There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding riders and their motorcycles. Some are trivial and harmless, while a few can be dangerous assumptions. Whether you ride a scooter or a cruiser, you could be a victim of these false ideas. In this article, we'll explore some of the more popular misconceptions about motorcycle riding.
Motorcycles are less reliable than cars
Because cars are generally more expensive than motorcycles, it can be easy to assume that four wheels are more reliable than two. In reality, there's no direct answer, as every vehicle varies in design, engineering, and construction. Personal usage and maintenance habits also play a part in how your car or motorcycle performs over time.
What we can say, though, is that bikes have a lot going on for them in the reliability department. Motorcycles are much smaller than cars, so they're simpler to work on and have fewer parts that can break. They can also be easier to get into for less experienced mechanics. If well-maintained, a motorcycle engine can even last up to 15 years or 160,000 km.
More power is better
In the riding world, some circles believe that bigger is better. Within these groups, large-displacement engines that produce more power and torque dominate their smaller counterparts. While powerful engines are often exciting, they're not necessarily better.
It all comes down to rider preference, as some of us prefer smaller, nimbler bikes, provided they're not underpowered. Besides, some of the most capable motorcycles out there have 400cs or under. Take the Yamaha YZF-R3, for example, a sport bike that can keep up with almost anything you throw at it.
Bikers are the cause of traffic
If you've spent any time at all in the city, especially one as densely populated as Manila, you might conclude that motorcycles are the cause of traffic. The truth is, a lot of people choose to ride bikes out of necessity. To many riders, duking it out on two wheels might be the choice that makes the most sense.
The sheer number of bikes on our roads is merely a symptom of much more pressing issues. Heavy traffic is a result of poor public transport and underdeveloped infrastructure, among other causes. So, bikes aren't the cause of traffic but are simply ways for many riders to navigate it quickly.
You don't need safety gear in the neighborhood
Another frustrating misconception is that it's okay to ride wearing whatever you want when inside your village, subdivision, or the general neighborhood. Wearing a sando or t-shirt with shorts and slippers just doesn't cut it. Going on a shorter ride doesn't mean you get to skimp out on the safety gear. It's a bad habit that needs to be corrected.
At the minimum, you should be wearing a shirt, jacket, pants, and shoes. Accidents don't pick and choose where they appear, and so they happen when you least expect them. It's best to ride safely no matter where you're going.
Side streets are safer than main roads
Speaking of safety, there's a belief among some riders that avoiding main thoroughfares is a good practice. The logic is that side streets tend to have slower traffic, meaning high-speed collisions would be unlikely. While you could avoid fast-moving vehicles on a side street, that's not the only thing in your way.
On highways and main roads, vehicles go in each direction at constant speeds. There are very few distractions, as opposed to side streets which could be all sorts of chaotic. When traversing a side street, you may encounter erring pedestrians, sidewalk vendors, road works, and many other colorful obstructions. Collisions happen at all speeds, whether slow on a side street or fast on the highway.