If there is any way to cheapen and pervert something good, we will find a way to do it in America. We are just reinforcing mainstream America's belief that owning a motorcyle is something dangerous or illegal, and that bikers need to be controlled.
I agree with Fred that this stuff is LCD but, I dont know if I buy into the whole 'they will end us...' slippery slope kind of appeal. I think stunting will end up neutered and homogenized and weakly duplicated just like everything else in motorcycling.(Hell's Accountants, anyone?) Like someone else on here said, we will end up wearing pre-shredded helmets and brand name Stuntaz jeans with armor in the fabric.
You hit the mark! To the manufacturers and aftermarket PR guys: Wake Up, the dope you sell to today may ruin the market tommorrow. It is hard enough to explain to John Q Public how the sport is a rational exercise; when they see these "extremist" doing wheelies down the freeway, the cause is lost. Just lock us all up.
Stunting is one of these things that I believe is overblown. After all we've got 300 million people living in the USA. Even a few thousand stunters nationwide is a pretty insignificant number. While the media may create a perception that problems with stunters are rampant I personally have never seen any such shenanigans. Things in reality are never the way they are portrayed in the press.
As motorcyclists we are pretty sensitive to these things. And, true, the dedicated safety nazis are always looking for another way to interfere in everyone else's lives. But, I think that this entire thing is pretty much beneath the general public's radar. In any case if we want to live in a somewhat free society then things like this are going to happen and I guess life will go on somehow.
The general public thinks we're all nuts anyhow and probably don't consider stunting any worse than lane splitting or wailing through traffic at 50 over the speed limit. Heck, my wife dragged me to a party with a bunch of her friends on St Patrick's Day and at one time they were all appalled when she told them that our nephew had bought a small dirt bike for his 12 year old son. We really live in a cowardly society now.
I'm not going to worry much about what a bunch of whining meemies think of all this. They are ineffective people anyhow and aren't going to do anything about it. They'll just whine at parties.
The problem is the idiots emulating the stunts on city streets, just yesterday I saw a group of guys doing wheelies up a main street, in traffic, by a school. Not smart. But the cop in from of me ignored them, which was probably for the best, the only thing chasing them would have done is probably cause an accident. You know they would not have stopped, just took off through city traffic at warp speed.
God, I'm starting to sound like my old man. Kill me now.
On the one hand I agree - if I'm paying to go see a show, I don't want to be subjected to some of that garbage - especially if I'm there with my son (kind of like commercials before a movie...) However, they do have a following in the community of interest, and a (legitimate?) reason to be there.
I don't see these guys as the end of the world though. Most people are bright enough to know the difference between the crazies and the rest of us who just want to enjoy motorcycling. If you ride responsibly, you are generally treated accordingly.
Also, I don't see these guys as much different than a legion of riders with open pipes (cruiser, sportbike, or whatever). They may be more dangerous, but they are just as anti-social and annoying.
I disagree. IMO the vast majority of the non riding public think bikers are subversives even before all of the antics we may do are added in.
Let's review; Wearing leather=badboy, operating a vehicle without car like safety devices=crazy, 0-60 in 3 seconds=insane, having to watch traffic more carefully for motorbikes=irritating.
Lets face it, cagers already think we have screw loose and are frankly irritated by our presence on the roads. I'm sure that stuntaz, 120dB pipes and rolling burnouts are just the icing on the cake. I'm sure if we all behaved in an exemplary fashion most non bikers would still be our enemies.
As many of you may know and far less care, I live in the sticks. Ding-weed central. The other day (Sunday I think) I was riding west on I-68 in Western Maryland. Doing about 75, I was passed by a crotch rocketeer. I'm guessing 110-120. Scared the poop outta me. Then this genius slowed back down a bit, hoisted the front end and road a wheelie for some time. A rare uphill straight gave me a good view for quite a while. All this took place amidst light freeway traffic: a few trucks, minivans, SUVs, etc. I got some not-so-friendly glances from the non-biking traffic. Nice.
Then I pulled onto Rt. 55, a country two lane, and was approached by a KTM rider who was riding a very nice wheelie down the road at about 50mph. Again, in light traffic.
Where are these assholes coming from? I don't mind the show at the track, but this schit spills over to the streets. As we've seen here on MO, even Sportster riders are getting in on the act. That bozo not only took it to the streets, he took it to the sidewalks as well.
To condone street-based stunting in a forum of major representatives of the motorcycle industry is just plain wrong. Thanks Fred. As usual, your insight is crystal clear and your words even more so.