Alittle interesting reading, on how we are perceived by others, and how our actions affect opinions about us.
I broke this up into 2 different posts, since the first part is mainly about sportbikes, etc...and the second part, posted below, talks about other types of rides. Sorry it's so long..but hey, it'll give you something to do while your at work, while you rest your hands from typing so much, right.. (or taking a break from whatever you do)
On the streets of L.A., you are what you ride
In a divided motorcycle culture, the bike defines the rider -- and the two-wheeled clan.
By Susan Carpenter, Times Staff Writer
It's obvious the instant a motorcyclist flips his lid and gives another rider the once over:
Uncreased leathers straddling a Ducati 996 with center-worn treads? Sport-bike poseur.
Clean-shaven mug all geared up on a Harley, rumbling fresh from the showroom floor? Rich Urban Biker (or more sneeringly, RUB).
Flip-flops and shorts weaving through traffic at 90 mph on a Yamaha R1? Squid.
To drivers, motorcyclists seem like a unified group — those death-wishing two-wheelers, splitting lanes, cutting in line and otherwise conspiring to make the daily commute miserable. But unbeknownst to most people in cars — or vans or trucks or buses — all along the city's congested streets, sprawling canyons, desert flats and endless strip of coastline, it's a bike-versus-bike world.
What you wear, where you ride, who you ride with and how is largely dictated by the machine you happen to be revving around on. Cruiser or sport bike? Weekend warrior or daily driver? Too fast or too tentative? Wave hello or stare straight ahead? Full-face helmet or "brain bucket"?
No matter what road you take, the fact is motorcycle riders self-segregate based on their bike. It's more of a snobby superiority than a serious fight. You won't find riders running each other into the ditch over their differences, but there's no shortage of insults. (Filthy bike loaded down, Joad-style? Ratbike. Fringy, overdressed Harley? Garbage wagon.)
You'll find them all here. There may be no better place than Southern California for bikers of any ilk. Chalk it up to the weather and a multitude of places to ride, but anywhere there is pavement — or wide, open swatches of dirt — you'll find two wheels, especially on the weekends. Ask motorcyclists why they ride, and you'll get the same answers from every one of them: It's the adrenaline rush, the freedom, the in-the-moment thrill.
But that's pretty much all they agree on.
During the week, canyon roads are for commuters, but on the weekends they belong to bikes, when packs of swarming, buzzing motorcycles head into the hills for a few hours on the twisties. The roads that switch back and forth through the Santa Monica Mountains are home to riders of all stripes — anyone who's up to the task of twisting the grip and testing their skills — but sport bikers have the edge when it comes to handling knee-scraping turns.
On Sundays, nearly everyone who's been rolling on and off the throttle up here will find their way to the Rock Store, the greasy spoon on and Highway that serves as a pit stop for riders in need of solid ground. In the mornings, that means sport bikers, who've kick-started their day with a shot of two-wheeled adrenaline. In the afternoons, it's Harley guys, who prefer to ride on a full stomach, eating first and cruising second.
But if they do find themselves there at the same time, they'll squeeze through the congested gravel turnout to park their bike near a like brand.
"You've got the chrome over there, and you've got all the fanciest, newest technology over there," said Andrew Lin, a 23-year-old financial analyst who parked his electric blue Kawasaki Ninja next to a stranger's Suzuki GSXR.
The Harley contingent, in the minority before noon, have stacked their Sportsters and Road Kings at the other end of the lot.
"The Harley guys basically have this perception that we're the fast, crazy guys, that we're reckless and we don't care," said Ahmad Shahriar, proud owner of an egg-yolk-yellow Ducati 748. "Even riding through the canyons, a lot of people wave at each other out of respect just because we're bikers. The Harley guys, unless you're a Harley, they'll never wave at you."
Shahriar, a jewelry salesman from nearby Pacific Palisades, says it doesn't bother him.
"Not at all. I just have never been into Harley. I just think it's a big, bulky, cumbersome lawnmower."
The rivalry between Harley riders and sport bikers is clear and longstanding. Yet even among sport bikes, there are divisions — between those who understand the power of the engines they are straddling and ride within the limits, and squid, the reckless riders who push the limits, pay the price and give the sport a bad name. "There's not many guys who can ride these bikes to their full potential. You can't. You'd be an idiot if you did because you're not on a track and you don't know what's coming through a blind turn," said Shahriar, 32. "There's a lot of guys who do that."