10 Things They Never Told You About Becoming a Biker

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Category: HFL

6. You Become A Better Car Driver
Before you bought your bike, you were content to be a sheep. You’d complain, of course, other people’s driving was never as good as your own, but you were seemingly powerless to do anything about it. You just say stuck in the flow, merrily texting and tailgating away.

But now that you’ve ridden a bike? You’re suddenly hyper aware. Not just of the risks and the bad driving and that nasty pothole six corners ahead, requiring a specific line begun now to avoid, but of the utter ridiculousness of it all. That guy in the $100,000 Porsche? What a poseur, that thing is slow. That guy driving the eight-passenger SUV all by himself? How unnecessary. All these thousands of people sitting in a traffic jam? That’s it, this car’s going on Craigslist.

7. Waving Etiquette
Visit any forum and you’ll find novel-length screeds on the rights and wrongs of whome you should acknowledge while out on your motorcycle, and how. Should you wave at people on scooters? Will that thug on the sportsbike come chasing after you should you fail to salute? Do cruiser riders count?

You could spend every moment of your ride waving at anyone and everything, which is just mental. It’s probably best just to get on with the task in hand and ride your bike. Unless you see another riding unwittingly approaching a speeding trap, in which case it’s your sacred duty to tap the top of your helmet. Got that?

8. Working On Your Bike
Your new motorcycle likely came with an owner’s manual, full of specifications, technical drawing and suggestions on how to not end up with a worthless pile of parts stacked up in your driveway. You can see engine and all of the important bits and how hard can changing your oil be, anyways?

Take the time to read up about any work you want to do online, talk to knowledgeable friends and spend some money on acquiring the correct tools. And yeah, it’s not that hard.

There’s no obligation to take your bike to an authorized dealer and working on it yourself won’t invalidate your warranty, provided you don’t screw it up. If you don’t, you’ll end up with an enormous sense of accomplishment, along with fresh oil.

9. Your Bike Is Stronger Than You Think
Oh my god, you hit the rev limiter! Forgot to adjust the chain! Your tires are 2psi off! Relax. Your motorcycle is a lot tougher than you would think. It’s a highly capable feat of modern engineering and, part of its design process is devoted to making it stand up to your ham fisted abuses. Yes, you can take your bike on a trackday. Yes, you can take it on that weekend road trip. Yes, you can ride it fast and hard and put it away dirty. Your bike’s not going to melt in the rain.

10. The Boogers
Probably the least glamorous part of riding a motorcycle is the stuff that’s going to start coming out of your face. Live in a city? You’ll be inhaling so many carbon particulates that your nose will quickly clog up with black goo, then start leaking it down your face. Ride in the cold? Your nose will run the entire time. Kicking the snot off your upper lip will keep it from spreading across the rest of your face, then drying into a crusty mess. After every ride, you’ll blow your nose and it will come out black, brown, yellow and, if you’ve been riding anywhere dusty or around a nasty chemical plant, likely red too. You need to carry a hanky and you’ll need to wash that hanky every couple of days, because you will be using it, heavily.

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