Stereotypes are often based on aspects of reality. How far does reality go, however? How far can we take stereotypes? After all, nobody likes to be painted with one huge brush. Motorcyclists are no different – we are certainly susceptible to biker stereotypes, but we hardly speak for each other. Let’s have a look at a few things that non-motorcycle folk may think are true about motorcyclists…but seriously aren’t.
We Wear Leather to Look Cool
Protective gear is a tricky subject because there are so many different kinds, and so many different motorcyclists who have their own interpretation of what acceptable safety gear is. In some cases, motorcycle gear can be a stylistic choice to a small extent – full adventure gear may look a little out of place on a cafe racer. Plus, when you consider that there are some places on earth where the helmet itself is optional, it’s easy to see why people may think we don’t take it seriously. However, many of us take protective gear very seriously. We know what it can do for us and are acutely aware of the potential (and painful) consequences if we don’t wear it. Some people just aren’t too bothered by the consequences. Believe us when we say that most of us really do prefer to protect ourselves. That our gear just happens to look really darn awesome is purely a fringe benefit.
We’re All a Bunch of Stunt Hooligans
We need to be honest here: a lot of us have enjoyed the odd wheelie, stoppie or burnout here and there. They are a lot of fun if/when we can manage to indulge without running afoul of the law…and that’s the key. Sure, there are those who have no qualms about making their hoonage as public as possible and running away in order to keep their licenses intact. On the other hand, some prefer to keep it on the down low, and others choose not to partake in such tomfoolery in the first place. Many motorcyclists keep ‘em both on the floor for the entirety of their motorcycling lives, which is perfectly fine. In fact, it’s the safest route. Stunting is risky in terms of legality, injury, and damage to equipment. For many of us, the risks are not worth it.
We All Have Motovlogs on YouTube
These days, it seems as if everyone with a motorcycle invariably equips their helmet with a GoPro camera or something similar. There’s probably a way to count all the motovlogs on YouTube…but if you’d like to undertake that project, then knock yourself out. That being said, there is a definite appeal to motovlogging, be it journalistic, motorcylistic, or just for the sake of good, plain old fun. It does, however, take some time, planning, and commitment. To those who have all that for motovlogging, you carry right on. Russian dash cam videos get tiring after a while, right? It’s nice to have something refreshing and entertaining (that doesn’t necessary involve imminent carnage). The general public should take note, though: the rest of us are happy enough to putter along without sharing it on the Internet. Our rides are our own.
Bikers Hate Cars
Okay, so…out on the road, cars can be a bit of a problem. It’s not really the cars, though – it’s the folks behind the wheel. They make cars dangerous, not only to each other, but most certainly to motorcycles and those who ride them. So, if we seem a little bent out of shape and throw out the word “cage” every once in a while, you’ll have to excuse us. Honestly, many of us like cars as well. Before most of us were old enough/far enough from the nest to give motorcycles a thought without a swift parental veto, we grew up with Matchbox or Hot Wheels models and maybe even had a Lamborghini poster up on the wall at some point. We enjoy wheels and engines in multiple configurations, and for the most part, being motorcycle riders makes us better car drivers because of our increased understanding of risks, space management and vehicle control. So remember that some of us do like cars. What we really hate is that too many people are incapable of using them properly.
We’re All Road-Ragey Barbarians
As mentioned above, certain things that happen on the road can really get under our skin. That’s because not only are we more vulnerable than those who drive cars, but we understand that vulnerability more. Embarrassingly, many motorcyclists do let their attitude get the better of them, sometimes with catastrophic results. For the rest of us, though, we’re just thankful to come out of a hairy situation intact and we have no desire to jump off our bikes, kick your car, try to smash your windows or pull you out and beat the tar out of you. Rage has no place on a motorcycle because it can be detrimental to everyone. As is the case with most things enjoyed by a huge set of people, respectable motorcyclists do not appreciate those who make them all look bad. Not one bit.
Everyone Who Rides a Motorcycle has a Death Wish
There’s no denying that motorcycles are dangerous. It may seem preposterous for people to willingly put their lives in danger. Unfortunately, that willingness to accept that certain element of danger isn’t so easy to explain. You can either deal with it, or you can’t. That doesn’t mean we don’t care. It means that we understand what we’re dealing with, but we want to partake in a pastime that gives us so much in return for/despite that very obvious risk. It’s easy for many to think that motorcyclists have little regard for life or safety, but the bottom line is this: we ride to be alive. If you don’t get that, then you probably don’t need to.
Do you have any other biker stereotypes that can be added to this list? Let us know down below!