March 5, 2010

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Ride Friday: Why motorcycles don't honk (much)

I’ve noticed that even on the nice summer days when there are lots of bikes out, you rarely hear them honk. I asked myself, “why is this? Why don’t motorcyclists honk much?” I’ve come up with a few reasons and I thought I’d share.

  1. Stock motorcycle horns suck — Let’s be realistic, taking one of those canned air horns that people use at sports games and duct taping it to your bike would be a LOT louder than the motorcycle horn. I’m not really sure why all makers skimp so much on this, but it is basically universally accepted. It isn’t like there aren’t very loud and powerful horns that are small enough for bikes, on the contrary, there are plenty of aftermarket horns you can buy.
  • We’re generally not stuck — One of the biggest reasons cars honk is because they are stuck behind someone who is going slow or not moving or generally being stupid. It is very rare that a motorcycling is truly stuck. We can get around almost anything and lane split where necessary (and of course only when it is legal to do so).
  • We’re too busy — Someone tried to merge into my lane the other night; I would have honked, but I was simply too busy. Think about it. I’ve got my right hand grabbing the front breaks, right foot hitting the rear breaks, left hand pulling the clutch in, left foot down shifting and using my body to swerve away. While I could physically have hit my horn during this, I’ve got too many other things I need to do. By the time I’ve freed up enough brain power to honk at you, it is too late.
  • You cagers are idiots — For those that don’t know, “cager” (As in stuck in a cage) is one of many terms used to describe those in 4 wheels vehicles. I basically assume that every single one of you is out to kill me because you aren’t paying attention. Most of the time I see your stupidity (and attempts to kill me) coming and GTFO before you get there. This all being said, I do honk from time to time. Though mostly on city streets and intersections rather than the highways. All too many times when making left turns have I watched idiots think they can make that right turn before I’ll get there. NO! BAD CAGER. I am faster than you think, wait your damn turn.