I was on a film set yesterday chatting with the a couple greens about the colour of the fake flowers they were planting when a guy showed up on a Harley. This is not an unusual thing on a film set as everyone knows who is filming what and where. I don't think that I have worked on a single film for more than a couple weeks without someone dropping by on a bike. This guy was different. He scared me. As soon as he pulled up I, like most other riders do, quickly checked out his bike and his riding gear. In my humble opinion you can tell much about both someone's riding style and them as a person based on their bike and especially their selection of gear. Absolutely everything about this guy, his gear, his bike, and even his girlfriend on the back led me to believe that he will probably not last until the end of the summer without major injury.
I forget the model but it was one of the smaller ones, probably a dynaglide. It was vibrating so much at idle the cooling veins were blurry to look at. The air intake had been modified along with the exhaust.
Rider's Gear: Nylon jacket and black jeans, illegal skull-cap "helmet" (no dot sticker on the back), a red scarf, running shoes and no gloves.
Passenger's gear: Black cotton track suit, identical illegal "helmet", running shoes and thin black leather gloves.
Me: "Nice bike. You have to ride it more, it's too shinny."
The idiot: "It's a couple years old. I just stay in the city so it doesn't get dirty."
"I like the custom brake."
"Ya … I decided to go with a single caliper to reduce the unsprung weight."
"A single disk too eh?"
"You have to squeeze a bit harder with a single disk, but this one provides better control than the stock one."
"You better be careful. I would hate to fall without my fullface."
"I don't plan on falling much. Hogs are stable. It's the crotchrockets that are too tippy to be safe."
As this guy pulled away he decided to ignore the stop sign, but he did stop at the following red light. Then he pulled that left-turn trick where you jump the light and make your turn before the oncoming traffic gets into the intersection. I heard his thump-thump for at least ten seconds after that so he did last a little while longer.
This is the first time that I have run into someone who has done absolutely nothing in regards to safety. His gear was wrong, his bike was wrong and to top it off he doubled the risk by taking a passenger. I hope that people wake up one day and realize that it is not the leather-clad powerrangers on their neon bikes "race" bikes that are the dangerous ones.