Murphy’s Law for Motorcycles

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It’s said that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Known as Murphy’s Law it definitely applies to motorcycles and riding too. Here are some of RideApart’s list of the things that you hope will never happen on a motorcycle but somehow you know that they always will.

Murphy’s Law – Clause 1: It’s a fact of life that a motorcycle cannot fall over without an audience. The odds of a motorcycle falling over are directly proportional to the number of people watching and the rider’s ego. If the motorcycle is new and expensive then the chances of this happening are even greater.

There is a sub-clause to this; the chances of your helmet dropping to the concrete or asphalt is directly linked to how new it is and how much you paid for it.

Murphy’s Law – Clause 2: You’ve just ridden through a thunderstorm. The rain was so heavy that you had to pull over to find somewhere to sit it out. Finally the sun has come out and you and your gear are now dry so you can set off. Five miles down the road it starts to rain again.

There is a sub-clause to this section too; the chances of you riding in the rain is directly related to how accessible your gear is, or if you have remembered to bring it with you in the first place.

Murphy’s Law – Clause 3: If you run out of fuel it doesn’t matter which direction you push your bike, the nearest gas station will always be uphill and in the opposite direction. The odds are increased that all nearby gas stations are closed.

Murphy’s Law – Clause 4: The battery on your bike will die at the exact same time as something else breaks leading you to think for the next two weeks that the two things are somehow connected.

Murphy’s Law – Clause 5: Nothing on this planet is harder to start than a used motorcycle being shown to prospective buyer. This is despite the bike firing up and running like a dream five minutes before the potential purchaser arrived.

Read More – Page 2 >>

  • Kosta Chachanidze

    Murphy’s Law – Clause 5: try starting my bike :D :D :D

  • Justin McClintock

    Murphy’s Law – Clause 11: If somebody can turn in front of you, and you prepare for it, they probably won’t. If they can turn in front of you and you assume they’re not that stupid….they will.

  • Lee Scuppers

    If even half of what could go wrong, did, I’d be dividing my time between intensive care and physical therapy. Or just drooling through a tube.

    Maybe stupid people get more lenient treatment on that one.

    Except the damn battery was dead this morning and I had to drive to work.

  • PracticalBatman

    Why is this broken into two pages?

  • Ben Barbeau

    Murphy’s Law – Clause 12: When RideApart makes a story 2 pages, page two has 50%+ chance it will fail to load

  • Flaks redder også liv
  • markbvt

    Sub-sub clause to Clause 2: If the weather looks threatening and you stop to put on your rain gear, it won’t rain. If you don’t, it will come down in torrents.

    • _dc

      Perfect sub-sub clause, this very thing happened to me today. Started to rain? No problem I’ll pull over and put on the rain gear? Rest of the ride? Not raining.

  • Chris S

    Murphy’s Law — The colder it is, the more tightly bundled with every snap and zipper closed you are in your textile suit. This amount of bundling is directly proportional to the odds a stinging insect will find it’s way into said air-sealed suit.

  • CruisingTroll

    Murphy jr – When you drop a glove while gearing up at the bike, it will always land on the other side of the bike.

    • Jason 1199


    • s1102879

      …and, if you’re like me, you will burn your arm on the exhaust while reaching to get said glove.

    • Mike Hasel

      or.. if you are pulled over at the summit, the glove will be caught by the wind, blown over the guard-rail, and down the embankment 60ft… (don’t ask me how I know! :) )

      • CruisingTroll

        Man, what’d you do to Murphy Jr, piss in his Lucky Charms??

    • bossross

      true story

  • runnermatt

    In addition to Murphy’s Law – Clause 6: You will NOT get a flat until you buy a tire repair kit and then it will be when you forget to carry it or before it you get it.

    Maybe that is the reason I haven’t bought one yet. Of course, I probably just jinxed myself.

  • E Brown

    Clause 2 is the one I get. If I think “Keep riding, it’ll let up” it will rain into next week. If I think “Man, what a downpour – I’ll pull into a coffee shop and wait it out!” the rain will stop before my order is ready. :)

  • Stuki

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the one about never crashing at speed while wearing ATGATT, but after 5 minuts in jacket and jeans………….

  • minnjohn.advrider

    A note on dropped helmets — other than scratching a nice finish, it does not ruin a helmet, since there is no mass exerting force on the impact absorbing polystyrene. It’s an old moto-wives tale, and think about it — if true, the helmet would have little value in the event of a crash. But the Law still applies — the more expensive the helmet, the better the finish, the nicer the face shield, the more likely it is to get scuffed and scarred the first time you set it down — or drop it.

  • Piglet2010

    The needle on your tachometer will fall off when you go to take a cover picture for an article.

    • _dc

      LOL! Good eye…

  • Jason 1199

    Happened to me today. Last ride for the panigale before winter storage. Day off work, dry, sunny, had my stabil rdy to add prior to the last tank of gas. 1 mile from my house on the highway it decides it’ll no longer shift past 2nd gear and had to limp it to the dealership. I’m sure it’ll be fixed in time for November rainfall and an expired insurance/licence plate. Fml

  • BillW

    If you’re riding with a group, and after coming out of the lunch stop restaurant you’re the last one to get all his gear on, your bike key WILL still be in an inside pocket under all your gear.

  • Theodore P Smart

    When I’ve sold bikes in the past I grab and hold the exhaust manifold or muffler to show the prospective buyer it’s a cold start.

  • Mr.Paynter

    Almost all of these!

    #5 most recently! Selling my beater old SR 250.

    Before the first guy saw it, I took it on it’s first ride in weeks, to the nearest gas station and topped up the tyre pressure, and then as I pull back in to my garage I have a flat and the valve has spat all of it’s internals out. Before the 2nd guy saw it I started it and ran it to warm it up (it was cold and rainy and takes a bit of trickery), and then it ran out of gas. Luckily the reserve ticked it over til he paid and left.

  • ThinkingInImages

    One of my favorites: You will inevitably find a gem of a country road with no traffic, beautiful scenery, excellent sweepers – and a skunk.

  • Charles Quinn

    Clause 1a: The time your motorcycle is most likely to stall at a stoplight or junction is approximately 0.5 seconds after making eye contact with an attractive stranger.

    • bossross

      so true

  • Brett Lewis

    Clause 1; An improperly parked bike can roll off it’s kickstand all by itself. Whether or not it makes a sound when it falls I do not know.

  • MadMax MotoVlog

    The chance of your bike finding a false neutral, making the loudest noise in existence at 30mph, is directly related to the amount of spectators or whether a police car is right behind you.

  • IRS4

    Clause 11 : A helmet left on the seat is irresistible to gravity.

  • Jeremy Ball

    Murhy’s Law Clause 13: As soon as you trust your domestic cruiser to not leak, it will.
    Murhy’s Law Clause 14: Any chrome accessories will attract road grime proportionate to the quality of the finish. This will take twice as long to remove, as it was to apply.