Talk:Motorcycling

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Great Job[edit]

I've probably read hundreds of Wikipedia articles (or more) and am a frequent editor. While this article's not perfect, it's one of the best I've seen stylistically and for captivating content. I do suggest there be more information from an objective point of view about motorcycling culture and motorcycle laws, but in any case, keep up the good work! Thomasmallen 15:10, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I think this violates the rules... but ....[edit]

I think this violates the rules... but .... thats was the best Wikipedia article ive ever read... just want to give the authors my compliments... It makes me want to buy a motorcycle... keep up the good work.

EDIT by same person: I suggest maybe moving this article into more of a "motorcycle mindset" or "motorcycle culture" rather than just motorcycling. Nafango2 05:00, 7 March 2007 (UTC) skaa

Perfect[edit]

I dont think this article needs any changes at all. It represents all that motorcycling is, very well mind you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.53.124.159 (talkcontribs)

Can an enciclopaedic article also be captivating, interesting, sugestive?[edit]

As indicated in another comment here, I've also read innumerable Wikipedia articles. I do believe in the importance of adequate style for an encyclopaedia article. Being an avid motorcyclist however, I find this article, which must deal with motorcycling as an activity and even basis for a sub-culture, as entirely adequate. Rather than making it something different, if anything, I'd suggest introductory text in each section and other linking text, which could clarify that each quote and each section is there in order to explain the essence of what "Motorcycling" is. An encyclopaedic article must offer the essential concepts, notions and information regarding its' subject. This article could offer more, but everything it does contain at the time this writting seems to me precisely adequate with regards to these needs. Starting by explaining what each of the included sections is there to explain might help. However, this article I believe should be or become an example of a better philosophy in terms of writing style for encyclopaedia articles in social science matters, because a true understanding in this area is derived as much from objective information, as from an in depth understanding of the social and human aspects of the area being dealt with. This last and very necessary aspect for such articles can better be achieved through metaphor. Thus the use of pertinent and very illustrative quotes and the description through them of the essence of "Motorcycling" is, I believe, best achieved precisely through the type of writing here exemplified. With some additional explanatory text and other informative sections, this could well be a very clear example of less conventional but more effective form for an encyclopaedic article. 201.141.248.79 22:36, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Great eloquent words mate, so be bold (as they say around here) and do something... Pickle 15:08, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Cows on road[edit]

I imagine that could be an unexpected surprise/inconvenience for any motorist. I don't think it is an experience unique to motorcycling. I'm thinking it would be better in the "Escape" section (or may under "Speed"). :-) --Evb-wiki 13:37, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Please don't turn this article even less encyclopedic than it is now. -- intgr [talk] 14:23, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Proper Tone[edit]

I see that someone finally got around to ruining this article. Everything old is new again. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.31.147.93 (talk) 04:01, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

I concur completely. Even though it wasn't quite typical of a Wikipedia article, this version really did the job. Why? Because motorcycling isn't a collection of encyclopedic facts; It's a visceral, emotional, in-your-face, awe-inspiring, soul-refreshing experience that, quite frankly, was very well-expressed. I mean, c'mon, what other pasttime has people tattooing their favorite brand onto their bodies like people do with Harleys? Have you ever seen any runners with a Nike swoosh on their bicep? Me neither.

The current version, with it's dried up, musty, pedestrian prose makes it sound about the same as driving your moms minivan to the grocery store. Ugh! We could invoke WP:Ignore All Rules and restore the previous version, because, in my opinion, it makes Wikipedia a better encyclopedia. Who's with me? Mmoyer (talk) 15:10, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid you are misunderstanding what encyclopedias are. You are encouraged to move the previous version to some other website and admire it there, but it's not what an encyclopedia article would look like. See also: what Wikipedia is not. -- intgr [talk] 19:05, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
No, motorcycling isn't a "collection of encyclopedic facts," but an encyclopedia entry on motorcycling is just that. The fact that enthusiasts find motorcycling to be a "visceral, emotional, in-your-face, awe-inspiring, soul-refreshing experience" can certainly count as such a fact, provided it's attributed. Sorry, but an encyclopedia isn't the place for gushing. 142.162.76.117 (talk) 01:23, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I've removed the tone tag because (a) it's been there for 3 years and nobody's done much about it and (b) the article's not that gushy, really. --Chuunen Baka (talkcontribs) 15:03, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

The Benefits section is unencyclopedic[edit]

It doesn't read like an encyclopedia entry. It reads like, well, a "paean to the joys of motorcycling" that might appear in the Utne Reader or something, and is unmistakably written by enthusiasts. Sure, it's supposed to talk about the benefits of motorcycling, and a little of this information would be appropriate, but it needs better attribution and balance - unless someone wants to rename the section "Purported spiritual benefits of motorcycling".

The introduction mentions that motorcycling is an economical and effective mode of transportation, but this is avoided in the Benefits section to make way for the paean.

  • "Despite the fact that Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance speaks very little about motorcycle maintenance, or Zen, it was really inevitable that the two would be linked." This is blatantly POV. I've edited it.

