Why Ride a Motorcycle

Why ride a motorcycle? Riding is something most people don’t have to do, but rather feel compelled to–for a wide variety of reasons ranging from passion to practicality.

One of the most distinct things about riding is that nothing feels quite like a motorcycle; the thrill of being at one with a two-wheeled machine that weighs only a hundred and something kilograms is one of the purest ways to get from point A to B, and the risks involved sometimes even heighten that enjoyment. Perhaps Robert Pirsig said it best in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: “You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”

It may have taken record fuel prices to put motorcycles into the mainstream consciousness, but the fact that bikes can get more than double the fuel economy of cars makes them serious money savers, whether or not prices stay high.

With some bikes achieving 16-20 km per litre and some scooters pushing 30-40 km/l, it’s no wonder so many commuters choose to get to work on two wheels.

Laugh in the face of bulky SUVs forced to squeeze into tiny parking spots! Because most places of business have designated motorcycle parking, running errands on a bike is eminently easier than driving— and many parking lots allow bikes in for free.

If you’re a rider you know all about “the wave,” the pointed finger or wave of the hand that acknowledges another rider as he or she passes.

Motorcyclists often feel like they belong to a big community, and that sensation gives us something in common; we share a bond that sets us apart from the rest of the motoring world.

In spite of the fact that motorcyclists are a part of a big group, we also tend to be more individualistic than the next person. Whether that’s expressed through our personal style or the way we trick out our bikes, motorcycling can be an outlet through which we can reveal our personalities.

Whether or not you care about your carbon footprint, motorcycles are efficient forms of transportation that impact the environmental minimally. And even if you ride just for the thrill of it, there’s nothing wrong with being a little kind to Mother Nature every once in a while.

Chances are that a bike will get you to work sooner, and you’ll also arrive more exhilarated than you would have in a car.

This point is bittersweet; though it’s equalizing that a person riding a Hayabusa can keep pace with a Ferrari, it can also be enormously dangerous. So while motorcycles are performance bargains that offer more performance per Rand than virtually any other vehicle, it’s best to explore these limits on a track.

There’s something about motorcyclists, isn’t there? When a guy or a gal walks into a restaurant with a helmet under arm, they invariably radiate a sense of cool that just isn’t the same as rolling up in a car. Whether or not you’re looking for the Peter Fonda or Brad Pitt effect, motorcycles take you one step closer to cool.

What better way to escape than on a motorcycle? The sense of freedom feels more complete on two wheels, and riding doesn’t transport you to a destination; riding a motorcycle is the destination.

Hein Jonker

Founder of the Motorcycle Safety Institute of South Africa Editor in Chief of Bike Talk South Africa Chief Instructor of Bike Talk Motorcycle Rider Academy Motorcycle Safety & Skills Expert for Arrive Alive South Africa

You may also like...

%d bloggers like this: