Head Shake – Shunning…

I had trigger to mirror again on forty-some-odd years of driving and the modifications we now have witnessed, with an inquiry looking for enlightenment from the MO Assume Tank. The question was trigger for reflection: “Will I Be Shunned if I Journey an Automated Motorbike?”

Ask MO: Will I Be Shunned If I Ride An Automatic Motorcycle?

The word was written by a potential rider:


Pricey MOby,

I actually need to begin driving, nevertheless it looks like studying to journey will probably be a tall sufficient mountain to climb with out having to study all about shifting gears too. Do any bikes supply automated transmissions, and are they actual bikes? I don’t need a scooter. My boyfriend tells me actual bikes have guide transmissions, and that I’m taking the coward’s approach out. My automobiles have all the time been automatics, and no one ever appeared down their nostril at me about them. What do you assume?

Shiftless in Seattle


I contemplated that for a second. My knee-jerk response was the one correct one on this age of enlightenment and inclusion: shunning? Why, in fact not. We’re brothers and sisters on two wheels, are we not? There are lots of mansions in my Lord’s tech shed, however a nagging feeling continued, a guilt, ghosts from the previous, a extra barbarous previous once we burnt leaded gasoline and bean oil. Once we have been savages, moto-savages, and we laughed and shunned rather a lot.

To wit: Scooters (see; Rockers vs. Mods), quads, automobiles, in fact, moto-bagos, sick-tuned Harleys with drag pipes, bikes pulling trailers, and as soon as a pack of Japanese cruisers heading to Ocean Metropolis with a cadre of solely bald guys piloting them which prompted the next roadside epiphany: “No one fucks with the Baldies.” Oh, and anybody, anyplace, who ever oiled a racetrack line.

We laughed, we pointed, and we shunned all of them to various levels. We scoffed, we maligned, and we disparaged. It’s a shameful previous, however there’s no denying it. However the worst of our scorn was reserved for slushbox bikes, and in our specific case, the lowly Honda CM400A, turned out in an attention grabbing County Jail Coveralls Orange, piloted by our pal Brian.

That Honda we shunned unmercifully.

The CM400A, what it lacked in neck-snapping efficiency it made up for in ease of ahead propelled boredom.

We had ample alternative as a result of it was not like he was going to outrun us. Each cease we’d look forward to Brian and his borrowed orange factor to return trundling alongside sporting applicable apparel for the entire disgraceful show – a multi coloured ski parka – and the guffawing would begin earlier than the compulsory shunning resumed. That whole shameful day was just about full of leaving Brian for lifeless, driving, stopping, guffawing, and shunning our approach up the Potomac River and thru three states to Summit Level. Shunning and guffawing have been as pure as blipping the throttle to downshift, Brian knew all of it too properly and took it in stride. If any considered one of us had traded locations with him, we might have develop into the thing of scorn. It wasn’t Brian, it was Brian’s transmission.

However we have now all advanced, in fact, thank goodness. Wanting again on these occasions with greater than a bit of disgrace, it’s straightforward now the see how insensitive we have been, how loutish, how positively tribal.

I’ve shunned and been shunned in flip…

Shunning was not all the time dangerous in the event you have been in the proper mind set for it. The state of mind that claims when they’re shunning me they’re leaving another person alone. I as soon as rode a Suzuki GN125L from Scotland, Maryland, to our store in Lexington Park to be serviced. The bike belonged to a former stripper. Former strippers can experience GN125Ls to nothing however widespread acclaim; guys in Alpinestars boots can’t. I had it pinned most the best way. I additionally laughed the entire method.

I felt absurd and it was liberating, like strolling across the paddock sans leathers in your underwear on a scorching August afternoon, with a soaking-moist checkered flag bandana tied round your head, chugging Gatorade, with a breeze blowing. That will get elected officers fired nowadays, you recognize. My associates at work made enjoyable of me, impugning my character with fees of being a circus sideshow freak. What did we all know? We have been troglodytes.

“Like a cool breeze by means of sweaty underwear on a scorching August afternoon – the Suzuki GN125L” I actually ought to have gone into advertising.

Oddball Shunning…

Keep in mind, in case you are being shunned, anyone, someplace is underestimating you. I ran a BMW R1100GS by way of a Suzuki Superbike Faculty at Mid-Ohio for a narrative as soon as. What occurred there once I pulled up that morning far exceeded shunning and went straight to pointing and laughing. I had eliminated the saddlebags from the large GS and security wired a camouflage pig with sergeant stripes to the bags rack and dubbed the large Beemer “Struggle Pig II.” And me and the Pig had the final snigger that day; fried Metzelers, scraped pegs, and scorched blue ABS entrance discs with the lever coming again to the bar and all. The Pig had held her personal towards all comers that weren’t named Chuck Graves or David Aldana, the instructors.

Model-Marque Shunning…

The very fact is that the majority of what passes for shunning today is sweet-natured ribbing, not just like the previous days once I was bodily lifted off the bottom in an disagreeable trend for suggesting to a chap in a denims vest bearing colours that my Honda could be a bit faster than his Harley. I even recommended if he was prepared to throw a nook or two into his proposed road race, my oil-tight Honda would go away him and his steaming lump of Milwaukee iron like they have been stapled to the asphalt. By no means attempt to negotiate with a person named “Purple Beard” who is an effective 25 cans right into a 30 pack, that’s what I all the time say. This may greatest be termed Shunning in Extremis. (For cross-cultural reference, see additionally; Australian Motorbike Information, Fred Gassit, “Biker or Bikie?” by Simon O’Leary)

Shunning is a cross-cultural phenomena. Right here the Australian emissary of all issues motorcycling, Fred Gassit, poses the query, “Biker or Bikie?”

Some shun, some embrace…

“I painted mine pink.” That’s what the person stated to me within the parking zone of Mid-Ohio Suzuki Yamaha one morning as I used to be pulling my gloves out of my helmet. He had apparently painted the exhaust baffle of his bike pink and was grinning ear to ear. Gil and I have been saddling as much as proceed north that morning, however this demanded additional inquiry.

“Do you need to see it?” he requested.

Do I need to see it? Why sure, I need to see it! In fact! In the meantime, Gil was muttering, “No, no, no, no…”

And low and behold the person had painted his BUB pipe-baffle insert neon pink, and he launched into an prolonged diatribe telling me how he produced this oddity. Gil was nonetheless again there uttering, “NO, NO, NO, NO,” with larger quantity and a bit extra urgency. When that didn’t work, he fired up his bike and let the Yamaha inform me in no unsure phrases we have been leaving. Gil selected shunning. Me? I selected a unique path, a path of inclusivity, the best way of the pink baffle, which actually is the trail of righteousness. It’s an enormous, bizarre, lovely world on the market, full of any variety of moto-wonders to admire if we solely take the time to take action.

No, today we now have to look out for one another, and notably be nothing however encouraging and useful to any probably new member of our two-wheeled tribe. We’re all riders, devotees of F=MA, and bending a motorcycle – any bike – right into a nook and rolling it on is what issues. However, by all means really feel, free to shun automobiles, any miscreants who oil the road on a racetrack, and squids behaving badly. And have a cheerful vacation.

Journey arduous, snigger extra, and look the place you need to go.

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