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What makes motorcycling unique?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by robsalvv, May 6, 2011.

  1. What makes motorcycling unique?

    I have an intrinsic inherent conceptual understanding of the answer to the question but since it's such a unique and personal experience, I don't think the list I've worked on has covered it.

    So, what makes motorcycling unique? What are the qualities, experiences, sensations, realities and attributes that makes motorcycling a unique modality?

  2. Motorcycles.
  3. the combination of independence, camaraderie, freedom and brotherhood.
  4. Your close connection with the elements - wind, rain, sunshine, warmth, cold, smells and sounds.
    Your world in the hands, of your hands.
  5. Pretty much that's it. If you take dazzler's & raven's reply, than it's no different from surfing, skiing, roller blading (maybe not), skydiving....
  6. Because when I'm "there", there is no motorcycle.
    It's just me: two-wheeled and six-speed, screaming in the wind.
  7. Motorcycles. That's what makes motorcycling a unique road modality? Is that all you have?

    You and Kernel can have a big Fail.

    This is exactly the reason for me asking the question. Some motorcyclists don't even understand how they are different. If they don't understand this, how are they going to represent themselves to the authorities?
  8. ok rob, take all the things that are said in relation to motorcycling; that it represents freedom, connection with the elements, feeling of being alive, you can that find all those comments have already been made in relation to most other outdoor activities, particularly the more fringe ones.

    What is associated with motorcycles?
    Being able to lean over: you can do that on a pushie, just not as far over.
    insane acceleration: any vehicle built for the drag strip.
    wind in your face (cruiser/classic only): surfing, para/hang gliding, skiing, skydiving, pushie again albeit while rolling downhill (the ride on the bike track down from beechworth is particularly excellent).
    Seeing smelling hearing nature: hiking, fishing, pushie again, skiing.
    Camaraderie: see above lists
    Independence: surfing (that's a really big one), can also apply to many of the others.
    Freedom: Sailing on the Black Pearl.

    Take for example the danger element then. For skydiving, surfing, skiing, pushbike, they are all patently obvious. Then hikers can get lost, fishers can can become sharkfood, so on and so forth. So what makes motorcyclists different? Well they are on road for one, so they are supposed to abide by a set of rules.

    What else is there other than the fact that they are motorcycles and they are another means of leisure? Or is this supposed to be more for the politics forum?
  9. The brotherhood and respect that comes with riding machines that are vulnerable and can easily kill the operator.
    The feeling of freedom, euphoria, adrenalin and outright ecstasy you get on the days when everything clicks and the bike and rider become one and move through the corners as swiftly and precisly as Torvill and Dean. And knowing that anyone that doesn't ride a motorcycle does not get too experience those feelings and maybe never will.

  10. You needed a massive list to explain seperate elements of mototrcycling. But only on a motorcycle you get them all at once.
  11. and that's the other worn-out cliche.

    "And this model has three cup holders instead of the regular two PLUS power windows"
    With surfing you get elements that aren't covered by all the rest, ie, it's based in the water. Skydiving, the falling sensation and incredible speed of the wind. Fishing, the tranquility. Cycling, the endorphins released upon exercise. etc etc.

    Massive list? it was like six things dude.
  12. Ok I'll give you that, maybe not massive but it still proves motorcycling is unique because nothing is the same as it. Some leisure activities or sports may share elements but nothing exact.

    And I can't see how that was a worn out cliche, if a person has not ridden a motorcycle then they obviously have not experienced the feelings that come with it. That's a fact. Just like I have not skydived so do not know what feelings would come from that.
  13. You are more or less correct if you compare it to like pusuits.
    I used to surf, and i used to sail a 20ft catamaran.
    Both pu are out in the elements...yes... But i am far far less likely to die if i stuffed up on either of those.
    However there IS one thing they all have in common..( bikes cats and surf)
    They all require a skillset that works 3 dimensionally in order to perform these 3 past times. And that's very cool. :))
  14. My point was that the general feelings of peace/euphoria/adrenalin are common throughout.
  15. its riding to work everyday and not getting a nod....

    and then doing an hour through the twisities and nodding that much you feel like a bobble head.
  16. #16 guggle, May 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Yeah, that!!

    About the only thing I've done that equates to the same feeling of freedom and connection with the elements is flying in a Microlight aircraft. [URL="]
  17. Unique dynamics:
    • approach to and completion of a corner
    • manoeuvrability/size
    • tyre contact patch
    • acceleration
    • power to weight ratio
    • etc etc

    Unique needs and requirements:
    • road conditions/implications of hazards
    • skill level requirements of rider
    • parking needs/aspects
    • positioning in traffic
    • etc etc

    Unique advantages:
    • size - hazard avoidance, splitting, parking, manoeuvrability, etc
    • acceleration
    • fun!
    • etc

    for a start.
  18. Why has no one mentioned mono's? Rounding up cars in the hills, splitting in traffic, getting away from the cops. Doing a mono in front of a cop and then booting it while he just stands there with his mouth agape. Not being concerned about massive traffic jams.
    Even when you're driving you're picking out the best line in the road. Spewing coz on the day you want to go for a herb it's raining, but you still go.
    And yeah, the power to weight ratio is fairly nifty. We're getting the same amount as power from a $16000 machine as from a $100,000 car (not including those exotic Italian bikes)
    But with all this fun we can have it can come at a high price. So we are very aware of our surroundings which I think makes us the most unique form of transport there is.
  19. They are common with any pursuit that can bring you into the moment. Nothing wrong with that.

    The contention is that motorcycling is if nothing else, a unique road modality. Motorists don't seem to appreciate that and so hold motorcycles to account with motoring eyes and thought processes. In order to be given our dues, we need to crack into that prejudice.

    Interestingly, no one on the internet has answered this sort of question directly. "Why are motorcycles unique?" "What makes motorcycling unique?" "what is unique about motorcycling" so either this is going to be a ground breaking first of a kind thread, or I'm a disillusioned passionate fool because motorcycling isn't unique afterall.

    Rapunzel, right on. :)
  20. Yes mate, understood. The same can be said of alot of activities that contain that same common ground. :)
    I was just introducing the dimensional angle as well!, since that seperates biking a little more from other things.