General

5 things no-one told you about becoming a biker

Unwritten rules and guaranteed circumstances

You become part of a club

Old men will come and talk to you

You don't just nod to anyone

Whatever the reason you got into biking; because your dad did it, you're an adrenaline seeker, it's cheap transport or you thought it would impress a member of the opposite sex, they're all valid and now you're a biker. For life.

When you thought about getting onto two wheels, I bet there were people queuing up to tell you about their uncle's mate's brother who once had a bike and now he's in a wheelchair. Oh well, that didn't stop you, did it?

But there are certain things that they weren't qualified to tell you, things I bet no other biker told you either. See, it's kind of like a secret code, except the moment you become a biker, these things hit you in the face (sometimes literally).

You'll become an impatient driver

You are like this, but your other half's parents think you're like this (pic of geek and hells angel)

You'll become a better driver but more impatient than before

You'll become an impatient driver

There's no doubt that riding a bike has its benefits, especially when it comes to driving a car. Riding a motorcycle teaches you to look out for people who are trying to kill you, you'll see hazards sooner and you'll end up with Ninja-like machine control. So when it comes to driving, you'll put all that to work and be a cut above the rest.

However, one of biking's biggest benefits - being able to stick two-fingers up to traffic - has its price. A long queue of traffic will cause a meltdown that even a 3-year old couldn't match. If anyone hesitates at a junction when you're behind them, the expletives flowing from your window will be louder than any car horn. Anyone doing 50mph in an NSL will be able to see your eyeballs in their rear view mirror. If they look at it that is.

God help anyone in the passenger seat next to you.

Old men will come and talk to you

Old men will come and talk to you

Choose your motorcycle wisely. Get a Harley or any other kind of custom and you'll find middle-aged men stare at you and your bike with a dreamy lust before giving you an unwanted compliment. Chances are they'll have no idea what the bike is either.

Choose a superbike and you'll probably be ok.

Choose a classic or even worse, a modern classic and you'll become a magnet for old men who have the knack of being able to have a conversation with you, without you needing to add any input. You'll reach for your lid on more than one occasion but not be able to put in on and clear off because they'll ask you a question when you try. You'll be subjected to questions about your bike that you don't know the answer to or even care about.

The conversation will go something like this: "Is that a Triumph? I had a Triumph once." (10 minutes of one-way waffle ensues and having taken about as much as you can without prolonging the exchange by keeping quiet and just nodding, you go to put your lid on but then...) "Does this one feature the double-overhead slack waffle Y-ring drive? I think they brought that in, in '69, or maybe it was '67? My old mate Bob had one. Fast he was. Well, 'til he met a tractor head on. I haven't been down that road for years. The last time I rode down there I had a Norton Bob-tail Commando de-rigger deluxe. The first bike I owned with electric start. I guess they're all electric start these days, eh?"

Then when they find out it's Japanese they'll look at you like you just ordered a Piña colada at a stag-do and toddle off, leaving both of you utterly bewildered.

People will think you're one of them

When you say you're a biker, here's what people will think

You're a nice guy, you've got something that resembles a career, you take your sport sat down infront of the TV rather than out in the fresh air, your cooking skills don't extend much past the occasional BBQ but you're a dab-hand at DIY.

However, when you mention to anyone at a party that you've got a motorcycle, the bloke above will pop into their head. Then as you explain that you don't ride a cruiser and you've got a sportsbike they'll just think you're speaking Greek and will re-evaluate you as some sort of mentalist who tries to kill himself every Sunday. It's a no-win.

And let's not mention your future in-laws. Well actually, why not! They'll think you hang around with a load of bearded outlaws and are a menace to society. The fact you're clean-shaven, called Tony and you work in accounts will only further their deep-rooted suspicion that it's all a front and their daughter is about to marry an outlaw and probably join a cult. Be warned.

Insects become weapons

Bees will scare you

...and any other large flying insects for that matter. When you're at a family BBQ and everyone starts going mental the moment a bee or a wasp arrives on the scene, you sit there perfectly calm and wonder what all the fuss is about.

When you're on a bike, it's a bit different. There you are riding along on a nice sunny day with your visor up, enjoying the countryside and the winding road infront of you. Then you spot it: 50 metres away a large insect looks like its stopped going about its daily business and it's homing in at you instead. Before you can do anything about it, it goes THHHHHWAP! right on your cheek. Close but luckily it didn't get you in the eye. Then you panic; the little bastard's still in your lid. You insert a clumsy leather-clad finger and try and flick whatever it is away but probably end up pissing it off even further. Then you anchor on the brakes and perform the world's fastest lid removal, followed by a little bit of a flappy-armed dance.

It's ok, we know that any no point were you actually scared.

You don't just nod to anyone

You don't just nod to anyone

When you get a motorcycle, you become part of a club. It's a club no biker really talks about but you're in it now and you're not allowed to leave. Ever. When you first pass your test, you'll nod at anyone and everyone. If you're heading down a road and a dog looks at you the right way, you'll probably nod at him too.

But this will change. There are no set rules as to how it will change, but you'll develop your own code. You won't nod at scooters, but one day you'll accidently nod at a bloke on maxi-scooter and you'll feel dirty. You won't nod at cruisers, but occasionally you will when you can guarantee they'll nod back. But they never do and you'll think 'Right, sod all cruiser riders, they're tossers'. Until the next time you nod at one.

You'll be able to pick out what type of bike is approaching you, just from the headlight, and you'll have already made your decision. You probably won't nod at 1200GS riders with matching kit and aluminium panniers or maybe you will but you'll pick out your little exceptions and stick to them. Then you'll work yourself into a complete mess trying to remember who you do and don't nod at and you'll hate yourself when you break your own rule.

You knew these 5 rules already, can you share any more?

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