9 Ways To Meet Other Motorcyclists

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9 Ways to Meet Other Motorcyclists

If you’re yearning to be transformed, or just want to expand your inner circle of riding pals, here are Nine ways to meet other motorcyclists.

1. Take your helmet with you. Everywhere.

Thanks to the explosion of moto-fashion in the hipster universe, you can’t rely on vintage t-shirts with logos from obscure, circa-60s Hollywood motorcycle clubs to spark a conversation with like-minded individuals anymore. Still, but few riders can resist the open invitation of a helmet dangling by it’s chinstrap from your fingers without blurting out, “nice helmet; whaddya ride?” The helmet under the arm is appropriate in any setting, and has the added bonus of automatically jettisoning you to the top of the-most-interesting-person-in-the-room list, no matter where you are. No single accessory under the sun packs this kind of swagger.

2. Find a twisty road, a sandwich shop, and wait. 

You won’t have to wait long. Plunk your helmet down on the table and order lunch. Another rider is likely to come straggling in before you’re ready for one of the homemade brownies by the cash register you’ve been eyeballing.  Something like Cafe Kevah at Nepenthe, Hwy 1, Big Sur, California. You’ve probably gone flying by it three or four times (either because you missed it tucked away in the redwoods on the cliff-side of the Pacific ocean, or you’re just having too much fun riding up and down this gorgeous strip of motorcycle bliss), but it’s the stuff legendary day-rides are made of.

3. Troll the beer tents at a NASCAR race.

Really. Most riders will check out any event where there’s motor oil and a checkered flag, but when it comes to America’s love affair with the smell of burnt rubber and weak beer, unwitting motorcyclists duped into attendance can be readily found at any given beer tent.

4. Go camping. Motorcycles + camping = ultimate freedom.

More and more riders are discovering the exhilaration that comes from touring on two wheels and not having to search for a motel room when your butt finally gives out on you in the middle of nowhere. Fellow riders will gravitate to your campfire like moths to a…well, you know.

5. Go to Italy.

This is a no-brainer. Literally everybody in that country rides motorcycles. Everybody. I’m talkin’ grandmas on scooters going to the bakery. Just like you can stumble around this country blindfolded and NOT find bad food, stand still and close your eyes within twenty yards of a paved road (cobblestones count) and you’re likely to hear the unmistakable rumble of a Ducati above a swarm of buzzing Vespas.

6. Open your laptop.

If going to Italy’s out of the question, riders in any corner of the world are only as far away as an a Wi-Fi connection. Google the phrase ‘how to meet other motorcycle riders’, and you’ll get 86,000,000 links to sites that will help you do just that. You’re likely to find a website that features smart, interesting articles written with unusually adroit wit and clever candor with a remarkably well-read, highly interactive readership. Jump into the comments section and away you go.

7. Learn some new tricks.

One of the best ways to meet new people is to take a class or attend a lecture on a topic that interests you. Check out the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (msf-usa.org) for all kinds of riding-related classes. If there’s a track in your area, check out it’s website for companies that provide track day instruction. Even local dealers provide classes and instruction. Into something more epic? World-class venues that offer instruction you’ll never forget and friendships you’ll forge forever include The Ducati Riding Experience (Europe), the BMW Performance Riding School* (South Carolina, USA), or the California Superbike School (everywhere).

8. Show up.

Motorcyclists are notorious for…(wait for it)…philanthropy.  Riding makes you feel good. Feeling good makes you want to make others feel good. Ergo, riders are always thinking of ways to do both at the same time. This usually takes the form of an organized ride. Sometimes there’s a t-shirt, sometimes there’s prizes, but always, you’ll meet fun and generally decent people. Even if you’re not into group rides, showing up for the pre and post ride events guarantee a good time. And probably a hot dog.

9.  Turn the key.

Really, the best way to meet other riders is to get out there and ride. Leave NASCAR behind, grab your helmet, synch your headset to some music, head out on a twisty road with a pup-tent and a toothbrush for a charity ride or a track day a hundred miles away. Or, go to Italy. When you get back, log on to your favorite, smart, savvy motorcycle website (the one with the highly-interactive readership) and tell us all about it.

Photo by: Hackaday

  • Dustin

    I’m so very confused on the NASCAR references twice in this article. Copy and paste from a car article, then insert key words like – helmet, motorcycle? Hate to nitpick, but HUH?

    • Andy Yun

      I agree about the NASCAR stuff, but all of the others were awesome. I particularly like the bit about the buzzing Vespas.

    • Dennis Hightower

      Snarky (but funny) … tricked into NASCAR… thus the beer tent….

      • CB

        Yeah, I thought that was the joke, too. I think people were just blinded with anger when they saw the word (acronym) NASCAR.

      • Heather McCoy

        You’re on pole, Dennis. The edges of my sarcasm were smoothed out a bit in the final edit, but yeah, this was a jab at the mind-numbingly boring phenommenon that is the National Association Stock Car…Zzzz…
        The second reference was in the summary (Dustin), which references every point in the article.
        Satire is a terrible thing to waste.