And the fact that a bunch of motorcycling enthusiasts below are raving about the article is not surprising. But there needs to be some more objectivity. 142.162.76.117 (talk) 01:17, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Scratching[edit]

Can somebody help out with this one? Paradoctor (talk) 10:43, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

 Done It isn't a common term in motorcycling, if it's a term at all. tedder (talk) 16:48, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

non-Western photos[edit]

It's nice to have photos like this, but we need a better photo of it- nothing distracting in the foreground. Can anyone help? Likewise with this photo; it's good, but I think it would be even better if it showed a more unique aspect of being on a motorcycle- for instance, splitting through Asian traffic. tedder (talk) 02:54, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

I think the blurry bikes in the foreground help create context. I actually chose that photo above several other similar ones we could use [24][25][26][27] just because I like the foreground action. But maybe that's just my taste.

Here are some interesting ones: [28][29][30][31][32]. This is a nice POV. Whole series w/ more POV.

I'm not totally obsessed with photos from developing countries, but I think it's easy -- too easy -- to find nice shots of upper-middle-class Western males on expensive BMWs and Hondas and Harleys, or else trendy vintage bikes, out enjoying their copious leisure time on tour or at a rally. But a whole page of only those guys? No. So I'm only trying to mix it up with people whose motorcycles play a different role in their life than a midlife crisis toy.

Anyway, yes, better photos are most welcome. --Dbratland (talk) 03:13, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

I just added one] of those to Lane splitting, but it's a pretty amazing photo and might be useful elsewhere, or one of the others there could be moved. --Dbratland (talk) 03:26, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Heh, it's nice that POV is sometimes a good thing, eh? Some of those are excessively arty for my (encyclopedic) tastes. Some of these are really nice: [33], [34], [35]. Going back to the western RUB lifestyle, this might replace a few to give the motorcycling experience. tedder (talk) 03:51, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I made a couple substitutions. I still kind of like the previous lead better. --Dbratland (talk) 23:59, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus[edit]

Can anyone explain why Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus is important enough to be linked to here? What are readers going to learn if the click on the link other than the fact that the Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus exists?

Two of the most important news articles that touch on this caucus are the NYT and the CSM, both of which are basically mocking the powerlessness and irrelevance of the vast majority of these some 250+ caucuses, including the motorcycling caucus. As far as I can tell, the Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus hasn't achieved enough notability to even exist on Wikipedia according to WP:ORG. There hasn't been a single news article or book specifically about this caucus or asserting that it matters, and no sources assert that the caucus has ever done anything of any importance. If it has, please cite. --Dbratland (talk) 06:10, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

It's been in the memes lately because of Gabrielle Giffords's involvement; she did a Ride to Work Day video last year, so I've seen at least one part of the moto community putting extra support behind her right now. It may not belong, but mind you it was added in good faith. tedder (talk) 06:24, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it seems important. Giffords's involvement seems to make it notable. And who doesn't support motorcycle safety? But when I look a little closer I'm not seeing why the caucus should be given prominent treatment. --Dbratland (talk) 06:48, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't see a reason for highlighting it in this article - especially as it is already linked from Motorcycle safety. It's an organisation in one country. --Biker Biker (talk) 07:51, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

A possible addition to the article?[edit]

Motorcyclists

I set up the multiple image group at right with the intent of using it at the "Motorcycling" section of Outline of motorcycles and motorcycling to illustrate the diversity of motorcyclists and motorcycling, but I thought it might be better to add it here, at the beginning of the article. Would there be any major problems associated with doing this, or any objections to doing this? Sincerely, SamBlob (talk) 02:23, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Something other than the outlaw bikers. These people are more typical. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 02:44, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
I like that alternative image, otherwise I'm OK --Biker Biker (talk) 06:19, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
I've modified the image group to include the suggested alternative to the outlaw bikers, although I haven't removed the outlaw bikers. One very good thing about the included image is that it shows road riders wearing helmets. Without it, the only riders wearing helmets in the group were the enduro riders, and that disturbed me a bit. How is it now? Sincerely, SamBlob (talk) 17:18, 16 October 2011 (UTC) P.S.: Upon previewing this, I realized that some of the outlaws were wearing helmets. It still seems more rounded now, though. Sincerely, SamBlob (talk) 17:18, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
No way. The guy has a jacket with a swastika. It places far too much emphasis on a very narrow subculture: Mostly American, or Americanophile, mostly white male, mostly centering on the culture of the 1960s (baby boomers). And mostly dealing with veterans and ex-cons with PTSD, alcoholism and a need to belong. Outlaw motorcycle gangs have very little to do with motorcycles, very little to do with riders under age 50, and very little to do with the multi-billion dollar global motorcycle and motorcycle accessory industry, or with motorcycle sport. If this were a collection of 10 or 20 pictures, then one of them could appropriately deal with outlaw bikers. But in a section of only 3 or 4 images, including them, and at the top even, is a terrible distortion. If the subject were "how the media presents motorcycling" then yes, outlaws go right at the top. But the media likes sex and violence and drama -- I wouldn't use the media's priorities to for an encyclopedic view of being a police officer or a doctor or a soldier either. Movies and TV shows about police and doctors and soldiers focus on the exciting part and ignore the dull reality.

