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"We Don’t Need More Motorcycle Riders" - Interesting Internet Article.

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by robsalvv, May 19, 2012.

  1. I get regular spam from a site called motorcycle intelligence. It's usually very very conservative stuff, but the article below caught my eye. Thought it was worth sharing.

    Have a read.


    = = = = = = = = = =



    How many times have you been asked that question?
    Or, the more direct one that will be asked is, “Aren’t motorcycles dangerous?”
    I will often reply, “Of course motorcycles are dangerous. And that’s why they are not for everyone.”
    If the person is actually interested in taking the discussion further, I warn them that I could talk about motorbikes until the sun goes down, and comes up again, and I could keep going on and on after that. (And although that’s a true statement, it’s also a ploy to avoid a conversation with someone who may not be that interested in the first place.) In which case I’ll gauge their level of interest, and consider my mood, and determine if I want to have the conversation at all, or if this is someone who just considers I’m a crazy biker (which I receive as a compliment).

    In other words, sometimes I won’t offer much about riding at all, other than to answer a few questions.
    After some number of years of talking to riders and non-riders, it finally dawned on me that it’s really not easy (perhaps not possible) to describe to non-riders why motorcyclists do what they do.

    If a non-rider does appear to be truly interested, I’ll let them know that I’ll be happy to answer any further questions they have, but I also let them know I won’t encourage them to get a bike. That decision will need to be theirs, alone.


    In my mind, riding isn’t something to take up just for the sake of trying it out (although there’s nothing wrong with that). The way I see it, to really enjoy riding, one needs to proactively acquire the necessary skills and competence to not only enjoy it, but to survive. (And that competence will not be gained by taking a weekend training course, or getting a motorcycle license, although those are a very good start!)
    Even then it is unlikely that such a new rider will yet have the capacity to truly respect the risks they are confronting.
    Hence, I consider that riding is best viewed as a matter of personal responsibility, rather than as merely another interesting hobby to check out for someone who may consider it as a casual pastime. Frankly, I consider that such a rider is better off checking it out, and learning as quickly as possible, that motorcycling is not for everyone, and certainly not for this person.
    On the other hand, I do not begrudge anyone who would take up motorcycles as a hobby and consider it in a way that someone might try out, say, downhill skiing, for the sake of example. (I like skiing, too). But the reality is, way more people get hurt and killed as a result of riding motorcycles, than skiing down mountains. So, the riding life should be considered in the appropriate light.
    And although there’s no way to know when you or I are going to bite the bullet, I sure am glad I’m not going through the process of being a newbie to motorcycles and learning how to ride all over again. (I still don’t know how I survived my teenage years on these things).


    For me, the simplicity is, riding offers an incomparable amount of pleasure, regardless of the risks. And though the inherent “risks” have been reduced over the decades as my riding skills and awareness have continued to improve, I’m also cognizant that the fundamental risk will never go away.
    I could be killed tomorrow by a soccer mom in an SUV who is yelling at her kids, talking on her phone, applying make-up, while trying not to spill her coffee. Afterwards, she may very well be sorry for having killed me. But the probability is, she’ll be more concerned about putting the whole incident behind her while trying to extricate herself from the matter by way of taking as little responsibility as possible. In other words, it’s more likely she will be focused on diminishing any potential legal troubles than taking responsibility for any inattentive actions on her part. Who knows, for a few weeks, she may even give up applying make-up while on the road.
    This is not intended to be a condemnation of soccer moms, but merely a reflection of the reality that drivers of 4-wheeled vehicles cannot be expected to be as responsible on the roads as an experienced rider. Bikers who have been riding for years inherently know they had better be more aware of what’s going on all around them out on the public roadways, than anyone else that he/she is sharing the pavement with.


    The good news is, that such a probability keeps the ranks of motorbike riders at the levels they have been. In other words, I’m GLAD motorcycle riders only make up a small percentage of the riding public. Although I welcome with open arms any folks who wish to join the clan of global riders, I’m not one to encourage anyone to do so. I’d be just as content if there were only a fraction of the riders on the road.

    Here at the very top of Southern California, my favorite riding season is the winter when there are a lot less bikes around. You kinda get the sense that when you give a nod or wave to someone riding in the off-season, that they’ve been riding a while, and this isn’t just a weekend hobby for them.


