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Is it time for bike bashing to stop?

Iron Run, Thunder run, motorcycle rally, HOG, harley, Harley-Davidson, motorcycle rally, motorcycles bashing rewards adaptive cruise

We’re not talking about how politicians, drivers and the general public practise bike bashing, but how riders “bash” other riders’ choice of ride.

The motorcycling community is small and should be expected to band together, especially against the tide of public opinion that we are too loud and dangerous.

Yet it seems bashing other bike brands is a particularly popular pastime among riders.

“Harley bashing” seems to be the most popular form, but they are not alone.

The recent unveiling of the 2018 Honda Goldwing brought out the usual cries of “get a car” from many riders.

Similar cries were heard when we published an article about whether trikes and three-wheeled roadsters were legally allowed to use motorcycle parking bays.

Can trikes park in motorbike bays? bashing
Spyder in two motorcycle bays

Fair game

It seems if you don’t ride a particular brand or type of bike, riders of other brands and types are fair game for bashing.

If you don’t ride a sports bike, you think they have a death wish or are a Rossi poser.

If you don’t ride an adventure bike, you think they are Charley Boorman look-alikes.

The prejudices are ample: “All Ducati riders are wankers”, “All Triumphs leak oil”, “BMW riders are all grandpas”, “Italian bikes spend more time in the garage than on the road”, etc.Oil change bashing

If nations, races and religions can’t get along, it is probably too much to also expect riders of different bikes to get along.

Most bike bashing is good natured, but too many times it simply gets out of hand.

So before you bash another brand, you really should get your facts straight.

The idiom “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes” applies here. So why not try riding a different type or brand?

It may not be your cup of tea, but you may get an appreciation of what attracts other riders.

But even riding other bikes doesn’t necessarily guarantee a rider won’t continue to bash other bikes.

Professional bashing

Triumph Bonneville Bobber is a styling hit bashing
MBW on the Triumph Bobber trying to ignore that scraping noise

Most professional motorcycle journalists put their personal preferences behind them when they review a motorcycle.

However, even they are sometimes prone to bike bashing.

A typical example is a test review where the performance of a cruiser is compared with that of a sports bike.

Would you compare a sports bike’s off-road performance to a dirt bike? Of course not!

So while even some professional journalists can’t resist bike bashing, is it any wonder so many riders practise bike bashing?

  • Do you bash other bikes? Leave your comments in below.
  1. Hi Mark,
    Great article, hopefully a little tongue in cheek – let’s not start introducing “political correctness” into our love of bikes and friendly rivalry – a bit of ribbing is good for the circulation, helps to HTFU

    Seriously, though motorcyclists are not few in numbers, we should be a force to be reckoned with rather than hiding in the corners waiting for the next lashing by gov’t regulators!

    Look at the numbers attending the recent Blessing Of The Bikes at San Remo; or the attendance at the GP. Politicians should be trembling in fear of pissing us off – not penalising us!!

    I wonder how hard it can be to take a lesson from the ‘push-bike fraternity’ and start pushing our own motorcycling agenda back at the rule makers

  2. In a single words elitists and cliques. Biggest offenders walk off other bike all together. They only do rides made by one manufacturer and any other bike even on a charity ride is made to feel unwelcome. They also refuse to acknowledge other riders on non “their brand” of bikes even with a nod. The non elitists simply respond in kind creating a bigger problem. Root cause is the zionists.

  3. Get a car! Or at least a sporty little convertible is what I say to anyone who thinks something that requires three wheels or is so big you need a crane to pick it up if you drop it. Just kidding sort of, sidecars can be fun and a big tourer or cruiser may lap up the miles but when you have to drive it instead of ride it you might as well have four wheels and a roof even if it folds down.
    ability to filter is the separator, when you get so big that filtering is something you do to coffe you should give up on calling it a bike and go whole hog for a car. I know someone who made the horrible mistake of trading their sport tourer for a Spyder after numerous failings that branded it a lemon a near third degree burn on the leg fro the heat of the exhaust blowing on one leg with no ducting or other protection from it the final nail in its coffin was having to be carted away for heat stroke after being caught in a traffic jam.
    Filtering not only saves lives by reducing rear Enders it saves us from heat exhaustion! So if you can’t filter get a car at least you’ll have aircon!

