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my nephew is a statistic waiting to happen

Strawboss

Member
Member
He just turned 20
He has no MC endorsement
He has no insurance
He has not taken the MSF class
He has never ridden a bike
He has no title
He has no plates
He has no gear
He has an ill fitting borrowed helmet
The bike has a bald rear tire
The bike is a POS with broken and non-working lights and parts and is covered in oil
He has posted videos of riding fast on the internet

I told my wife if he comes over I'm taking his keys
I told him until he rectifies all of the above, I'm not helping him do anything
I told his parents to take his keys
I told his parents to call the police and watch for him and impound the bike when he pulls out of the driveway
The bike is stored away from parents house
Asked his dad where it's being stored, thinking of going over and taking the keys.

That's all I can do.
This type of story fuels every anti-bike thinking of the non-riding public
If this ends bad, it will just add to the statistics of bike riders

uncle Dave only gets called when he needs something
When I attempt to talk to him, unless we are talking about something he likes he somewhat conversational
When I attempt to guide him or give advice or attempt to go about helping him fix these things, he gets mad, clams up, stalks away and it's cricket sounds from him if I attempt any contact

Hope he leaves his keys out

My brother was a lot of things but he was an absolute positive role model in proper riding, training, gear, safety and maintenance of bikes to me, I'm glad I had him to advise me when I first started to ride in 1980.

This boy is my wife's sister's kid
 

ZXtasy

Member
Member
Maybe try to scare him; show him photos of trauma victims from accidents, paralyzed young people, gore. But sadly, some can be mentored, others must learn the hard way.
 

diz@ct

Member
Member
Have you tried the opposite approach? Get a cheap pair of flip flops and bring them to both dad and son. Explain how real riders learn to shift with their toes. Have a couple of gumballs and ask the kid to stand still while you toss them at his head. Its preparation for June bugs. Tell he has to learn to take a hit while traveling at speed. Tell him the first thing he needs to do with the bald tire is find some rotomill because the bike will naturally drift and he will need to learn how to ride the bike sideways. Sometimes the best way to get a change of behavior is to agree with the dumb choice and celebrate the consequences.

It don't work though with a kid bound and determined to get a tattoo.. 
 

Strawboss

Member
Member
I thought of many approaches since learning of his purchase, I think it's a 2014 Honda CB600 of some sort, not sure. I thought a lot before posting this. He's making a lot of bad choices that will haunt him in a few years if he does not change. He was VERY close to joining the military this past fall but he changed his mind because of a girl, happens all the time. After I practiced some tough love back in 2018, he has no contact with me, ghosting me on my texts. It's been a few weeks now, I'm letting the dust settle that got roiled up when he bought it, I'll talk to dad in a few days. Thanks all, sometimes you need to bounce things off differing minds to get a proper read on matters.
 

robertv

robzilla
Member
Not sure if you like him or not, but have you tried a more constructive positive approach? In other words, do you have any extra gear that might help him like a better fitting helmet, extra jacket and gloves that you don't use anymore? And rather than giving him money straight out to pay for a MSF class, how about signing him up at a MSF class ahead of a time? Or if you find/take his keys, then get the bike taken care of plus the above?

I know it may be a bit much, but sometimes a good nudge in the right direction might steer him in the right path. Talk it over with your wife's sister to chat and maybe help? It sounds like he doesn't want to hear advice so maybe just leave some of those items on the bike with a note with whatever advice or help.  I've seen and worked with stubborn kids and agree they don't like to listen to us older adults, so a bit of preemptive action on our part goes a long way.
 

Steve in sunny Fla

Iron Butt
Industry Vendor
    Well, he's his own man now, don'tcha know.  Hopefully when the lesson comes it won't be more than a thorough road rashing. If you're gonna be stupid, ya gotta be tough. 
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
He sounds a bit like "me" (and many of us) when we first started to ride.

In my case, the differences are, I was 16, and had bought a new bike and helmet.
    1968 Honda Super 90, and a Blue metal-flake helmet...  woo hoo  :great:

My first ticket was for Unsafe operation of a Motor vehicle.
  ie; Laying on top of the bike, (about 2 ft behind a car) to see how fast it would go..  :motonoises:
            {as I recall; 73 mph}

Try another talk with him. Offer some assistance/gear, and mebbe ask him if he wants to go for a ride with you.
(I suspect he's hiding the bike as parents aren't to happy with him having one at all)

He probably won't listen, but worth a try.

