Motoette -in forward motion

2010: A “Space” Odyssey

It’s mind blowing to think that just 42 years ago the film Space Odyssey was released in 1968, a futuristic styled film directed by Stanley Kubric, giving scientific realism of how our thematic human evolution would morph into a futuristic technology by means of artificial intelligence and a common interaction with extraterrestrial beings hanging out in space together in the year 2001. If anyone is counting, that would have been 9 years ago!

Here we are in the infancy of 2010, 10 years into a new century and how far have we really come based on the movie Space Odyssey? Yes, we send missions into space regularly and yes, we are growing by leaps and bounds on the technological front, and I can honestly say we have come a little closer together as a Cosmos filled with diversity in religion, politics and ethnicity. But, why is it a Harley rider can’t “hang” with a sport bike rider and visa versa, because of the bike they ride?

If you think about how “racially” divided we are not only by what style of motorcycle we choose to pilot, but also by what make and model we pick and how we stylize ourselves in unison to our ride, it becomes apparent how segregated we are as motorcyclist.

This clear-line that divides us in our personal choice of ride and how we express ourselves as a classified group intrigues me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not observing primarily from a spectator’s standpoint, but from one as a willing participant as well!

Let’s be honest, we look down our bombastic noses at the other makes and models of motorcycles and the riders stylistic impressions when they are not a carbon-copy of our own.  Where is it written that a person can’t ride with chaps, half gloves and a brain bucket on a Suzuki GSX-R 1000? And why don’t we ever see a Harley Davison rider on his Road King, cruising up the highway proudly sporting track-ready full leathers with a “Valentino Rossi” special edition full face helmet on? You have to admit, it’s would be a funny sight to see, but realistically, it just wouldn’t happen!

I try to explain these unwritten rules about those of us, who have a passion for two wheels to my non-riding friends and family, but they just look at me with this perplexed look on their faces, and as well they should, I feel ridiculous trying to condone and defend such nonsense. But, it’s a fact and I willingly comply to all of it whether I’m on my Harley Davison riding with my leather fringed, tattoo toting riding buddies or with my BMW, taking on the twisties with my Pellegrino sipping, multi-Macintosh household friends! I have to admit I love crossing over to the two opposing sides.  I kind of feel like “Sybil” with about 11 fewer personalities!

But this is my point; we need to come together as riders. Not to look down at each other if we ride to the beat of a different displacement or manufacturer. We, as riders need to come together, united we stand as one entity, and confront the real “outcast” at hand, our own mandating government along with taking our lives into our own hands every time we have to subject ourselves to “cages” driving while reading today’s paper, fooling with their cell phone or searching for that perfect song on their iPod.

I was reading an article in the March addition of AMA magazine written by the president of the AMA, Rob Dingman, talking about the recent “attacks” on motorcyclists in 2009. In the title of his article “Sitting on the sidelines is not an option” he talks about the recent loss of 2 million acres of off road access to public land, with more to follow.  And using MX tracks as an alternate might not be possible either due to noise complaints from surrounds neighbors. Something I was made aware of in my local area after discovering Carnegie Park, one of the motocross events I volunteer for as a track side medic was cancelled due to congress’s feelings on inappropriate federal Wilderness designations. Most of which didn’t even meet the original definition of Wilderness. These decisions are being made without any public debate or scrutiny being offered to us as tax paying citizens!

Sound complaints are now getting the attention of states like Utah and others, by passing laws by the senate transportation committee on banning the use of after-market exhaust systems. We could be looking at mandated OE-exhausts as well as inflatable riding suits, roll cages and airbags, (which are already being used on Honda Gold Wings.)

There has also been a struggle with the CPSIA (consumer product safety improvement act) on lead content provisions for youths and motorized machines resulting in the CPSC (consumer product safety commission) ban on youth-model dirt bikes and ATV’s forcing families to purchase adult sized motorbikes for their children. Due to an outpouring of a concerned motorcycle community, this is still in review.

And now most recently I was driving the East Bay noticing the state wide electronic Caltrans signs stating “Share the road, look twice for motorcyclist” which I thought was pretty cool until I heard on the news that Southern CA drivers were up in arms over the fact that they had to “share” the road with motorcyclists. The sediment of having to put up with the state of California allowing “lane splitting” was enough to contend with by a majority of So Cal drivers that were interviewed, let alone being consistently reminded of it.

Are you getting the impression we are not wanted??

We need to wear the same badge of honor and stick together as a whole and fight for our rights as a motorcyclist as well as appreciate, respect and embrace our choice of ride as individuals.  For there is nothing more freeing than feeling the wind through your hair and the sun on your face while riding this great country we so proudly call home.

What do ya say? You wanna kick some congressional “butt” together?!


February 22, 2010 - Posted by | American Motorcycle Association, ATV, BMW motorcycles, CPSC, CPSIA, Harley Davidson, motorcycles, Rob Dingman, Suzuki GSXR


  1. Great post.

    On the front wall of Bikers Church we have a huge poster that reads:

    “At CCBC there can be no division into Harley and Metric, sport bike or cruiser, hardcore or weekend rider. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all on a common spiritual journey to discover God’s grace through Jesus Christ.”

    I’ll send a picture of it on twitter

    Comment by Rob | February 22, 2010 | Reply

  2. I love that Rob, so true, but the word not only has to be spoken, it has to be practiced….with a little help from my friends! 🙂

    Comment by motoette | February 22, 2010 | Reply

  3. I have run into this first hand as well. It is largely why I left the Harley fold and crossed over to the sportier side of things. I was riding a Sportster 883 and I always got the feeling that I wasn’t in the same circle as those riding baggers or even Dynas. Here is my blog post about it:

    I have found that there is much less of a divide between non-cruiser bike riders. Harley riders have a chip on their shoulder towards non-Harley riders even if they are riding a large displacement cruiser.

    Happy riding.

    Comment by jeremy Blanchard | February 22, 2010 | Reply

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