The moto mating call is odd, to say the least.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised considering that those of us drawn to this pastime tend to be a bit odd in some way. (Come on, admit it. You know it’s true!) Over the years, I have witnessed and experienced some special behavior that I haven’t seen in in any other sub-cultures that I have been a part of.
Most of us are familiar with the photos of scantily clad females draped over a motorcycle to sell oil…or any moto product. At some point, you’ve seen that calendar hanging in a mechanic’s shop with those images or have opened a magazine and found a number of ads using this tactic to sell.
Listen, I get it. Sex sells.
But, what’s the reality of moto relationships?
If you’re drawn to motorcycling, you are also drawn to those who ride. It’s natural that you will probably want to date someone who also rides. While it isn’t a requirement, it’s much easier to partake in this pastime if your partner is on board. Riding can take you hours away from your loved ones and not just in the travel, but also in the maintenance of owning a bike. At some point, you’re probably going to want to share your adventures with the person you share a bed with.
Sooooo…how do you find that partner?
Let’s face it, there are a very small number of people who get to date those scantily clad models. I’ll also guess that not many of them actually ride. Now, I’m no love coach or psychologist, but I can tell you from experience that how this all goes down is highly amusing.
It would be my pleasure to share with you a few of my own adventures with the moto mating call.
Let’s start with this past summer, when I attended the Americade rally in Lake George, New York. I was walking along the main drag and stepped up to a curb, joining a few older men in their mid-60s. We stood and watched the parade of bikes along Main Street while making small talk. I didn’t know them and it didn’t matter. The best part of motorcycling is that if you meet someone who rides, you’re automatically friends or at the very least, friendly. This is why I never mind going to moto events alone. I will always meet someone to hang out with.
So, we’re hanging out and a little group of boys rides by. By “boys,” I mean they were between 20-40 years old. You can never really tell age when most of the faces are obscured by helmets. They looked at us, we looked at them and one of the boys pulled a sick wheelie while looking straight at me. The men I was standing with started laughing and one said, “You know he just pulled that wheelie for you, right?!” Red-faced, I nodded in agreement and replied, “Yeah…I know.”
You see…this isn’t the first time it has happened. As I have mentioned, I have witnessed some interesting motorcycle behavior over the years.
For instance, I once rode through a local town during the summer and there was a guy wearing a T-shirt on a sport bike, about to pull out of a strip mall parking lot. He saw me, did a double take, and pulled out quickly to get in front of me. “Interesting maneuver,” I thought. He then proceeded, while riding, to pull his T-shirt off over his helmet, thus riding half-naked. He also slowed down, which since I was following him caused me to slow down, all the better to allow me to get a very, very good look at his well-chiseled and muscular back. Did I mention well-chiseled? Phew, Lordy that day was hot! (If you know what I’m sayin’… Wink, wink.)
How do you explain that to people who don’t ride?
I once fell in love on 6th Avenue in New York City. I was walking down the street and my ears perked up as I heard the distinct growl of a Ducati heading my way. Turning my head, I caught sight of a man in a perfectly tailored dark gray pinstriped suit riding a white Ducati 748. I was struck with stars in my eyes as I nearly walked into a lamppost.
In so many ways, it doesn’t make sense. The guy was wearing a full-faced helmet. I have no idea what he looked like or who he was. I could have been standing next to him on the street and never given him a second look. But, in that moment of moto mating…the suit, the bike, the sound, the moment…I was in love!
I know others have had a similar experience.
I have a friend who took the MSF rider course, and there was a girl in his class who wore a set of borrowed baggy leathers for the riding portions. Every time she was in those leathers, he was smitten. As soon as she was back in plain clothes for the classroom sessions, he was like, “meh”. When the riding part started again and she was back in those leathers… “Hey baby!”
What is that all about?
I thought about conferring with a psychologist or sex specialist for journalistic integrity, but then I thought, “fuhgeddaboudit.” I don’t really care why. I just want the experience of it. Just like I want the experience of riding a motorcycle.
