Alright, so maybe motorcycles aren’t the safest modes of transportation. We all know the stigma surrounding these magnificent two-wheeled chariots. There are enough reasons to embrace the open road and forgo the fear that may condemn some to pass on one of life’s most rewarding experiences. So, let us explore the reasons we riders may seem to tempt fate.
Nothing compares to the sensation of tearing down a road at mindboggling speeds, hugging tight corners inches away from certain death or cruising your local strip with all eyes on you…NOTHING!! To attempt to put it into words, even for the most seasoned of writers will not do it justice. Trying to describe those vibrant endorphins running manic through your blood will ultimately be a futile effort. Riding can only be experience, never explained.
So don’t let the stigma stop you, people do plenty of risky things every day without regard for their safety and which do not provide the illustrious returns that riding does. People walk across busy intersections, drive cars, eat fast food, drink artificial sweeteners, smoke, have children (that will take years off your life), get married (also takes years off your life), etc. All these activities pose a risk to your safety but people do them anyway. So to say that the risks involved with riding are to great is to not understand that your life is already filled with risks that fall short of any measurable benefit.
Riders, for the most part, embrace the risk that accompanies the calling; they don’t shy away from it with the understanding that living life is not the same as simply being alive. See, there are certain ideals which give life that exuberance, the excitement which makes it all seem worthwhile. One of these sacred cows is liberation, the proverbial “oxygen of the soul”. The thrust for liberation is part of us, almost as if it were built into our DNA. Liberation is the reason tyrannical dictators fall, the reason nations build armies and the sweet nectar immigrants cross sometimes unimaginable distances to attain…and guess what: riders have liberation on tap!! That is exactly what ridding is at its very core: unadulterated liberation from the monotony that is everyday life
How unadulterated could it be you ask? Let me put it this way: how many things can you recall with absolute clarity regardless of time that has passed? I can recall every sensation I felt the first moments I took my old EX500 onto an actual road. The nerves and anxiety, the excitement and tingling in my extremities, the smell of the freshly laid asphalt with a sweet hint of honeysuckle from the trees lining the road. Gripping the handles bars and turning the throttle to hear the roaring growl of my muzzy exhaust foolishly laced onto the stock headers of a v-twin. It was the one moment in time which for me stands still, encapsulated in a crystal clear vase cemented deep within the recesses of my mind.
But Aside from the personal gratification, there are the practical reasons to get skinny and lose two wheels. If you look at the facts, motorcycles are superior to other forms of transportation in almost every way. Motorcycles use much less fuel than cars to travel similar distances which in turn creates less pollution. The less population one creates, the more clean air the rest of us have to breathe. So in essence, riding a motorcycle is not only personally gratifying, it’s a public service.
Motorcycles also take up less space and create less congestion than do their 4-wheel counter parts. So you ask? Well, try driving your car through SOHO sometime, or route 17 in northern New Jersey. Better yet, try merging onto the 405 in LA or I-35E in Dallas and then come back and talk to me. It is astonishing how quickly these super-highways become parking lots because of all the wonderful 4-wheelers trying to occupy every available square inch.
Now for me to address performance disparities, you’ll have to stop drinking whatever beverage you have because if you don’t, it’s going to be coming out of your nose. You would have to spend 6 figures and up on a high end supercar to match even the smaller CC super sports, which are usually offered at around 10K. Even cruisers, which generally aren’t viewed as rockets could outperform most lower-end sports cars with relative ease. There just isn’t much comparison when examining the cost/performance ratios. If you happen to encounter someone who would argue differently, simply point and laugh.
The final point I would like to make before you forward this article to a non-believer, is one based in morality. I believe we have an obligation to ourselves to live while we can. This is not an obligation any of us should take lightly, since it’s human nature to doubt that our time could be running short. We have to live to the fullest while we have the now; because there is no guarantee that the later will ever come. Riding is worth the inherent risks that come along with it, and over 6 million Americans would agree with that. To all those who have yet to do so, kick fear aside, get a badass helmet and prepare to experience that which must be experienced.