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Power of Perception - a science experiment

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by DUK35, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. I'm trying to break a myth as of why sportsbike riders have a thing against other types of bikes and why other types of bike hates sportsbike riders and why the rest of the other type of riders on the road feel like they don't fit in or are made a victim of what they choose as their form of transport. (I ride a cruiser but I also am looking at getting a sportsbike so I'm a lover of all types of bikes and I don't get myself involved in this game of love/hate - if it's got two wheels, you have my respect)

    first part to the experiment I went out riding wearing different types of helmets.
    I rode out in a Black Shark helmet (all gloss black no grafs), a Shark Saga Helmet (Red outrageous grafs with glittered paint and a silver Iridium visor) an Rjays open face helmet (matt black) and a THH Shorty helmet (matt black - might aswell be used as a pushbike helmet)

    Action: I will ride around town nodding to every rider I see and also notice the reactions with drivers. I will also wear full gear (leather jacket, draggin's, boots, gloves, pads etc.)

    My Red outrageous shark Saga helmet ticked off the most points for nods. Cars do drive at the same aggression but they are aware that you're around. Sportsbike riders are automatically your friends and a few 250cc cruisers also look at you friendly.

    My gloss black Shark: Cars often underestimate you and/or don't realise you exist in their path. sportsbike riders have a 60/40 to nod back at you. Altho kids look at you more for some reason (?) and people waiting at the bustop....... (maybe because I'm matching with my bike and gear... ALL BLACK) - but yeah... only a 60/40 chance a sportsbike rider will nod back.

    Rjays Open face helmet: A WINNER amoungst Scooter riders - they will look at you like family even tho you're on a small cruiser. lots of nods from other cruiser riders and some times even smiles. cars are more aggresive around you but will let you have your way. chances of a nod back or even a look from a sportsbike is almost nil..... 20% will attempt to look at you in acknowledgement.

    and lastly:
    THH Shorty (pushbike) Helmet: ABSOLUTELY no respect or acknowledgement for sportsbike riders. Cars are TERRIFIED of you and your presence around them which in turn makes them very passive around you (?) but again, riders look at you like you're a disgrace (well..... it's a Shorty helmet..... I feel like a disgrace in it lol - but I must say, it's gives you great visual range and hearing is always at 100% cos the helmet doesn't cover your ears)

    so you see...... 2 different perspectives... extremely different.... which just a quick change of helmet.

    Cars get more aggressive as the helmet becomes more complex... and with the most aggression while wearing an outrageous helmet....... and ofcourse.. the least with a black bucket over your head... funny that. (wel... while I was wearing the shorty helmet I was also wearing black sunnies.... maybe they thought I was packing aswell...)

    anyways... heres my pointless experiment lol.....

    (but I guess the lesson learnt is that - only one small change of a helmet can alter your perception and surroundings.... even tho you're still riding the same bike)

    next experiment I'll prolly try wearing different jackets or something... (I leather racing jacket, a cruiser 'ghostrider' jacket, a leather vest, a denim jacket and just a suit and see how that goes lol)

    we live in a perception fueled world people..... sadness...
  2. i'd patent that as intelectural property before a history and philosphy of science student uses that in an essay :p
  3. Huh... that sort of matches with my experience.

    If I wear my ratty open face around town summer helmet and black leather jacket then then cars avoid me mostly.

    If I wear the multi colour graphic helmet and winter jacket with reflective stripes they don't give me near as much room.

    Sort of makes the 'be seen - be safe' saying a bit pointless...
  4. You have too many helmets! :grin: Interesting experiment though.

    By the way, are you free later this week to help me drill some zzr? :D (if so let me know what drill bits I should get :D)
  5. I have nodded to alot of different riders, coz as a whole, we are brothers on 2 wheels, and if we dont stick togother, we are a minoritiy.

    Thats how I feel anyhoo. Oh and for the record, i ride a sports bike.
  6. for your next experiment, try using a REAL bike :p :bolt:

  7. hahahaha _joel_ yeah I get that all the time :p

    Phizog, we are prolly doing the usual monday meet up at Zellini's in Randwick so I'll be free tomorrow - what time you free? I got all the drill bits here, got them a while ago especially for ya! TheYak wants his out aswell so we can maybe do 2 ZZR's at the same time hehe.

    Just gimme a msg
  8. is this a bafflectomy i can smell??
  9. Great experiment thanks for sharing. Maybe with the shorty helmet people see you as being more human and are more conscious of your safety because they can identify with your exposed face and features?
  10. +1 so long as you have two wheels (and an engine) i'll throw you nod
  11. A fascinating exercise, mate. I was going to suggest as I read that you expand it to different types of gear as well, but you've got that covered.

    Of course, the BIG wrinkle would be also to conduct this experiment by cross-matching with gear AND bikes (or types of bikes). Do cruisers get noticed/demand more respect than sports bikes, etc??
  12. Fantastic work mate! Amazing to see the difference with just the helmet.

    I ride for my daily commute, and often see alot of other riders in traffic. As I dont always lane split at the lights I often see the reactions of drivers to some of the other riders who split up front.
    From what Ive observed it seems to be those with the more scary ride/look who get the most respect from cagers. Even with the sports bike riders, if theyre wearing all black with minimal graphics then the drivers seem to give them some room.
  13. That seems in line with DUK35's this
  14. The classic "scary biker" look. :p. At least the look has some benefits.
  15. Thats gold! :rofl::rofl::rofl:
  16. "I need you clothes, your boots and your motorcycle." :p
  17. And for your next experiment on perception...

    Test 1.

    Ride your mini cruiser into a Hells Angels meet wearing your regular riding gear. Post results.

    Test 2.

    Ride your mini cruiser into a Hells Angels meet wearing bogus patches, rockers, and a fake Hells Angel tatt. We'll drop into your hospital to collect your results. :LOL:
  18. one thing ive noticed. when i split with my visor open, some cagers move out of my way. when i have the (tinted) visor down nobody moves.

    i think there is alot to say about whether people can see your eyes that affects their responsses.

    people look at me pass when i have the visor down, but alot less when its up.
  19. That figures. When ur just a sealed helmets and gear, no skin exposed, u dont look like a person. Its as nightgash said: without ur face covered, drivers see you as more human and are more concerned bout ur safety.
  20. So how do you know the riders you happened to pass with the open face helmet just happened to me more friendly than those you passed with the red shark on?

    Also, since we're talking about perception... this divide between types of riders is a matter of perception as well. I generally find an equal mix of friendly/unfriendly riders no matter what they ride.