    • Piglet2010

      The correct spelling is “NA$CAR”.

  • Clint Keener

    How about a bike night? That’s how I met A TON of people when I moved to SoCal last year.

    And I would replace NASCAR with ALMS, MOTOGP, WERA, SUPERCROSS, ETC unless you like hanging out with drunks.

    • Jack Meoph

      yep, bike night. Most SoCal towns have a bike night at either a local Moto shop or *$’s. They usually meet on Wed. or Thurs. and set up rides for the weekend.

      And some shops have a bike night once a month during the summer. Cycle Gear has bike nights through out the summer, and they give stuff away (and sometime there’s free food, yeah!). So if you’re cheap and hungry, you may luck out.

    • Heather McCoy

      About that wasted satire…

      • Clint Keener

        I wasn’t mentally prepared for your high level of satire. sorry. I’m use to the low brow Onion and Daily Show / Colbert Report type. =P

  • Michael Howard

    I just Googled the phrase, “how to meet other motorcycle riders”, and got 1 hit (not including 3 ads). Just sayin’. ;)

    • Heather McCoy

      lol…I did not make that number up. 86k; I swear. Methinks your server is broke.

      • Michael Howard

        If you search for them as a group of individual words, yes, you get millions of (about 56,400,000) hits. If you put them within quotation marks and seach for them as a phrase, however…

  • Malandro

    I sometimes think this site is actually satirical.

    • Michael Howard

      It’s not always easy to tell.

      • Eric

        Like weather websites have become… “36ºF and cloudy… 10 ways to get greener thumbs!”

    • Heather McCoy

      Where is the freakin’ ‘like’ button on this thing?

    • Davidabl2

      You’d be right. Sometimes if not ALL the time.

  • Shea O’Connell

    Gonna test number 6 right here. Anybody from Scotland visit RideApart as compulsively as I do whilst waiting for any glimmer of sunshine?

    • Simon Borg

      Well, not Scotland, but Derbyshire, under leaden skies, freakish winds, and too much damn salt on the road. On this site pretty much every day, as it’s one of the best bike sites going.

      • Heather McCoy

        Shea and Simon, it’s 87 degrees, sunny, and dry as a bone here in Arizona. Just for you, I’m going for a ride, and when I get back, I’m throwin’ back a pint for each of you!

        • Shea O’Connell

          Cheers Heather, its 35 degrees and sunny here, I’m about to do the same, head off down the coast and find some coffee to bathe in!

  • JP

    6. Open your laptop:

    “You’re likely to find a website that features smart, interesting
    articles written with unusually adroit wit and clever candor with a
    remarkably well-read, highly interactive readership.”

    Forums are a great place to meet like-minded people:

    advrider.com
    bayarearidersforum.org (barf)

    • Davidabl2

      I am glad somebody else mentioned BARF besides me :-) I believe it’s generated some descendants in other parts of the country.
      Besides BARF’s fraternal twin, that is:
      http://www.southbayriders.com

  • Arin Macchione

    Go to a MX track. Whether you have a dirt bike or not, watching some amateurs rip around is pretty fun. Admission is usually pretty cheap and you’ll definitely meet some real motorcyclists. There are small tracks all over the place. If you’re bucks up, try out a supercross (currently in season) or MX national race.

  • Scott Otte

    I’m not sure I need to meet motorcyclists, but you made me want to go motorcycling camping even more…

  • Comic Chuck Ludwig

    Yeah, definitely be that guy that takes his helmet everywhere. People love him.

    • Zandit75

      Just don’t be the douche who walks around a shopping mall with his helmet perched up on top of his head like a…….I don’t know what! Looked ridiculous!

  • Geoff Bowen

    Use meetup.com. Pretty much every motorcycle group, informal gathering or full on MC is in there

  • Piglet2010

    How about an article called “9 Ways to Meet Other Non-Biker Motorcyclists”?

    • mms

      Maybe a list of coffee shops with motorcycle themes? ;)

  • Damian

    So last week I went to my kids [posh] school to attend a start-of-year open evening for parents and teachers. Arriving a bit late, I entered the packed auditorium donning my leathers and carrying my helmet. Shortly after, many hundreds of heads turned and stared right at me. The expressions from parents and faculty ranged from outright ‘what is that lout doing here’ vs. the odd ‘hmm, he looks kinda cool’.

    • eddi

      So, typical crowd yes?

    • Heather McCoy

      WAS THIS YOU?!

      • Damian

        Haha, wish it was. I’m more like your Papa Smurf variety.

    • Randy Singer

      [Laughing] My kids used to go to a private elementary school. I used to pick them up from school still in my suit and tie from work. One day there was an evening meeting for parents, and since I was going alone I rode my bike. I pulled up on my SV1000 and as I parked and pulled off my gear the principal came running out and she said excitedly: “This isn’t you!” gesturing at me and my bike. I said, “Yes, this is me. You just usually don’t see this me.” She looked at me and my bike for a couple of minutes trying to wrap her head around it, and then finally said: “Will you take me for a ride sometime?” I said “Of course!”

