Like a lot of people, you may have always been drawn to the potent romanticism surrounding motorcycles. The thought of cruising down a winding rural road, feeling every little contour and hearing the roar of the wind, is attractive for obvious reasons. Although bikes can certainly be very fun, some people rush into the decision of buying one without really thinking it through. Here are a few things everyone should know about owning a motorcycle.
One of the most little-known things about owning a motorcycle is that you’re going to have a lot of brushes with spiders. This is a phenomenon that I don’t quite understand, but it’s very real and something you should think about before buying a bike. Due to necessity, a lot of bikers have to keep their motorcycles outside, under minimal shelter. This means that the vehicle will be exposed to all the elements, including the mass of spiders who will see your bike as a great place to shack up. Like most people, I find spiders pretty revolting, but not so much that it stops me from giving my bike a quick dusting for cobwebs and egg sacs that build up overnight. However, if you’ve got a serious arachnophobia problem, then this never-ending battle may not be worth it!
The next thing you should know is that you’ll join a club, whether you like it or not. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean your local one-percenters are going to turn up at your door for a brutal initiation ritual. However, owning a motorcycle is a lifestyle choice, and by getting one you’ll automatically enrol in a select clique. Every time you park your bike next to another, there’s a fair chance that someone will be around to tell you their complete history as a rider. This can be awesome sometimes, but not when you’re in a rush to get somewhere. This also takes the form of other bikers giving you a wave as they pass you by, right when you’re in the middle of shifting gears. You’re also going to get looped into various factions and debates. Seasoned riders hate newbies, cruiser riders hate sport riders and vice versa. Harley riders hate everyone, including other Harley riders!
Finally, you’re running a big risk. This is a subject that’s been talked about countless times, like in his feature at Biker Basics. However, it’s still a very important point which you need to take on board. After your first few times on the road, you’ll quickly find out that you’re invisible to a lot of motorists. Believe it or not, the biggest cause of motorcyclist deaths is car drivers taking a regular left-hand turn into their lane. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and motorists pull all kinds of dangerous moves which will come close to getting you killed. Even if you had the roads all to yourself, riding is inherently dangerous. Cars are full of safety features, and you’re surrounded by a solid metal case. If you have a collision on a bike, it’s just you, your protective gear and the world.