Ride safe, Ted
 

santacruzrider

Member
Member
When I was his age my parents forbid me to ride a motorcycle "as long as I was living under their roof." Of course at 19 I did ride off-road on a friends dirt bike, which I promptly totaled while dislocating both knees. It was painful, I had to tell my parents and I started my sophomore year on crutches.

But I learned 2 valuable lessons:
1. My parents threats were conditional and a bit hollow.
2. College girls will go out of their way to open doors, carry books and provide assistance to young man on crutches.  :great:

Good luck with the nephew.
 

mspickelmier

Member
Member
Unfortunately, I had to learn most of my life lessons for myself.  It took many bad decisions before I started to listen to others....... I hope your nephew doesn't hurt himself or others with his recklessness.  I will offer no advise since I am struggling with a 20 year old son that makes me both proud and frustrated at his decisions.  I hope he is listening deep down, even if he only takes part of the advise I offer.



SantaCruzRider said:
When I was his age my parents forbid me to ride a motorcycle "as long as I was living under their roof." Of course at 19 I did ride off-road on a friends dirt bike, which I promptly totaled while dislocating both knees. It was painful, I had to tell my parents and I started my sophomore year on crutches.

But I learned 2 valuable lessons:
1. My parents threats were conditional and a bit hollow.
2. College girls will go out of their way to open doors, carry books and provide assistance to young man on crutches.  :great:

Good luck with the nephew.
 

FTB530

Member
Member
SantaCruzRider said:
When I was his age my parents forbid me to ride a motorcycle "as long as I was living under their roof." Of course at 19 I did ride off-road on a friends dirt bike, which I promptly totaled while dislocating both knees. It was painful, I had to tell my parents and I started my sophomore year on crutches.

But I learned 2 valuable lessons:
1. My parents threats were conditional and a bit hollow.
2. College girls will go out of their way to open doors, carry books and provide assistance to young man on crutches.  :great:

Good luck with the nephew.

My dad saw me looking at motorcycle classifieds when I was 19, asked me why , told him I. Go8ng to buy one! He told me not as long as you live under my roof? Couple weeks later I came riding in the drive on my NTM KZ 400, put walks dad , “ well if you can afford that you can afford to rent your own place and make your own rules, hope ya find a place before 30 days” I did and was the best thing that happened to me.  I probably would have lived at home untill I was thirty 😂😂😂
 

Strawboss

Member
Member
Thanks for the advice folks. No, he tends not to want to talk, or text about things concerning him. He will come to you with a question and with an answer he's looking for, if he doesn't get what he wants he simply shuts down and walks away. It also doesn't help that the rest of the family is a bit aloof to the whole thing and sometimes works counter to my advice. A bit of caustic family politics is also playing into this whole scenario too. With that in mind, I have to walk a line where I need to decide, do I give him old gear and risk his parents wrath for encouraging him to ride, or do I give him gear for him to use when he rides as he needs it? I'll keep you posted.
 

Ranger Jim

Member
Member
Take out an insurance policy on him with you as the beneficiary. You can put the $$ toward his medical care.
 

nosmo

Sport Tourer
Forum Subscriber
I have no kids nor nephews.  I'll be 65 next month.  You nephew sounds a LOT like me when I was that age.  My father died when I was nine, and a neighbor friend of the family sort of did the foster-father thing, but I was not smart enough to listen, since I already knew everything. 

Until........

I turned 18 and I bought my first car, a fairly decent used '66 Barracuda.  Had it four months, drove it like a maniac, until I put it into a telephone pole at 70 MPH sideways.  My best friend Jerry was with me and damned near was ejected and that would have been fatal.  We got really banged up but nothing serious.  Mom  only said,  "Well, you still owe me for the money you borrowed to buy it."  But Jerry's dad had some very unkind words for me and forbade me to hang out with him until I got my $41t together.  Jerry joined the Air Force a few months later and I never saw him after that.  Somewhere in all this my brain started to function (although there are some who would argue that).  Looking at my wrecked 'Cuda was a turning point.

Sometimes it just takes a major whack in the head (literally) for some people to figure out their place in the world.  Good for you for trying to do something constructive, but don't beat yourself up if he's just hell-bent for trouble.
 

Strawboss

Member
Member
I have decided after much thought to take a step back

None of my gear will fit him.

He has an attention span measured in micro seconds. Nothing I say will be heard or followed.