    So, although I am not at all opposed to more riders, and as stated earlier, I welcome ALL riders to the fold, the truth is, motorcycle riding is NOT for everyone. And I like it that way.

    • Like Like x 1
  2. In developing countries motorcycling is the majority, there is no talk about "you are not suited to it".

    I think its partially a wank that riders say, to think we are special.
    • Like Like x 6
  3. I dunno, I think you're pretty special sometimes, VC :D
  4. LMFAO......you're comparing necessity with choice??? Livelihood with lifestyle???

    I think you're having a partial wank yourself mate.

    ...and other than the fact that Slave started a nodding thread, I agree with everything else 100%
  5. For every soccer mum that's riding a scooter instead of driving a Toorak tractor, there is one less person to hit me.

    Of course if too many people fall off their motorcycles while applying makeup or drinking coffee, I guess that will encourage the safetycrats to step in with more laws 'for our own protection'.
  6. it's relative.
    pretty much anyone could ride a scooter or a cruiser competently with a little practice.

    the opposite to the authors theory also applies. less riders also equates to more drivers being less vigilant and therfore mor accidents.
    our presence on the roads more often makes the majority of drivers behave more sensibly in our vicinity. you know it when you ride. you police your own space and general vicinty for your own safety.
    the TAC/vicpol/muarc et al conspiracy to remove motorcycles completely from transport would actually have a greater negative effect on traffic and safety within it.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. That's true. However how many more riders would there need to be in Melbourne before the effect was profound?
  8. [​IMG]

    Why do Americans think everything is a choice? The guys in the photo above are not making a lifestyle choice, they are choosing not to walk. Personally I choose not to sit in traffic.

    Riding as a sport is not for everyone, but why are you worried about SUVs on the track??
  9. I've got this weird sort of feeling that the author wasn't writing to the indigenous peoples of Siam. You've been rather good at purposefully missing context I've noticed.
    partial wank - where jizz only comes from one testie, and comes out from one side of the knob.
  10. The context was that some people are too unsafe, not that they didnt like the lifestyle.
  11. I believe the effect comes in when you know someone reasonably wellwith a bike, that makes us people not vehicles. 3% at the moment is not enough as that is only 1 in 30, i hik we need to triple that
  12. If someone isn't suited to riding, they'll give up or they'll crash and injure themselves. If someone's not suited to driving a car they won't give up and they'll crash and injure other people...
    • Like Like x 6
  13. Well I agree with him, some cagers are too retarded to grasp the basics of riding a motorcycle. Anybody can twist a throttle, but there's a lot more to it than that.

    I don't like the term 'an accident waiting to happen' because of it's connections to temporary citizen, but every so often somebody comes along and makes themselves an exception to the rule.
  14. Quoted for truth.

    ...and if we crash it's our fault, and if they crash into us it's still our fault.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. No, it's when you fake an orgasm.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. There are two separate thoughts here:
    1 - 'riding is not for everyone' ... well, that is obviously true, therefore not especially interesting. No activity with the exception of breathing perhaps is for everyone - actually there were probably some people who couldn't breathe either, but they are no longer with us.

    2 - 'we don't need more riders'... that is false. We need as many riders as we can get, because:

    More riders = fewer drivers. Both in terms of physical presence on the roads, and in terms of mentalities. I've long maintained the best and only way of improving awareness and attitudes towards riders is to turn drivers into riders themselves.

    More riders = more political clout. The only way we are not going to get legislated out of existence is by gaining sufficient numbers to become a force to be reckoned with. Do you think that 'flying under the radar' of authorities and public opinion would be a better approach? Well, we've tried that - it doesn't work any longer.

    More riders = larger market. More profit, more opportunity, in short - more reasons for the businesses to provide for motorcyclists. Do you think Honda would be a viable business if they were selling a couple of thousand of Fireblades a year? No. They could afford to make your Fireblade because they sold a million Honda Cubs to the commuters around the world.
    Be grateful to all those people who are using motorcycles not for fun, not for lifestyle or self expression but simply for getting around on - if it wasn't for them, your sport, lifestyle and self expression would either cease to exist or become so expensive you probably couldn't afford it either.
    • Like Like x 10
  17. ...and I agree with that 100%
  18. The bike I would like to ride full time, Starts at $75,000-00 AUD, Ouch.

    And its Australian made,
  19. If Barbie were life-size, her measurements would be 39-23-33. She would stand seven feet, two inches tall.
  20. try 1 in 33...