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Wife Too Slow, Or Husband Too Fast?

Sarah’s got a problem with people giving her a hard time about riding her R3 too slowly, even her husband. So let’s find out what’s going on here.

Sarah writes:

“Why do people have to make others feel bad about riding an R3? Why do people feel they need to ride so damned fast? Why can’t people ride their ride and leave others alone?

My own husband made a comment that he doesn’t enjoy riding with me because my bike is slow. (I ride a 2015 R3). No dear. I AM slow. I just want to enjoy two wheels. Why can’t that be enough?”

I’m Adrian from YouMotorcycle and today I’ll be Sarah’s question.

watch this video

Watch this video!

Someone telling you should be riding your motorcycle faster usually comes down to either a matter of safety, or a matter of preference. It’s entirely possible that the speed you’re riding your motorcycle could be slow enough to be causing danger for yourself and/or others around you, including those on motorcycles. It’s also possible that some people may just want you riding faster for their own enjoyment.

A matter of safety

First, let’s talk about riding too slowly. You can, for a fact, be riding too slow, to the point it’s actually dangerous for you. You’ll know that’s the case if you’re having cars trying to come between you and him on your rides, cars following really closely behind you, cars acting extra aggressively around you because you’re going slower than the flow of traffic.

Unfortunately, just like there’s such thing as going too fast for traffic, there’s also such thing as going too slow for traffic, to the point it can actually put you in danger. Both exist because our water brains have a certain set of expectations for how traffic will behave, and things get a little frantic when people stop behaving within those parameters.

Intrinsically, your husband probably knows this, whether or not he’s expressed it to you in a way you can understand. You should ask him why it is that he doesn’t like you riding slowly.

A matter of preference

On the flip side, you could be keeping up with traffic just fine, and not bothering anyone but your husband. In that case we’re not talking about the danger fact, we’re talking about a difference in preferences.

Preferences are kind of like if your husband likes to have his coffee black, and you like to have yours with two milks and two sugars. With coffee, you can each order yours individually, and enjoy them how you like them, together.

Motorcycle rides are different though. On a motorcycle ride, you’re a group, tied together like a chain, and when one link pulls or falls behind, it brings the other links with it.

Now, I would never tell you to ride faster than you feel comfortable. Don’t do that. Ride your way. But don’t begrudge your husband for not liking having to ride your way. He’s feeling chained down to your pace, and it’s only fair he doesn’t like that any more than you would like having to be stuck drinking his choice of coffee every day.

GDB and Adrian Kiss

The solution we use

In my early 20s I had a girlfriend for a few years who was a year younger than me, a newer rider than me, and had a slower motorcycle than me. Most days if we were riding somewhere we would leave and arrive together.

Some days, if traffic was really bad, or really good, we would just decide en route to meet at the destination. I could go my pace, she could go her pace, and we’d arrive at wherever our date was set for, without one of us begrudging the other. If I got to the spot we were going out for dinner before her, I could get us a table, browse the menu, and have suggestions ready by the time she pulled up. Everyone was happy.


Try to figure out why exactly your husband doesn’t like you riding slowly. Are you for a fact putting yourself in danger, or is it simply a matter of preference?

If it’s about safety, take some classes to get your confidence and skillset up. If it’s just about preferences, tell him he can race ahead without you and you’ll meet him at the finish line… and he can have a table and some suggestions from the menu ready when you get there.

A few years ago I wrote about an 8 month pregnant wife who I helped buy her husband a motorcycle. She knew she would never want to ride, but she wanted him to be able to live his dream. Good on you, Sarah, for getting into motorcycling, but make sure your dreams, and your husband’s dreams, don’t cancel each other out.

About Adrian from YouMotorcycle

I started riding motorcycles in 2007, founded YouMotorcycle in 2009, and was working in the motorcycle industry by 2011. I've worked for some of the biggest companies in motorcycling, before going full-time self-employed in the motorcycle business in 2019. I love sharing his knowledge and passion of motorcycling with other riders to help you as best I can.

One comment

  1. A few tips for slower riders:

    1. When you see fellow riders putting on helmets and gloves, get moving. Don’t make everyone sit on their bikes, engines idling, waiting for you to get ready to go. There is always one rider in a group who is the slow one to get ready. Don’t be that rider.

    2. If you ride slow, ride last in a group, so you don’t hold up everyone behind you. A good leader will stop or slow every once in a while to let you catch up.

    3. Try your best to stay up with the other riders in front of you, and use their speed to help you determine what speed is safe in a turn, and they can identify road hazards. Flowing with a group can help boost your confidence. If you fall back too far, you are on your own and that will usually slow you down.

    4. At stops, let a group leader know how you are doing – what is working and what is not, so they can adjust a little for you.

    While it doesn’t hurt to push yourself a little, Adrian is right that you do need to feel comfortable on the bike.

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