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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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The natural law of motorcycling

Motorcycle Culture and Lifestyles- Unwritten Rules – Cycle World


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There’s a guy in my neighborhood who wants to ride my motorcycle. My brand-new motorcycle. Of course, we all want other enthusiasts to look at a bike of ours with aching envy, shuddering with jealousy, gazing at our machine with the begging eyes of a starving dog. But we don’t want a single one of them to ask if they can actually go for a ride. That’s what this guy’s done. I’m sure that, just because he asked, I’m within my rights to shoot him in at least four states.

Sharing is fine and good if it’s French fries, bad advice or the warmth of a fire. But with girlfriends, cigars and motorcycles, no. That’s biker law. Complicating this situation is that if one of us ever did, on his own, decide to offer our bike up for someone to ride, it wouldn’t be to someone who’d asked if he could ride it. That’s an age-old biker rule, too: Having asked automatically excludes a person from ever being considered to ride your bike. That’s because having asked guarantees bad manners all around. Off he’d go, launching into a wobbling wheelie, returning in a sliding stop with the rear brake locked, capping off the ride by staring you in the eye with feigned innocence and a smile. If you’re lucky, he’ll give you this look while handing your bike back to you. If you’re not lucky, he’ll give you the look while sprawled on the pavement at your feet, your bike on top of him.

This isn’t the first time such a thing has happened to me. In my first year as a novice roadracer, a corner worker approached me during a lunch break at a WERA event at Roebling Road, Georgia, asking if he could borrow my bike for a couple of Expert races. Before I could respond, he quickly added that he’d split his winnings with me, even-up, after he won the two races he planned to enter. He assured me that winning was basically a done deal, if someone would just lend him a bike.

Forget that I had a particularly uncompetitive bike, that this guy was easily 6-foot-2 and weighed well over 270 pounds, and that I’d never seen his name listed in racing results. What racer shows up at a track without a bike? And since this guy chose me, in particular, as the dupe who’d hand his bike over to him to race, I was forced to accept that I look way stupider than I’d always hoped.



A measure of how improper it is to ask if you can ride someone else’s bike is that simply touching someone else’s motorcycle is forbidden, unless they’re a friend and you’ve been invited to do so. Touching someone else’s motorcycle is pretty much on par with stealing a hug from the Queen: It doesn’t matter if you understand why you’re not allowed to do it, you just don’t do it.

Yet, once, while I was walking with a friend through a parking area at a bike event, marveling at the variety of modified machinery, a stranger joined us for a moment while we admired an MV Agusta America. Without warning, this stranger reached out and grabbed the handlebars. We jumped back in horror. My friend asked him, “Is this your bike?” The guy replied, “No, but I sure wish it were.” Then, he threw a leg over it. We shrieked like little boys.

My friend then asked him, “You don’t actually own a motorcycle, do you?” The guy answered, “No, why?”

At that point, we had two choices: Either try to educate this guy about the rules of motorcycling, or run from him before he touches the wrong bike at the wrong moment and we witness a violent crime that we knew we wouldn’t raise a hand to stop. We fled.

Girls are, of course, exempt from the rule of not touching a guy’s bike. That’s because if a girl touches your bike, it means she wants to have sex with you. Or so guys like to think. On the other side of this fantasy, males are not allowed to touch a girl’s bike. That’s because it means the same thing in reverse, and we already know the answer, so it’s just gross, violating codes of both gender and motorcycling.

There is one slyly legitimate way to ask if you can ride someone else’s bike, but it also has its rules: Just ask the person who owns the bike you want to ride if he/she would like to ride your bike. The insinuation is clear, but the option for refusal isn’t clouded with rejection, even though we all know that in this case, “no” doesn’t mean, “I don’t want to ride your bike,” it means, “I don’t want you to ride my bike.” Discretion must be taken if your riding mate has, for example, a Bimota and you have a Jawa. It’s uncouth to offer down. Well, a little down is okay.

I guess sometimes there is no easy solution. It’d be cool if someone wrote about this biker-law thing in a bike magazine. Then, we could clip it out and show it to our friends, claiming we’re sharing it because we admire the writing.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 08:14 AM
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That's interesting.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 08:42 PM
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Very true! I agree with that 100%

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 10:10 PM
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I about strangled some high school kid a few years back. I had to go drop some stuff off at the mall and when I got back out side there was some 17 year old kid sitting on my bike.

