Tomfoolery – Women Motorcyclists And The Demise Of The Passenger Seat
I once wrote an editorial about how a motorcycle date is the perfect way to begin a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. The thrill of the ride in conjunction with close body proximity… It’s like that scene in Pulp Fiction when John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson are discussing the intimacy of a foot massage.
“I’ve given a million ladies a million foot massages, and they all meant something,” says Travolta. “We act like they don’t, but they do, and that’s what’s so f*#@ing cool about them. There’s a sensuous thing going on where you don’t talk about it, but you know it, she knows it …”
A motorcycle ride was me and my wife’s second date. And before her, well, in case she reads this, let’s just say there were a few others. It was my go-to cool-date maneuver. Like scars and Nordstroms, women dig motorcycles, and if any girl declined the moto-ride date she just saved me a bunch of greenbacks by removing herself from any attempt on my behalf to wine and dine her.
But all I hear about nowadays is the increasing amount of female motorcyclists. Harley is catering to them (Most Obvious Press Release of 2013), and so is Sturgis (2014 Biker Belles Symposium At Sturgis Buffalo Chip), they’re winning AMA Pro road races (are we gonna need standby trophy boys?) and the entire month of July is dedicated to progressing their participation in our historically male-dominated sport.
I’m all for female moto-empowerment (as an MSF instructor I tutored many newbie riders of the fairer persuasion), but I’m concerned about the loss of romance. Having a suitable life partner who rides her own motorcycle is certainly an enviable relationship to have, but it’s not the same as having her riding pillion. It’s like the difference between front bucket seats in modern cars and bench seats in old ones. There’s a cold, impersonal distance between bucket seats compared to a bench seat’s invitation for your honey to snuggle up close. Anyone who’s owned a vintage auto with a bench seat knows exactly what I’m sayin’.
Another problem for us men is that if all the women are riding their own motorcycles, we will have to devise new ways to impress them. What the hell is the poor male peacock supposed to do when the female peacock has the same plumage?
Eventually, females may view being a motorcycle passenger in much the same way men do – as something to be actively avoided (men don’t give men foot massages either). If that happens, and no longer is anyone riding two-up, how long until OEMs take notice and begin designing solo-only motorcycles?
We’ll be left riding motorcycles without passenger seats and nowhere to bungee that six-pack of spontaneously purchased PBR on the ride home from work. What then? Forego drinking beer?
That’s no future I want to be a part of. I like beer, and I like motorcycles with passenger seats for giving rides to pretty girls (my wife now) and for strapping the beer upon when no passenger is present. So, allow me to raise my can of PBR and toast women who choose to ride motorcycles as well as those who do not. The world needs both.