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January 29, 2016

10 myths about motorcycles and motorcyclists

Motorcyclists don’t live long

This one is the most common and most disturbing deception , which, however, has something to it. Modern motorcycles actually provide riders with every opportunity for an unplanned suicide. The most basic bike can do 299 km/h, and even more after some adjustments. On the other hand, however, modern motorcycles are lighter, more easily manageable, stuffed with more controllers and devices to make riding them considerably easier. Over the last 10 years, technology has made great progress, and it’s now pretty difficult to topple a bike unless you fail to grasp any of the basic driving techniques or lack any self-preservation instincts .

Falling off a motorcycle means serious injuries

This myth roots back to the Soviet times when motorcycle gear was ineffective and, above all, hard to find. Even professional sportsmen used to wear felt boots or tarpaulin boots, and helmets looked more like chamber pots. It is no wonder that no one was enthusiastic about wearing that type of clothing, which in turn led to serious injuries even when falling off at lower speeds. Today , motorcycle gear has changed significantly and can preserve the rider after falling off at a speed of over 300 km/h. Some people wearing appropriate gear have survived several dozen falls without ever having to go to hospital.

Motorcycles are expensive

A more or less ridable small-volume Asian motorcycle is available from 100 000 rub. At the same price you can buy a second-hand motor of a more respectable brand. A new large-volume motor of an international brand that will serve you faithfully for several years will cost you at least 400 000 rub which is still pretty cheap in comparison with automobiles. Speaking of capacities, a packed motorcycle costing half a million will show the same speed and cornering ability as a much more expensive supercar. Maintenance costs are also considerably lower.

Motorcycle riders can violate traffic regulations and get away with it

It is really hard not to break the rules when riding a motorcycle. If you are riding a sport bike you won’t even notice the moment you shoot pass the speed limit and become liable to license revocation. It has become pretty hard to get away with it. There are numerous cameras on the roads, and after a week of riding under one of them you’ll receive a pack of tickets amounting to a handsome sum of money, and the only consolation you’ll get is posting black and white pic pic_25tures of your flying ass on Instagram. The number of motorcycle police is growing each year, too. Their bikes are fast, and the most important point is that they ride a lot and have a lot of practice of catching easy riders.

Motorcyclist gangs commit larceny, kill and sell guns and drugs

Over the last 60 years, biker gangs have been a favourite subject for moviemakers, writers and other producers of action-packed content. In fact, even at the zenith of bike gangs their number was rather low. The legendary “1%” patch actually shows the amount of those bandit biker gangs: 1% in relation to the general number of the motorcycle riding community. Nowadays this percentage has probably dropped to 0.01%. The Russian reality is even more prosaic. Criminal circles prefer four-wheeled vehicles in this country, and those who ride motorcycles do so for quite different reasons. Yes, they might be covered from head to toe with tattoos and patches, but this demonstrates their relation to the subculture rather than a criminal gang.

If you get a bike you will become extremely popular with women

A brunette in a mini skirt on the back seat of a bike is another popular stereotype. It’s a fact that motorcyclists are usually surrounded by girls, but it’s hard to tell what the cause is and what the consequence is. The fact is, if you are a cool guy a bike will certainly add to your charms, but if you are a dull fish, however expensive and cool a machine you buy, it won’t help you become a macho man.

The best way to connect with a motorcyclist is to ask him about the price, the fuel consumption or the maximum speed of his bike

Truth be told, it is the best way to be asked to bugger off. There is a number of stupid questions everyone nags motorcyclists with, and those three are at the top of the list. Try hard and come up with something new.

Motorcycles are no use for carrying luggage

There are models with special side bags that can fit enough things for a two-week journey for two, unless, of course, these include a fur coat, a cello and a Yorkshire terrier. Other models don’t have stationary bags but those can be easily installed. There is a wide selection of universal or special luggage systems for motorcycles. Besides, there are luggage ropes or backpacks.

Riding in the rain is hard and dangerous

It can be true if you try to save on your equipment and gear. Soaking wet clothes, cold to touch handlebar, fogged-up visor, slippery road marking… Ugh. But if you think of it in advance and get thoroughly equipped (raincoat, membrane boots and gloves, helmet with good ventilation system and antifogging visor, heated handlebar, traction control system), the ride will be more than tolerable. People on motorcycle tours spend days under heavy rain and actually enjoy it.

Motorcycling is like narcotics. Once you’ve started, you can’t stop

Now this one is not actually a myth. They say that four wheels move the body and two wheels move the soul. The motorcycle is the most emotionally involved kind of transport. It gives a unique feeling of freedom both during routine rides to work and when on tour, when there is nothing between you and the whole world around. Besides, there’s a rational point to that, too: the times when motorcycles were rare and expensive have passed by, and today more and more people prefer motorcycles as a cheaper and more convenient means of transportation in comparison with automobiles.

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