The main real-world effect of outlaw bikers is their influence on motorcycle fashion, and the smiling group photo in fact includes some normal riders who have elements of outlaw style, so that's well covered too.

If you want to use four photos that cover a wider range of the diverse kinds of motorcyclists, I'd add one with a utility rider, such as police or fire.--Dennis Bratland (talk) 17:39, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Spannering?[edit]

I've been riding bikes in the U.K. for 30 years and I have Never heard the term Spannering....... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.97.150.220 (talk) 01:03, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Motorcycle Wave addition?[edit]

I'm not sure if it deserves a place, or how ubiquitous it is to motorcycling, but in the US Midwest, riders often (> 90% of the time) greet each other by dropping the left hand while passing each other on the road. How true is this of other places, and does it warrant an addition? MeadDrinkerDog (talk) 19:57, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

This is not United States Wikipedia; if waving is a US-only practice there's not much reason to make a big deal out of it. But if sources give it significance, why not add a sentence about it? --Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:12, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Anecdotally, I think the "drop wave" is common on wide open roads/freeways, while the "put your arm up to wave" is more common on freeways with a center divider and for the fully-faired crowd. But yeah, it's not worth adding to the article; the folks who drive on the wrong side of the road would get jealous since they must keep their hand on the throttle. tedder (talk) 20:14, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I think you mean the left hand side of the road, not the "wrong" side of the road. A headlamp flash is/was also common in the UK.
A section of similar habits or idiosyncrasies could also be added to the list of improvements below, e.g. jargon, conventions etc --Bridge Boy (talk) 03:57, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
I think you missed the humo(u)r. tedder (talk) 04:40, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Help ...[edit]

I stuck a big "improve" box at the top of this topic page as this article really needs help. Is anyone else motivated to chip in ... especially given that "motorcyclist" also forwards to it too?

What comes to mind as missing?

  • Sports,
  • the industry,
  • motorcyclists in the media/popular cultural,
  • clothing and fashion,
  • some statistics of bikes sold/used,
  • demographics of ownership,
  • international overview,
  • role played in economic development etc

It is in pretty bad state right now. Shouldn't it be like a flagship or gateway to other motorcycle related topics?

BTW, reading above; a) yes, "spannering" is a most certainly a commonly used term in the UK just as wrenching is in the USA, and b) yes, "scratching" is also commonly used for going round corners fast. No references at hand but I use both. --Bridge Boy (talk) 03:52, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

I suggest we import some of the content here Motorcycle#Social_aspects and slim that section down to a summary? --Bridge Boy (talk) 04:16, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Original research in Motorcycling and sexuality section[edit]

The Motorcycling#Motorcycling and sexuality section, besides making US/UK-centric problem even worse, gets pretty far afield with some rather dubious notions. It is true that some academic theorists who think about sex 24 hours a day (*cough* Camille Paglia) really can go to town associating motorcycles with sex, this is not the way an encyclopedia is written. A much more restrained, balanced approach is called for, one that summarizes mainstream opinions and does not stitch together a collection of extreme view to paint an extreme picture. See also WP:FRANKENSTEIN. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 20:27, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

To be honest Dennis, in the short time I have edited this website and cross pages with you I have noticed tendencies for you to, in my opinion, misuse edit summary and throw around policy acronym to score points. But, at the bottomline, it really just boils down to your will to make said topics what you see them to be and, reasonably enough, motorcycling is one area that you have your own passionate views and understanding of. Others have theirs.
To suggest that there is no connection between motorcycling and sexuality, or that the motorcycle is not often used as a sexual metaphor, when books, papers, documentary and articles by everyone from notable academics and philosophers to notable gonzoid journalists is not possible. I mean, it does not take Freud to work out what a "crotch rocket" is.
It is their opinion, not yours nor mine that counts.
Again, as per our last confrontation, I based my edits on other comparables in this very encyclopedia and I consider that in time, and with further development, the section ultimately warrants its own topic page. In the meanwhile, it is certainly notable enough to warrant inclusion. --Bridge Boy (talk) 21:02, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
There is a connection between motorcycling and gender issues. But you need to tone it down; you're going too far in your assertions, and treating fringe views as if they were widely accepted.

It's rather laughable that regardless of whether it's just me disagreeing with you, or me plus five other editors, you repeatedly try to make it seem like my personal crusade. As if the other editors besides me didn't exist. Instead of endlessly bleating about me and my faults, go find a third opinion, or a fourth. If others agree with you, I will respect consensus. Your attempts to score points by attacking me are an utter waste of time. Has this whining about me personally ever worked before? No. It doesn't work, so why bother? Seek consensus with other editors besides me. That's the way it's done. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 03:43, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree with Dennis. Perhaps a balanced approach would be to include a section on how the subject of motorcycling tends to attract bizarre or ludicrous social science research theses. Or maybe that's self-evident from what we already have.--Tedd (talk) 17:05, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
It's best to get rid of it and start over. After Bridge Boy was blocked, we discovered that a large proportion of his edits were copyright violations copy-pasted from his sources. Since the sexuality section is clearly not neutral and filled with original research, trying to save what's there, only to discover that it's a copyvio, isn't worth it.

