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.
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.
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.
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?