Peter Jones of Cycle World has an article in the November 2012 issue called “Can I Test Drive Your Personality?” (seemingly not online yet) about loaning your motorcycle to others.
What caught my attention was this funny section:
A measure of how improper it is to ask if you can ride someone else’s bike is that simply touching someone else’s motorcycle is forbidden unless they are a friend and have been invited to do so.
Yet, once, while I was walking with a friend through a parking area at a bike event, a stranger joined us while we admired a MV Augusta America. Without warning, this stranger reached out and grabbed the handlebars. We jumped back in horror.
My firend asked him, “Is this your bike?”
The guy replied, “No but I sure wish it were!” Then he threw a leg over it. We shrieked like little boys!
My friend asked him, “You don’t actually own a motorcycle, do you?” The guy answered, “No, why?”
At that point, we had two choices: Either try to educate this guy about the rules of motorcycling, or run from him before he touches the wrong bike at the wrong moment and we witness a violent crime we knew we wouldn’t raise a hand to stop.
Girls are, of course, exempt from the rule of not touching a guy’s bike. That’s because if a girl touches your bike, it means she wants to have sex with you.
Or so guys like to think…
Hilarious story inside a piece about the etiquette of allowing people to borrow your bike. I’ve had a couple of bikes – a cruiser that got mistaken for a Harley and a sport tourer that people didn’t seem to know what it was – that occasionally attracted attention. But no one was ever bold, stupid or rude enough to touch them without asking permission (which was always happily given) first.
If I had ever seen someone actually sitting on my bike without my permission, they’d be very lucky to only get yelled at and threatened. In the right mood, I might have, at the very least, punched them in the chest…
So, if you ever want to sit on a stranger’s bike, hang around and politely ask them. 99% of the time, they’ll say yes.
Or…be a girl and just sit on the bike…:)