Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Uncomfortable car driver, is a motorbike for me?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by flyingsquirrel, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. About five years ago I got my car driver's license. I drove for about 200 hours but never felt comfortable in a car. I've always felt claustrophobic and had trouble sensing where I am in relation to others, to the point where I don't feel like I am a safe driver. I felt like I was sitting in the back row of a cinema watching a movie. The car just never felt like an extension of my body as it should. It felt disconnected, for lack of a better word. This feeling led me to sell my car and jog to work or use public transport for the past four years.

    One big thing that I really couldn't come to terms with in my car was the lack of feedback. On a pushbike I can feel the brake calipers as they grip the rim and the tires' traction on the road. I could never get that feedback from my car because everything was drive-by-wire.

    Recently I've been looking into motorcycles. They appeal to me because I think they would not feel like a lounge room on wheels like my car did. The increased visibility, maneuverability and feedback from the road and noise of nearby cars could work in my favour. Given my bad experiences with a car, do you think a motorbike could suit me?

  2. Re: Uncomfortable car driver is a motorbike for me?

    Mate a motorbike sounds PERFECT for you, go get your learners, sit on as many bikes you can sit on and test ride as many bikes as the dealers will let you, let us know how you go and what bike you choose. If you can ride a bicycle, then you shouldn't have any problems learning how to ride a motorcycle.

    Also a comma might have gone a long way in the title of your post, I must say it made me give quite a frown and didn't realize what it really meant until I read your post.

    Good luck!
  3. my only concern would be your lack of road-craft skills since you haven't been driving, but, hey, everybody has to start somewhere.......
    • Like Like x 1
  4. cars give people a false sense of security through a viewing screen.
    there is nothing "safe" about being in a heavy metal container with other big heavy metal containers whizzing toward and past you within inches. with combined accelerations and masses; the human body was not designed for this.
    but constant repitition of this procedure has made the minds of sheeple completely unaware of what it is they are actually doing. it only takes one minor, split second brain fart to know the truth and wake up in reality. cars are evil and they kill, maim, disfigure, disable, millions of people every year. far, far more than bikes ever will.
    on a bike you are fully aware of what it is you are actually doing. because you're just a human with wheels. there is no false box around you to create the illusion of safety.
    it's better to be aware, so i don't drive. the last time i drove a car i had to stop quickly. so i squeezed the steering wheel with my right hand. cars are too dangerous for me because my mind wanders in them.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Are you really going to make your decision on the basis of a popularity poll? if you ask only on NR the answer is going to be an overwhelming yes. If you ask in the wider community you are more likely to get a resounding no.

    It realy doesn't matter what we or anyone else thinks. We don't know you or your capabilities. If you want to do it, do it. If you try it and don't feel comfortable stop.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. But, if you decide to do it, hook up with learner mornings with NR and get all the help you need and take your sweet time in learning one of the joys of my life :)!! and for many others too on here..
  7. I do remember a stark feel of 'Is this real life? This can't be real life...' when I first drove. I still get a bit of a strange feeling sometimes driving, like i'm watching myself drive, rather than actually driving, it's just so effortless to move around. This might be why car drivers have so many microsleeps; because their half in a dream the moment they turn the key.

    I think you could actually love motorcycling brother! I feel completely in control of my movement on a bike. One of my favorite part of riding is hearing the clinking of metal as I shift up gear.
  8. Maybe try a short familiarisation course to see what you think of it. Rider training companies usually run short courses to let you try it out.
  9. I agree with this one, try rider training first....Have you considered advanced driving courses to help in the cage? Its a big call to go bike only
  10. To be honest if you cant manage traffic in a car then you probably wont last too long on a bike.
    At the end of the day, its not really more difficult to ride a bike in traffic compared to a car, but if you stuff up on a bike your probably going to die.

    By all means get a bike, like its great and all but honestly if you cant handle driving a car in traffic then a bike is probably a bad idea. The consequences are far far greater.
  11. I couldn't do it but flyingsquirrel has already been carless for 4 years so having a bike will be more convenient.
  12. No, If those are the reasons for getting a bike.

    Being aware of where you are in relation to everything around you is MORE important on a bike.

    I have no idea what car you were driving, I have driven old cars & new cars, and you can feel the brakes engaging, the point you are about to lose traction etc. It all takes practice and driving within your limits while you get there.

    Learning to drive a car is easier than learning to ride a bike. I sounds like you put in a half arsed effort with the car thing and gave it up when it all didn't come together in a limited amount of time, You'll either kill / hurt yourself on a bike or give that up when you hit the first small hurdle too.

    Take a step back and have a think about why you quit so soon before you take the next step.
  13. I would say no. Get a bus
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Do you ride your pushie in traffic? I've been cycling on busy roads almost daily since I was in my early teens. I think cycling far more than driving has developed my awareness of traffic, hazard perception and prediction of what other road users are about to do. If you want to stay upright on a motorbike in traffic, that means almost everything.

    Also, cornering and braking on a motorbike is similar to a bicycle if you're doing both properly (start flaming now...), but obviously different due to speed, weight and wheel size.

    As for people questioning whether you can go without a car, clearly you can if you've managed for the last four years.
  15. Perhaps try an older, more responsive, small car. Something without power assisted anything or fly by wire. Where the engine is just in front of your feet, and the gearbox next to your knee. Nice light flywheel and responsive engine so any pressure on the accelerator has an immediate, noticible effect.

    Oh - something without a roof gives you a lot less claustrophobia as well.
    I'd suggest one of these - www.prbaustralia.com.au - cause I've got one :) but something like an early MX5 or MR2 would be a lot cheaper and more practical. Not as fast though...

  16. Thanks for the replies on this one. All very thought provoking points. I think I will go back to the drawing board and have a good hard think about whether I'd be better off in two or four wheels. Maybe I should get a roofless car... just doesn't feel right sitting inside a cage.
  17. Agreed here... I was so keen to get my bike license but decided to wait until I had my greens and had some decent experience on the roads before getting onto two wheels. However, this is only worthwhile if you make use of the time and don't just merely become complacent. You will need to drive as if you were on a bike. I'm not sure what car you drive but in my one I can most certainly 'feel' the tyre's traction just as well as I can on my bike, so much so that I rarely engage the ABS under hard braking.

    Getting onto a bike without any sense of roadcraft is one of the most dangerous things that you can do. It is one of those things which develops mainly from time and develops an 'instinct' of sorts that something bad is going to happen which you will react to forming a defensive driving style.

    Have a read on the 'Near misses' section of the forum and learn the most common types of accidents and what can be done to avoid them. That forum is an absolute gold-mine for roadcraft development.. Learn from other's mistakes so you don't make the same one.
  18. that's a worthy alternative; you didn't say how MANY cars you drove before coming to the conclusion that you feel 'disconnected'. I can't believe that you COULDN'T get involved while driving an MX-5, or an Alfa, or something....
  19. I've driven cars and I've ridden bikes. I get exactly the same sensation as you do when I drive, so I spent over a decade without a cage around me and rode only. Now that I'm back in a car for the time being, it's like having my soul pulled out.

    You're either a motorcyclist or you aren't. Having a guess at it wont tell you without trying it. However, and it's a big however, if you're being drawn to riding and can't leave the idea alone, then I think you know what to do. Go with your gut and you wont be confused or hoodwinked by those around you.
  20. The car for you is a daihatsu charade. Three cylinders of pure beast. Makes every other car feel like a moving padded cell.