It’s glorified by some on social media, but the consequences can be devastating…
Plenty of motorcyclists absolutely despise the outlaw image projected onto the hobby, and it’s understandable. While Harley-Davidson has more often than not leaned into the stereotype and many are captivated by the bad to the bone image, I don’t think it’s wrong for anyone who rides to be concerned about this image. Further fanning the flames is the many social media accounts out there where videos of them or other riders successfully ditching the cops in a chase are posted.
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For some, riding a motorcycle is the ultimate expression of freedom. It’s understandable since traveling down the road on two wheels certainly is more thrilling and makes you feel more alive than rolling on four wheels with a cage around you. Perhaps that is in part what has drawn those who feel owning a motorcycle allows them to follow few laws. I don’t really have a definitive answer for that, but this sense of having to answer to nobody simply because you’re riding a bike has helped foster animosity with some drivers, feeding into a positive feedback loop of rivalry.
One of the factors which makes motorcyclists believe they can run from the cops is the fact you can go where cars can’t. Not only can you split lanes and slip between cagers, you can easily ride up onto sidewalks, down narrow alleys, through parks, and go all sorts of places where taking a car would never be possible, even with something as small as a Fiat 500 or a Smart Fortwo.
Since police really can’t PIT a motorcycle or use a Stop Stick, some think it’s the ultimate way to elude the cops. That might be true, but it doesn’t mean that during a chase a driver couldn’t take you out by accident, something you’ll see in the videos I’ve included.
Add to that the fact a kid who can’t afford an exotic sports car can more easily afford a superbike which provides blindingly quick acceleration. With that kind of power underneath you, it’s easy to mistake yourself for some kind of god of the wind, capable of ditching anyone who dares try to detain you. That combination of raw performance and a youthful sense of invincibility combines for absolutely idiotic behavior.
That’s not to say there aren’t guys riding Harleys or other cruisers who run from the law. I’ve included a video out of Arkansas of just that situation. Like so many other instances of bikers trying to ditch the cops, these guys ride hard until they run out of skill, then they wreck out big. The same thing happens with drivers who think their sports car or muscle car is quicker than what the cops have. They very well might be right, but at high speeds it only takes one slight mistake for you to crash most gloriously.
In the end, even if you feel a cop is being abusive and is unfairly targeting you, it’s still better to pull over and accept a citation. Running from the law only racks up the citations, possibly earning you a felony or a few, so that’s even worse. You would also have your motorcycle impounded or possible seized, or you might destroy it in a high-speed crash. Save your fight for when you go to court, plus save your money to pay a good attorney instead of shelling out on fines for a mountain of citations.