I remember restoring a tank from a Suzuki Intruder that got dented from a fall. Draped it with abrasives, putty, and degreaser. All in all, it was clear that the bike was facing some serious repairs. I was approached with a question:
– Why? Why are you going to restore it?
And then I realized that it’s hard to explain to someone far from loving a motorcycle why you spend a hell of a lot of time with a piece of iron in your hands.
Many people understand that a motorcycle is a choice, not a dire necessity. Here’s a car can be a forced decision – a riding horse to take the kids to school, yourself to work and a bunch of junk to the cottage on weekends.
Motorcycle out of despair may only choose people who live in places where the car is too difficult / expensive to get, and the motorcycle, if what their own forces to push out of the ruts or mud roads more realistic than a tightly stuck car.
So what makes people choose a motorcycle?
Economy and speed
Even though a good motorcycle costs as much as a car, it is often less expensive to maintain. There’s no arguing that everything is learned by comparison, and it depends on what to compare it to. Many people believe that motorcycling costs an unrealistic amount of money, but let’s be honest, in today’s world even hippies don’t live cheaply.
Bike is convenient in major cities by saving time in traffic jams, as well as the modest size, which makes it easy to find a parking space, even though some parking lots brazenly try to demand the same money for a motorcycle as for a car.
In the summer, it’s definitely faster and more fun to get around on a motorcycle. That’s why motorists often switch to two wheels in the summer.
PR and Public Opinion
– I won’t be like everyone else,” thought everyone who bought a motorcycle under the influence of pop culture.
Motorcyclists have their own unique role. There’s no getting away from it. Human stereotypes live on for a very long time. Thousands of people have made the decision to switch to a motorcycle because of the sound of someone’s mesmerizing exhaust, someone took a ride on the back seat or gave a ride. The enormous interest people have in the image of the motorcyclist brings both romantics and daredevils into the culture. Both are looking for fulfillment and happiness.
Public opinion constantly looks to motorcycle culture as the prankster who is always up to something, the young mischief-maker.
The image of the motorcyclist is widely advertised and recognized, many want to be involved, to be like “that guy” or “that girl.
The excitement and adrenaline.
Motorcycles are a controversial topic, because they are loved and feared for the nerve-racking realization of the dangerous consequences of possible accidents – like walking on a knife edge or thin ice. People are thrilled by the heightening of all senses while riding a motorcycle. Especially the “here and now” feeling. Ordinary mortals get tired of the boring life, ordinariness and regularity wash over their eyes. A motorcycle becomes a solution to a certain number of people’s problems, a pepper that spices up the world around them. Getting on a bike, everyone realizes the fatal error. Isn’t this trading on Forex market with big bets on huge capital?
The flip side of the medal lies in addiction. Adrenaline-addicted people, those who want to experience thrills. From time to time they look for themselves how to get a new burst of emotion, and sometimes they go too far.
Sense of detachment and unity
The second obvious contradiction of moto-life lies in a fine psychological line. All people on earth are united by loneliness, but everyone has his own personal life. Motorcycle enables a person to express his individuality, to feel himself a separate unit in the stream, but at the same time it enables a person to join to motorcycle culture, which is known to all, thanks to public opinion and PR.
A motorcyclist is like, or lone wolf, or a passionate follower of the club – so many people think when they come to the decision to buy a bike. This is evident in the way newcomers tend to join the company or vice versa, positioning themselves as a motorcyclist who is on their own.
It comes out that the motorcyclist is looking for freedom and self-sufficiency at the same time, but he wants to be part of a group.
Sports is a separate voluminous topic, because there are no casual people here. They come to motorcycling for self-development, for realization, with a desire to catch luck by the tail and a player’s excitement.
Travels and discoveries
The argument for buying a motorcycle is tourism on two wheels. The summer period is famous for a surge of both short and long distance trips. Not everyone likes the idea of traveling by car, the romance of the road on a bike appeals to many. If using a motorcycle is not on a race track or in the city for commuting, traveling is definitely at the top of the list of reasons to buy a motorcycle.
Some people see a motorcycle as just a piece of machinery, but for others it’s art. Any master customizer will tell you that creating a motorcycle is creativity. The motorcyclist expresses himself through tuning, through the way of life within the culture, even through the choice of equipment. One buys motorcycles not only to ride, but also for the love of history, mechanics, and art. If the motorcycle wasn’t about creativity, engineers and designers wouldn’t make it unique in form, in style. No one would get bogged down in the options of installing this or that part in a certain place. While some would rightly call it creating a competitive model, why can’t even that be considered creativity?
There were phases in the motorcycle industry in which a motorcycle had to ride under all sorts of incredible circumstances, without discounting beauty, in the early stages of production development. Over time, people began to beautify and elaborate them anyway, because the urge for creativity and beauty is as natural to man as it is contradictory.
People move to the motorcycle in search of change. Some people change their jobs, others change their social circle, while others decide to follow their dreams and buy a bike to fundamentally change their lives.
Owning a motorcycle means gaining certain skills. Pilots learn and improve their knowledge in motorcycle schools, sharing experiences with other bike owners. Having a motorcycle forces a person to get into the technical subtleties, as well as change psychologically. The main trump cards of motorcyclists – self-control and care. As confidence in themselves and their skills, riders increase the power of the bike or pass to another class of motorcycles, try motorcycling.
In any case, owning a bike makes you think more often about responsibility for your decisions, adequately perceive the dangers of a possible fall, and learn to control your body and mind so you don’t make stupid mistakes.
The most important reason that the above boils down to is pleasure. Bike owners genuinely love what they do, which is why they look forward to the start of the season every year, if not finish it altogether. The pleasure one gets from riding a motorcycle, makes a pilot improve his skills, work on himself. The pleasure of discovery and travel, makes him plan more and more new routes, share his findings. The pleasure of self-fulfillment in motorcycling or motorcycle culture, the joy of communicating with like-minded people, all this is worth getting into life on two wheels.
Separately, I’d like to recommend a worthy documentary that answers the question: why do we ride motorcycles? The 2013 “Why We Ride” vividly tells the stories of very different people, showing the multifaceted nature of their love of motorcycles.