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My brother buys a motorcycle. Without a license!

by J. Money on Wednesday, March 30, 2011

laughing motorcycle
I don’t know what’s going on with my family lately, but they are keeping me entertained! Haha… first my sister goes out and buys a house out of nowhere (well, at least to me), and now my brother is the proud new owner of a bitchin’ motorcycle yet he doesn’t even have a license! ;) What the heck is going on?!

Well you already know my thoughts on the house buying stuff by now, but it might come as a surprise that I’m actually impressed by my brother’s new found balls’ness.  He had been talking’ and dreamin’ about owning a bike for over 4 years now, and it looks like he finally got out there and decided to DO SOMETHING about it! Probably not the way I’d have started the process out – I like to test drive my vehicles before buying them, haha – but at least he’ll know sooner than later if it was all meant to be.

The purchasing of the bike finally got him to SIGN UP to the classes, so now he should be on the road feeling like a bad ass in no time ;)  Minus the $3,000 he shelled out for it, which according to him was a steal (he got an additional $1,000 worth of equipment along with the bike). The jury’s still out whether he actually got that flat screen TV he was guest posting about the other week, but I’m hoping now that he didn’t -  despite all of y’all egging him on, haha…  if only you knew he’d go out and get this motorcycle! ;)

What I probably find interesting more than anything here, though, is the fact that all of a sudden we have two major things occurring within my family at the exact same time.  It leads me to believe that when others are taking big risks around you, that perhaps it increases the odds of YOU doing the same too? Not saying that we copy each other or try to 1-up another person or anything, but just that it may loosen up our own inhibitions a bit.  If everyone else is doing crazy things, maybe it rubs off on us and gives us the courage to take on something larger than normal ourselves too – know what I’m saying?

I know that’s what encourages me sometimes.  For the better or for the worse ;) An example of “the better” being when the wifey and I got engaged like all my friends were doing at the time, and the worse – not to beat a dead horse – being when we bought our first house just like they were all doing too. I don’t think that’s coincidence.

What all this means is that we just gotta make sure we’re taking risks as consciously as we can. We’re never gonna be perfect and pick the right move all the time, but we can still do our best and pay attention to WHY all of a sudden we wanna make these major changes in our lives. And to that end I give my brother some mad props. Sure it came out of nowhere when he told me he’d suddenly purchased a bike, but it was pretty much a calculated risk. He just needed a little push to get there. And I think my sister’s recent events did just that for him :) So yay, new adventures!

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(Photo by byDavvi – not my brother, thank goodness)


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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RT March 30, 2011 at 8:23 am

If he doesnt have his license yet….I hope it is not a very nice motorcycle he got. The first one you get and learn on should be a beater, because you are absolutely going to lay that bike down on the ground a number of times. You shouldnt bother getting a descent one till you have a couple years of riding experience under your belt.

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2 Mercedes March 30, 2011 at 8:45 am

My brother did the same thing a few months back. He is sort of an impulse purchaser. That’s not to say he doesn’t do research, but I don’t think he necessarily thinks through all of the ramifications. or maybe he is just a big purchase junkie! in the 15 months since he bought his house he has also purchased a new pick up (still has the old one), bought a box truck (still has the other two trucks) Bought two motor cycles (and is thinking of buying another one and still doesn’t have his license!) Honestly I don’t know how he supports his lifestyle right now! maybe his Handyman business is doing better than he tries to let on….

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3 kh March 30, 2011 at 9:05 am

Well for what it’s worth, a lot of the classes recommend that if you can, you should bring your own bike. I took a m/c training course last summer and used one of their bikes, but if I absolutely plan to go back and retake the course on my own.

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4 J. Money March 30, 2011 at 10:24 am

@RT – Ooooh good tips! I don’t think it’s a beater, but I don’t think it’s super nice either – maybe in between?
@Mercedes – Hah! He’s got worse A.D.D. than I do! :) I def. hope his business is doing really really well, that seems loonie tunes from afar.
@kh – Oh cool, well then he’s one step ahead of the game :)

And I gotta be honest — Now that both my dad AND my brother has a bike, I’m getting the itch myself! I’m now the only boy in our family without one… gonna miss some killer bike runs, that’s for sure.

