May 31, 2016, MotoGarage
Motorcyclists pick up riding for different reasons and MotoGarage identified 14 reasons which definitely would relate to our reasons to ride. Do you agree with these?
Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing. For many bikers riding a motorcycle is not a hobby or need, it’s Passion. All they want in life is to travel to every corner of the world on their motorcycle. There is a deep fire in their belly for riding which will make them achieve impossible miles, paths & terrains. Bikers will not mind devoting a good amount of time and income for their motorcycles. In the hierarchy of needs, for them it’s motorcycling that stays on the top. Passion when turned into profession gives birth to champions like Joey Dunlop, John McGuinness, Giacomo Agostini, Valentino Rossi, Stephane Peterhansel, C.S. Santosh and several other world class champions. Such passion influence billions around the world creating impressions of a lifetime.
Riding a motorcycle gives you a sense of freedom. You are in total control of the moment, you are not just riding, you are flying and there are no set limits to stop you. You can travel to any place with complete freedom. It lets you be you without anyone’s permission. Just like a kid who was always restricted to his space but as soon as he gets on his bicycle, it’s the moment of freedom, he now breaks those chains and flies through the street on his bicycle with the widest smile on his face. It might sound like a cliche but it’s true, when on your bike you experience the open air with the wind brushing through your face, all the colors around is vivid and vibrant. The sound of the motor and the vibration which you feel. The obscured view going on around you. It’s an embracement of senses and acts as oxygen to your soul. We just love it, the sheer enjoyment of being on a motorcycle.
For most of the riders its speed and thrill that keeps them on their motorcycles. Motorcycles are legal drugs that make you high and take you into a transcendent state of nirvana. The high of power and the acceleration they get at the flick of their wrist is something that they look for and can’t keep themselves away from. The thrill of clocking high speeds on their odo after hitting the rev limiter beyond its limit on each shift is something they are addicted to, which gives the best adrenalin rush a motorcyclist can ever ask for. It’s a good addiction and a good high provided they ride on safe paths or tracks with all the protective gears on.
Motorcycling is one thing that keeps friends together and it will till the end of times. Everybody taking out time from their schedule and then going out for a ride is something that you will see only in the motorcycling community. The bond of friendship grows deeper when it is associated to a motorcycle. Be it a breakfast ride, a night ride or a long road trip, they are always up for it.
You will meet some of the nicest people on your rides. When you ride a motorcycle you always wave to each other even when you don’t know each other which is not something car drivers do. No matter which motorcycle you are riding nor does it matter from which part of the country you belong, there is always the bond of brotherhood that gets motorcyclist together. They are always there to help each other at any point of time. It makes you less introvert as it is the best way to socialize and know new people during two-wheeled events, including bike shows, rallies and other rider get togethers.
#6 STRESS BUSTER
Have you ever seen a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist’s clinic? We are pretty sure the answer you will have is No, because riding a motorcycle takes away all the tension and stress, like you have rebooted your system. Riding a motorcycle brings a sense of calm and ease to your mind and body, which could be achieved otherwise only through meditation.Also, many riders refer to their bike as their therapist, as motorcycles make you feel energised and refreshed after each ride. It is a therapy, a way of life that helps bind love for a couple riding together. It lets you have your own space while getting time to forget everything that has been bothering you.
#7 WHEELS OF GOD
Open your map, choose a destination, pack your bags and there you go. No matter what destination you choose, motorcycles are ready to take you there. Into the jungle, over the mountains, between the woods, across the river or beneath the caves, motorcyclists love the solitude and freshness these places give to them. Motorcyclist will research intensively on such places and head towards the destination no matter how tough the road is. Travelling to known places do not interest them, they would prefer over landing where the goal of the ride is the journey itself.
#8 IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH
As already stated, it’s a true fact that you never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist’s clinic. A riders brain is stimulated and becomes more active while riding a Motorcycle. Riding on your motorcycle daily definitely has positive effects on mental and emotional health, it helps you with stress reduction,it helps you get out of depression and to flush out all your worries. It surely proves to be the best antidepressant in the world which blows the cobwebs from your mind. Bikes are magical that they can turn tragedy into triumph.
#9 IMPROVES PHYSICAL HEALTH
There is no age bar to ride your motorcycle. We have seen Motorcyclist who say, “82 years old. Ride every day, depending on the weather. Only medication, one baby aspirin a day. No health issues” and they still aspire to ride for another 100 years, which surely is a source of inspiration to us. People suffering from different physical injuries forget their pain when they are riding. All of the activities involved in steering a bike, moving it at slow speeds, etc., serve to strengthen muscles in the abdomen and also helps you with, healthier, stronger knees and thighs. You burn calories while setting up things before a ride or while pampering your motorcycle with a wash. It requires effort while riding to maintain balance, shift, brake, control the clutch, battle headwinds, etc. which ultimately burns a lot of calories and also strengthens those muscles.
