I was about 10 or so, I was in the hospital for some minor surgery. My roommate was a kid who had been on the back of his dad's Harley when a motorist hit them head on. Seems she was passing another car and didn't see the motorcycles coming in the opposite direction.

Long story short: The kids father was killed - instantly - and the kid spent the better part of a year in traction in the hospital with shattered legs.

He was 12 then. WE kept in touch for a few years and at the age of 16, he was STILL not walking.

So, no motocycles for R2F. Just too exposed and unprotected on those things.

Some of them are cool to look at though.

IF I was into them - I'd get an Indian.