  4. ‘If you don’t ride an adventure bike, other riders think you are a Charley Boorman look-alike.’

    Surely that should read, ‘If you ride an adventure bike, other riders think you’re a Charlie Boorman look-alike’. Same goes for the Rossi comment.

    IMHO of course..

  5. I’ve been riding for over 42 years. I’ve ridden bikes from most mainstream manufacturers and there are those that I’ve enjoyed and those less so. Growing up with mates and their bikes it was par for the course to give some good humoured jibes over their choice of steed. Sadly, too many people have lost their sense of humour and feel a little too “precious”.
    #$%& ’em!

  6. Mark’s the only person I’ve seen who can ride any bike well.

    Cruisers are a bunch of immature control freaks who travel around at the speed limit in groups blocking the road, making it difficult & dangerous to work your way through them. Look at the first photo above.
    No cooperation/consideration for other motorcyclists whatsoever.
    MotorbikeWriter had an article about this, the video is here

    Cruisers are a bunch of softcocks who can’t ride & they’re jealous of anyone who can.
    That’s why they like idiot speed limits & radars.

    Their exhausts are ridiculously loud
    (penis compensation)
    which annoys everyone, motorcyclists & non-motorcyclists, on or within a kilometre of a road
    giving all bikes a bad name, causing heaps of complaints & police saturating roads all bikes like.

    Studies in USA show hitting unshielded armco & cheesecutter wire barriers is 3 times more likely to kill than hitting a car
    but cruiser clubs say they’re a good idea.
    Thanks for trying to get us killed.

    Most cruisers are so up themselves they hardly ever bother nod as you go past.

    Next I’ll start on their bikes . . . . . . . 🙂

    1. Hi Buell,
      I’m a Harley rider. Let me see if I can help you with your anger issues:
      I mostly ride at the speed limit, mainly because I have 3 points left on my license and also because it’s the law.
      Its safer to ride in a group. The chances of a car turning in front of you or changing lanes into you is much lower if there’s 30 bikes.
      With so many idiots texting while driving, I will do anything I can to stay alive, even installing louder pipes.
      I don’t know anyone who likes the Armco and wire barriers, so I can’t offer any help for you there. They freak me out, too.
      I nod at all bikes. Most nod back. The only time I don’t nod back is if I’m concentrating on some issue in front of me.
      I hope this helps. Next time give me a nod. I’ll be the guy on the blue Harley nodding at you.

  7. Have to admit: Yes, I do.
    Cannot stand them sport bike riders with R1 and the likes. Too fast, too loud, too everything for the road. Here in Germany they could go on the Autobahn and ride 300 km/h, that would be ok. But you hear them with screaming engines in the city.

  8. There is a danger of becoming too politically correct which, as we all know, is a problem in society and I would rather it didn’t become a problem in motorcycling. There is a difference between bike bashing and telling the truth. For example, if I was talking to someone who wanted to become a motorcyclist but knew little about it and they said that they wanted a Harley because Harleys are the best, and I explained to them that compared to other bikes Harleys are heavy and slow, and you can buy better performing more reliable bikes for half the price, I wouldn’t be bike bashing. I would be telling the truth and giving useful information to someone who needs advice. Or if someone wanted to take up serious adventure riding and wanted a BMW R1200GS because everybody says it is the best and I explained to them that the big BMW is basically a road bike that is too big and heavy for really difficult terrain and has a reputation for breaking suspension and denting wheels in tough conditions, again, I wouldn’t be bike bashing. I would be telling them the truth and possibly saving them from making a very expensive mistake.

    In the end, the real problem is that many people are too sensitive. You should buy what you want to ride and not care too much if others criticize it. Those who are most likely to get upset are the people who falsely believe their bike is superior. The problem with being too PC is that you are suppressing people’s right to express their opinion and give useful advice. We will never agree on everything but we should act as one united force in opposing oppression by the authorities.

  9. What! Everyone knows Harley-Davidson riders are fair game – their bikes are under-powered, under-braked, over-weight, over-priced and you have to get off and push them around corners.

    1. I have owned a Harley for a year now. So … if I’m not interested in going super fast, braking hard and turning into corners at Rossi-angles, why am I wrong? Why can’t I enjoy riding in my own way? Do I have to be like you?

