One of the great joys of the internet is the variety of memes that get caught up in its currents, ending up in our inbox or Facebook page. While many don’t have anything to do with motorcycling, most are funny and worth the 10 seconds of our lives that we spend on them. (Well, all of them except for those ones from our crazy, conspiracy theorist uncle. It’s better that we just not talk about him.) Still, enough of the memes that have crossed my threshold have been about motorcycling for me to begin collecting my favorites. Perhaps, you’ve been doing the same thing.
Anyhoo, what follows is the Top 10 Motorcycle Memes that have tickled my admittedly twisted funny bone. Go ahead and add your own favorites to the comments.
10. Sons of Anarchy
I was never bitten by the SOA bug. Maybe that’s because I have this silly fantasy of motorcycling being a force of good in the world. Still, I’ve seen enough of these folks riding around that the this meme made me chuckle. The only other riding gear that has ever made me laugh harder was the time – in the pre-Polaris Indian days – that I saw I guy riding his overpriced, S&S powered “Indian” on Hollywood Boulevard while wearing a Harley-Davidson jacket. Kinda summed up how I felt. So does this meme.
What is it that makes all of us motorcyclists suddenly become wildly gesticulating Italians when we talk about riding or our bikes? Watch racers in the pits trying to relay what a bike is doing by using body english. Go to your favorite motorcycling gathering spot and watch the various conversations ultimately evolve into miming the action of a bike. Since motorcycles live so completely in three dimensions and involve all the senses, I guess we have to resort to some form of acting when describing what the starring – but inanimate – character in all of our yarns did at various points in the plot.
Yes, some of us wear proper riding gear, and some of us are stupid. That’s why, to keep them from getting too cocky, we should mock the riders who wear All The Gear All The Time. History has proven that those who are too dumb to protect themselves are as immune to criticism as they are from road rash and blunt force trauma. Instead, this meme is a form of humble bragging where we can mock our obsession with riding gear with a wink and a nod.
As many times as this photo has crossed my computer screen, it never fails to give me a laugh followed by an uncomfortable tightness in the pit of my stomach. Motorcycle riders, in general, and racers, in particular, depend on those round black things that work so marvelously at keeping us upright in the many situations where we should’ve ended up on our heads. Since I’ve experienced sudden rear tire deflation on a race track at speed, I know the sensation of feeling like the rear wheel is somehow disconnected from the bike is more than a bit irksome while leaned over in a 100+ mph sweeper. I can’t imagine what it is like to have the wheel literally separate from the bike at speed.
As I wrote in my 2015 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS review, I love riding in the rain. I always have. So, I have no sympathy when the go fast, turn left auto racing crowd gets its collective undies in a bunch over moisture on the track. Motorcycle racing in the rain has always been fun to watch and is also fun from the saddle. The advances in tire technology have turned the upper levels of rain racing into surprisingly close competitions where race craft, rather than the most powerful bike, plays the preeminent role.
No comment necessary.
4. Motorcycle Luggage
I’ve always felt that there should be a TV show called Those Amazing Humans to showcase all the stupid things that people do. Yeah, I know that the Darwin Awards cover much of this, but I think the human species shows remarkable ingenuity when it comes to doing incredibly dumb things. Motorcyclists, because they are members of the human race and subject to the same foibles, could supply many episodes of the show. With this photo, however, I rarely think about the person pulling the suitcase. Instead, my thoughts – and sympathies – go to the bag’s poor wheels and bearings. Imagine the passenger’s confusion when the bike finally stops at the departing passenger’s drop-off zone at the airport only to discover his bag is smoking and the molten plastic of the wheels is gluing itself to the tarmac.
3. ATGATT: Take Two
Okay, so maybe mocking ourselves for being obsessed with gear isn’t going to get the point across to the ignorant. Sometimes, you gotta go for the gusto. Still, I don’t think the point will ever get across to some riders. A week or so ago, a rider saw me zipping up my Aerostich and said, “I don’t know how you can wear all that crap. Yeah, crashing hurts, but you just gotta deal with it while you heal up.” Yeah, uh, okay.
2. What I Do
Created by our own Inflatable Donut Editor, Tom Roderick, this sums up the existence of your typical motojournalist. While we do get to go on some pretty epic rides in stunning locales, we still spend the bulk of our work days sitting in a chair grinding out widgets on our laptops. However, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
1. The NFL’s Deflated Balls
The meme that inspired this Top 10 list. The irony of this joke, however, is that, while motorcycle racers undoubtedly have bigger stones than the rest of humanity, what makes them great – beyond their obvious natural talent – is their thoughtfulness. Anyone who has had the privilege of spending time observing racers as they go about their job will tell you their singular focus and relentless desire to do whatever it takes to win is a sight to behold. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the incredible creativity a racer’s mechanics exhibit in their interpretation of the rules is another thing that makes motorcycle racing great.