For people with a need for speed there are thousands of death defying ways to spike their heart rates and satiate their cravings, but none is sexier, nor has more literal street cred, than encasing your body in leather and hitting the highway on the back of a throbbing, pulsating, motorbike.
Motorcycles are badass, and everyone knows it. Given that they are actually just a motorized form of two wheel bicycles, it does make you wonder why an 18 year old on even a small secondhand automatic click and go Honda is suddenly a million times cooler than he was a year ago when he was hooning around the streets on a BMX.
The history of motorbikes tells tales of wartime and farming. Post officers use bikes, and that’s not really a very glamorous job. But perception is interesting. Biker gangs built their reputations based solely around their bikes. A gang selling drugs from VW Beetle sounds a whole lot lamer than the same bunch of criminals performing the same activity while mounted up on their choppers. It’s an image thing, and it’s burned into our consciousness.
For a vast majority of the world, motorcycles provide a relatively cheap to purchase and cheap to run service for low income families. That’s why motorbikes are often seen in vast numbers in developing countries. Entire families will perch on the back of the family bike along with the shopping, the laundry and maybe a pet or two in order to get from point A to point B. It’s faster than walking, and much cheaper than running a car.
Scooters are adorable, and ordinary motorbikes are the workhorses of the roads, but these are merely modes of transport compared to the status defining beasts that make up a class of two-wheeler demons that look, sound and feel like intensely breathtaking sex. It’s as plain as that. Not all bikes are created equal.
Brands like Harley-Davidson and Ducati have transcended function and are now recognized as cultural icons. Design plays an enormous factor in setting manufacturers apart, but performance is equally important. Bikes that look sexy but can hardly function are as popular as, well, humans with the same issue.