All of you would agree to the fact that, Motorcycles are fun to ride. There is a lot of entertainment filled within it that awaits you to get it out. You can pull those amazing wheelies or stoppies by just playing with the throttle. It can make you fly in the air on those humps or make your kiss the road on those curves. Motocycles gets the best out of you by making you an ape while performing the ape hanger or by making you an acrobat while performing the Hyperskin, Switchback. Christ or De activator. We all know that smoking is injurious to health but not when it is coming out of a burn out, which gets us to the fact that, no biking event is complete without the smoky burnout.
#11 EASY PEASY
Environmentalists choose bicycles over motorcycles and motorcycles over cars. They do believe that the motorcycles cause lesser harm to the environment in terms of pollution and traffic. Over these are the bikers who didn’t choose motorcycle but motorcycle chose them, meaning, motorcycle is their last resort for transportation. With the city’s hustle and bustle, opting for a motorcycle for travelling comes in handy helping you to cut through any packed traffic with ease, saving time and money. For these riders going on long ride doesn’t amuse much and such thoughts wouldn’t cross their mind. They are very happy with their bike which gives them the convenience to maneuver in the city, better parking options and low maintenance cost.
#12 CHICKS DIG BIKES
The pull on the throttle is directly proportional to how hot a chick is — this is a generic approach of most of the motorcyclists, who would rev hard when they see a chick digging at their motorcycle. Chicks don’t care who hides under the leather suit, but they sure do dig motorcycles. They might complain about motorcyclists who behave as hooligans, but deep down they would admire a motorcycle when it passes by, in fact, chicks find motorcyclists hot. It definitely inspires many girls to ride motorcycles and we do want to see an increase in the number of lady riders, so go ahead and be that source of inspiration.
#13 MR. COOL
Let’s face it, bikes are super cool and hot at the same time. Motorcycle between your legs increases your coolness factor by 10 times. With all the gears and armor on you definitely look cool but don’t make that as your purpose of motorcycling as there are some riders who take up motorcycles just to have these few seconds of coolness.
#14 TRUE LOVE
Have you ever noticed that the motorcyclists will always have a gender to their bike? Guys will refer to their machine as “She” and lady riders refer to their bike as “He”. It’s because the relationship between a bike and its owners is not about ownership but about love. Motorcyclist get committed into a serious relationship with their motorcycle and it so happens that the motorcyclist would choose a motorcycle over their lover. There is a romance between them, with all the selfies that they take with the bike and update statuses on social media every now and then. So think twice before asking a motorcyclist to stop riding his bike! We have warned you.
10 Motorcycle safety tips for new riders
Motorcycles are fun and fuel efficient. That’s not news to anyone who’s ridden one. But neither is the fact that they’re also way more dangerous than a car. The cold reality is that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than people in a car, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). And nearly half of all motorcycle deaths are the result of single-vehicle crashes.
The numbers are even scarier for older riders, who are increasingly taking up or returning to motorcycling after many years. Because of slower reflexes, weaker eyesight, more brittle bones, and other disadvantages, riders over 60 years old are three times more likely to be hospitalized after a crash than younger ones.
Still, many enthusiasts enjoy a lifetime of riding without injury. The key to optimizing your odds is to be prepared and avoid risks. Keep in mind that 48 percent of fatalities in 2010 involved speeding, according to the IIHS, and alcohol was a factor in 42 percent. Eliminate those factors and you’ve dramatically reduced your risk.
Below are some more tips to help you stay safe on two wheels. Learn more in our motorcycle hub, buying guide, and in our reliability and owner satisfaction report.
Don’t buy more bike than you can handle. If you’ve been off of motorcycles for awhile, you may be surprised by the performance of today’s bikes. Even models with small-displacement engines are notably faster and more powerful than they were 10 or 20 years ago.
When shopping for a bike, start with one that fits you. When seated, you should easily be able to rest both feet flat on the ground without having to be on tiptoes. Handlebars and controls should be within easy reach. Choose a model that’s easy for you to get on and off the center stand; if it feels too heavy, it probably is. A smaller model with a 250- to 300-cc engine can make a great starter or commuter bike. If you plan on doing a lot of highway riding, you might want one with an engine in the 500- to 750-cc range so you can easily keep up with traffic. (Before buying, see our report on motorcycle reliability and owner satisfaction.)
Invest in antilock brakes. Now available on a wide array of models, antilock brakes are a proven lifesaver. IIHS data shows that motorcycles equipped with ABS brakes were 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than bikes without it. “No matter what kind of rider you are, ABS can brake better than you,” says Bruce Biondo of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Motorcycle Safety Program.
