IF YOU'RE A MAN OVER 45 AND WANT TO BUY YOUR FIRST MOTORCYCLE... DON'T - Because you will be buying it for all the wrong reasons. Mid-life crisis. Stuck in middle management. Hair gone. E.D. Besides, why spend $20,000 on something you're just going to clean and stare at and maybe ride to the bar weather permitting. Eventually your new fad will fade quicker than that box of premium cigars you pretend to like. So do everyone a favor and accept your former life. Tee times start at 8:30.
SOMETIMES THE LONE WOLF IS JUST ANOTHER SHEEP IN THE FLOCK - Especially if you only ride tavern-to-tavern on ultra-conformist chrome displays in full poser-pirate regalia including "BITCH FELL OFF" t-shirts, fingerless gloves and (only if mandated by law) a proper beanie helmet. For a group of "rugged individualists" you're goofier than a bunch of Shriners.
BIKERS ARE NOT AN OPPRESSED MINORITY - The "us" versus "them" attitude is so last century. Your hair (shaggy or shaved), tattoos and chain wallets haven't scared anyone for a long time. The eye rolling you attract from folks and real motorcyclists have more to do with your pathetic herd mentality than the need to discriminate. Part of which is your inane desire to feel the world doesn't understand you. The biker t-shirts say, "If you have to ask you wouldn't understand." Well, nobody's asking. And no society is out to get you. So give up the glamour of being a second class citizen and accept that you and your lives are at best average or slightly below.
IF YOU RIDE WITHOUT A HELMET PRE-PAY YOUR BURIAL COSTS - Rather than debate helmet laws, hospital and insurance rates let's cut to the tombstone. It costs money to put these jokers in the ground. So rather than burden families and society with the inevitable "let those who ride decide" if it's going to be granite or bronze. And have them open their checkbooks before they open their brains out on the highway.
LOUD PIPES JUST ANNOY PEOPLE - All that noise directed rearward doesn't help in the most common dangerous conflict where an oncoming car turns in front of you. If you really want to save lives, turn to a brighter jacket and helmet color with reflectives proven to do the job. Or install a louder horn. Otherwise, stick your ground pounders where the valves don't shine.
IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT THEY CAN'T SEE YOU - Especially if you ride a matte black motorcycle decked out in matte black helmet, matte black jacket, et al. Reflective vests, belts, stick-on squares and brighter colors can do alot to keep you from looking like your own shadow. How much visibility is sufficient? Enough to allow your widow's lawyer to say in court, "There's no way the asshole didn't see him."
IF YOU DON'T RIDE IN THE RAIN YOU DON'T REALLY RIDE - No one is suggesting heading straight toward the monsoon. But if you're exclusively a fair weather rider it's just too impractical to have you on the road. Your inexperience and apprehension are to put it mildly, dangerous. And while Mother Nature is unpredictable, experience, skill and proper gear are what gets you through. Limiting your riding to only the perfect day is just a step away from hardly riding and soon not riding at all. Maybe the best idea for some.
GROUP RIDING IS ALOT LIKE DUCK HUNTING - Eventually some doofus does something that either kills you or the dog. Group riding with people who don't maintain their bikes, don't ride within their skills and don't wear ATGATT (all the gear all the time) means you'll likely end up helping them work on their bike alongside the road or sitting around interminable hours in a hospital waiting room. At least with duck hunting there's the possibility of a decent entree at the end of the day.
STOP WITH ALL THE WAVING ALREADY - As sure as the first day of Spring when every bozo has their bike out it starts. The Wave. People with whom we only share the same transportation choice feel the need to mutually acknowledge each other like a bunch of prom queens. It used to be the only reason for an errant hand gesture was the warning of a dead skunk or worse. Like the last scene in Easy Rider when Dennis Hopper gets blown away for flipping off the redneck in the pick-up. A Wave gone wrong. Still the Wavers assume we're all long-lost brothers. Weekend chrome polishers all cruising toward us in dire need of validation. Okay, we admit it. We see you. We're happy for you. Just keep your hands down and eyes up. And if you feel the urge to wave, save it for the next redneck in a pick-up. And let's hope for the best.
YOU DON'T NEED GPS ON A 60 MILE ROUNDTRIP - Tom Hanks got back to earth from the friggin moon (Apollo 13) with only a pencil and a slide-rule. While it's great to able to coordinate your position on the planet in relation to Pluto it's nice to know maps are still available at most gas stops. Or how about the pure adventure of traveling without a destination? Besides, if all Tom Hanks had was a GPS he'd still be on that friggin island (Castaway).
STOP TRYING TO RESURRECT DEAD MARQUEES - Paying over $18 million for the intellectual rights to a motorcycle name from fifty years ago doesn't guarantee that brand will ever fly off the dealer's floorplan. It might be good business to ride the wave of aging boomer bikers before they trade-in their two wheels for wheelchairs. But if the only reason to buy the bike is the re-hashed logo on the gas tank, the time it takes for all that retro to go Chapter 11 can be clocked with an egg timer proving once again that late great motorcycles are best relegated to people's fond memories. UPDATE - Indian is back with a new manufacturer (Polaris Victory) for a fourth go round in the last ten years. There's never an egg timer around when you need one.
LET'S HAVE MORE REAL WORLD M-CLASS LICENSING - The current M-class licensing fails to take into consideration many riders' limitations. Some new classifications might include:
M-NR - cannot ride in the rain
M-60 - cannot ride during ambient temperatures below 60fh degrees
M-TRL - can only ride within 5 miles from nearest trailer
M-BAR - can only ride to and from a cold beer
M-DONOR - cannot wear a helmet except certified novelty beanie
M-CLEAN - can only clean motorcycle, no riding permitted
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