Well... I just spent five wonderful months in Sao Paulo, Brazil! If anyone wants a Twister that's definitely where Honda's sending them. It's hard to see a new bike that's not that model... but if you buy one for the purpose of riding it there, make sure to take a bat to it, followed by a couple cans of crappy spray paint; unless, that is, you don't mind loosing possession of it after a few hours!
It's not as bad as it sounds, though. For all those disheartened by the local regulations, maybe I can interest you in a few aspects of the perks to be had by riding in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Yeah! Motorcycles are actually extremely common there; the hoards that ride them make Vancouver's bike scene look like those small groups of kids that used to ride around in power wheels! But why? Well let's see... I've done extensive... uh... research, and've concluded that it's because these states' liberal stance towards motorcyclists!
Lane-splitting, for instance, is a complete go. I mean... no, technically you're not so supposed to, but who are the cops to enforce such a thing when the majority of the roads don't have any lines painted on them? That's right, but be careful, because a 2-lane road can suddenly change into a 3-lane road, and a 3 into a 4, so it gets a little tricky when enough people are running late. It's also difficult to judge who's doing what, as turn signals and shoulder-checks are, of course, secondary to just frigg'n switching to the next lane, since the thing's only hypothetical, anyhow.
For you night-riding types, red lights are officially nothing more than the state's suggestion once the dusk is over with. So run through 'em, if it suits your fancy! The cops have promised not enforce any punishments for doing so, as many civilians have been shot, stabbed, or beaten to death during the robberies that often go on at a red light- even when the victim is cheerfully, peacefully giving up their car or motorcycle, as taking such steps reduces any future worries facing the perpetrator, regardless of how compliant their victim was.
And helmets, you ask? Well it's the law- Duh! What kind of mickey-mouse operation do you take their traffic department for? But with that said, the police are allowing everyone to just rest their helmets on any part their upper body, wherever convenient, such as by tying the chin strap around one's biceps, so as not to get in the way of... things. This diffuses the ongoing, undesirable conflict between the state and overwhelming, societal gender stereotypes that an individual, in all fairness, can actually do nothing about.
Best of all, however, is the comradery. Made a mistake? Caused an accident? What are you talking about!? Within 5 minutes you'll have between 10-100 fellow bikers backing you up, forcing any 4-wheelers into submitting to the obvious: motorcyclists don't screw up; car-riders do. Why would someone so vulnerable make a mistake? If they can prove that the person's suicidal, *then* they've maybe got a case, but if not, then they don't, of course. If they've got a problem with that, then there's other steps your brothers would be more than happy to take on your behalf. It's that straight-forward!
So yeah... travel in groups... but don't go in the front- and don't even think about riding in the car lanes! You're would be slowing everything down and making the rest of your comrades look bad!!!
I... I was going to talk about another subject too, but... uh... err...
*everything written here is entirely anecdotal