October 16th, 2006 14 Comments » | View blog reactions
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.