Ask any teenage boy and they’re likely to tell you how cool they think motorcycles are. They’re compact, get great fuel mileage, can go nearly anywhere, and get you there in a hurry. However, have they thought about motorcycle safety? Here’s what to consider if your teen wants a motorcycle.

How good of a driver are they? Motorcycles can be a great vehicle for the right person. However, motorcycles can also be dangerous. If your teen is just starting to drive or isn’t a very good driver, getting a motorcycle probably isn’t the best idea. Keeping them in a car until they’re more experienced or better at driving would be safer.

How responsible are they? Are they mature enough to understand how important it is to wear a helmet at all times or will they be more worried about how they look? If you don’t consider them responsible enough for a car, would they be any more responsible with a motorcycle? It’s not likely.

Will they help pay for it? Motorcycles may be less expensive than motorcycles but they’re still not cheap. Are you going to pay for the motorcycle, the insurance, and all upkeep for it or will they chip in? You may want to make part of the stipulation of getting a motorcycle that they help pay for it with their own money. This may mean they’ll need to use their allowance or money earned from an afternoon job to help pay for expenses.

Are they willing to take a normal driver’s education course regardless if they drive a car or a motorcycle? If they’re not willing to learn to drive properly, including knowing and abiding by the rules of the road for cars, they may not be ready for a motorcycle. Check to see if there are motorcycle driver’s education classes offered or some type of training to ensure a person is ready to drive a motorcycle. Enroll them in a class and expect them to do well.

Consider why your teen wants to have a motorcycle. Do they want it because it’s less expensive on gasoline or because their friend has one? Are they concerned about the impact of vehicles on the environment or do they merely want to look ‘cool’ to people around them? Ask them why they want one and then use that information to help you decide whether or not to allow them to have one.

When your teenager asks if they can have a motorcycle, your first thought is probably motorcycle safety. If you and your teen discuss the possibilities of purchasing a motorcycle, use the ideas above to get the conversation started. Then together you can make an informed and decision that is right for your family.