How Can I Find Local Motorcyclists to Ride With?
Motorcycles and riding are more fun when shared with others. Here are some strategies for connecting with like-minded spirits
When it comes to motorcycles, sharing life’s experiences is truly magical. Whether that’s hitting the highway for an extended tour, a night ride into the country, learning to do it in the dirt, or just a Saturday morning java run, it’s always better with buddies.
But if you’re new to motorcycling, how do you round up riding friends? Excellent question! The basic answer is, by reaching out. Hopefully this Motorcycle.com idea starter can help.
Motorcycle.com thanks Yamaha for sponsoring this new rider series.
It may sound incredibly basic, but friends become and stay friends because they share common interests and values. And so, if you’re newly embarking on a riding career, maybe some of your existing friends will come along for the ride. Then it all gets better, because you can shop for bikes together, take your Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) or other training together, and learn the sport in tandem. Then join up with seasoned riders and do some lead-and-follow drills on the road or trail to observe and learn further.
The greatest connective force in human history, the internet channels a famous Clint Eastwood movie title, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, because it really is all that. However, what a way to connect with potential fellow riders. Of course, you know all the platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, YouTube, and the list goes on. Want to connect with people your age with 300cc street bikes? Create a group from scratch tonight. Same goes if you’re an aspiring retro-bike builder, aspiring track-day rider, ADV tourer, or have another bike itch you’d like to scratch. It’s free, it’s immediate, and it’ll work.
High School or College
If you’re locked into school – high school, university, or trade school – there could exist an opportunity to start a new club there. Why not a motorcycle club? (High-school motocross used to be a thing – ask your dad or a Boomer rider guy.) Motorcycle.com can’t imagine many scenarios where school resources would apply like it does for band, sports, or debate teams, but you never know. And at the least, posting your interest in riding on your school’s online or physical bulletin board might just kick start something good.
Does your workplace have a motorcycle parking area? If so, and if the spots get regularly used, motorcyclists surely work somewhere at your company. That’s another built-in possibility for meeting other riders. Who knows if you’d hit it off, but at least you will have riding and work in common!
Collectively, the owner, general manager, sales manager, and finance manager at your local bike dealership probably know hundreds of motorcycle people in your town. And that goes double if the store is a longtime family-run operation, some of which have been in business for multiple generations. Find a receptive manager there and let them know you’re interested in connecting with like-minded riders. Then, we’d bet they’ll help steer you in the right direction – either by sharing your contact info, or letting you post info on a bulletin board. Plus, some dealerships hold Saturday open house events that are good mixers.
Consider standalone repair shops as potential places to connect with like minded riders. These stores are often independently owned and operated and can have impressive employment longevity. The owner or lead mechanic there may have just the intel you need.
So okay, “marque” is a fancy word for a specific brand of motorcycle – but it does sound regal, doesn’t it? Anyway, let’s say you like vintage Yamaha 2-strokes or an orphaned company like Velocette, or are into V-Max power cruisers. Somewhere out there is a club (or even multiple clubs) built around those interests. The same is true of current models like the Yamaha R3. Some take the form of online forums and chat rooms, others are old school with annual dues, a monthly magazine, and regional or even national meetings. To find them, dig either on the web or social media. The point is, if you like a particular type of bike, connecting with like minded owners should be easy enough. And then, if you live in the same part of the country, welcome to some potential new riding partners.
The distinction between “marque” clubs and “social” clubs is easy to blur. Because maybe you’re a female with an interest in old British bikes. So, what kind of club do you search out to connect with similar people – a bike club or a women’s group? Maybe both, just to cover the bases. Likely, using the Social Media strategy above will produce the most potential matches for your specific interests. Let us know how it goes!
More by John L. Stein