The Motorcyclist’s “Wave”


The wave. If you ride, you know it. There are tons of variations – two fingers down, one or two fingers up, open palm. Geez, I’ve even seen something that vaguely resembles the Queen of England’s Royal Procession wave (less the freaky hat, of course.) But my question here is not which wave you like but when you employ it. So when do you wave? And who do grace with a wave? Is your wave egalitarian? Do you wave at everyone else on a bike regardless of type?. Scooters? V-Twins? Any brand bike? Trikes? Everyone? Alternatively, are you a discretionary waver? I’ve noticed that a certain portion of the domestic V-Twin crowd doesn’t necessarily wave to other brands and especially not metric cruisers. Likewise, some of the riders of the more “exclusive” brands (Think BMW, though it’s not just them) don’t always give street cred to riders of “lesser” brands. As an occasional rider of scooters I would also observe that when I’m aboard a step through I sometimes feel that I’ve been “profiled” into two wheeled irrelevance. Trikes and three wheelers like the increasing number of Can-Am Spyders represent another whole group that may, or may not, be considered worthy of a wave by some riders.

Personally, barring being busy with the clutch, I wave at everyone. What do you do? And why? We’d love to hear what you think.

5 thoughts on “The Motorcyclist’s “Wave”

  1. really, I don’t wave to anyone. And that is not that I’m anti social, I’m just not into the whole motorcycle fraternal thing. I’m not a biker, I just ride a motorcycle. There is a difference.

  2. Hello! I try to give a wave to passing riders, though riding a sportbike there are many who will not wave back. Those who do not wave are grouped, without exception, within the single American brand who find my sort of machine (and protective riding gear) as not worthy. I love riding, the sport, the handling, the therapy! There can sometimes be an instant comaraderie where you might pull over on a cross-country ride have a lunch together. On the otherhand, I have received dirty looks because of my “brand” (it being non-Japanese, should it be called a tea strainer, tea-burner, Cockney-cycle?) I don’t know… Somehow, I can see the beauty and reason for interest in so many bikes, and then give a good wave. It seems callous that the friendly aspect is not mutual. It won’t keep me from riding but like many other things in this world, an attempt at understanding (rather than exclusivity) would be good for everyone. Keep waving!

  3. Not an answer but, the best wave I ever received was from an older gentleman on a classic Guzzi. He was wearing an old style helmet with a visor and gave me a “tip of the hat”.

  4. I do not discriminate even if descriminated. It doesn’t matter what the name of the machine under you is. Everyone has different reasons to ride and different preferences, but you all feel the same freedom when you hit the road.

  5. I definitely wave at anything that isn’t caged. As a former owner of a certain three-wheeled scooter and growing up in a domestic v-twin household, I never thought it was about brand loyalty. It’s about rider loyalty. In a sense we’re putting our necks out for the love of the ride. The wave is a sign that you feel it and you’re loving every minute of it and you’re saying to the rider you pass that this is awesome and you get it, bro!

    I find it curious that people can be snobbish about it. I’ve seen groups on one type of domestic v-twin snub those on a smaller sportier domestic v-twin of the same make. So it’s even more than brand loyalty, it’s just plain old 1 percenter snobbery.

    So I guess, you see someone outside of a cage, you wave. Share the love.

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