Driving is hard, but motorcycles may not be as hard?

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L0SERPUP
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16 Aug 2021, 1:45 pm

Howdy! I’m not sure where to put this since driving affects both school and work for me but basic run down is I can’t drive. I know a lot of people on the spectrum have a really hard time learning to drive (although others like my partner just pick it up without any troubles!) but since i was 16 every driving lesson with my folks ended up in tears. This month my folks came up to try and teach me how to drive and I nearly ran into a stop sign and sobbed in the front seat before my dad took me to get ice cream :(. We decided that I obviously wasn’t going to get the hang of it in the week they’d slotted to teach me so we started looking at alternatives.

I’d been keen on electric scooters since I used to ride a scooter as a kid, but I ended up getting an ebike (despite the fact that I also can’t ride a bike due to autism :roll: ) but I’ve been having a blast zipping around on both streets and around my college campus. This made me realize that I definitely feel better handling a bike than a massive hunk of metal with four wheels. My brain in particular was having a lot of trouble understanding that the center of the car wasn’t where I was and being enclosed limited my perception of the outside world a lot, not to mention the thing was a huge SUV where I could barely reach the pedals (I am a mere 5”0). But since my discovery of my love for ebikes I’ve been looking into motorcycles! My mother always told me off for how dangerous they are but it seems like a much more comprehensible option to my little neurodivergent brain. There’s just a different set of skills that make sense in my brain compared to driving a car. I was wondering if anyone else had similar experiences? If this was just something to do with me or if other neurodivergent folks had similar experiences in regards to motorbikes/cycles and cars.

TL;DR: I can’t drive and I don’t think I’ll be able to learn without extensive help but since learning how to ride my ebike I’ve been more keen on getting a motorcycle instead of a car as my primary transportation. Driving was hard for me because of spatial awareness, size of the vehicle among everything else which are problems solved via motorcycle- plus they’re really cool. Wondering if anyone else feels this way?



funeralxempire
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16 Aug 2021, 3:35 pm

Motorcycles make you much more intimately aware of your surroundings but have much greater risks of a beginner's mistake being catastrophic.

Personally I'm most comfortable operating a small car, ymmv.


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Texasmoneyman300
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18 Aug 2021, 12:30 am

well personally i prefer driving because its a lot safer.



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18 Aug 2021, 1:41 am

Here, one must have a regular (car) license before one can add the motorcycle endorsement. It's an additional set of tests (riding & written) separate from the car ones.

I have both. Automatic cars take less thought than a motorcycle (since bikes are entirely manual). And there's no "cage" for any safety. It's important to learn how to fall properly on a motorcycle for when it goes down. And to get used to counter-steering & leaning, which can feel very unnatural for some.

You'll also need to look into your state's regs on helmets, who can drive when, etc. Here, motorcycle permit holders are required to wear a helmet, only drive a motorcycle during daylight hours, & cannot have a passenger. After the endorsement (license), one can drive day or night, w/o a helmet, & have a passenger.

It may also be worth deciding if you want to hang out with any of the local biker cultures/groups or not. I chose not to after seeing how much they flout many laws. That, & I have no interest in driving up and down one straight city road in a large pack going too fast & annoying ppl trying to sleep. I've yet to find a motorcycle culture that didn't make me go "hell no".

See if an ABATE or another local group offers lessons in your area. You may be able to get an insurance discount if you take such a course.

(I drive a sportbike/crotch-rocket. Other motorcycles likely have more options (such as reverse) than I'm familiar with.)

Eta: You need to be able to flat-foot your motocycle. At 5', that'll mean every model (that I can recall) would need to be lowered... a lot. You'll need to know your inseam to estimate the seat height.



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18 Aug 2021, 6:07 am

Riding on two weels does give a greater awareness of ones surroundings which is why I love cycling (Though I have not really been out for a couple of years since the last burnout).

Three issues with me and motorcycling and the first I have not been able to overcome, and thatnis wearing a helmet. I can't do full faced helets, but while I can wear an open faced helmet, I have to stop and take it off every 15 to 20 minutes and have a long break before i can stand to put it back on again as having things cover either my face or my ears is claustrophobic for me.
I can wear a bicycle helmet without any problem, but these are not allowed on motorcycles, and wierdly, they are not designed for crashes over 12mph, which being involved in the cycle industry and having ridden a bicycle on and off for most of my life, I have thought was wierd as I used to cruise at 15 to 25 mph depending if the wind was with me or against me and on downhills I would usually touch 40 if the hill was long enough and steep enough. (I have not put a speedometer device on my bicycle for years as I found them too distracting. Is why I don't get on with modern car dashboards with electronic figures. I can cope with traditional dials but to have numbers flashing in front of me or worse still, audiable voices like a satnav, and i can't drive and listen at the same time. Why only on long traffic free motorways can I ever cope with a car radio because I am just having to keep the car in a straight line at a constant speed so I can then do the extra thing of listening).

