The squid (motorcyclown squidus) is found for the most part in the northern hemisphere and tends to be most active during the warmer months in temperate climates. Although he comes in all shapes and colors, he can generally be identified by certain specific behaviors that we have been able to map out after studying him for about 15 years.
The squid has a very high opinion of himself. "Modesty" is generally not part of his vocabulary and he often believes that his skills, knowledge and experience level make him something to be admired or at the very least, respected.
The squid generally has a fascination with horsepower. In many instances, the obsession is inversely proportional to his actual skill level. However, in the depths of the ocean, skill seems to be measured by the ability to twist the throttle in sixth gear on the interstate. So obviously, the squid can feel his skills grow as he buys increasingly faster motorcycles.
The squid is often the best friend of the sales manager, and the worst nightmare of the service department. The parts guy generally has mixed feelings. Indeed, the squid often needs the most expensive accessories to match his awesome skill level. However, the squid also says things like "I need a piston for a blue Yamaha" which signal to the parts guy that the next 15 minutes are not going to be fun.
The squid has rituals, generally weekly, which are repeated throughout the riding season and become a major part of his life. They often involve cruising and hanging out on two or three crowded streets on weekends. Like South Street, in Philadelphia. Very little happens during those gatherings which for the most part have an excitement level that ranks somewhere between that of watching paint dry and watching golf on TV. The squid generally stands next to his motorcycle and answers questions from curious passersby. Generally, "how fast can it go?"
The squid loves the Internet. It is generally the best place for him to spread his knowledge and tell people how ignorant they are. He can often be identified early by specific items in his signature line. Buzzwords such as "fender eliminator kit" or "flush mounted turn signals." Indeed, those are considered essential modifications to any self-respecting squid and must be mentioned as part of his signature line.
The only people a squid shows any kind of respect for are racers of the Isle of Man TT. On occasion, the squid allows himself to be impressed with some Superbike or Grand Prix racers, even though going through the same corners over and over is not very manly and must be, to the squid's thinking, rather boring even though he has actually never been on a racetrack himself. But not those pussies on the little 125cc and 250cc bikes with the foreign-sounding names. The squid often seems to have information coming directly from the major factories involved in racing. His statements are to be considered factual and anything else will be met with a healthy dose of aggressiveness (and e-gangsta threats on motorcycle forums).
It should be noted, for the sake of accuracy, that not all street riders are squids. Far from it, actually. But the vast majority of squids are street riders, although some squids have been known to purchase a racing license for the sole purpose of increasing their credibility on the street.
Papa A. Thiam, Director
Monaco Oceanographic Institute