My thinking is, along with every endeavor he has attempted, that this current phase will peter out, hopefully before anything happens or the bike stops running due to his inattention to maintenance, my guess, 2 months.

Ohio is still shut down so no endorsements/license plates/new title are forthcoming, not that it ever stopped a 20 y/o from doing what he wants, hopefully he does something silly in front of a police car as 20 y/o's are wont to do.

When the bike stops running, I'll offer to buy it, at a much reduced rate of course. ;D

"Timmy marches to a different drummer and nothing will change his mind" is what I've been told.

OK. Good luck.

 

ursharkfuel

God got one thing wrong: Stupid should be PAINFUL!
Member
Makes me sick just reading this message thread. And while we have all been young and stupid, most of us lived to grow up and out of it. I pray your nephew makes it to that point where wisdom takes over.

*************** This may be a story you want to share with him and it is 100% true *************

In a couple ways he reminds me of a guy I once knew in the USAF named Larry. Larry was easily one of the best riders I have ever seen because he was magic on a bike and fully in command at all times. He wore all the right gear, had a great bike in tip top shape, and could make it do whatever he wanted in the blink of an eye. But I learned too late that he had a very dark side.

Larry would be my volunteer range assistant when I did the range portion of our MSF Experienced Riders courses, and he had a burning desire to become an instructor. But I found out that points on his license prevented that. He had me fooled by saying those were just speed trap violations and other explainable items, but I learned the hard way they were not and hammered home with me why the MSF required instructors to have good records.

I was paged to go to the scene of an accident one afternoon because a USAF member was involved. As an augmentee to the safety office, I was tasked to take pictures at the scene and talk with the police if they were present to get details. The scene was really beyond belief and I was not fully prepared for what I saw. The bike involved had crested a blind hill at a high rate of speed and collided with a car crossing the intersection at a four way stop. The bike's impact was so intense it started to knock the engine and transmission out the drivers side wheel well of the minivan until the remaining momentum rolled the van over with the bike still stuck in the passenger side wheel well. I immediately recognized the back end of the bike stuck in the car.

I was told by the highway patrolman on site that they had staked out the freeway all week waiting for this rider that had been out running them around the same time of day for the past month. He had become know to them as "the phantom rider" and before the crash he had out run their cruisers and had exited the freeway into a residential section, they thought, in an attempt to lose the helicopter overhead. The helo reported that while his braking effort was outstanding from what they could see and the rear wheel was clearly off the ground before impact, there was not enough room to stop or swerve because the van blocked intersection.

Larry survived the impact, but his own stupidity ultimately killed him as he lay in middle of that intersection with the paramedics trying their best to do the impossible. But his attitude actually killed him well before he left the house that afternoon, and I think he just needed to find a place to lay down.

I was so overcome I just sat down and sobbed like a child because my 23 year old younger friend had just died leaving behind a month old child with his girlfriend and I had not done enough to help save him from himself.

Then I got mad! I picked up all the small identifiable pieces of the bike I could find at the scene. Including large plastic syringe they had injected into his heart that the ambulance crushed when it left to race in vain to the hospital. The last item was one of his combat boots that was still standing in the road with all the laces split - it had ripped itself from his foot in the violence of the impact! And at that moment I swore I would try to make his death serve a purpose, so those items were bagged up and I shared them with every MSF class I taught for the next 3 years even after I left the USAF a year later. We would talk about them and what happened at the end of each class. I like to think they made a difference at least for the couple hundred riders I shared them with. I know they still make an impression on me.

Anyway, good luck man, and I hope he hears you.

Jon   
 

Mercer

Member
Member
Taking teens to a morgue was once done by some dads. Maybe a teen's funeral might do in this day. I still see in my travels frequently enough, in smaller communities, where some high schools leave mangled wrecks on their front parking lots in plain view. My own son was greatly affected by the above in our community as a preteen years ago.

We were all lucky enough to survive to this point. Perhaps that is why we should make the effort to help others have a little more than luck. Tough job though!
 

Strawboss

Member
Member
Thanks shark, will copy that and add to a similar crash I went to last year with a young guy on a newer BMW sport bike that had tearing up the city prior, VERY similar, my job that night was to inform the terrified car driver that the thing that hit her broadside was a bike and that he was most assuredly deceased. But, you know, being 20 and having some old guy lecturing to you about safety......sometimes it hits home, most times not.
 

