Scratch_the_surface

The motorcycle community boasts it self of being open-minded and non-prejudice, doesn’t matter what kind of motorcycle you ride as long as you ride you’re accepted. But what if you scratch the surface a little, what lies beneath?

First thing you’ll notice is the type battle; cruiser vs. sport bike. The standard opinion on cruiser riders is that they ride very few kilometres a year, and when they do ride, it’s to biker rallies showing off their chaps and drinking beer. The cruiser riders however believe that sport bike riders are speed freaks that should not be allowed on public roads and their motorcycles look like vacuum cleaners.

Frowned upon, by both camps, is the “squids” the common term for less experienced motorcycle riders disregarding safety (usually just wearing shorts and t-shirt) doing wheelies and stoppies as if they knew how, also known as “meat crayons” among the more morbid.

Then there’s the brand battle, where the Harley vs. everyone else is the fiercest. In both camps you’ll encounter people who seriously despise the other. Where the most common argument is that metric cruisers is just copies of the “real” thing, or that Harleys are unreliable and not worth their price tag. Most cruiser buyers would probably buy a Harley if the insurance rates and price tag was the same. The metric cruisers are technically more up to date, and in most cases perform better than a Harley, but they lack the history and the “feeling”. Some people believe that’s bullocks, some believe it’s all that matters, and pling! You got yourself two wings that dislike each other.

Speaking of dislike, a recent unfortunate event has really parted the waters and brought out some serious emotions. I’m talking about the Billy Lane accident. You probably know what I’m talking about, but to quickly sum it up. It seems that Lane was driving under the influence, and killed 56 year old Gerry Morelock in a traffic accident. Some people think Lane is a murderer and is getting off the hook too easy because he’s famous, all though he’s still on the hook as far as I know. Others mean that you should have mercy on Lane, that he’s not a bad man, and will regret his actions for the rest of his life. Maybe he wishes he wasn’t famous, because I know I would, facing that mad mob with torches and pitchforks that has revealed it self.

So that’s what lies beneath all the chrome and shiny paint jobs; people. Just plain old regular people like any other. People who form groups where the dislike for another group is sometimes all they have in common, because that’s what people do. It’s like ripples in the water, where the outer ripple is motorcycle riders complaining about “cagers” (that’s what we call people driving cars). Next ripple might be sport bikes vs. cruisers, or that people who ride Goldwings should just buy a car, and so forth.

Bottom line is that motorcycle riders are all different people with different opinions, just like everybody else. But we are tied together by our common interest in motorcycles, and that makes us a group to other people. There are individuals or groups out there that dislike us only because we are part of that group. But who ever that group or those people are, I promise you that we motorcycle riders on our sport bikes, metric cruisers, Harleys, Goldwings, and so on, will stick together and dislike them right back; because we humans are funny that way.

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14 Responses to “What you find, scratching the surface of the motorcycle community”

  1. Morgan K Freeberg  October 16th

    Thanks for the link! I’ll reciprocate.

    Probably ‘roll you too…luv motorcycles.

  2. Jesper  October 17th

    No problem mate, and thanks.

  3. Markus  October 17th

    Interesting post.
    **thumbs up**
    :)

  4. Steve Williams  October 17th

    First time I’ve visited your blog and get to see this fine post. Adding scooters to the sportbike/cruiser/HD struggles and you end up with something a long way from open-minded or non-prejudical. As you say, motorcyclists are people too. I would have to add that the ownership culture (not riding culture) reinforces a lot of disdain among owners.

    Interesting stuff. Thanks for the great post.

    steve

  5. Jesper  October 17th

    Thanks Steve, and Markus. I guess you’re right Steve, ownership culture is probably the root. Most people you meet don’t take it that seriously though, but it’s there no doubt.

  6. Gymi  October 18th

    Another good one Jesper, keep up the good work.

  7. Mike  October 18th

    I’ve seen some people get crazy over this type of thing. As if it really matters what type of bike you ride/own.
    As a HD owner I do admit to a sense of pride but when I get my head out of my yahoo, I realize that we’re all just enjoying the freedom of riding. I do admit to intense irritation when I see someone with no regard to anyone’s safety, pulling up on one wheel at 70 mph on the freeway. And of course, that’s always someone on a sport bike.

  8. Jesper  October 19th

    Yes, Mike. That’s what I mean. You’d have to be a saint not to feel prejudice in some way or another. But as you say, most of us is not that serious about it.

  9. Taz  October 24th

    Some of us will have fun on anything, and ride them all without shame or concern.

    Currently in my shed lives a VTR1000, A cagiva Xtra Raptor, a Suzuki GS850, a Suzuki GS750, a Honda XR80, a DJP Sidecar and my personal favorite just coz its multi-purpose, my highly modified tourglide that I am currently prepping for next Mondays track day at Wakefiled Park. Its not what you ride, but that you ride that makes the difference.

    Cheers

    Taz

  10. Jesper  October 24th

    Impressive collection you got there, Taz. I couldn’t agree more, most riders probably feel that way, I just thought it was fun to dig a little deeper. Good luck on the track day.

  11. vinod  October 24th

    An excellent post!

  12. Robert G.  September 10th

    What year/country is this post from?
    I ride a sport bike and have never had an issue as you describe with any HD/cruiser type.
    Sure people poke fun but that camp exists between Duke and Triumph owners as well as Ford and Chevy auto owners.
    Even sports team followers rivel to some degree.
    As long as a mutual love for the lifestyle exists Brothers and Sisters will always tease one another.
    Get a clue writer…

  13. Jesper  September 12th

    As the heading says. The post is from 2006, and if you check the about page, you’ll notice I’m from Denmark.

    I don’t give a rats ass what you ride, I’ll greet you at anytime. But some won’t.

    You’re right the teasing exists between all “camps”, that was exactly the point.

    To most of us, it’s just teasing. But some take it a wee bit too serious. If you’ve honestly never experienced that, don’t worry about it too much.

    Happy riding mate.

  14. Robert G.  September 12th

    My bad Jesper.
    Myself, I live and ride about 330 out of 365 days of the year here in California.
    I asked what year because you don’t get too much of it at all here these days since our rider count went way up as a result of our higher fuel costs.
    I suppose we’re feeling a new type of bond here because most are used to being in their SUVs, not a moving target for them.
    Ride Safe…
    RG

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