      I imagine that whole interaction might have gone quite a bit differently if the folks at the school didn’t already know me some and/or if I were wearing a black leather jacket and a half helmet instead of a bright red Joe Rocket Jacket and a full face helmet and associated gear. There are several different ways to dress for success.

      It was also nice that another parent soon thereafter showed up on a full dress Harley. I guess that the moral of the story is that if you go places on your scoot that you will meet others who will also arrive on their bikes, and you will get non-riders interested in motorcycles by setting a good example.

    • Charles Quinn

      I got a similar reaction but from far fewer people when I rolled up at a nearby Chinese Buddhist temple the other day and asked to enrol in classes …

  • ThinkingInImages

    Satire, maybe irony. Whatever it is there’s a lot of truth mixed with a wicked.sense.of humour. Other than going to a track event, or a dealership, I meet very few other riders around here (in NYC).

    • Heather McCoy

      “Wicked. Sense. Of humor” I want that on my tombstone.
      PS–I went to grad school in NYC!

  • Lourens Smak

    Overhere in NL we have this: http://www.motormaatje.nl (riding-buddy dot nl). A “local” version of this could maybe be a great addition to RA…

    You can’t see much of what it does without logging in, and it’s in Dutch, so here’s the breakdown: You register and make a profile (name, city, bike, that’s about it). You can then create a ride and post it (incl. date, number of people, gps-files for download, touring, offorad, or fast, etc) or you could just browse rides and join… show up at the meeting point for the start, and have fun. There’s an active forum too with pre-ride chat, after-ride chat, pictures, and so on. Very popular… I don’t always like to ride in a group myself but it’s nice for touring in area’s further away, which basically means being on the bike the whole day… then it’s much better to have coffe, lunch with a (small) group. As a bonus the site slowly becomes a massive library of GPS files (800 currently) which together with the “after” forum topic for the ride, is very valuable also for touring alone.

    There also seem to be many people who want to tour the Alps (or something like that) but their regular riding buddy doesn’t have money/isn’t allowed by the wife/has to work etc. and the site is also used for that… it’s easy to find someone who wants to tag along, and also to meet beforehand on a 1-day ride. In the summer time there are many 1-week or 2-week trips posted, by people who want to ride far, but not alone.

    Somebody should make something like this for California. (I can probably connect people interested in that with MM’s owner, no need to reinvent the wheel.)

  • Nemosufu Namecheck

    It would be great if there was a WEB SITE that had riders reviewing bikes, being clever, and giving riders a way to meet other people all under the same roof. Don’t know what you would call it though. Ride….something. I’ll get back to you.

    • Heather McCoy

      You just went to the head of the class, my friend!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.chittenden.7 Jeremy Chittenden

    Lived in Sicily for 3 years, not lying everyone rides there….. The carabinieri stoped to ask me about my Gsxr street fighter many times.

  • CB

    One of the things I appreciate about other motorcyclists is that, not only is it easy to make friends, but they also seem to be happy to leave you alone. I think a lot of people, like me, get into Motorcycling because it’s a fun solo sport. I like my alone time, and so do most other motorcyclists I meet. We say hello at the café, look at each other’s bikes, then part ways. I will now wave and say hello every time I see them, but that’s the extent of my social obligation. Perfect.

    • luxlamf

      This is why people with intercom systems on their helmets really confuse me as I prefer to be left alone as you state above. Stop and talk to a few people with interesting bikes etc.. and on my way.

      • CB

        I like the idea of an intercom if I’m riding a long distance with someone specific, but otherwise we can just talk when we get there.

  • Davidabl2

    For way #10 could we have Mr. Watson investigate joining a 3-patch aka 1% club? (heh,heh)

    Kidding aside, he did have an article some time back about a 1% guy that’s an acquaintance of his

  • Eric Shay

    I’m afraid of people.

  • Slacker

    I dunno about carrying my helmet everywhere… I’ll only carry it if I’ve actually ridden. I feel like carrying it without the rest of my riding gear is a bit… Not right. That is, unless I put it on because my girlfriend is driving. That’s scary!

  • BostonRob

    I only carry my helmet with me when I’m single. When I’ve got a steady girlfriend, I just lock it to the bike.

  • Jay Stevens

    #10. Drive a Ural sidecar rig.

    My wife and I were at a local PetSmart when an old guy my age (I’m 67) came up on his Ural with a small dog in the sidecar. We chatted for a bit and I asked him about problems. He said his biggest problem was that errands take twice as long as when he is in his car.

  • luxlamf

    You should do an “Investigative” report on what happens when you go places on different brands/style of bikes and the people you meet. I can go to several different places and have completely different interactions with people depending on which of my 2 bikes I am on. Only the bikes change as I wear the same helmet jacket jeans etc… on both, no logos etc… and it’s interesting to say the least.

  • Peter Negru

    ……should have asked him what he rides, and then slap the everloving fuck out of him