Traditional Biker Codes – Rules and Ethics to Ride By

Humans live in a structured society. That means that almost anything we do follows strict patterns, policies and regulations. This can be at our employment, in traffic, or even as a family. We need those systems to protect our rights and freedom, and to prevent chaos and destruction. Motorcycles owners are no exception and they too have to live by specific guidelines. Some of these laws have been legally proclaimed, while others are traditionally passed on from biker to biker and cannot be tracked on paper.

Government regulated rules, such as traffic and safety, can be located in pamphlets, brochures, books, and on the Internet, yet verifying information on unwritten biker laws is a different story. Motorcyclists just tend to know them, and if they don’t, they soon will find out which secret brotherhood code they broke.

Riding is a way of life and as a biker you have to respect the rules at all times, even if you feel like showing off. Never come up behind another rider in the same lane at high speed and remember the first one stopped at a red light should also be the first one to leave when it turns green. This also means that show-off racing in traffic is also out of the question.

Bikers value solidarity and a brother (or sister) in distress receives help, regardless if it is a technical question posted on the Internet, or an unknown biker stranded at the side of the road. Notwithstanding motorcycle brand or type, a true biker will stop and provide roadside assistance to any stranded comrade, even a want to-be on a cheap Harley Davidson imitation. If help cannot be provided, a phone call can make a world of difference.

Motorcyclists are interested in other bikers and their prize possession. They can talk endlessly about their rides, safety rules, general laws, liabilities, bike maintenance, accessories and whatever else is associated with their motorcycles. Despite their openness during conversations and debates, as a rule, bikers do not like their motorcycles being touched by others. In this case, the rule:”Look, but don’t touch” really does apply, and if good-natured warnings are not obeyed, someone may end up having a really bad day.

Largely symbolic in nature, the lingering image of the biker as lone wolf hitting the highway still lives on in the mind of many brotherhood members. Mature bikers will therefore respectfully acknowledge another motorcyclist’s presence on the road by using a distinctive hand wave. Of course, do not be surprised if, at times, there is no tribute or response, as the biker in the oncoming lane may not be able to free a hand without endangering himself, or he/she may be snobbish and feel you are driving an inferior bike. That is human nature and there is nothing you can do about.

Generally, bikers will respect one another as long as common sense is used. Don’t crowd each other on the road, or parking lot and most of all do not saddle someone else’s bike or fender fluff. Stick to these rules and you will be having the time of your life!