Motorcycling and Leisure verifies with solid scholarly citations that indeed motorcycling has been a magnet for poor social science and stereotypes and urban legends masquerading as fact. The book also verifies that the outlaw biker image from 1950s and 60s movies isn't just a Hollywood stereotype, but that it doesn't even accurately describe "one percent" of US and UK motorcyclists. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 19:04, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Community[edit]

I struck out this bit about US, Europe and rich part of the world as difficult because was not sustain with any references and is not sustainable in reality, e.g. India is a "poor" country but if you consider their clubs scene it is identical to any WASP bikers, e.g. from the Madras Bulls to Aizawl Thunders, ditto East Europe. I am pretty sure if I scraped the surface I could find the same thing going on in places like the Philippines etc.

Please define better. --Bridge Boy (talk) 20:53, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

It's not the case. The identity of being a motorcyclist is something that appeared in the US after WWI, and Europe after WWII. The Model T Ford changed all that in the US. Before, ordinary people rode motorcycles because they couldn't afford cars. They didn't think of themselves as members of a subculture, or identify themselves by their mode of transportation. In India and China today, this is still the case; though it's changing as they become rich enough to afford cars. All this heavy symbolism and deep meaning about motorcycles is something that wealthy westerners make up when motorcycles become playthings instead of workhorses. When regular folks who just want to get to work ride motorcycles, as in Vietnam and Indonesia, and Iran, and India, and China, and so on, then they don't symbolize "rebellion" or "freedom". Because they're not special; everybody rides one. It's when people start riding because they want to, not because cars are out of reach for them, that all this motorcycle mystique appears. I have a folder with a collection of sources that describe this switch from motorcycles to cars; I will add them. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 21:09, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
You don't know what you are talking about Dennis and you are making presumptions about my point of view which I find offensive.
Yes, what you are saying is also true but there has also always been an association with the community of motorcycling from the earliest days of the "Promenade Percys" in the West to the far flung bikers of Naga land today and the symbolism of the motorcycle has had its own value from the earliest days. I think you need to go and do a little homework. I am not American. I don't write from an American perspective. You're arguing with someone else in your head, not me.
One glaring anomaly to your thesis would be my own special interest of rockers who very much were _also_ poor and for whom their motorcycle were "workhorses" and yet who also developed their own sub-culture and community alternative from the American-centric one you are defining. Of the top of my head I could think of numerous other such examples. --Bridge Boy (talk) 21:23, 11 June 2012 (UTC)


One of the great things about Wikipedia is it doesn't matter what you know. It's defined by actual verifiability. (see the 5 pillars of Wikipedia). tedder (talk) 21:32, 11 June 2012 (UTC)


"You don't know what you are talking about Dennis". I think I do know what I'm talking about. And I think what I'm asserting is verifiable:

