Thursday, October 22, 2009
All In the Family
Riding the Piaggio MP3 has been an education in both the tightness of the motorcycling/scootering communities and the wideness of the gap between the various elements of that same community. At some level I suppose I knew that, but riding the MP3 has really put it under a bright light.
Anyone who has ever ridden knows about the "Rider Wave". As long as I've ridden I've always made it a point to wave at other cyclist, irrespective of brand or style of bike. My wave was a raised left hand. At some point the wave became something like a "Low Five". I think it started with the Harley riders but has become pretty much universal.
So now I give the low wave to everyone. But not everyone waves back. And depending on what I'm riding I can almost predict who will wave. If I'm on my BMW R1150R, a big "naked" road bike, nearly everyone waves back. Even the Harley and Gold Wing riders give a - sometimes begrudging - wave.
If I'm riding the GS, with the high front fender and off-road look, then I'll nearly never get a wave from the Harley or Sport Bike riders. It's just too big a gap. If I'm on the BMW650CS, a somewhat odd looking street bike, only the BMW riders wave.
If I'm on the Piaggio MP3, though, I get near universal acknowledgment. I didn't expect that. I thought there'd be a sort of elitist attitude among the two-wheelers. Quite the contrary. Big Bike riders, sport bike guys in tight leather outfits, cruisers folks with fringe leather jackets, and the BMW crowd in their Aerostich Darien jackets wave. And they smile.
That's, maybe, the greatest part of riding the MP3. It makes me, and everyone I encounter, smile. What's better than that??