I think your average member of the public sees NOTHING useful about motorcycles. To them they are rolling road hazards and the people who ride them must be slightly nuts or have a death wish...right?
The general media, which is a fairly good reflection of public views I think (flame on Fox fans!!) are only too happy to reinforce the above views. If you notice on the morning and evening traffic reports they always make a special point of mentioning if a wreck has involved a motorcycle as if that was the cause.
Scooters on the other hand...why they're so fuel efficient, practical and above all they're cute!
I think it sets up a huge conflict between the do-gooders and the safety Nazis (who are most times one-in-the-same).
The do-gooders want to advocate things like tiny cars and public transportation (normally for everyone but themselves) but the safety Nazi inner child couldn't possibly recommend something as dangerous as a motorcycle.
I saw Bill Maher ditched his Prius for a hybrid Lexus. This way he can drive in luxury in a vehicle that's not all that fuel efficient while still telling his lefty friends that he has a hybrid. Damn Toyota is smart!
I agree 100% - motorcycles cause less congestion on the road, utilize less parking space, encourage responsible behavior due to the incredible consequences of irresponsibility on a bike unless offset by enormous skill, and of course have very low fuel costs (partially offset by other operating costs).
There should be a huge campaign for bikes in today's environment. A 1000cc superbike gets 40 miles per gallon under normal driving conditions - a more rational choice, near 50.
Sidecar? No,seriously i dont think anybodywould say that motorcycles are for everyone or that they could take the place of cars/trucks. However,the media could make a difference if instead of demonizimg motorcycles,they held them out as a possible alternative for some purposes/people.
I must agree with HelterSkelter. Motorcycles (and scooters) are inherently more dangerous than automobiles, and exponentialy more dangerous to newbies who think it would be a good way to save on gas. I don't think I ever met a motorcyclist who rode solely because it was cheaper on gas than a car. But, for those who already ride, the extra mileage is a small bonus these days.
Motorcycles are dangerous!! It would be irresponsible of the hallowed news media to spoonfeed anything but the most sanitized pablum to their viewers....Why my friends uncles cousins neighbors wives neice's boyfrind fell off a motorcycle a long time ago and almost got hurt!!!!!
Just back from the Mickey Rourke/Jerry Lewis film festival and I did NOT get my talking points fax from GPTB HQ, so I'll have to wag it: I think there are significant large-scale cultural forces in play here.
You have the urban (and self styled urbane) folks who get a bit sniffy around anything so "mechanical" as a motorcycle. But it appears that more than just a few will do scooters. After all, they don't look so mechanical. If you ever have read Peter Egan's R&T stuff, you've seen him address this within the frame of old sports cars.
Then there is the fact that motorcycles are "complicated" and "risky". Well, there goes half of everybody if not more.
Reminds me of my other passion, high quality audio. If so many people love music, why don't more folks take quality reproduction of music more seriously? Why do ALL rack systems, boomboxes and the like sssuuuuuuccccckkkkk? (yes, I have a Pod and I use Apple Lossless only) Too mechanical, too complicated & audio buffs behave so as to exclude those not in the know (and, I think as do we motorcyclists do to an extent).
Finally, look around at your own family, friends and neighbors. Think about how many are mechanical donks. How many can't fix a leaky faucet? How many can't do a simple weekend warrior home improvement project or even give a cogent description of what they want to a handyman contractor?
Sorry, I think we'll always be a fairly small minority.
Unfortunately,you are probably right on all accounts.Perhaps when gas hits four bucks a gallon,things will change.It would be nice to the major motorcycle companies,in the pursuit of wholesome ecology [re: self interest] to promote them .Hey Sean,you got clout with all these folks ,Would it hurt to ask them to get off their multi billion dollar butts, and put some commercials out?Oh yeah by the way gas hit 3 bucks a gallon in hawaii on monday
I agree,but at least I think the big four and others should at least put out a public relations campaign[re:commercials] out.Those that think they can handle it and look at it as another alternative [the new buzzword] will dothe required learning curve.Hell,we have enough riding nuts now in cages who are irresponsible.And while I think that yes ,initially,we will get some nuts on two wheels,but darwinian mindset will eliminate them[adapt or die,friend] And as the politicians always pitch crap to the youth,you know they would just jump on the band wagon on this one,seeing as how alot of them are up for reelction next year...
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