Riding a motorcycle is dangerous, and it's compounded by the fact that you basically have to do dangerous things like run red lights while you ride it. That doesn't get better with experience. In fact, as you get better at riding, you'll become more and more functionally retarded. You'll pull maneuvers you would never attempt in a car, where you're surrounded by steel and airbags and seat belts -- like lane splitting, a practice that's straight up legal in California and more or less tolerated in most other states. If you're not familiar with the idea, lane splitting is when you ride between cars on the passing line. The thought process goes something like this: Traffic is stopped (perhaps for one of those silly little red lights that I can just ride through) and cars are ahead in both lanes, but nobody is actively straddling the center line. Bam! New, bonus lane! What are you guys, stupid? Look at all this unused space!
Via Eric Schmuttenmaer It's not like anyone ever changes lanes without signaling or anything.
In the places where it is tolerated, there are a myriad of laws and regulations about how to do it safely. Every last one of them ignores a simple, fundamental fact: This cannot be done safely. The entire practice is insane and stupid. I know this. It puts me in a permanent blind spot; an unannounced lane change will guaranteed kill me; I essentially volunteer to become the meat in a crushing steel sandwich. And yet, if it will save even one second of commute, I will somehow consider it totally justifiable at the time.
There is no legitimate reason to ride without a helmet. Ever. But you probably will. I do. I have a thousand excuses for it -- it's low traffic, I'm just going to the store, I don't want to deny the world the objective, artistic beauty of my face and so on. In my mind -- in that basic, functioning part that allows me to use a fork or breathe independently -- I know that I am taking active steps to shorten my own lifespan, but I'll still do it. Because it go fast! Wind in hair!
Getty Helmets are for ugly people.
Every time you set your ass on a bike, you're playing a game of Russian Roulette between yourself and your own stupidity. You live and die by the odds, and if given enough time, they will always catch up to you. Which is truly unfortunate, because I know a lot of people that ride motorcycles, and I don't know anyone that has ever quit. Every single person that's ridden for a few years has laid down their bike, and they now know, intimately, exactly how cheese feels when you grate it. Many have suffered serious injuries, and everyone has at least one friend they've lost in an accident. We stink, we stupidly risk our lives just to exchange platitudes, people try to murder us constantly (and that's only when we're not trying to do it ourselves by riding between cars and running lights) and all while constantly, constantly covered in screaming spiders -- and we all still ride.
There's only one possible explanation for it:
It's just really, really cool. You guys, seriously. They make this noise that's like BRAAMM and they go superfast and did you see that James Dean movie, where he was all like-
Motorcycle owners aren't the only ones with issues, check out 5 Bizarre Pitfalls of Owning a Classic Car. Or find out about some crazier means of transportation in 6 Transportation Innovations More Baffling Than The Segway.