  • "With the advent of affordable automobiles such as Henry Ford's Model T in 1913, average people could afford to buy cars. Clearly it was easier to haul the entire family to church in an automobile; you could only haul three or four family members on a motorcycle, and then only if it was equipped with a sidecar. By the end of World War I, man of the companies manufacturing motorcycles had either gone out of business or switched the manufacture of some other product. Motorcycles might have become extinct, except for some clever marketing moves on the part of the remaining manufacturers. … Motorcycling survived by positioning itself as a sport, a leisure activity, rather than trying to compete with the automobile as practical transportation." [36]
  • "…if wages rose, consumers would switch over to automobiles. Braun and Panzer have identified this as 'a peculiar feature of the demand-side of the motor-cycle market: 'if wealth or real income surpasses a critical but not quantifiable level, the demand for motorcycles switches to a more convenient but expensive substitute product, the automobile, as a competing vehicle for individual transportation." [37]
  • "The demise of American motorcycling: Curse you, Mr. Ford! … Although a lot of motorcyclist today buy a motorcycle for cheap transportation, most buy a motorcycle for recreation. They just want to have fun. That wasn't true back in the day. In the early 1900s, people wanted to get around and needed cheap transportation to do it. A motorcycle fit the bill, with a cost of $125 to $325, or so, depending on the model. That was at a time when cars cost as much as $2,000 or $3,000, and even fords cheap Model T was $850 in 1909. … But Ford was making lots of cars. And he was learning a lot about how to produce cars cheaply. With his high volume assembly-line innovations, he was able to cut the price of cars over the years. The Model T went from $850 in 1909 to $440 in 1915. Suddenly, the Model T was within reach of the average American family. Ford built about 15 million Model Ts between 1909 and 1927. In a Ford Model T touring car cost $380. So a family could buy a motorcycle, or for a little more, buy a car. Most opted for a car. So by 1930, only two major American motorcycle manufacturers were left: Indian and Harley-Davidson." [38]
  • "The USA: Bike v. Car. … After World War I, the american motorcycle industry found itself fighting another battle -- against the increasing popularity of the car, particularly in the shape of Henry Ford's Model T. The main attraction was its bargain price. … Although there was a vast increase in motorcycle sales in Europe (nearly 100 new marques appeared in Britain alone) during this period, the huge upsurge of car production in the USA, headed by the Model T, slashed the previous large number of American bike producers." [39]
  • "…high-powered, large displacement touring motorcycles, which are common in the United States but not in most developing countries. Motorcycles used in developing countries seldom exceed 250 cc in engine displacement."[40]
  • "As a rule, developing countries begin to see a surge in the demand for motorcycles when the GDP reaches around $750 a head: around the level in China as a whole today [2004]. For the car sector, the average is much higher, more than thirteen times as much in 2003." (keep reading this; lots of good observations on the process of motorization from bikes to motorcycles to cars).[41]
  • "A motorcycle costs about 10-15 percent of the cost of a small car. In Asia and Africa, the motorcycle has become the equivalent of the 'middle income family's motor car. […] As incomes increase, motor car and motorcycle ownership will continue to increase. It is not uncommon to see three or four people on a motorcycle. A family of four may start from home, drop off the first child at one school, the second child at another, one spouse at work, and the the fourth will reach his or her workplace after these drop-offs. Part of the reason for this unsafe use of the motorcycle is that there is a severe shortage and inappropriate location of social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, combined with inadequate and inefficient public transport."[42]
  • "A significant part of transportation in the developing owrld is based on smaller vehicles: gasoline rickshaws, motorcycles, scooters, etc. […] Together, China and India host about one-third of the entire world population. Their economies are some of the fastest growing today. Each has a growing middle class. Under the most likely scenario, a significant increase in the number of cars is probably inevitable. […] To cater to its growing middle class, China will either import India's cheap automobiles or follow suit with similar models." [43]
  • "Under pressure form cheap automobiles like Henry Ford's Model T, more motorcycle manufacturers went under." [44]
  • "Affordable cars like the Ford Model T were beginning to erode America's motorcycle industry" [45]
  • "The ford Model T, which redefined the market for cheap transportation. As Model T's flooded the roads, motorcycle sales declined, and in 1912, Indian announced price reductions for the first time in its history." [46]
  • "The invention of Henry Ford's Model T car, produced from 1908 to 1927, was an economical, convenient vehicle that changed the way people thought about transportation. Unlike the vehicles that had come before, the Model T was affordable to most Americans. It was a practical vehicle, allowing them to work farther away from their homes, and offering entire families an opportunity to hop into their cars and go somewhere. Motorcycles were far from the minds of most people at this time, as they could not accommodate more than one person. … Motorcycles could have easily disappeared if manufacturers force them to compete with cars as practical modes of transportation. Instead, motorcycle manufacturers began to promote motorcycle racing, which kept motorcycles in the public eye. Motorcycles were raced among enthusiasts from the first days of development. As racing was promoted as a sport, people began to think of motorcycling as a leisure activity, rather an as an alternative to cars. This allowed motorcycles to hang on a little longer." [47]
  • [In Hungary] "...the obsolete and polluting Eastern-European products were replaced by Western cars […] Meanwhile the number of vehicle types decreased that serve public transpoeration objectives (such as coaches), as well as vehicles for extensive agricultural production (tractors). The same occured to vehicles such as motorcycles, which can be substituted by more comfortable and safer cars […] The number of motorcycles fell in most counties as a result of car purchases, while in Budapest it grew significantly (with almost 30%) […] motorcycles are again fashionable and among the young they represent a status symbol" [48]
  • "'There is now a confluence of factors in India that is favorable for us,' said Matthew Levatich, president of Harley-Davidson's main motorcycle division. 'The rise of middle-class consumption, increased government investment in new highways and the recent economic boom have ushered in a perfect time for the market for leisure motorcycle riding.' […] India is the second-largest motorcycle market in the world, dominated by small, inexpensive utility bikes that cost roughly $1,200 and are used by those who cannot afford to buy a car. A new Indian car called the Nano was launched earlier this year at a price of $2,500, aiming to convert millions of users of two-wheeled vehicles to first-generation car buyers. […] The Harley, however, will target affluent Indians. The company will sell about 12 models in India at a starting price of about $14,000, twice the U.S. starting price. […] A Harley-Davidson is an image more than a motorcycle." [49]
  • "Suzuki, with its strong pedigree in motorcycles and scooters, has sought to make its mini-cars and vans the first vehicle that drivers choose as their economies shift from two to four wheels. […] A number of South-East Asian nations, including Vietnam and Indonesia, are considered to be close to the “tipping point” at which a nation of motorcyclists becomes a nation of motorists. " "Volkswagen ready to buy slice of Suzuki 'within weeks'." Times [London, England] Leo Lewis Asia Business Correspondent. 9 Dec. 2009: 62. Academic OneFile. Web. 11 June 2012.
  • "The Model T's success spelled doom for the U.S. motorcycle industry, which during its peak in 1912-1913 included 60 different brands in production and under development. At one time Henry Ford stated publicly that he feared a lightweight, inexpensive motorcycle would outsell his Ford cars. But matched against even a semi-enclosed Model T, motorcycles lacked the car's stability and all-weather top. Families accustomed to relatively plush sidecar rigs like this four-cylinder Henderson with Goulding sidecar -- made in Detroit and Sginaw, MIchigan respectively -- found the reliable and increasingly affordable Model T irresistible." [50]
  • "Ford's downward pressure on the price of transportation was crushing [See table of prices of Model T vs H-D Twin] [51]
  • "As Ford's assembly line process was perfected, the price dropped to $550 in 1913, and to $440 in 1915. Still, a little more expensive than a motorcycle, but getting closer" [52]
  • "European minicars torpedoed motorcycles in the decade following World War II." [53]
  • "A big chunk of the market opted for the Model T in preference to a motorcycle" [54]
  • "That's how the decade of the motorcycle (1900s) had started. It was a time when motorcycles greatly outnumbered automobiles -- it wasn't until 1913 that Henry Ford's Model T made its first appearance. Prior to that, it was prohibitively costly. … The popularity of the automobile went up as the cost went down. … If the motorcycle could no longer compete as a utility and transportation vehicle, it would have to be marketed for entirely different purposes. To survive, manufacturers began promoting motorcycles for recreation and sport. [55]

