Probably this is the common question that I (or even other motorcyclists) get from people around us such us our family, friends, co-workers, or even strangers. It is not rare to hear something like “Why do you ride a motorcycle? Why not drive a car?” with some various reasonable perspectives from them. It is not that they are wrong to give a certain point of view, its their rights, but we also have to give reasonable reasons why we choose to ride motorcycles to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Before Inside Helmet jump to ‘why’, let us first list the questions and opinions that people around us usually ask and say about riding a motorcycle.
Riding a motorcycle is dangerous.
This is the most frequent argument that is pointed out to me from almost everybody. I cannot say no to this though, because riding a motorcycle means your body is the first thing to impact with any accident. Unlike car, you are inside a car which has a higher probability that you will not get hurt in an accident.
There is only a room for two.
A fact that I cannot deny (though some people use motorcycle for 3 person which is dangerous…). Motorcycle is meant for two person or even one if the riders would want it that way. Therefore motorcycle is not the vehicle for a family trip which consists of more than 2 person. Even if we want to use motorcycle for the family trip, it requires more than 1 motorcycle and we cannot ensure that everyone will enjoy it.
When it’s hot, it’s hot. When it rains, you get wet.
True, similar as the previous point, our body is the first thing to impact with the surrounding. Wearing improper gear will cause you some cases like sun burnt during hot season, or wet during the rainy season.
Driving a car is more comfortable than riding a motorcycle.
With air conditioner, roof, wide seat, more space for stuffs, and bigger! Driving a car can be better than riding a motorcycle. … Okay time for me to give the answer.
Once again, I agree with people saying things like those to me because that’s quite the fact of riding a motorcycle. But one thing is that we are different in person with different background and interest which makes us different in point of views. Here is why I choose to ride motorcycle.
1. It’s fast
No doubt that riding a motorcycle is somewhat faster than driving a car (in cities like Jakarta). Since the number of vehicles are increasing greatly due to the easy leasing system, Jakarta has suffered traffic jam here and there around the city. Getting stuck in the traffic jam inside your car can be really stressful, even though with the help of air conditioner and audio system, it’s still the traffic jam. With motorcycle, by still following the rules and using the most left lane, I can still slip through the traffic easily. My approximate travel time from my office in Bulungan to my home in Pondok Bambu took around 1 hour by motorcycle.
2. Service and gas cost is lower than using car
Cost is how we think which type of vehicle should we choose. The cost can be ranged from the service cost, gas/fuel cost, and other cost such as parking. The cost of using a car can be higher than using a motorcycle. One example is about the parking rate which is planned to be increased again, at most places parking rate for car is 3,000 IDR per hour, which for motorcycle is 1,000 or 2,000 IDR per hour. There are also alternative parking that we only pay once for all day (sometimes 5,000 IDR all day for motorcycle) but it is not recommended.
3. Freedom (Exhilarating)
Probably the hardest point that my family and friends can really understand. Riding a motorcycle is a freedom to me. It feels almost like flying, and you are sitting close to the nature. I can sense the heat, wet during rain, and I can feel the wind pushing me around, yet these conditions do not let me think that riding a motorcycle is a bad thing. Nothing can make me become one and enjoy the nature like it.
P.S: Freedom here does not mean that I am free to wear improper gear and break the rules! And thank you for the Reddit user for giving me the better word for it!
4. Everything has risk, and I know that clearly
I am not saying that it is false when people say “Riding a motorcycle is dangerous”. Well, actually it is dangerous. While the balance only depends on two wheels (which it needs help from both of your feet to stand) and you have no barrier other than your protective gear to guard you from accidents, riding a motorcycle is indeed dangerous. But how come when I already know it but I still do it? It is because I know about the dangerous and risks, and I am sure that other motorcyclists know that as well. No matter what type of your bike is, there is always a risk. In fact, no matter what type of your vehicle, there is always a risk. The most important thing when riding a motorcycle is to know the basics of riding and the rules of riding.
The last and most boring and common point to hear, but I am sure this is the most important thing. To ride a motorcycle is my passion, it’s what I like, and it’s what makes me who I really am. I have a history of my own how I get into riding a motorcycle, and it really has become more than just a hobby. This is what I see through my helmet, Inside Helmet. And also I am not planning to only have motorcycle in the future, I will have a car for family priorities since I cannot deny that motorcycle is only for two person.
You see, riding a motorcycle is not a bad thing. Some people may make it look bad(ass), but the truth is that it is really fun and refreshing. With the help of experts (clubs and communities) and great understanding on how to ride a motorcycle, its risk, and rules, I am sure that you can get away from the dangerous mindset. That is is for my answer on Why do you choose to ride a motorcycle? I hope that fellow riders and readers can get something positive from this FAQ, and as always; Enjoy and Ride Safely!
Founder and Writer of Inside Helmet
Motorcycle Blog and Vlog Indonesia
Ride Outside, Write Insight