Motorcyclists are a breed unto themselves. The entire “motorcycle culture” is designed to signify something unique and apart from the rest of society, from the dismissal of cars as stuffy, to the love of the open road and “livin’ free.”
That makes dating a motorcyclist quite the adventure. It’s not for the faint of heart or for those craving a more traditional relationship. To help you navigate these tricky waters, here are some tips to remember if you decide to take a risk, and date a motorcyclist.
One of the key aspects of learning to ride a motorcycle is that the student can’t wait to become the teacher. Because they’ve now discovered how much fun owning and riding a motorcycle can be, it’s an experience they want everyone, particularly their romantic partners, to share as well.
So be prepared for a lot of lessons on how to ride a bike. The good news is that even if you have no desire to drive the bike yourself, you’ll learn a valuable new skill. At the very least, you’ll learn how to become a safe and responsible passenger on everything from all-day excursions into the wilderness to short drives to a friend’s house. Speaking of which…
There’s a reason you tend to see packs of bikes along the highway and why motorcycle clubs are so popular. Bikers love to socialise and discuss their rides, comparing opinions and experiences on every aspect of the riding life.
Make friends with not only the people in those groups, but also their spouses or partners. Being friendly with your partner’s group will show you’re committed to being part of their world, and as you will learn very quickly, a motorcyclist’s devotion to their brothers and sisters is thicker than steel.
It’s important to remember that motorcycles signify freedom and adventure to most riders. They love the feel of the wind in their face, and the exhilaration of living on the edge that comes with successfully riding a bike. A bike isn’t as “domesticated” as a car, allowing the owner to disappear for parts unknown at a moment’s notice.
Your own sense of adventure may not be at that level at the start of the relationship, so be prepared to level up. Even if you aren’t ready to join him or her on every single escapade or escape, learning to indulge that tendency is a valuable skill that can help everyone find a comfortable balance between spontaneity and a more conservative approach to life. Let them go when they need to go, it will be good for both them and the relationship.
The only thing bikers love doing more than talking about bikes is working on bikes. That’s good, since regular inspection and maintenance, including checking essential lines and fluids before every trip, is an important part of bike safety. They know where every bolt is (or which ones they can live without), what every piston should sound like, the exact air pressure their tires should be at, and more. Be prepared for your partner to have very dirty hands at times, or spend long hours in the garage tinkering, cleaning, or just bonding with their bikes. Yes, it’s that kind of relationship.
All that maintenance, all that attention to detail, all that conversation about bikes results in one big truth: You’ll always be competing for affection with the bike. Sorry.
That can lead to some hurt feelings as the rider prioritises a hunk of machinery over you from time to time. On the other hand it means he or she isn’t likely to be the clingy type. You’ll have lots of time for your own projects and interests while they’re devoting yet another Saturday morning to working on their bike.
The good news about dating someone who is part of the motorcycle world is that they are often part of the motorcycle community, in one way or another. From rogue riders who can’t stand riding in packs to presidents of well-known motorcycle clubs, a common theme runs throughout – they have integrity.
There’s something about the motorcycle community that holds their members to higher standards of integrity and loyalty. They may be a little rough around the edges, but the heart of a biker is as strong as an ox, and if you play your cards right you can benefit from their deep loyalty and devotion.
It takes significant skill to master the art of riding a motorcycle and stay clear of a motorcycle accident. The danger that lies around every twist or turn is a thrill riders often seek out. It’s part of what attracts them to the bike in the first place.
Such harrowing realities may not be your cup of tea and may lead to you opting out of more than a few invitations to join them on a ride. But that thrill-seeking nature also means the rider is more spontaneous and open to new things. Those traits can be channeled into other activities that are more in line with what you’re comfortable with. You don’t have to go on every ride - as long as you don’t try to stop them, you should be fine.
That’s because it’s all going to the bike, which isn’t cheap to maintain. All the work that’s necessary to keep the bike running safely, as well as the cost of jackets, helmets and other gear, adds up quickly and results in a decided lack of disposable income. The good news is they’re going to know the best dive bars and greasy restaurants where the food and beer are both cheap and delicious.
The flip side of this, of course, are those bikers who have plenty of disposable income, and perfect, shiny, comfort chariots for bikes. In this case, it’s best to be understanding when they have no problem dropping several thousand dollars at a time on one bike part. It’s a never-ending process, building the perfect bike.
The most important part of dating a motorcyclist is knowing where your comfort zone ends and how far from that you’re willing to stray. The rider you’re dating might be up for anything and want you to join him or her on one adventure after another. Not everyone is cut out for that lifestyle.
Be clear in communicating your boundaries to them. If you don’t feel comfortable with something - from even getting on the bike to the kinds of people in their social circle - tell them about it. Their reaction will tell you pretty quickly whether or not the relationship is going to work.
Not everyone is cut out for dating a motorcyclist, after all.