There is wide agreement that there are two distinct roles for motorcycles: one utilitarian, based on cost , and the other recreational. Sources agree that motorcycling subculture develops when the motorcyclist becomes a minority who rides by choice, not by necessity. That's when the whole fetishization of motorcycles arises, when average people switch to cars, motorcyclists become something other than average. Then the motorcycle becomes a symbol rather than a mere tool.

Treating the leisure class motorcycle subculture as a worldwide phenomenon is incorrect. It's correct, and valuable, to describe the developed world that way, but alongside that, the developing world must be described in a distinctly different way. Wikipedia:Systemic bias argues that articles must be written this way, in compliance with the core policy WP:Neutral point of view. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 03:24, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

There is a third group which, for the sakes of this discussion, I am going to call "lifestyle motorcyclists" for whom it is not just "leisure" but a way of life.
I think your argument falls apart in a number of ways.
Firstly, in the gross generalization of such nations as "poor" (actually what you find in those nations is not universal poverty but both incredible wealth and an even greater disparity of wealth) so that, for example, in China you end up with sweatshop workers and entrepreneurs riding $50,000 Harleys with 40% import duties. The same is universal for much of Asia and even Africa.
Secondly, and most glaringly, with the suggestion that this motorcycling as a leisure activity is not worldwide. It is also a worldwide phenomenon.
And, thirdly, with the exclusion of the third category of lifestyle motorcyclist; individuals who self-identify as motorcyclists, usually as "bikers" (rockers, bikies etc) by choice in a way that say members of a religious group do. This is also a worldwide phenomenon.
Sure, there are such a thing as "leisure motorcyclists" who might as well have bought a set of golf clubs and joined a golf club but instead join HOG and, sure, they are most prevalent in North America but, please, do not mistake that as a complete and accurate world view or framework.
This is why I asked you what kind of "rider of motorcycles" you are in order to first understand your perspective. You cannot pretend to just be neutrally "relying on the references" when you also have your own filters of information going on. Initially, I just had you down for being a civilian motorcyclist, now you are making me think that you are a leisure motorcyclist yourself. --Bridge Boy (talk) 02:21, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Sources? As explained in WP:TALK, talk pages are for discussing ways of improving articles. This is not an appropriate place to speculate on whether another editor is a "civilian" or whatever your term is. No Wikipedia editors are interested in reading such off-topic chatter. Trying to goad me into a cock-wagging contest over who is "more of a motorcyclist" only makes me laugh. It's juvenile, and it has nothing to do with how content disputes on Wikipedia are resolved.

Can you cite any source which tells us the generalizations in this article apply to in the countries where most of the world's motorcycles are? --Dennis Bratland (talk) 03:50, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

New lede and image[edit]

Hi.

I think the new lede and image skew the topic too much. Motorcycling is not only merely "riding a motorcycle" and it seems a little strange to dive directly from there into the economics of develop nations. An inclusion I suspect is partly to justify the removal of the gallery of widespread activities which individuals define as motorcycling and the reversion to misrepresentative photo.

Whereas I agree with the place of motorcycling during such economic development, I do not think it is such an overall defining factor and the lede should reflect the whole. (I'd also warn that economic factors are not the only influence of choice in such times and places). I'd say we should keep the photo and develop this area but that it should not be that prominent. --Bridge Boy (talk) 21:16, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

There are graphs in Motorcycle#Demographics that drive the point that the Western motorcyclists is a minority; the vast majority of motorcyclists have a much different experience. Iran is one of the countries where most motor vehicles are motorcycles. Motorcycle has a number of citations, particularly data from Worldmapper, what supports all this. The fact that the Honda Super Cub sold 60 million units makes the point again; it dwarfs the numbers of Harleys or Triumphs or BMWs in the world; and that only counts the real Honda Super Cubs. There are probably another 120 million or more knock offs of the Super Cub on the road in the developing world. An IP in Delhi, India tagged this article as not representing a global perspective, not me. It's fine to talk about Marlon Brando and Robert Pirsig, but that's not the whole story.

