Ever since motorcycles became a commonplace and widespread choice of commuting, there has been unrivaled creativity in tuning them, new laws, criticism, and a good measure of myths mysteries surrounding their use. The motorcycle culture is possibly the least understood, least appreciated and most frowned upon among all transport forms with so many people having a negative attitude about it.
Regardless of how progressive a nation or its laws may be, the motorcycle culture somehow becomes a point of interest among the general public and law enforcers. Riders are seen as rowdy, rebellious, and a nuisance. The negative perception notwithstanding, motorcycle riders take great pride in their machines. Good motorbikes are not only a source of pride for owners but also provide income a source of livelihood through sales, spares, repairs tuning, and riding gear.
Motorcyclists are indeed daring and adventurers individuals. Whether they are riding a classic Harley-Davidson, a Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Ducati. BMW or any other well-known or little-known brand, the adrenaline rush that comes with trying out newly-acquired stunts is extraordinary. These gimmicks on the road have contributed to the growth of myths around the motorcycle culture.
In this post, we put together some common myths about motorcycles and also demystify them to shed more light on this culture in general.
Helmets Don’t Help; They Blur Vision
This myth is believed to have developed as opposition to governments’ directive on compulsory use of helmets. Those against these laws argue that helmets obscure vision and reduce the chances of a rider getting clear sounds on what’s happening on the road.
This argument is entirely wrong and holds no truth scientifically or practically. Helmets have been proven to be part of the most important protective gear for a rider. You will hear all sounds clearly from any direction when wearing a helmet. They don’t blur vision but rather increase the chances of protecting your skull in case of a crash. According to safetyroads.org, “helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent and reduce the risk of death by 42 percent.”
Younger Riders Are More Reckless And Prone To Accidents
There is no evidence supporting this claim, and nothing can be further from the truth. Both skilled and less experienced riders are at risk in case of a crash.
Whereas experienced riders may respond better to certain situations, they must always apply as much caution as inexperienced riders on the road. For any road user, learning is a continuous process, and every situation must be judged independently.
It’s Safer To Lay Down Your Bike In Case Of A Crash
The idea of “lay it down” refers to the situation where the rider deliberately lays his bike to one side. Sometimes it might be so extreme that the bike nearly touches the tarmac on the side of his body.
The misconception here is that in case of an accident, the rider can avoid crashing. This is absolutely untrue, although this technique has been passed over in riding classes and police rider training. It is outdated.
When an accident occurs, you barely have time to lay it down, and if you do, then you ought to have enough time to rescue yourself. The Manual observes that “by laying down your bike on its side, it becomes harder to stop, only doing so when it hits something.”
Motorcycles Are For Huge Strong Folks
Masculinity and machismo have been blamed for many negative perceptions, not least the idea that motorcycle riders must be huge strong guys. If this is an observation you’ve made in your neighborhood, please understand it’s just a coincidence. Like any other mode of transport, anyone can ride a motorcycle as long as they have the right skills, knowledge, and of course the right machine.
Choosing a suitable motorbike and being in the right state of mind are the only applicable rules as far as strength is concerned.
You Should Never Ride While It’s Raining
The only part of this misconception we agree with is that some conditions such as strong winds and rain are more challenging to drive a car or ride a motorcycle.
This doesn’t mean that you should tuck your best muscled Harley-Davidson as soon as the rainy season begins. However, it does require you to be more careful about how you ride, the protective gear you put on, and ultimately the condition of your bike. The brakes, in particular, should be at their best(at all times) and more so during the rainy season.
You Can Outwit Police With Speedy Biking
This kind of reasoning has created undeserved and unnecessary bad blood between law enforcers and motorcycle riders in some jurisdictions. Motorcycles are indeed swift and quick, and you can do crazy maneuvers in trying to save the situation. But you have no way to outwit the police with your hefty Kawasaki Z900 motorcycle whatsoever. If their vehicle is slower than your motorbike, the radio waves are much faster and more cops will be waiting ahead.
Whether your motorcycle is superior to the police officer’s siren-riden car, it’s still a silly mistake to try and outrun a police officer. Sooner or later, the law will still catch up with you.
Motorcycle Riders Are Low-Class Citizens
It’s quite surprising how widespread this misconception really is. Those who perpetrate it never consider the cost of a good bike and or the investment in good riding gear or aftermarket tuning that gives riders the pride of belonging to a community.
Motorcycle riders are drawn from all spheres of life, and anyone can join a group of riding enthusiasts and enjoy the company.
The important highlight here is that it’s not so much about the motorcycle model, cost, or the associated gear but rather the shared values, the exchange of experiences, and common interests in the industry.
Motorcycles Easily Catch Fire
This myth has been peddled for a long time, and the rumormongers use the idea of having the tank between your legs as the common cause of motorcycle fires.
Any machinery operated by a combustion engine, including airplanes is prone to fires. However, modern mechanics use fuel injection and generally observe high safety standards, effectively reducing the chances of fire eruption.
Mototorbikedrivingschool.com emphasizes that you regularly service your motorcycle, ensure that all electrical parts are in good condition, and generally follow safe riding guidelines.
ABS Is A Poor Braking System
ABS refers to an anti-locking braking system, which is basically a braking system that prevents the wheels of a motorcycle to brake entirely especially when they brake hard. It’s highly effective in decreasing stopping distance and maintaining stability during braking.
A common mistruth is that this braking system causes more crashes, and it’s poorer than conventional brakes. Rideapart.com notes that for various reasons, ABS brakes are not fitted on all bikes on the road. The cost of a motorbike, purpose, aesthetics, and size are some reasons why ABS is not found on all bikes. Regulations in various countries also determine the use of ABS brakes.
Learning Stunts Keeps You Safe
Watching too many action movies as a novice rider can deceive you into thinking that stunts keep you safe. It takes lots of time and effort to perfect some of the stunts performed by professional riders.
Unless you have the right skills and training, don’t try to apply them in real-life situations. Some of them must only be performed in designated areas such as competitive racing tracks.
This ride may be old but it isn’t cheap.
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