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5 Andi B. March 30, 2011 at 11:07 am

So I was just wondering why you didn’t have the same feeling about your sister’s big change as you did about your brother? Honestly, neither seem overly sensible (house when you have a travel bug, motorcycle without license) but you just seemed so worried about your sister vs. excited about your brother. Granted, buying a house is a lot more extreme (depending on the perspective) than the motorcycle, but you were happy that purchasing the bike got your brother to sign up for classes, and maybe purchasing the house will get your sister to be more settled with a great home base. I just think it’s interesting the different way we react to different siblings news/red flags…..and you know you want the wind in your ‘hawk. :)

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6 Rafiki March 30, 2011 at 11:24 am

I think its just that when you see someone go after a dream they have, especially someone close to you and you see the joy and happiness it brings, you figure what’s stopping me from chasing my dream? And you go after it. One of the joys of being debt free.

Just try not to go into debt chasing dreams as debt can turn it into a nightmare quickly.

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7 Ginger March 30, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Hopefully he gets a cool ICON or other motorcycle jacket to go with it!

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8 Erin March 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm

It’s really not atypical. We owned a Harley before either of us had a license. DH had ridden in the past though, so he knew how to ride. I think we went 6 months before one of us was licensed (notice I didn’t say him). Most states make it easy now, since you can take the class and it waives your DMV test. Pass a ridden test, and you’re good to go. A lot of others just don’t have licenses, which you can get away with, but most insurance agencies won’t cover you unless you have it.

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9 LB March 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm

For me, I am usually the oddball when it comes to risks and people around me. Either I take none, and completely shut everything down, or when I really want something I jump and do odd things (at least to the outsider). For instance I have wanted to go back to school for a long time, so everything I am doing has to do with that goal. I rarely go out, I look at ways of saving money at every turn, but if things work out better, I wouldn’t second guess moving to another country or changing jobs.

As for the motorcycle, that seems like a really like a dumb move. I may completely change my life at the drop of a hat, but there are always good reasons behind the moves. I don’t see how a motorcycle can be a good thing, except maybe save money on gas in the warmer months. Even that isn’t usually worth the extra costs of licensing, storing, and upkeep on one.

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10 RT March 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I actually ride motorcycles because the cost is significantly less than the costs of a car. I ride all year round…though here in the DC area while it is cold, we dont really get snow. My bike, while a Harley is much less expensive than just about any car, and my insurance is about 25% the cost of auto insurance.

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11 J. Money March 30, 2011 at 3:23 pm

@Andi B. – Haha, I was wondering if anyone would bring that up ;) It’s not that I’m not happy with my sister’s choice, it just really came out of nowhere to me so I don’t “get it” yet. But I love her and suppport her to death, I was just using her story as a way to talk about my own feelings on the whole home ownership thing in general. My brother’s bike talk, on the other hand, has been going on for yearrrrrrrs and while it was a shock that it happened right *now*, esp without a license, I’m glad that he’s finally giving it a shot once. And I think the smaller amounts of money def. changes the perspective too. If he hates the bike he can always sell it and recoup a good chunk of his money back, wherease the house is a much larger pain.
@Rafiki – Yeah, I like that way of putting it – “Others chasing their dreams” gets you to want to do the same. For sure :)
@Ginger – He got extra helmets, jackets, all kinds of good stuff!
@Erin – Oh really? Huh… did not know that. Thx for sharing :)
@LB – I think it’s for the joy of the ride, baby! I’ve never rode a bike before, but I know my dad absolutely LOVES getting on that road and driving through the mountains. I can def. see the appeal of it :)
@RT – Nice! Maybe you’ll be ridin’ next to my brother then at some point – we’re in the DC area too :)

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12 Nicole March 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm

“It leads me to believe that when others are taking big risks around you, that perhaps it increases the odds of YOU doing the same too? Not saying that we copy each other or try to 1-up another person or anything, but just that it may loosen up our own inhibitions a bit. If everyone else is doing crazy things, maybe it rubs off on us and gives us the courage to take on something larger than normal ourselves too – know what I’m saying?”

Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler have a huge line of research on how we’re affected when people in our social network do something. So they agree with you! And hey, maybe you started it all with your job.

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13 Kerry March 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm

“It leads me to believe that when others are taking big risks around you, that perhaps it increases the odds of YOU doing the same too?”

…. so maybe you need to stay away from that Benz dealership!

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14 Jenna March 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm

What kind of bike? There is a local nonprofit that does free motorcycle classes here, pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

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15 J. Money March 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm

@Nicole – They sound like smart people ;) And that would be awesome if I started the major changes lately! Would rather see people doing than thinking.
@Kerry – Yes! I do!!! And so far so good ;)
@Jenna – Oh, very cool. Not sure what type it is to be honest, haven’t seen it yet :) And pic is too small on my iPhone! haha…

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16 eemusings March 30, 2011 at 6:39 pm

LOL! My fiance JUST bought a motorbike too, without a licence (he ended up finding a second hand steal, rather than going brand new).

I always thought that made sense, as you can’t get a licence without a bike. Although I’ve just found out that here for the basic handling skills test they provide the bike. Go figure…

But yeah, it’s not like he’s never ridden before.

I don’t really think it’s wise of commenters to judge the validity of buying a bike. I’m going to go out on a limb and say most people buy one not for practical reasons (ie saving petrol, although that will CERTAINLY help seeing as petrol is now $2.19 a litre!!!) but because THEY WANT A BIKE. T has been wanting a motorbike for the longest time now, so this is him achieving a dream. Registration is expensive, but insurance and gas will be really cheap, especially given how much he travels around…and most importantly, it’s fun and and it’s a hobby for him.

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17 Hunter March 30, 2011 at 9:02 pm

It’s just money, you can always make more of it.

Money is meant to be spent. As long as you take care of the little stuff, like debt reduction, emergency funds, retirement goals, then I think it’s important to enjoy yourself. If we can’t do that every once in a while then what’s it all for.

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18 T-Penny (J-Money's Bro) March 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Nice post, bro!

In response to the comments, I bought a 1999 Honda Shadow Aero (1100cc) for $3k from my father’s good friend, whom he trusts explicitly. I spent close to two hours checking out the bike, asking all kinds of questions (and as my bro can attest, I LIKE asking questions!) and getting all of the details before leaving to mull it over that night. The next day, I said yes, and here we are. Ba da bing, ba da … you know the rest.

To my bro’s point, I’ve been talking/thinking/dreaming about getting a motorcycle for about four years now, and honestly, it really didn’t have a lot to do with my sister’s new purchase. Frankly, I’m turning 30 in August, and I don’t want to live my life THINKING and WISHING. I want to live. my. life. I need to start accomplishing the things I want to do in this life, rather than simply talk about it all the time.

I can afford the bike, it has 18k miles in 12 years (you know a car like that?) and I’m getting about $1k worth of gear with it (4 helmets, winter suit, leather jacket with reflective vest, summer/winter gloves, original seat). What’s more, there’s a ton of add-ons, including a $1k Corbin seat. Blue book value on the bike is around the cost of the bike, and when you throw in all of the gear, it’s definitely a good investment. Helmets alone cost $200-300 a piece.

Sure, I bought it before getting my license, but it’s a no-brainer of a buy, and it worked out perfectly when it comes down to how I heard about it, what it comes with and how the bike looks/feels/runs. It’s almost like someone said, T-Penny, you want that bike you’ve been talking about forever? Boom, here’s everything you need to ride! Awesome. I’m a frugal mo fo (I never did buy that flat-screen TV), and this is one purchase I’m proud of. Worst case, I don’t like the bike or riding in general, I can sell it for a profit with all that gear! Or at least get the same amount I originally paid for it. Booyah! Or rather, vroom vroom!

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19 LB March 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm

T-Penney,
It’s nice to hear you thought about the purchase and didn’t just blow your money. From the sound of the OP you lost your marbles lol. I totally agree if you want to live your life, go live it, just do it smart and within budget :)

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20 J. Money March 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Thanks for the update brother! Funny how I’m learning more about your experience here on the blog than in “real life” haha… I still owe you that phone call ;)

@eemusings, Hunter – Amen, friends!

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