Motorcycles were first introduced to me during my mid-teenage years. I loved to play with mechanical things, and my car had just died. I insisted to my parents that a motorcycle would be a wise investment, and for years they told me that I could when I left the house. If I was to convince them to let me get a motorcycle, I needed a good argument.
I came up with 5 points on why I should have been allowed to get a motorcycle, leading to my eventual purchase of a 1993 Honda XR250L. I’ve customized it since, but that’s another blog post. If you find yourself considering purchasing a bike, here are my reasons on why you should.
5. Fuel Economy
I currently do most of my heavy driving in a 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport. It’s my dream car, and is almost as sexy as the 1981 DeLorean DMC-12. This being said, I am too familiar with the “low fuel” light in my Jeep. Motorcycles are notorious for their amazing gas mileage. I manage to consistently get 60 miles to the gallon on my 250cc little thumper. With gas prices being so variable, in town riding on a motorcycle can significantly help reduce how much cash you spend on fuel.
4. Means of Tinkering
If you’re anything like me, the inner workings of motors fascinate you. Though I never cracked open my bike’s cylinder head in fear of breaking something, I spent a significant amount of time modifying the styling to fit my tastes. This served as therapy, since working with my hands brings me peace, and as practice for future projects. The donor bike and final product are shown below.
When I am being entirely honest, one of the biggest appeals to motorcycles is their cool factor. The barebones, minimal means of getting around is invigorating, and doing so on a beautiful piece of machinery adds to your personal style. Whether it is a Harley Davidson cruiser, Yamaha “crotch rocket,” or vintage cafe racer, the bike becomes part of your identity.
2. Joining a Subculture
There is this thing in motorcycle culture called “the wave.” It is a symbol of respect, acknowledgment, and brotherhood. Any time you pass another motorcyclist, you simply signal with a nod of the head or wave of the hand. This is one of my favorite parts of going out for rides — seeing others out there enjoying the same thing I do. Whenever I see someone in public with a helmet, or who just pulled up on their bike, I always make sure to stop them and strike up a conversation. It is a community of people that love the open road, and the freedom of riding on a bike. It is liberation, like when we were children.
1. Overall Entertainment
Riding is fun. It is solitude — a break from the day. There is an old saying among bikers that “you will never see a motorcycle in front of a psychiatrist’s office.” It’s a testament to when time seems to slows down. We need more of those moments, and motorcycles are an escape. They are freedom from technology and other peoples’ opinions. It’s just you and the bike. Go take a ride.