What does your motorcycle mean to you? This could have varied answers for varied riders. You use it only as a daily commute since its quicker or you have reserved half your bed to park your motorcycle (that would just be disturbing). But the point is that no matter why you use them, you do love them. So, there exists a World Motorcycle Day and this be the day you shall outpour all the love and narcissism for your motorcycle, well, if you don't every day. You could be into sports motorcycles, even super ones, or you might like cruisers. Granted we always get into arguments as to which one is the best kind, but we all share the same appreciation for two-wheeled mobility.
The motorcycle finds its roots back in the 1860s when someone thought of mounting a steam engine onto a bicycle, followed by an ICE (internal combustion engine) in 1885. The very first production motorcycle was rolled out in the year 1894. It was at the turn of the centuries when players like Royal Enfield entered the market in the 1900s.
Motorcycles have even served during wars for sending messages across politically sensitive territories and even during combat. By 1901, it was clear that the motorcycle was here to stay. And by golly are we thankful that they did.
So, to mark this year's World Motorcycle Day (21st June), we'll read through the 10 holy commandments of motorcycling with you. No matter how many times you read them, it's endearing every single time. Here goes:
Thou shalt not eye your neighbour's motorcycle: Yes, you could have a little motorcycle and your neighbour, a fancy one with a painfully attractive body and power figures to cry for, but you shall not stare inappropriately at or want to take it away for yourself.
Thou shalt respect old classics: They're old and pretty and slow, but they are from where our motorcycles came. You have to respect the elderly for they taught our young ones how to be loyal motorcycles.
Thou shalt give more than you take: Be a good rider, a good person with a good heart. It's quite common for motorcyclists to be narcissistic today but you as a rider should be able to reflect why motorcycles are the higher beings some people worship around the world.
Thou shalt love thy motorcycle more than anything else: As a motorcyclist, there may be several motorcycles you ride in your life but you shall never stop loving and respecting the one that taught you riding and showed you open roads. A Kawasaki Ninja 250R may be slower and smaller than several others, but you never stop loving it - for all the life it poured into you.
Thou shalt follow the laws of the land: You shall be a responsible citizen abiding the laws and customs of the land you're visiting, riding through or riding in. Respect your right of passage but give equal importance to that of the others.
Thou shalt never leave a fellow rider behind: Mishaps can happen to anyone and so you never leave behind a rider in need. If you can be of assistance to someone by the road, never hesitate.
Thou shalt call out before passing: You could be in a hurry and if you must filter through really quickly, you shall always make your presence known and that you are overtaking. If the one ahead of you does not have a heads up of your passing, they may turn left or right jeopardising themselves and you.
Thou shalt be forgiving to users of four wheels who put thine life at risk: Four-wheeled metal boxes at times can be perilous. There are all sorts of nutcases on the road - those who brake for no reason, turn without a heads up, drift from lane to lane and so on. You shall keep your cool because you will come across these looneys quite a lot. You must also consider that their field of vision is rather narrow.
Thou shalt show love for thy motorcycle through the finest care: Express thy affection for thine motorcycle by giving it the finest care. Unnecessary LED lights here and there, aftermarket exhausts with fake labels on them, and the likes are a crime. Also, when you don't wear riding gear, you disrespect your motorcycle.
Thou shalt always be a rider: You pledge allegiance to the motorcycle once in your life. Do it and you must keep the spirit of motorcycling and exploring the unknown alive in you.
So, how are you planning to celebrate World Motorcycle Day? A very simple answer to it is - go ride. Perfectly timed this - weekend begins today. Gather your motorcycling comrades and hit the road. Happy riding!