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Offline RDH

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Riding culture
« on: September 22, 2014, 10:33:26 PM »
I have had the pleasure of visiting a number of countries over the last year and it is interesting to see how different the riding culture has been compared to the UK. These are just some of my observations.
In the UK we have little sub cultures: Sports bike riders wear a multi coloured leather onesie and boots that look like something the 6 million dollar man would have under his skin; cruisers prefer to wear black leather with studs and patches and open face helmets; adventure riders tend to wear textiles with multiple pockets and vents, flip front helmets with an intercom device. There are other stereotypical images that we can all recognise. I know that many of us commute on or bikes but most of us ride for pleasure; we are an affluent society.
In Vietnam and Cambodia it is very different. The average monthly earnings are around $240 and there is a 200% import tax on vehicles. The bikes are small capacity and are multi use. They are used out of necessity. I saw them being used to carry produce of all sorts from live pigs to buckets to a fridge to the family. There was often a family of 4 riding the one bike. Dad would be in control of the bike with small child stood in front of him, mother would be behind him on the pillion seat but the second child would be wedged in-between her and dad. The maximum I saw riding a bike at one time was 5 but there are postcards showing 7 riders! I kid you not when I saw a bike that had the legend 'family' on the side. A motorbike MPV? I wonder if Triumph are working on one now.
The riding gear usually consisted of an old helmet and that was it. No other gear used for protection. The expense I suppose. Children under 5 did not have to wear a helmet, said to be because they grow out of them so quickly!
I have just got back from Rome. Well, we still had all the low capacity bikes but there were of course loads of scooters. The only riding gear was the ubiquitous open front helmet. Many times I saw people talking on their phones or smoking whilst riding. Most of the riders were seen in the morning and evening rush hours and many men were wearing sharp suits with their ties and jackets flapping and had shoes but no socks. The ladies were wearing office clothing that ranged from suits to short dresses and stilettoes. Fantastic! I recall one attractive young lady riding at speed passed the Hard Rock Caf, dress blown to the top of her slender tanned thighs whilst leaning hard over to make the bend. Delightful. Many of the maxi scoots had no 'chicken strip' on the tyres, testimony to how hard some of these machines were ridden. Other traffic was often treated as a mobile chicane. BMW, Triumph, KTM, HD and of course Ducati had a strong presence amongst the non scoots.

Anybody else want to share their observations of riders and their culture from abroad?


Offline AvgBear

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Re: Riding culture
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2014, 05:50:54 PM »
In USA, similar to as you describe UK -- with the addition of a group of young sport-bike riders, "squids", who prefer to wear as little as possible and act like "stunters" whenever possible.
Same as you describe UK cruiser riders -- with the addition of seemingly no mufflers allowed - ever - on cruisers..?  :187:
Similar ADV, too -- a "walking / riding show-room" of new bike & equipment (many $$$ spent...).
And you are correct about the "affluent society":
The latest trend in "affluenza" in the U.S. is the popularity of $30K, 1000 lb. +, "trike" - 3 wheelers.  :191:
"Working on a motorcycle, working well, caring, is to become part of a process, to achieve an inner peace of mind.
The motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon."
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