The second issue is excessive noise. While I don't mind engine noise too much and some engine noises I enjoy, motorbikes can be excessively noisy which I don't like. It scares me. My current car sound I love. I am not really into diesel cars as I have had a few in the past, but this one's engine is amazing! How glad I am to have found it! Another really nice impressive engine sound is with the older 4 cylinder Volvo engined Volvos equipped with viscos fans. They sound amazing and are wonderful to drive!

The third reason why I never went onto a motorcycle and only ad a moped in te past apart from my car licence only allows me to drive up to 50cc, is that I did not get on with the different layout of the controls on a traditional motorcycle. I tried my brothers several times in our field (Without a helmet as I could not cope with a helmet and trying something new) and I could not get used to it, and the issue for me is that if I did get used to it, was to go back on a bicycle again! Somehow my body trains itself to do things but change is not so easy. I did however manage to ride a home made HPV where one has to "Force" steer it in order to balance. Many people did not seem to be able to do that as one has to switch ones brain off from pre-concieved ideas and start again, and I was able to do that. But a motorcycle or riding a horse and they don't go well for me. I got told off for trying to brake and steer the horse using its ears as handlebars! I was shouted at "Let go of his ears. He doesn't like it!" as thr horse gallopped down the field with me saying "I know. I found that out" but I was unable to let go as I was scared and doing it more! Poor horse!

I do get on ok with electric bikes. They feel like riding a tandem but with less of a HGV feel. Riding tandems at the front takes a lot of arm strength but the speed one gets out of them is amazing. 30+ mph cruising on the flat overtaking the occasional car, and 60mph downhill. They really do fly! On the back one has to learn to switch off the thought of "Bicycle" stokers are best when they have never ridden before as they do not suddenly try to balance and they copy the front person more. Riding the back of a tandem I can do though I am much better on the front. I can't do the back of a motorcycle as their centre of gravity on the back feels all wrong and the lack of handlebars in the right place... I tried it with my Dad and had to get off quick. It did not gel.
My friend nearly got 70mph out of his tandem but his wife told him off and he had to slow down as she started biting his behind as a sure way to get him to obey, so he only got 68mph out of it.

Cars and other vehicles I do not seem to have a problem though I did have to get used to them, as coming off a bicycle and learning to drive a car felt like one was in an invalidity vehicle... I mean... Somehow it felt like cheating!
I have driven many cars... Automatics, manuals.. Usually prefer manuals normally but when tired after a long day automatics are nice. Manuals feel nicer when one is refreshed as one feels more in control. One has a little more control in a manual in a way as one uses more use out of engine braking.
I drive a double decker bus once with an electro pnematic gearbox and it was just six months after passing my driving test in a car. The first car I owned was my Dads old 3 wheeled car which could be driven on both a car and a motorcycle licence. He only had a motorcycle licence and only passed his test in a car when I had lessons, and he did not want his son to pass his test before he did! Healthy competition there though he did have a major headstart. 3 wheelers have the same controls of a car but they have to be driven differently. Drive them like a car and one can have an accident. Drive them like a 3 wheeler and one can follow most cars through high speed bends and even out corner a few! They have a different technique to corner them. Many a time my Dad drove us round 70mph S bends in his 3 wheelers which was a bit above the legal limit.. It was when my Mum did not notice how fast he was going. :D Quite sprightly things to drive in the lower speeds. Most 4 wheeled cars feel slow in comparisson until one goes above about 45mph. They only had little 750cc (Later 850cc) engines so would top out at around 75 to 80mph with the later 850cc ones topping out at around 95 to 100 dependingon the gearing. The vans were geared lower so they could carry more weight and had stronger rear springs to do so.



Minervx_2
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06 Oct 2021, 6:26 pm

I just had a friend crash and flip upside down. I saw the video of it. He had foot of intestine taken out. I'm staying away from motorcycles.



kraftiekortie
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06 Oct 2021, 6:45 pm

A scooter is not a motorcycle. You probably go faster than most cars on a motorcycle; whereas you only go maybe 30-40 mph or so at most on a scooter.

