You could look at this whole series of articles on the why’s of motorcycles and sum them up in two phrases:
- Motorcyclists do [whatever it is the article is about] because they are trying to be safer.
- Motorcyclists are stupid for riding motorcycles in the first place.
I wouldn’t blame you for thinking the second. That’s because it is true. Motorcycles are dangerous. Compared to cars, you are much more likely to die in an accident on a motorcycle. You don’t even have to look up any statistics (though there are plenty) to know it is true. You just have to get on one and ride around in traffic. If your butthole doesn’t pucker so hard it vacuum-seals you to your seat, you should get your blood-pressure checked. You might be dead already.
So why ride? Continue reading The Why’s of Motorcycles: Danger
Loud pipes save lives. That’s a saying the the motorcycle community. Here is the thought process:
- Most accidents happen because people don’t notice a motorcyclist.
- Loud pipes make you more noticeable.
- Therefore loud pipes will save your life (or at least avoid an accident).
In my first outing with the PSB group on an organized learner ride (a group ride designed to give people new to motorcycling practice in a safe environment), I was picked up by a member (in Australia, you can ride a motorcycle without a license as long as you have a “shadow” to follow you). His bike was fairly loud both in sound and in color. I don’t think he had an aftermarket exhaust but it was a heck of a lot louder than my bike. On our way to the meet point, I watched as he allowed a car to pass in front of him, the lady waving her thanks. Half a block later, she almost merged into him. He revved his motor and the car jerked back into the proper lane.
Evidence of the Loud Pipes theory? At the time I thought so. Continue reading The Why’s of Motorcycles: Loud Pipes
You may have seen motorcycle riders in the movies (or around town) wearing leather jackets or vests with a ton of patches on them. It is very indicative of the Harley/outlaw biker mystique. I have never been interested in that type of bike or that type of style for that matter. I don’t know if it was all the anime I watched as a kid (Akira anyone?) or what it was, but the sport bikes have always appealed to me. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what type of bike you prefer – sport, cruiser, off-road, or even scooter – gear is between you and the ground, not you and your bike preference.
When I was a kid, I met a guy at the park down the street. I was young so I probably shouldn’t have been talking with him but I did. He rode a motorcycle. I asked him about his helmet. He said he didn’t wear one (I doubt there were helmet laws at the time). His reasoning was because a helmet can snap your neck if you land wrong. Even at my tender age (whatever it was), my first thought was that a snapped neck was better than a smashed head. Continue reading The Why’s of Motorcycles: Gear
If you ask someone that rides motorcycles why they do so, you may get a variety of answers. If you let them talk long enough, one of the things they will probably list is speed. Even at low speeds, being on top of a motorcycle makes it feel like you are flying down the road. For some people, namely irresponsible and (usually) young, this is very near the truth. But for more responsible riders, like me, the “speed” is more a “sense of” rather than an actuality. I don’t ride any faster than I drive and yet the sense of speed is a big draw.
Before I started riding, I found motorcyclists to be very uncomfortable to be around on the road. Often they’d be near (usually in front of) me and keeping pace with traffic. Then, with a twist of the wrist, they’d shoot forward quickly to a new position and slow down again. This seemed at best distracting and at worst dangerous. Why were these motorcyclists acting so erratically? Continue reading The Why’s of Motorcycles: Speed Changes
For long-time followers of me in my various online mediums, you may have heard that I started riding a motorcycle. If you want to know why, feel free to read my post on the PSB (Perth Street Bikes) forum here. The short version – because my wife said so.
Probably like you, I was fairly ignorant of the differences between motorcycles and cars before I started riding. To me, motorcycles were just two-wheeled cars that tended to attract hoons wanting to ride fast and die young. I’d see them weaving in and out of traffic, speeding past at incredible speeds, and generally being unsafe. While this is sometimes true, there is an awful lot of ignorance out there about what motorcycles can and can’t do and why motorcycle riders act in specific ways.
I’m going to start this series of posts with a common complaint car drivers have of motorcycles. Continue reading The Why’s of Motorcycles: Filtering