This is a self-improvement post. See all here: https://starandlotus.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/self-improvement/
Motorcycle riding is so much fun, whether or not you fall in love with it, it is definitely an experience worth giving a shot. It can be reasonably cost effective and safe hobby to try out (or not depending on your preferences…)
I’m not really sure what pushed me to finally try it. I mean, riding a motorcycle is something that is glamourized (at least for men) a good bit. But it wasn’t big in my family or anything. I was 28 I think, living in the southwest at the time, and figured if I was going to do it anywhere, I should try it there with the awesome weather. I did it through the Harley-Davidson beginners course, which was an all-around positive experience considering I had never ridden a motorcycle before.
Bought my first bike soon after, a used Sportster on craigslist! Can’t advise buying a Harley new, they seem very overpriced, but there are some good used deals if you have the cash. Harley’s can have a bad reputation, but I was happy with my bike. I wanted a cruiser, it was loud, flashy, and fun, and fit me perfectly. Luckily I had a fairly short and safe commute to work, so I was quickly riding it most days. Overall, once you have the bike and some basic safety gear, it is pretty cost effective.
I did get hit once, rear ended at a stoplight and knocked over. It was rush hour and the person behind me just wasn’t paying attention. I was fine, but my bike was in the shop for a month. It was a good learning experience, avoid riding in traffic if you can. You can be doing everything right and someone can just not be paying attention.
Once I moved to a big city, sadly my bike hasn’t been getting ridden as much, just my commute is a lot longer and crowded and I don’t want to push my luck. While lane splitting is fun, I don’t know that I want to make that a habit given my earlier experience with traffic. I still try to make it a point to take it out regularly, puts a grin on my face every time. However, it sadly doesn’t get as much use (usually need a girl to motivate me).
The military does make it a bit of a hassle to be a rider, and it is a sunk cost if you aren’t riding. Given I’m not the super-passionate rider, there’s a chance I might give it up depending on the life situation (on the off chance I ever get a family for instance). If I end up selling, well, at least I got to be a biker for a while. Still recommend giving it a try if you haven’t!