Sportbikes are the Problem

Okay, okay, okay! Before you get your panties all in a bunch, I’M not saying sportbikes are the problem…I’m just saying that sportbikes are the problem. Allow me to explain:

Over the last 15 or so years, I’ve owned a handful of bikes. All fully faired, “crotch rocket” style bikes as far as the uneducated masses are concerned. The kind of bike where you see assholes doing wheelies up and down the freeways like lunatics with no regards to anyone else, being menaces to society and probably dealing drugs to kids at the local middle school. You know, sportbikes.

Until last year. I bought what I’ve dubbed an “old man bike.” I got a Yamaha FJ09. It’s the first upright, “non-threatening” street-going motorcycle I’ve owned.

Over the last year and 12,000 miles I’ve put on the bike, my habits in the twisties around other cars haven’t really changed compared to how I was on spr0tbiles back in the day. I still roll up on cars and give them a bit of room. I wait em out for a few mins to see if they’re going to use the turn out like they’re supposed. I’ll gently pass them giving them the shakka when they do in a display of exuberance… or blow their doors off in a look-back wheelie-scowl as I pass them—DY be damned—if they don’t move.

grumpy cat wheelie
“I hate everything.”

Today, I just finished up the last leg of a 1003 mile ride over the weekend. My journeys took me from Reno, NV to the northwest of California, across to the northeast of California near the Oregon border and back down to Reno.

Today, in particular, while on a stretch of Highway 139, I was trying to make good time. I already know there’s NOTHING out there. No homes, no ranches, no people. It’s a very lonely highway with some pretty fast sweepers. I was trying to make good time. ;)

About half way through, I happened across a sheriff who was just getting into his truck on the side of the road. I looked down at my speedometer and saw Marc Marquez staring back up at me with a sly grin, fist-pumping vigorously.

marc marquez grin
“He made me do it, officer, I swear!”

I very, very slightly cracked off the throttle. Just a tiny bit. I didn’t want it to look like I knew I was totally guilty. I turned my attention back to the sheriff with chagrin. He is standing motionless, one foot in the door of his truck, arm resting over the driver side door, with only his head turning as he’s watching me as I fly by. It was a sort of guilty stare-off, on my part.

I go over the crest and around the bend and disappear from his view. I slowly roll out of the throttle to +5 over the posted 55 limit and await my fate. I looked back several times waiting to see the red and blues, but they never came. As I crossed the valley, I had a perfect view of about a mile back and I still never saw a berry flashing those high beams. There were no helicopters. Or murders…..or pagers….

Sportbikes are the problem.

Another thing I’ve noticed recently is that nearly all cars will move for me. It’s almost always at their first opportunity and I’ve grown more patient because of it. People see me in the rearview mirror and must think I’m a swell fella because I’m on a swell bike doing swell touring things and saving kittens… and not one of those damned crotch-rocket-death-machines-donor-cycle riding assholes selling drugs to their children.

I always show a bunch of appreciation every time someone moves for me too; a thumbs up, peace, a beep-beep and a vigorous wave…or a wheelie if they’ve got an FMF hitch-plug that’s eye level with me on their bro-dozer covered in 3 foot Fox stickers. Posers always appreciate a good wheelie. ;)

Little do people realize that there’s a genuine fucktard piloting such an unsuspecting machine with hard-cases and top bags and handguards and big pointy mirrors. Thanks goodness.

Sportbikes. Are. The. Problem. And sadly, it’s not because sportbikes are a problem.

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  1. I just had a run in with a sport bike rider who was acting a complete fool. I will run any sport bike rider, who is an ass, off of the road. And If i am hurt by their incompetents, i will put 2 in his/her head. They are a menace who are just asking for it…..

  2. I think you’re onto something here. My FZ09 is fully uncorked and I ride it like an asshat, redlining from stop light to stop light, terrorizing local highways. I’ve only been stopped twice on it and was given a warning both times- lucky me. Unlike the flat-plane crankshaft found in the majority of Super Sports with their high-pitch exhaust note, I think we can praise the crossplane crankshaft for it’s rather grumbly exhaust note. Cops hear the SS bikes coming and start writing the ticket before they even see ’em, whereas they see us FZ/FJ-ers go by, and probably think we’re not haulin’ that fast.

  3. I thought the same, until I got pulled over by a motorcycle cop doing 75 in a 55 on a 4 lane highway while on my FJ09 :(

  4. I peed a few drops at that Marquez joke. That. Was. Awesome.

    Well written!

  5. I long ago realized what you ride is as significant as how you ride – when it comes to getting performance awards from local LEO’s…having a baggar like the FJR, or the GS garners fewer hard looks from LEO than the sport bike, even when 10 or 15 over the limit…YMMV if doing triples however, not really a prob on the GS…also, the GS allows me to get to the really Bad Roads where LEO is fearful to go…can’t fill quotas in the outback.

  6. Agreed 100%, your observations are totally accurate.

    For about a year and a half I was the proud owner of a hypermotard 1100s, not quite the old-man bike, but less crotch-rockety indeed. Add a giant top box to it, spend 33,000 miles commuting all over southern california roads. Throw in full termi exhaust and daily hooliganism and not one ticket, not even the stern police glare… no speeding tickets, not one friggin’ noise violation nothing, pardon that front wheel lifting citizens it just does that on it’s own.

    The pork chop patrol never seemed to look twice, even when in full leathers for a weekend in the canyons. Quite regularly PD/CHP would let me by kindly whilst splitting on the commute to and fro… started to feel like a good ol’ adventure rider with all the politeness, but with the added bonus of wheelies to and from work all the damned time.

  7. “Little do people realize that there‚Äôs a genuine fucktard piloting such an unsuspecting machine with hard-cases and top bags and handguards and big pointy mirrors.”


  8. It seems folks move over for ol’ 2-wheelin’ ass as well…maybe it’s the cop bike i ride?

    1. Stop riding the cop bike. Don’t sell it. Just burn it.

  9. Mama cooked the breakfess’ with no hog.

  10. Mahalo for the story, I have had quite the same experience. Going from the Mille to the Tuono , drivers seem to move over instead of pinch me in as I lane split on my commute.

  11. I’m betting the bike had nothing to do with it. As they say in business, “location, location, location. “

  12. That was an awesome read. Thanks

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