WhyBike Motorcycle Blog

10 Motorcycling Myths Unmasked

By James - 10/5/2006

Here are some myths that the unititiated have about the world of motorycycling. I hear these questions all the time. I have to correct people’s assumptions. There are probably more but this was all I had time for. If you have any other myths or questions feel free to use the comment form below.

  1. You must not make enough money to afford a real vehicle

    False. It is true that motorcycles are an inexpensive form of transportation. The cost to operate my motorcycle per mile is about 3 times less than my car. Insurance is about 5 times less. I don’t have to pay toll on bridges and I can do most the maintenence myself. As a recent commenter said about his Corvette, “As for the gas, maintenance, resale value–who cares, I’m rich.” But when is saving money a bad thing? I have been using the money I save to redo my bathroom and backyard. I spend much more time in those two places than in my car.

  2. You can’t buy groceries on a bike

    True. And False. You can’t go to Costco on your motorcycle. But with a bungee net I go to the market an pick up dinner every few days. I prefer fresh food to canned food anyway. I can get a weeks worth of food (excluding lunches) when I take my saddlebags.

  3. Bikers are antisocial

    True. Sorry, but we get upset when cars almost hit us and we might not talk to you for a few days. Otherwise we are very approachable. It is like anybody you meet, they could be an idiot, they could turn out to be a friend you haven’t met yet. Treat us with respect and we will give you the same.

  4. You can’t wear nice clothes

    False. I guess people think that bugs splatter all over your suit if you ride a motorcycle. I have gone on interviews, weddings, dates (see “Chicks dig bikers” below) and never had a problem of showing up filthy or unpresentable. I wear a leather jacket over my suit jacket and have yet to get a wrinkle. “Helmet Hair” can be a problem but carry a little hair gel in your undertail compartment and you are good to go.

  5. You can only ride when it is sunny

    False. The same commenter above incredulously asked me, “Do you never drive a car? Even in the rain you ride a bike? God, I can think of a million different weather or occasion related instances where I’d rather be in a car.” Of course I ride in the rain. I have an Aerostich Suit and waterproof shoes and it keeps you absolutely dry. I show up at work dryer than the cagers that parked in the lot and had to walk 100 feet through the rain. Yeah wind and hail suck, but the only weather I would not ride in would be snow. Unless I had a Ural.

  6. Chicks dig bikers

    False. A motorcycle alone will not get you chicks. Some women are into motorcycles but it is not the majority. Many have the same prejudices as the general population. You can occasionally find the ones that are rebelling. That can be fun until you are the one they are rebelling against.

  7. There is no #7

    Life does not make sense sometimes. Neither do motorcycle myths.

  8. You must accept the risks

    False. There is a difference between managing risk and accepting risk. I do everything I can to prevent injury, that includes yielding my right of way because you are in a hurry. That includes paying attention to the cars behind me because I know they might not be.

  9. You must not worry about crashing?

    False. I worry all the time about crashing. Don’t you worry about crashing your car?

  10. You will give it up once you have kids

    Who knows? I will make that descision when I need to. I don’t see why it would be a good idea now but not when I have a little one at home. Of course I will be riding in my car a lot more, but giving up riding . . . I can’t see me doing it.



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  1. Good points, James. And thanks for the plug :-).
    I think some motorcycle riders believe in those myths as well. Take riding in the rain for an example, I know a few who don’t ride when it’s raining (if they can help it). Some because it means 5 hours of polishing afterwards, some because they don’t have rain gear, and even some because they are scared they’ll loose the grip on a wet road.

    Comment by Jesper Bram — 10/6/2006 @ 2:01 am

  2. No. 10 Sometimes you have to change your lifestyle for a period of time, but if you really enjoy riding you will go back. I retired for 14 yrs while my youngest grew up and got old enough to drive, bought bike when she got her lic. Life doesn’t always treat you as you think it should but we survive.

    Comment by Jasper Riley — 10/8/2006 @ 7:08 am

  3. You forgot the disclaimer…

    Warning : Reading this post while drinking your morning coffee in front of your laptop may result in coffee being splattered all over the laptop screen.

    Comment by The Snark — 10/10/2006 @ 5:05 pm

  4. RE: You cant buy groceries on a bike
    I am able to pack a whole package of Costco toilet paper into my panniers and top box on my Ducati. Therefore, a bike does not limit Costco runs (too much).

    Comment by William Wahl — 10/15/2006 @ 2:16 pm

  5. Hey William, what are you doing that that you are so desperate for toilet paper?

    Comment by James — 10/15/2006 @ 2:29 pm

  6. Re: Bikers are antisocial

    False. If you drive a car and a biker or truck almost hit you you will be upset and speak in strange languages for a while as well. not true?

    Comment by Ben — 10/15/2006 @ 3:03 pm

  7. I ride a full dresser (Harley TourGlide) and I can fit a full basket of groceries on mine, without crushing anything.

    Comment by Darryl Mitchell — 10/17/2006 @ 6:19 am

  8. Insightful list. I am particularly interested in #9. Yes, I worry about the crash always. I look for it and plan for it. And I wish you would in your car too instead of eating, talking on your cellphone, or trying to read email on your BlackBerry at 60MPH. Please, worry about crashes too…

    Comment by Steve Williams — 10/19/2006 @ 9:03 am

  9. 10. Nope. In fact it was often observed that I got faster after my son was born. I believe the reason for that was due to concentrating more on becoming a smoother rider. Now 4 years later I ended this past season by entering my first amateur races, with my son in tow to cheer me on.

    Comment by Bern — 11/7/2006 @ 5:55 am

  10. That is great Bern. It gives me some hope.

    Comment by James — 11/7/2006 @ 7:43 am

  11. re: #5 and needing a Ural: IRC GP-1 tires, DOT-legal knobbies can fit on a ‘79 GS750 Suzuki, with ice racing screws. It worked until the snow got too deep (over 6 inches is too deep). Why? Because January can be an eternity in upstate NY…

    Comment by Bruce Wells — 11/10/2006 @ 4:18 pm

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