If you feel you can't drive a car, I would forget the motorcycle.

I can drive a car, but I'll never even ride on a motorcycle.



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06 Oct 2021, 7:05 pm

Both motorcycles and cars can be dangerous if one has an accident. Cars do have a form of protection, but motorcycles can also have an advantage in that they have more room on the road to avoid a crash... It all depends on the circumstances to be honest. A man who I know who had somewhere around 40 years experiwnce with motorcycles said that it was wierd how when he came off at slower speeds he had more damage then when he came off at crazy speeds (He wore full leathers and a helmet), because if one hits a curb at over 100mph, ones body bounces over it as one is skating across the road, while if one hits a curb at 30mph, one crashes into it and the road surface itself digs in more at a slower speed. When he said this other motorcyclists who I worked with said they had similar experiences. I did not go for a motorbike as I just do not get on with covering my ears and face when wearing a helmet.
There are things like quad bikes and tricycles BUT do not be fooled into thinking that they ride like a motorbike as they ride a bit more like a car but they have to be balanced at the sam way with ones body (Unless they are wide enough to be car like anyway and to be totally honest they are pointless, as they have no real advantages over a car on the road due to their size, and yet eing more motorbike like, they do not have the advantages of a car either. To be honest though, a motorbike is a better idea then a quad bike or a trike. A quad bike is best for farmwork where one needs something that can haul small loads and yet is not as heavy as a 4x4 vehicle so one can get over obsticles and narrow gateways etc better. Also if one keeps sheep and has to catch one, or calves, young farm workers around here will use quadbikes and drive them alongside and leap off the quad and capture the sheep or the calf and the quadbike having four wheels is less likely to come to grief without its rider then if it was a motorbike (As well as that leaping off a 2 wheeled vehicle is not practical while leaping off a quadbike at speed is easy for the younger farm workers to do).
But for road use, if one is looking at two wheeled teansportation and one gets on with electric bikes, has one considered an electric mototbike as they have really progressed in recent years to make them a very practical form of transport. Some are insanely fast and lower powered ones are far more practical in that they go much further on a charge etc... (The powerful ones are designed for speed but they will use up their batteries faster... One only has so much room foe batteries after all!)



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06 Oct 2021, 7:08 pm

started out with bicycles, then onto mopeds with pedals 50 cc .. For almost two years .
Then got a smaller.motorcycle . It was enjoyable growing up . And was nicer than a car but i was not too adventutous and kinda stayed out of traffic when i could. was a few years before i got behind the wheel of a car .But did get a feel for driving on the toy jeep all electric when growing up. .. In the years
later eventually started out in a very small rather slow car .That had a electric automatic transmission.
And avoided highways for a long time. And did practice in large dept store parking lots on Sundays when they were closed. Even after my parents and a driving class helped me learn to drive.
So learning to drive eventually became more of a adventure. But these days do not feel would go back to motorcycles . Had too many close calls in later years . Crashes on motorcycles can be considerably more deadly than cars . But did get a good start on them. And sometimes even miss the feeling of riding in the wind.


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06 Oct 2021, 7:09 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
A scooter is not a motorcycle. You probably go faster than most cars on a motorcycle; whereas you only go maybe 30-40 mph or so at most on a scooter.

If you feel you can't drive a car, I would forget the motorcycle.

I can drive a car, but I'll never even ride on a motorcycle.


I am not sure if you are aware, but some scooters these days have 400cc, 500cc and 750cc engines and while the big scooters are built as luxury cruisers, they will easily touch way above 100mph in seconds... I know someone who had a 400cc version and he said that it was as quick as a motorcycle. The advantage to the machine was the masses of storage space it had (And the armchair like seats), so it was more practical for him then a motorcycle to take things with him on the daily commute.



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06 Oct 2021, 8:35 pm

I rarely ever see those types of scooters in the US.



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06 Oct 2021, 8:51 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I rarely ever see those types of scooters in the US.

Well. When I saw his achine, and he showed me a picture of the larger ones, I have to say that they look far more comfortable and luxurious then a Harley or a Goldwing.
My Dad used to say to get a proper motorbike as they were safer because one had something to hold onto with ones legs, and I said this to the guy I worked with and he showed me his machine. It was not like the old Vespas which had a flat floor. His had a bit to hold onto with ones legs, and yet it was a scooter... I could see how the Japanese had put a lot of thought into these machines(I believe it was Japenese?), to make them practical and useful.



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07 Oct 2021, 10:00 pm

Motorcycle too loud for autistics