Motorbikes: loath’em and lik’em

I’ve noticed more motorcycles around lately: the intrusive vibrating roar that at first startles me, then irritates me until it is out of earshot. Along with gas scooters and ‘pocket bikes’, they cause noise pollution, air pollution, and are mildly dangerous for both the rider and those in its path.

But those are part and parcel of why they are fun for the actual users, the effortless propulsion (as opposed to pedaling on a bike); hurtling naked at high speed (as opposed to the confines of a fibreglass/steel carapace), the noise and shininess of the machines that screams “Know I am coming!”
So if I were riding one, I know would have fun on it, although I would feel a bit guilty at disturbing others!

It’s odd, the occasionalness of my encounters with these contraptions in the Bay Area is what bugs me. When I’m in Bangkok, constantly surrounded by hordes of motorcycles, they all seem to cancel each other out, and melt into urban white noise. It’s like smoking, for some reason, the socially ostracized cigarette smells so much worse in California than the clouds of blue smoke of from everyone puffing away in China.


One thought on “Motorbikes: loath’em and lik’em

  1. I beleive you are talking about the Harley-type bikers who buy their bikes specifically to make a lot of noise or vibration. There are some relatively quiet motorcycles out there. Also, the guys who buy overpowered cruisers and crotch rockets typically don’t live too long — too much testosterone/not enough skill (or common sense for that matter).

    I think your only hope is that yuppie Harley purchasers will drive away the traditional Harley bikers and then lose interest in this midlife crisis fad of theirs. Either that or start string’n up piano wire everywhere you go…

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