Daboo

Moderator
Staff member
Member
connie_rider said:
He sounds a bit like "me" (and many of us) when we first started to ride.
Part of the difference though was the bikes we had back then.  They did go fast enough to kill you, but you had to work at it.  Now...a 650cc sport bike will hit 130 mph and get to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.

I had been riding for a couple years when I came across a website.  I think it was titled "Live to Ride, Ride to Die".  Or something like that.  It shook me up so much, I almost took a taxi to go home.  The pictures were pretty graphic.

Chris

 

Tour1

Member
Member
I spent a lot of time watching crash videos, some were really bad and came at the end of long periods of risky riding.
Others weren't so scary but still made me think smarter, like an RNickeyMouse series of sport bikes sliding off Mulholland Drive, and then there's this Vespa type thing going the same speed except not looking like a pro on a race bike, and he slides off the road just like the others.
There's a big difference between thinking of what can go right and thinking of what can go wrong.
 

m in sc

Member
Member
Guest
new bikes are way safer than older bikes over all. mostly because of the brakes, suspension, and just general technology. speed has-zero- to do with it. most accidents happen under 30mph. 1 in 1000 are over 86mph. my stock 50 year old yamaha will do over 90. They love to showcase speeding accidents because it makes for spectacular videos. My 2 wrecks, ever, were solo, and one was around 50mph and the other was at 45.

stats here:

https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/little-known-facts-about-motorcycle-accidents-31124

I had a cousins son kind of in the same boat, years ago. he learned. ran a stop sign, hit a car, wound up in traction for like 2 mos. I felt kind of guitly because i got his taste for bikes instilled in him , took him out when he was about 8 on mine and that's all he wanted to do after that. he lived in fla, so i wasn't close enough to try to teach him. prob wouldn't have mattered anyway. hes fine now but lesson learned the hard way. this is why, at least in this state, you must wear a helmet up to a certain age, it sets the habit which is important.  However, he is an adult legally. so , its soley on him. Hopefully he will be ok.

 

ZXtasy

Member
Member
Age is not always a factor. I have seen some very responsible 18 yo kids and some dumb ass 50 year olds on bikes. Current case in point is the fact I am just starting on repairs to a 2007 Suzuki Bandit 1250 that 1 year and a half ago I customized for one of my oldest and best friends. He had been without a bike for 5 years, really missed riding, and so his wife secretly contacted me to find one and make it a one off in my fashion for an anniversary surprise.

Several people told me it was one of my best creations, and it was solid and purdy! Was...He gets to ride it for about 3 months, getting used to it, enjoying it way more than his last 1200 Sporty or the 90 Nighthawk 750 he had for years. He is a pretty big guy so needed a bike like this. So he has to move on short notice from a rental, (I know, 57 and still renting, SMH), and his 39 year old step son comes out from CO to help them move. He had been the step dad since the kid was about 10 and they have a good relationship.

Now I still can't get a firm answer on whether the kid was endorsed, had much experience, or what. His dad said something about him riding a Harley some time back... so they need to move 3 miles away and so dad, who I kinda blame for this, throws him the key and say you take my bike...be careful it has power yadda yadda yadda. He has a nice Arai helmet...had, but no gloves, tennis shoes, no jacket. He does not even make it more than 3 blocks away on Main St. Monroe, WA and there is a nasty accident.

He says a car pulled out in front of him and he "had to crash to avoid it"...but more than one eye witness testified he was speeding and popping wheelies. He did one big wheelie for sure and then a stoppie, and the bike came over frontwards and landed on top of him. He had some good road rash on his torso, 4 broken/floating ribs, several broken fingers and toes. Had to go to Harbor-view the major trauma center in the area. Apparently they did not clean his road rash, or he did not follow up on treatment, but a few weeks later as he is recovering back home in CO his wounds get infected and he almost dies of Sepsis. He is OK now, and it has taken a year for me to get the bike back to repair.

Hopefully a little 'sticker' shock will help teach them both a lesson, I am charging for labor this time, half of what a legit shop charges but it will still add up. Hopefully the OP's nephew or others around him will not have to learn an expensive or painful lesson.
 

wingedspirit

Member
Member
See if you can get him hot for a track day.

He'll need a license +1
A bike that will pass tech +1
He'll have to wear gear
Maybe he'll realize he isn't as skilled as he thought +1
Maybe he'll learn some skills +1
Hopefully the thrill of the track (which is a safer environment than the street) will help him settle down
on the street. It worked for me.