If anyone were to ask me what qualities I look for in a partner, I would never mention the ability to wheelie. I mean, is that a “quality?” And yet, if I look at any of my meaningful relationships, the one commonality among those men is the ability to ride a sick wheelie. Not just a little wheelie, an accidental dropping of the clutch at a takeoff from a stoplight, I’m talking a full twelve o’clock for half a mile, at least.
I don’t know what that says about me, but I’m not going to question it. Some things are better left unknown.
I do find it fascinating what we find attractive in the moto mating call. For you, it might be someone wearing a sexy MC vest with perfectly placed tattoos that melt your heart. It might be the vision of someone cresting a hill in the perfect setting sun. It might be someone who helps you fix your broken-down bike on the side of the road.
Who knows? And it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it works for you!
So, enjoy the journey and embrace the odd.
Does your partner ride too? Please share below.
I would love to get to know you and meet you on the road!
STILL waiting to find “The One” 😉
Keep riding… they’ll appear! 😉
Anyone who enjoys wheelies on public roads or elsewhere, needs to spend time on YouTube and take note of the consequences of “when wheelies go wrong”.
Obviously, it’s primarily disasters that make it to video, and no doubt many successful (and unsuccessful) attempts go unrecorded, but it seems the risks to self and others far outweigh the “thrill of the moment”.
I suppose, since men have lost mating calls somewhere in evolutionary time, many consider a vertical bike position to be an alternative signal to ladies of manliness, especially since society long ago insisted we wear pants 😀.
I’m 73, and and gross displays of masculinity were never part of my mating rituals (arguably, I didn’t have a lot to display) and I discovered humor, intelligence and trustworthiness sufficed to impress my spouse of 48 years. Of course, it seems fewer folks are thinking long term these days, so if one-nighters are one’s target, wheelie away, just NIMBY, please.
Good points, Steve!
What a fun article. Thanks Annick.
I’m 67 and have only a brief riding history, so my experience with moto mating calls is limited. The most unforgettable happened this summer. I barely had the kickstand down in an RV park campsite next to a clearly resident semi with an old Sportster parked by it, before its 50-ish owner walked up. “Hey mama. I see you’re from Oregon. Wanna smoke a joint after dinner?” I’m still wondering what inspired him. I ride a V-Strom, I sport no counter-culture aura, and my high-viz yellow jacket was heavily bug-spotted.
I’m pretty determinedly single and I tour alone because I like life that way. But I have to admit, the often bizarre calls still make me grin when they revisit from my memory. This year, while I was touring Montana, every biker I met was headed to Sturgis and I will likely be grinning all winter.
Ha! Ha! It’s these interactions that make motorcycling so fun. In what other part of your life would you experience it? This is why I love meeting people while riding.
Hey Annick! Another great, fun article here.. So, my wheelie days are over but there is definitely power in a Harley especially the sexy VROD.. LOL.. I was fortunate enough to have the now love of my life ask me the question, “when are you gonna take me for a ride on your Harley?” We worked together and other than the fact that we were secretly crushing on each other, I would have never asked her out… it was the bike that brought us together and since that night over the past couple of years we’ve logged many miles together and she loves being my back seat babe… we hope to get to ride with you in the future.. 🙂
I have read this article more than once and chuckled each time😉. I know that I am going to attempt that wheelie to impress and it is potentially not going to turn out as expected 😂
My first date with my current long-term girlfriend was on the back of my Honda VTR1000F. Fast forward 7 years, and I’ve not only taught her to ride, but helped her move quickly “up the ladder,” from a li’l 125cc dual-sport, to a brand-new 2019 Triumph Speed Twin. She is my best friend and my closest (ahem, only) riding buddy. I bet she could count on two hands the number of wheelies she’s seen me do in that 7 year span. And the “rev bombing” this YouTube generation loves so much? NEVER!
Annick, you meet people wherever you go, because you’re a female. Men don’t “chat up” other men, just because they’re also on a motorcycle. In fact, I’ve found most of the rallies and gatherings I’ve gone to be incredibly lonely. I’ve literally had guys walk up to my bike and look it over, while I’ve stood there, putting my gear on, and they’ve not said a single word to me!
Last, you do know the “chiseled back” was more than likely, a HUGE douche, right?! But, you know, he had a nice back!