Tomfoolery – Women Motorcyclists And The Demise Of The Passenger Seat

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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’.

BSA jumped on the female motorcyclist bandwagon decades ago, but that company’s out of business now. Thanks for the support, ladies.

BSA jumped on the female motorcyclist bandwagon decades ago, but that company’s out of business now. Thanks for the support, ladies.

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.

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  • Steven Holmes

    I’ll admit, Babes on Bikes, whether in control or on the pillion, is a pretty awesome sight to see. Don’t worry, there’ll always be a percentage that will only ride the pillion, either way is fine by me.

  • Mark D

    “What the hell is the poor male peacock supposed to do when the female peacock has the same plumage?” How about WE snuggle up on the back of their motorcycles! Who wouldn’t want to wrap their around around the waist of a leather-clad biker chick as she expertly handles a powerful piece of machinery? As for the beer, that’s why God made saddle bags.

    • Steven Holmes

      Win.
      Another step towards equality.

  • Price Action Guru

    “What the hell is the poor male peacock supposed to do when the female peacock has the same plumage?”

    ROFL

  • 2wheelsgood

    I thought most motorcycle seats today were only designed for 1 anyway.

  • Scott Baxter

    I’ve ridden pillion behind a woman, and took sufficient liberties during the ride to get a serious tongue lashing (then a reconciliation ensued in more intimate circumstances), and when she rode pillion on my bike the tables were turned and I wasn’t man enough to chastise her (and there was no reconciliation). Romance can be there, but you need the self confidence to be flexible in your role. I’ve given full on callus shaving, cuticle trimming, nail buffing french nail pedicures and not touched anything but feet. THAT resulted in significant frustration experienced by the recipient that translated into rather aggressive behavior, to which I responded appropriately. The minute you feel that you need to fit in A role, you lose access to other niches in the ecology of relationships.

  • Lisa Glover

    I’ve really only ridden pillion twice. After we rolled into the first turn, I knew I was getting my own motorcycle and was a licensed rider/motorcycle owner within a month. The second time was when I crashed that first bike. There are a ton of ways for my man to impress me… and one way is gladly letting me ride my own ride.