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 01:14 AM
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Hahah That is so true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluspyder View Post
I about strangled some high school kid a few years back. I had to go drop some stuff off at the mall and when I got back out side there was some 17 year old kid sitting on my bike.
Proper response, verify age then check one.

1) Not old enough start cursing.
2) Old enough, slap him till he thinks he kissed a freight train. I'm talking bust out the powder and all that shit.

Quote:
I do wear a helmet, as a matter of fact, along with other protective gear. But, the fact that you “certainly hope” I wear a helmet is so condescending it makes me want to ride a tricycle completely naked doing doughnuts in your front yard screaming Beastie Boys lyrics at midnight. Trust me, you do not want that. My buttocks are extremely pale and unsightly, especially in moonlight.
~Random Interweb Dude whom I very much want to buy a beer.

Last edited by Tripped1; 10-22-2012 at 01:17 AM.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 02:18 AM
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I agree, no one rides my bikes but me.

I came out of walmart one time and found some young couple putting their young child on my V-Rod for a photo. I started yelling all those bad words, f*ck, c**t and a few others, they didn't understand why I was angry.

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markk9 View Post
I agree, no one rides my bikes but me.

I came out of walmart one time and found some young couple putting their young child on my V-Rod for a photo. I started yelling all those bad words, f*ck, c**t and a few others, they didn't understand why I was angry.
Should have stated it's your turn to ride his wife now
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 08:44 AM
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Read this in CW this month, good read.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Girls are, of course, exempt from the rule of not touching a guy’s bike. That’s because if a girl touches your bike, it means she wants to have sex with you.
LOL. I'm alright with this rule
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 10:30 AM
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Truth!

I had a few hot girls come up to my bike and take photos with it once... of course I just admired from a distance cuz I sincerely doubted they were legal. I was ok with them by my bike though... if it was a high school aged male I woulda slapped him like the bitch that he is. That's the only moment that I KINDA understood the appeal of driving to a starbucks and parking your bike out front like bait to see what it would attract...
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 12:16 PM
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I'm a little bit paranoid about some stupid parents letting their kid touch my motorcycle in a parking lot only to have Jr. burn the crap out of himself on the exhaust.
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sin View Post
Truth!

I had a few hot girls come up to my bike and take photos with it once... of course I just admired from a distance cuz I sincerely doubted they were legal. I was ok with them by my bike though... if it was a high school aged male I woulda slapped him like the bitch that he is. That's the only moment that I KINDA understood the appeal of driving to a starbucks and parking your bike out front like bait to see what it would attract...
True true. I don't go Starbucks hopping specifically to park my bike and have people gawk at it but when I do drop by it is kind of fun to watch some of the reactions. The fun stops when someone dares touch the bike without asking though... I mean if you see a cool car you like you don't open the car door and sit inside do you? A bike is no different.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KodiakRS View Post
I'm a little bit paranoid about some stupid parents letting their kid touch my motorcycle in a parking lot only to have Jr. burn the crap out of himself on the exhaust.
Also makes me paranoid as hell... especially in a lawsuit happy country where they will somehow make this your fault.
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KodiakRS View Post
I'm a little bit paranoid about some stupid parents letting their kid touch my motorcycle in a parking lot only to have Jr. burn the crap out of himself on the exhaust.
I had that nearly happen at a gas station, father with an infant and a toddler and he was attempting to get them both into the fast food restaurant inside, the toddler who was on foot, broke away from his dad and came running at me, hand outstretched towards the shiny pipe. Although I was still on the bike, I luckily had already shut it off and saw him coming, and was able to lean over, reach back and kinda palm his chest to keep him away. His dad was there a moment later and grabbed him.

That being said, last summer I came out of a store on the little main street shopping area near my house and a little kid (4ish yo) was looking at my bike with mom and dad, keeping a respectful distance away. As I was gearing up, I put the key in and gestured for him to hit the start button. Totally made his day.

Last edited by boner; 10-22-2012 at 01:41 PM.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 01:42 PM
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Hah! Nice.

His mom will look back with grinding teeth on that day when her 16 year old asks to get a motorcycle.

My mom still blames my vehicular obsession on my uncle for watching Smokey and the Bandit over and over with me as a child.
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