The reason is simple: Locking up the brakes in a panic stop robs the rider of any steering control. That can easily lead to a skid and crash, which can result in serious injury. ABS helps you retain steering control during an emergency stop, and it can be especially valuable in slippery conditions.
This critical feature is now standard on many high-end models and adds only a few hundred dollars to the price of more basic bikes. You may be able to offset some of the cost with an insurance discount. Either way, we think it’s a worthwhile investment in your safety.
Hone your skills. As Honda’s Jon Seidel puts it, “There is nothing we could say or advise more than to go find a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) riding course in your area. That’s critical, absolutely critical.” An MSF course or similar class can teach you the basics, as well as advanced techniques, such as how to perform evasive emergency maneuvers. The cost ranges from free to about $350. An approved safety course may make you eligible for an insurance discount and, in some states, to skip the road-test and/or the written test part of the licensing process. Some motorcycle manufacturers offer a credit toward the cost of a new motorcycle or training if a rider signs up for an MSF course. The MSF website lists about 2,700 locations for such courses around the United States. “It is absolute insanity to repeal helmet laws," says Orly Avitzur, M.D., a Consumer Reports medical adviser.
Use your head. Yes, helmets are an emotional topic for some riders. But the facts show the risk. Riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries, than those with helmets, according to government studies.
When Texas and Arkansas repealed their helmet laws, they saw a 31- and 21-percent increase in motorcycle fatalities, respectively. “It is absolute insanity to repeal helmet laws,” says Orly Avitzur, M.D., a neurologist and a Consumer Reports medical adviser. “Because helmets do save lives, it is insanity to expose the skull and the brain to potential trauma that could be prevented or at least mitigated.”
A full-face helmet that’s approved by the Department of Transportation is the best choice. (Look for a DOT certification sticker on the helmet.) Modern helmets are strong, light weight, and comfortable, and they cut down on wind noise and fatigue. Keep in mind that helmets deteriorate over time, and may not be safe even if they look fine. The Snell Memorial Foundation, an independent helmet testing and standards-setting organization, recommends replacing a helmet every five years, or sooner if it's been damaged or has been in a crash. Beyond potential deterioration due to aging and exposure to hair oils and chemicals, Snell points out that there is often a notable improvement over that time in helmet design and materials.
Wear the right gear. Jeans, a T-shirt, and sandals are recipes for a painful disaster on a bike. Instead, you want gear that will protect you from wind chill, flying bugs and debris, and, yes, lots of road rash if you should slide out. For maximum protection, go for a leather or other reinforced jacket, gloves, full pants, and over-the-ankle footwear, even in summer. Specially designed jackets with rugged padding and breathable mesh material provide protection as well as ventilation for riding in warm weather. You’ll also want effective eye protection; don’t rely on eyeglasses or a bike’s windscreen. Use a helmet visor or goggles. And keep in mind that car drivers who have hit a motorcycle rider often say they just didn't see them, so choose gear in bright colors.
Be defensive. A recent study by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research found that in collisions involving a motorcycle and a car, car drivers were at fault 60 percent of the time. So, you need to be extra alert, especially in this age of epidemic phone use and texting behind the wheel. Keep an eye out for cars suddenly changing lanes or pulling out from side streets. And don’t tailgate; keeping a safe following distance is critical, both to ensure you have enough stopping distance and so you have time to react to obstacles in the road. An object that a car might easily straddle could be a serious hazard when on a bike.
Avoid bad weather. Slippery conditions reduce your margin for error. Rain not only cuts your visibility but reduces your tires’ grip on the road, which can make cornering tricky. If you need to ride in the rain, remember that the most dangerous time is right after precipitation begins, as the water can cause oil residue to rise to the top. And avoid making sudden maneuvers. Be especially gentle with the brakes, throttle, and steering to avoid sliding. When riding in strong side winds, be proactive in anticipating the potential push from the side by moving to the side of the lane the wind is coming from. This will give you some leeway in the lane, should a gust nudge you.
Watch for road hazards. A motorcycle has less contact with the pavement than a car. Sand, wet leaves, or pebbles can cause a bike to slide unexpectedly, easily resulting in a spill. Bumps and potholes that you might barely notice in a car can pose serious danger when on a bike. If you can’t avoid them, slow down as much as possible before encountering them, with minimal steering input. Railroad tracks and other hazards should be approached as close to a right angle as possible, to reduce the chances of a skid.
Be ready to roll. Before each ride, do a quick walk-around to make sure your lights, horn, and directional signals are working properly. Check the chain, belt, or shaft and the brakes. And inspect the tires for wear and make sure they’re set at the proper pressure. Motorcycle mechanics we’ve spoken with say they routinely see worn-out brakes and improperly inflated tires that greatly increase safety risks. When tires are under-inflated, “handling gets really hard, steering gets hard, and the bike doesn’t want to lean,” says Mike Franklin, owner of Mike’s Garage in Los Angles.