 

danmcdermott@me.com

Member
Member
Strawboss,

I have no advice for you. Like most I have survived things in my life I should not have and others did not. Hubris of youth resides because consequence is not considered, known of or, believed in. It is difficult to watch decisions given our experience, however we have experience because we survived bad decision making. Everyone should make their own decisions, however that does not make it easy for loved ones to watch those decisions being made.
 

ursharkfuel

God got one thing wrong: Stupid should be PAINFUL!
Member
ZXtasy said:
Now I still can't get a firm answer on whether the kid was endorsed, had much experience, or what. His dad said something about him riding a Harley some time back... so they need to move 3 miles away and so dad, who I kinda blame for this, throws him the key and say you take my bike...be careful it has power yadda yadda yadda. He has a nice Arai helmet...had, but no gloves, tennis shoes, no jacket. He does not even make it more than 3 blocks away on Main St. Monroe, WA and there is a nasty accident.

He says a car pulled out in front of him and he "had to crash to avoid it"...but more than one eye witness testified he was speeding and popping wheelies. He did one big wheelie for sure and then a stoppie, and the bike came over frontwards and landed on top of him. He had some good road rash on his torso, 4 broken/floating ribs, several broken fingers and toes. Had to go to Harbor-view the major trauma center in the area. Apparently they did not clean his road rash, or he did not follow up on treatment, but a few weeks later as he is recovering back home in CO his wounds get infected and he almost dies of Sepsis. He is OK now, and it has taken a year for me to get the bike back to repair.

Hopefully a little 'sticker' shock will help teach them both a lesson, I am charging for labor this time, half of what a legit shop charges but it will still add up. Hopefully the OP's nephew or others around him will not have to learn an expensive or painful lesson.

I have said it many times - God got one thing wrong - he should have made stupid painful! Then idiots would get immediate notice they were doing something stupid, and we could avoid the yelling idiot coming our way!

Enjoy the ride,
Jon
 

Strawboss

Member
Member
None so far, no news is maybe good news. He has a new job selling Chevy trucks, must keep him busy, my discreet inquiries come up with nothing.
 

Strawboss

Member
Member
Talked to him last week. Still no bike endorsement, but wearing some gear. Posting videos of himself screaming by on the back wheel. He got a new job selling Chevy trucks, he's doing well, for now, he met a nice German girl who is here as a nanny, he bought a new Camaro. The bike is CBR600RR?

He told me he is selling the bike. We'll see.
 

Strawboss

Member
Member
I doubt the helmet would have done anything for him. Sorry to hear this but it happens with too much regularity. It's been a few months since I've seen my nephew, his German Fraulein has gone back to her country and he has now taken up with his old girlfriend who he was with when he bought this bike.
 

cuda

Member
Member
His dad told me he was talking to him about 40 min before he died they were working on a project and he told him he better get some sleep he was at a bar, he was living with his father till they had a falling out moved in with his mother, he was just finishing school, but his dad's next-door teenager was a drug dealer... coke
Well the kid took the long way home past his dads I'm betting to buy drugs next door died within 3 miles from dads house, on the same road that his dad rolled his jeep 23 years ago and has been in a wheelchair since no feeling nothing from the waist down, his dad and mother liked coke, separated 8 years ago she moved in with my buddy who just got rid of his alcoholic wife just to get another one :rolleyes: his dad worked for me as a salesman, supervisor till I heard about his substance abuse problems, always stupid chit, oh yes the drug dealing teenage also died within an hour of the 25 yr old death CRAZY
 

Strawboss

Member
Member
How to break that cycle is the question of the times I guess. I'm convinced addiction has some heredity connection, but, I no proof, just an opinion based on what I see and my own family.
 

cuda

Member
Member
A lot is the situation they grow up in, learned behavior.

Yeah, how do you break the cycle?
 

Tim R

Moderator
Staff member
Some of you can talk to until your blue in the face. These same ones have to learn lesson's the hard way. Some never figure it out.
 
Last edited:

nosmo

Sport Tourer
Forum Subscriber
Part of the difference though was the bikes we had back then. They did go fast enough to kill you, but you had to work at it. Now...a 650cc sport bike will hit 130 mph and get to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.

I had been riding for a couple years when I came across a website. I think it was titled "Live to Ride, Ride to Die". Or something like that. It shook me up so much, I almost took a taxi to go home. The pictures were pretty graphic.

Chris

That website is still up: Very entertaining, and perhaps educational.

 
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