WhyBike Motorcycle Blog

Motorcycle Awareness

By James - 4/11/2006

Sometimes coincidences do happen. I just joined the AMA and a few days after getting my card I got this email from Mike,

I’ve heard many non-motorcyclists make stereo-typical and condescending remarks alluding to the mentality of motorcyclists. Comments which classify riders into groups depending on what type or make of motorcycle one rides. What kind of pessimistic person would deem a “Harley” rider a ‘bad-boy, looking for a fight’ or a sport-bike rider an ‘irresponsible punk, trying to go fast’? It seems to me that most people who have never ridden a motorcycle make these types of interpretations out of fear or ignorance. While it is true that there are those motorcycle riders who DO fit the stereo-typical persona, it is also true that there are more absent-minded and oblivious drivers of gas-guzzling SUVs.

I was once told that “after riding motorcycles for a while, you will become a better motorist.” I really did not believe this to be true. However, after a couple of years and several thousands of miles later, I not only understand, but also fully believe its accuracy. Without the protection of a car’s safety features and encasement from the elements, motorcyclists are forced to develop a 6th sense. Our skills are honed to recognize the difference between a driver’s absent minded swaying and one who intends to quickly switch lanes.

While this skill is not inherent, it is very wide spread throughout the motorcycle community. Personally I think this is one of the biggest reasons that passing motorcyclists wave to each other; we all know what its like to be on two wheels and cut off, or worse yet have a driver switch lanes while we are right next to them.

Of course dealing with these issues comes with the territory; offset by one’s personal love for motorcycles. Riding motorcycles have many advantages. Including splitting traffic (where allowed by law), extremely good fuel economy, relaxation as well as many others. I have often wondered how substantial big-city traffic jams would be reduced if 30 - 40% would just ride a motorcycle. I’m sure this would greatly impact the smog pollution as well. Maybe this could also offset the summer gas price increases.

While my thoughts may go unheeded, perhaps they will give non-motorcyclists a different point of view from which they may expound their narrow-mindedness. I am an AMA member and I would recommend all motorcyclists to join, street or dirt. The AMA organization has done a lot to support and further protect us. Representing / supporting this organization can only better all of our experiences.

Supporting the AMA is one way to help raise the visiblity of motorcyclists to the general public.


1 Comment

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  1. Well put!

    Comment by Gymi — 4/12/2006 @ 11:49 am

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