  10. it does come down to snobbery. And lets face it the hog club long pushed this ;elitist’ crap in fact its a major part o some manufacturers advertising some decending into total wankerism,so its hardly suprising there is a bit of a backlash. But really you only have to attend a large show to see motorcyclists looking at and appreciating a large range of bikes.

  11. Well I think as a woman rider 46 years in the wind so many bikes that I have owned that this bike bashing is dumb boy stuff. Just ride!

  12. I’ve just about owned and ridden most brands and styles of bike over the past 50 years. I have found it’s not the type of bike that draws derision, it’s the immature attitude of some people with an identity crisis going on in their mind that’s the issue. I have a older HD in the shed, it’s slow and comfy and I enjoy smelling the road kill on it of a Sunday morning. I also have a newer wc bonnie in the shed , before that a Tuono V4. One rides what one is comfortable with at the time and should be able to appreciate another bike for what it is.

  13. To the head honcho of Motorbike Writer.
    I’m not going to be able to turn the pages of your magazine if guys like buell are allowed to wank off in here. The buellwank factor is one of the biggest problems our community has.

  14. Hilarious. The article suggests it might be time to halt the bike bashing and the comments immediately descend into bike bashing. I’ve come to riding late in life (57) and was totally unaware of the “tribes” and all the baggage that go with them. I based my choice of bike (and riding gear) purely on what made sense to me. I’m only now realising that I’m uncool. Will that change what (and how) I ride? No. Will I ever bag anyone else’s choice of bike, gear and riding style? No. I’m not interested to be honest! Riding attracted me for the solitary nature of it. I don’t nod at other riders any more than I would nod at other car drivers. I’m not being anti-social, I’m just in my meditative bubble. It’s why I ride: to get away from life for a while. It’s a very peaceful place and I love it. We all do. So lets just get on with it and leave others to theirs 😉

    1. We said Grayden. I agree with all that you’ve said. I choose to nod, but that’s my choice.

  15. I work in a Motorcycle dealership and encounter this on a daily basis and it comes down to people never having ridden the brands they’re bagging, they’re relying on hearsay from other ignorant people. I find this sad as they never get to ride some fantastic bikes. I ride many different brands and models. This has allowed me to buy and enjoy some bikes I would not have if I had a closed mind to certain brands.

  16. I ride a Vulcan Nomad 1600 and a Tiger Explorer 1200 and love riding each of them for what they are ( 2 wheels ) I’ll ride anything with 2 wheels.

    I’d never bash another brand why would you we’re all doing what we love. Lets create harmony amongst fellow riders not discord.

  17. Everyone is entitled to their own decision on bike brand and I don’t care whether you are riding a postie bike or a Panigale – good on you for getting on two wheels.

    I do personally have a problem with exceptionally loud bikes whatever the brand. Apart from being annoying they do a lot of damage to the image of motorcyclists with those who don’t ride. Just listen to some of the comments made when an obnoxiously loud bike passes and you realise how we are all tainted by these few people.

  18. I’ve been riding for 46 years i have riden all types loved them all. A lot of younger riders today will not wave to another bikers any more all very critical of what you ride I used to nock Harley Davidson then I saw one that took my fancy so I bit the bullet and picked it up what a great ride the saying is DON’T KNOCK IT TILL YOU TRY IT.

  19. If there was only one type of motorcycle available to ride, would you ride it? Of course you would. And there would be no other motorcycle type to bash! Just enjoy your ride, and be happy for everyone else who enjoys their ride too. We are all better off if we are “respectfully together” than “egotistically apart”.

    1. Oh yes ! Very accurate, learn too appreciate diversity. I for one am glad there is more than one type of bike. Thanks Jonny great comment.

  20. Before I learned to ride, i was bashing car drivers for their choices, because they were not like the trucks i drove.. Even their it matters what truck you drove. Same counts for the sport i follow, it all just is one of those human things we do. All a bit of a storm in a teacup, as long as you enjoy yourself, does it really matter?

  21. Personally, I don’t give a shit what someone thinks about the bike I ride, and I don’t really care what others ride, I do care about sports bike riders that drive like tools and think they own, the road, and if someone dosen’t nod or wave who cares, just ride everything else is opinion….

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