All I Need
To Know About Life I Learned From Motorcycling
As much as many small brained people
may claim otherwise, motorcyclists are human - to varying degrees
of course. And, like all humans, we develop a philosophy of life
and basic values, many of these being shaped by our lifestyle
of riding motorcycles. Having talked to a good many motorcyclists
we've found a variety of basic life philosophies that have been
shaped by the pursuit of motorcycling. The more repeatable of
these we list, without prejudice, below:
- Variety is the spice of life: one day travel at the speed
of a tired turtle, the next day give it heaps!
- Reach the top, that's why there's space between the queue
of cars at stop lights.
- Find your place in the sun, even if it's while you wait for
the wife to bring the trailer to pick up your bike.
- Make your mark on the world - but not on the wife's carpet!
- If you're not receiving enough attention, try giving a cop
- Always give generously - a large patch of oil left on a friend's
driveway tells them that you care.
- Always be willing to accept another's seniority - especially
if it's a big rig.
- Demand the best - but settle for a second hand one if the
bank manager is getting restless.
- Only put your foot down when you really need to.
- Success is a frame of mind, so think quickly as that cop
- Strive for excellence, not perfection - leave the latter
useless pursuit to those who build custom motorcycles.
- Get acquainted with a good lawyer, accountant and mechanic
- the order in which you do this depends upon what you ride.
- Wear out - don't crash out, or rust out.
- Learn to recognise the inconsequential, then ignore it -
unless it's a speed limit in a speed camera area.
- Lie on your back and look up at the stars - unless you are
riding your motorcycle at the time.
- Measure people by the size of their hearts, not the size
of their motorcycle.
- Know when to speak up - which is not at 150km/h into a headwind.
- Evaulate yourself by your own standards, not by someone else's
- they may be riding on borrowed time.
- Be a self-starter - better still, be an electric starter.
- Smile a lot - but only if you have a visor on your helmet.
- Re-ride your favourite road.
- Never under-estimate your ability to change yourself - after
a close call it will come naturally.
- Never over-estimate your power to change others - pillion
riding is not always an aphrodisiac.
- Never acquire just one riding buddy.
- Focus on making things better, not bigger - especially if
it's your motorcycle.
- Once in your life own and ride a motorcycle.
- Keep your boots clean - that way the oil runs off them better.
- Never encourage anyone to become a politician - unless they
ride a motorcycle.
- Learn to do something beautiful with your hands - and you'll
never be lonely.
- Show respect for everyone who works for a living, even streetsweepers
- a happy streetsweeper keeps the road surface clean.
- Wave to people for the fun of it - it keeps people happy,
makes you feel good, and keeps the clutch arm supple.
- Every day look for some small way to improve the way you
do things - especially the way you ride.
- No matter how well off you are, have your children earn and
pay for all of their motor vehicle insurance premiums.
- Never use the last ten tenths.
- The quality of a neighbourhood is determined by the manners
of the dogs living there.
- Even if you cannot give the very best, give your very best.
- The tightest nut is the worst nut - especially when riding
- When you are hot under the collar, keep your head cool.
- The leader faces the unknown and has an exposed back - but
if you're middle of the pack, you're sweet.
- Never under-estimate the power of forgiveness - your bike
will forgive all sorts of poor riding actions if they are isolated
- Don't carry a grudge - a motorcycle has no room for excess
- Never tell anyone they look tired or depressed - even if
you're lifting their bike off them at the time.
- Be enthusiastic about the success of others - even if you're
insanely jealous at the time.
- Don't procrastinate. Do what needs doing when it needs to
be done - even if those new tyres will cost an arm and leg.
- Improve your performance by improving your attitude.
- Go the distance - and on your own bike.
- Every once in a while take the scenic route.
- Move up when you feel you are ready - not when others think
you are ready.
- When playing games with children, let them win - when riding
with a boy racer, let him win.
- Don't learn the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.
- Keep on using your head - wear a crash helmet.
- Teach, Learn, Ask "why" and "what if"
- Look as if you are in control of your motorcycle - it will
probably fool the motorcycle into believing it too.
- Don't lend precious things to friends - you might lose both.
- Don't give advice. Just say what you do or would do in a
similar situation - you're not there to teach. You're there to
help them learn.
- Leave whining to CX500 drive shafts.
- Your epitaph should read "No regrets and lots of fun".
- Invest in skill and knowledge. The returns are fantastic.
- If friends ask you to be honest with them, don't.
- Don't smoke - and the same goes for your motorcycle.
- Rekindle old friendships - ride an older model once in a
- Never ask a policeman or mechanic for riding advice - they're
trained to find problems, not solutions.
- Don't spread yourself too thinly - learn how to ride within
- Give thanks before every ride - and greater thanks at the
end of every enjoyable ride.
- Compliment even small improvements - especially when made
by a learner or a mechanic.
- Don't expect life to be fair - that way you're more likely
to see hidden speed cameras.
- Try never to set yourself a strict timetable - otherwise
you'll never have time to explore unexpectedly delightful highways
- Never give a motorcyclist prunes on a wet day.
- Feed a stranger's expired marking meter - especially if you're
sharing the space.
- Happiness is not dependant on possessions, power, or prestige
but on relationships with people you love and respect - and your
- Clothes maketh the man - and protective clothing holds him
- 'Tis not victory nor speed that defines a man, but wisdom
- Listen to your children - if they say "Daddy, who taught
you to drive before you married Mummy?", buy a motorcycle.
- If you miss the magic of the moment by focusing on what's
to come, you need to slow down.
- Wave traffic on the sideroad ahead into your lane.
- Donate two pints of blood every year - someday the gift may
- Love your fellow human being but install an anti-theft alarm
on your motorcycle.
- Teach your children the value of money and importance of
saving - take them for a ride on your bike often.
- Leave everything a little better than you found it - especially
if the bike was loaned by a friend.
- May your pillion hug you, not hold on tight.
- Write a "thank you" note to the policeman who gave
you the speeding ticket - a little confusion goes a long way.
- Don't expect money to bring you happiness - unless it's spent
on a good bike.
- Avoid making sarcastic remarks - actions speak louder than
- Never take action when you're angry - cool down before you
kick that car door in.
- Learn CPR - you'll need it for CPR (Charlies Practicing Racing)
- Take time to smell the roses - and the cow poo and diesel
on the road surface too.
- Occasionally stop and read historical roadside markers -
it will give you a future excuse to stop when things get too
hot on a Sunday ride.
- Get your priorities right. No dying motorcyclist ever said;
"Gee, I've spent too much time riding motorcycles.