And the photo is awesome. It's dynamic, and it shows an iconic image: a family on a motorcycle, something seen around the world every day. File:Monsoon couple on motorcycle.jpg File:Five on a bike India.jpg File:Family transport.jpg File:Motorcycle in Radha-Kund, 2007.jpg File:Honda Activa Family Outing.jpg File:Holi revellers on bike.jpg These types of images represent the way motorcycles are experienced for most people, so it makes an excellent lead. If we don't show a family loaded on one bike, then the next best choice would be dozens of bikes swamping the number of cars, such as File:Motorcyclists lane splitting in Bangkok, Thailand.jpg. This, again, is motorcycling for most humans, even if you never see this in the West. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 22:05, 11 June 2012 (UTC)


Where do you live Dennis? I live "in the West" and I see the likes every day. It's called the London rush hour. Hooray for laws that allow lane splitting.
I'll answer both your posts here.
As I said, I am not arguing against your observation of the place of motorcycling during industrial economic evolution. I agree with it because it is a fact (although it will be a fix point and not a progression towards a car based society for most nations for numerous reasons).
I am also not talking about 'leisure motorcyclists'. Again, I suspect this comment is a reflection of your own society.
In your rush to show us what you know, I think you have missed what I am speaking about, 'lifestyle motorcyclists' who are also a global phenomenon, as per the examples I gave you. Although, as you say, they are a small minority, they do have a disproportionate influence upon the manner motorcycling and motorcyclist are perceived and represented.
What kind of motorcycle riding individual are you? How do you self-identify? --Bridge Boy (talk) 15:24, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
First you question whether SamBob and Biker Biker and the others are motorcyclist enough to discuss your list of fancruft, and now you're here trying to attack my credibility. Wikipedia doesn't work that way. Everybody has a right to participate. There are other encyclopeidas written by recognized experts, but this isn't one of them. Here you show your sources. It doesn't matter who you are, it matters what the sources say. Tedder tried to tell you that above. Did you hear him? Read what Tedder said again.

Do you have sources to cite that show your claims about motorcycle cluture apply to the majority of riders in the world, those in Asia and Africa? If you don't have something to cite, then you have nothing to say.--Dennis Bratland (talk) 15:33, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

As I am sure you are intelligent enough to comprehend what I have written, I have to say again you have a habit of misrepresenting what has written to score points, and an insulting and pugnacious manner with it. I've read up your history and it appears I am not the first to comment upon this. Please stop. I never wrote "majority" and I oppose your unreferenced claim that such phenomena is limited only to the USA and "rich nations" however they may be defined. It is plainly not true.
Now it seems you are attempting to draw in allies to further distract. Wherever did I address SamBob and Biker Biker in such a manner above? I addressed you and I asked you what kind of "motorcycle riding individual" are you and how do you self-identify?
It is a perfectly neutral question, for example, I suspect the answer would be a "civilian" or "leisure motorcycle rider" and "part-time motorcycle sportsperson"?
(As regards tedder's semantic argument above, if "what I know" are the reliable sources, then it "does matter" and so he was wrong but I did not care to make a point about it. Let's stop all this petty point scoring using policy and stick to the subject. If tedder wishes to discuss matters with me he can do so himself and does not need you as an advocate.).
BTW, please go ahead and add your stuff about the role of motorcycles in social or economic evolution of societies. --Bridge Boy (talk) 01:48, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
I intend to rewrite almost every generalization in this article to make clear it only applies to the developed world. That doesn't begin to address the missing content about motorcycles in the rest of the world, but it's a start. Since you have not cited any sources showing the current article does apply globally, I assume that means you will not stand in the way. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 03:55, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Worldview issues[edit]

I do not think the worldview tag is needed. But I want to add something about South Africa. Now SA is nota "developed country" like USA and UK. But because of the higher than normal distribution of wealth and with good roads, good infrastructure bikers thrive. Even in the townships, I have some photos i have taken of huge biker groups in the "poorer" townships where, despite not all being rich, they still do hardcore biking. Actually people of all economic backgrounds come together and bike. I think sourcing content like this would then justify removing the worldview tag.--Inayity (talk) 10:14, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

I don't understand your point at all. The reason for the globalize tag is that this article, like most of the motorcycling articles and most English language sources, focuses on motorcycling in the US and Europe in the post World War II era. So it treats motorcycles mainly as a form of recreation, or as a subculture. It doesn't acknowledged that the overwhelming majority of people in the world who ride motorcycles do so because it's the only form of motorized transportation they can afford. They have never given a thought to Marlon Brando or black leather jackets or motorcycling as an identity. They just need transportation and a car isn't an option. They are in the same situation US riders were in prior to WW I. See the 20 or so sources and quotations I listed above in the Community section. I think the {{Globalize}} tag needs to come back until this substantial gap in the article is addressed. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 23:40, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I understand this issue in general but the article does mention this point. There is also the issue of in the Western World people write about these things more than in say Congo. Obviously the language barrier means we cannot sometimes read all the facts about biking in India. But I do not think the tag on the entire article is justified, maybe on certain sections. The point of a tag is ultimately to get a discussion going and to remove it with a fix,-- since 2012 no fix. What is the soln?--Inayity (talk) 07:05, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Every section of the article should cover how motorcycling is experienced by more than half the people on Earth, so the problem is with the whole article. There is no arbitrary deadline for removing maintenance templates. As long as the problem exists, the article should remain tagged. It has been discussed before and sources do exist. It's simply a matter of doing the work. It's not an easy thing to fix so nobody has done it yet.

