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Five things not to say to a motorbike rider

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by goz, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. HELLO non-motorcycle riders.

    I want to take a minute to talk about motorcycle conversation etiquette.

    I’m talking about that awkward moment where you see someone carrying a helmet in the coffee line and you strike up a conversation.

    You don’t really know what to say and perhaps you feel terrified of ever being on a motorcycle or you have a friend of a friend of friend who had a bad experience.

    Being that I’m a rider and I’m married to a rider and we have rider friends, I just thought I’d take a moment to explain what we hear a lot.

    Here are some commonly said phrases which no one should really say because a rider doesn’t want to hear it and they aren’t helpful.

    1. “I saw a really horrible motorcycle accident several years ago. I’m pretty sure the rider didn’t survive.”
    Well, seeing an accident doesn’t mean you have all the facts. In addition, there’s no reason that accident relates to the rider you are speaking to in the coffee line. When I find out someone drives a car, I don’t tell them about all the fatal car accidents I covered while working as a reporter for 15 years.

    2. “My cousin had a terrible motorcycle crash and quit riding.”
    Okay. How does this relate to me as the rider again? Was your cousin hotdogging? Were they drinking and riding? Were there extenuating circumstances?

    3. “I rode for a long time but my partner/spouse made me give it up for safety reasons because we have kids now.”
    Yes, I have kids now too. Is this a passive-aggressive way of saying all parents shouldn’t ride? Or just a way of telling a perfect stranger that you don’t have a say in what you really want to do? As a mommy rider, I’m still not sure why this is the first thing someone tells me when they see me on a bike or in riding gear.

    4. “Ride safe,” said with a very concerned look.
    Well, yes, until you said that just now I was going to ride against traffic in the wrong lane at high speeds. But now that you told me to ride safe, I’ve reversed my thinking.

    5. “It’s not you, the motorcycle rider, that you have to worry about on the road, it’s the other drivers. They don’t see motorcycles.”
    Well, that can be true. But if I spend my time worrying about it then I’m not really enjoying riding am I? Being an aware driver is a good thing, but being a worried one is not.

    Riders ride because they enjoy it.

    When one rider speaks to another, they talk of the thrill of the wind on their faces, the agility of the bike, and the freedom one feels on two wheels. Most of us understand the inherent risks involved and we don’t take them lightly. However, a light conversation about motorcycle riding is always welcome. Otherwise, please just let me hold my pink helmet in line and get my coffee in peace.


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  2. What else are they going to talk about? Those are the only things people really know about riding, because it's been drummed into everyone's brain.
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  3. dunno why you would be posting this up here.
    this is a motorcycle riders forum;)
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  4. I also wish people wouldn't call us temporary Australians or organ donours.
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  5. I've been temporary since 1974; if that's not close to permanent, what is :LOL:?
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  6. I hate the "is that a Harley?" comment. A vstrom looks nothing like a Harley. I don't ask them if their Nissan Navara is a John Deere.
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  7. Personally, if that is their idea of a conversation, I'd much prefer it if they said nothing.

    I counter that with,

    "Sorry but no, you see you can't serve in the ADF unless you are a permanent citizen of Australia", or

    "Yes, I am an organ donor. Aren't you? If not you should be".
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  8. But I am an organ donor. What's wrong with that?
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  9. I'm a guitar donor myself, much easier to transport than organs.
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  10. I despise people telling their kids to go sit on the motorbike. It usually ends up with a very firm, but not necessarily polite "No, you might not want to do that"
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  11. I thought "Organ Donor" was just mis-spelt....Organ Doner.....and was some new kind of kebab that I hadn't heard about previosly
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  12. I know what you mean. If I wanted someones little eating, sleeping shitting machine climbing over my bike I would have said "Hey, does your little eating, sleeping, shitting machine want to climb over my bike".
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  13. How about "Your arse looks big in those chaps and I like it!"?
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  14. That would depend on who was saying it....
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  15. I hate it when people say "Nice chaps...but would please put something else on as well?"
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  16. How about ... "I love coming up fast and close behind bikes on the way to work hahahaha", "It feels good to threaten their lives while I'm driving about, I get to the red light 2 seconds earlier and that's what is important, hahahaha".
  17. "So what do you ride?"
    "An ER6N"
    -blank stares-
    "It's a kawasaki sports tourer"
    -blank stares-
    "It's orange"
    "Ah, how big is the engine?"
    "wow that's big you should be careful."
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  18. Do you tell them it's really more of a girls bike?
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  19. "...do a wheelie!"
  20. "I'm a motorcyclist too. I take my 50cc scooter to tennis lessons every second Thursday in summer!"
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