One first step would be to move all the material related to social issues from Motorcycle to Motorcycling, in particular the Demographics section, as discussed at Talk:Motorcycle#Re-sort contents with Motorcycling article. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 15:17, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Safety, hurt report etc.[edit]

The safety part of Motorcycle should be moved to this article, (Talk:Motorcycle). I see that there are many references to the Hurt Report, which is from 1981. I think it is wrong to mix findings in this ancient report with never riding manuals etc. I question that quotes like "The latter is more commonly caused by operating a motorcycle while intoxicated" is up to date. Can the new safety section in this article be done without references to this old report? Cheers, Atlesn (talk) 21:39, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Please read Hurt Report for the explanation. It's really the only high quality motorcycling safety study ever done in the US. Many people think this is a travesty, and there have been efforts to try to remedy the situation, but so far is mostly foot dragging and hot air. Note that the MAIDS report is more recent, and in Europe, but it uses the same basic methodology and it has not contradicted any of the basic findings of the Hurt Report. If you read any of the most respected safety experts, such as David Hough, you'll note that they still consider the Hurt Report's conclusions useful and relevant. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 21:44, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

What more info about safety should be covered here than what I've added now? We do have a dedicated article for this also, maybe some of the stuff from Motorcycle can be moved to Motorcycle safety instead of this article (if it's not already there). Cheers, Atlesn (talk) 22:58, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

We shouldn't move anything from Motorcycling to Motorcycle safety for the sake of avoiding redundancy. Summaries of sub-articles in main articles are supposed to be redundant.

The safety section now is adequate as far as it goes, but it only coveres the US and Europe. Broader coverage would be better if we had the sources. Most of the world's motorcyclists are in the developing world but we ignore them due to lack of good sources.

The error I mentioned at Talk:Motorcycle is repeated here: it compares motorcycling to cars on a per-mile traveled basis, but then says motorcycling is safer than horseback riding on a per-hour basis. The first is related to transport: I have to go X miles; how should I get there. The second is as recreation: I have X hours for recreation, how should I spend it? How you frame the question determines what is "more dangerous". An airplane is safer than a car for a 300 mile trip, but a car is safer for a 1 miles trip, because most of the risk in flying is in the takeoff and landing, but if that risk gets amortized over hundreds of miles and it becomes safer than cars. It should be rephrased to not assert what is "more dangerous" or "less dangerous". Instead state the actual comparison being made: risk per hour without making an editorial judgement of danger. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 01:16, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Take a look at it now. I found a better source for the leisure activity numbers, and I removed "more dangerous" etc., ppl can figure out for themselves. It's a bit messy to read, though. Cheers, Atlesn (talk) 09:44, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

General cleanup[edit]

Strange paragraph[edit]

I moved this in here from the article:

As the restriction of mobility is common element in oppressive circumstances, motorcycling is also a significant tool of mobility[1] and a symbol of independence, adventure and self-reliance.[2]

  1. ^ Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls: Gender in Film at the End of the Twentieth Century. Murray Pomerance. SUNY Press, 2001
  2. ^ The Wright stuff. Young, Robert. American Motorcyclist, Aug 1997

What does this mean, I don't get it at all. Cheers, Atlesn (talk) 20:39, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

References in Demographics[edit]

I moved the Popularity-stuff over here from Motorcycle, but since I moved stuff around, some of the inline citations might not be placed next to their original text. Atlesn (talk) 21:10, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

River-POV video[edit]

I'm not sure about the helmet cam video that was just added by Ckoerner. It might be good to have a video in principle, but this one a) has no narrative (the sound seems to be wind noise only) and b) doesn't actually show the motorcycle being ridden. Because of this, it misses a chance to show some dynamic situations in a way that a reader could comprehend. Any other contributors want to give an opinion here? - Brianhe (talk) 22:33, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, I'd love something that would explemplify the experience of motorcycling. I picked through Commons and found that one (here's a search for videos with the keyword "motorcycle" I used). If a better example can be found, or if folks don't think this adds anything to the article, I'd love some additional thoughts. Thanks Brianhe for starting a discussion. If you're curious, I was inspired to add a video by the recent addition to the article on Dance. Can you believe we've never had a video showing anyone actually dancing‽ :) Ckoerner (talk) 02:35, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes that is certainly ironic. Maybe Brion VIBBER will be happy we are using more of his video tech now. We are so constrained by the traditions of conventional written media here, when we should not be. - Brianhe (talk) 02:46, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Citation needed in the Demographics intro.[edit]

RE: Citation needed. The Demographics section begins with a summary of the sub-sections that follow. since it goes into a lot of detail and covers several kinds of information in different times and places, an introduction to give an overview of where it's going is helpful for the reader to follow along. The intro repeats facts, in summary form, that are given in greater detail, with citations, in the sub-sections that follow. This is why there are no citations. One could take all the footnotes from each sub-section, and plop all of them after the into, creating a list of 8 or 9 footnotes. But do we really want that, or needed it? If anyone reads the intro and is surprised or skeptical, the thing to do is read on. It's all there. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 00:02, 15 May 2017 (UTC)