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  #1  
Old 26 Jul 2013
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Have we bikers lost our manners? - Helmet tipping.

Out on my XT6E (red) today in this lovely weather (30 degrees). Did a short trip from Sheppey to Bexhill in Sussex and back (100 miles).

Bit hot and sticky in my full leathers especially at lights and jams. But it was glorious. I just love my single cylinder torquey bikes.

During the ride I tipped my head to a vast number of other riders passing me by on the other side of the road. This practice comes naturally to me and I have done it since I started to ride in 1980.

Nearly wiped out by a young girl driver (T boned). Good thing I was riding defensively and left a wide berth.

I can report here that about 50% of riders totally IGNORED my gesture and went speeding past without reciprocation.

I have always considered us bikers to be an elite on the road - members of an exclusive club where we all help each other out if things go wrong. We also show car drivers how to drive properly particularly on rounderbouts etc. I have always considered that riding on 2 wheels improves your driving skills on 4 wheels too.

I found that riders of small capacity bikes (mopeds and learner 125's) were more inclined to reciprocate.

Yes I always tip my head to mopeds/learners and large capacity riders alike - We all started out on these things and they are on two wheels taking exactly the same risks as the larger capacity bikes.

What has happened to bikers? Have half of riders lost their manners or, did they never possess them in the first place?

AND why are car drivers not using their indicators? I noticed a driving instructor not using them and even a bloody police car!

AND why do many car drivers do right turns on rounderbout's using the LEFT hand lane?

Got my moaning head on, sorry.
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Old 26 Jul 2013
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Might vary abit from region to region, but certainly I have noticed a change over an almost thirty year period in western Canada. In the "old" days, a wave was exchanged between almost all bikers. These days, 50% seems somewhat reasonable.

I always attributed it, at least partially, to the growth in biking whereby people from all walks of life have bought bikes and the brotherhood/sisterhood of biking has become much larger and less tight knit.

In cities, waving is much less frequent. On the open road, much more so.
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Old 26 Jul 2013
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I tend to nod / wave to just about all bikers I see but the response rate varies hugely depending on what I'm riding. On a big sports bike about 50% respond or nod first but if I'm on my mid 70's 125 commuter bike I doubt if it's 10% - and they tend to be sports bike riders. I can't remember the last time I got a nod from someone on a big traillie (1200GS etc) when I'm on the 125.
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Old 26 Jul 2013
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Neil, in the UK I think we look like DT125 riders on the road and therefore not respecting enough for a "tip" or a nod from most sports/street bike riders.

I get a similar nod rate to you of about 50%. On a Thunderace that was pretty much 100%. 1000 Fazer slightly less and a 1200 Bandit slightly less again. Oddly, I get more wearing a motocross helmet and goggles than my Arai.

Coppers never tip back no matter what you are riding. Neither do Harley (custom) riders.

Oddly, more instructors doing CBT/DA seem to respect the XT and I have had a good amount of those on this bike.

TBH, I have lost hope so I don't nod much any more. Except to other adventure bike riders who almost NEVER nod back.
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Old 26 Jul 2013
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I was having pretty much the same conversation with a friend of mine the other day about the "biker nod" or lack of it.
I still give a nod to to pretty much every bike i see n would say get a 50/50 response.
Strangely enough i noticed in the crappy weather when all the weekend warrior's are tucked up warm n dry i get more response!...
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Old 26 Jul 2013
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I hate the nod in the UK. Much prefer the small wave/finger point in Europe. In fact I prefer the whole European bike culture. Much more inclusive. Even Harley riders acknowledge!
Rant over
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Old 26 Jul 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelBell View Post
I hate the nod in the UK. Much prefer the small wave/finger point in Europe.
Bit tricky that where it wld involve removing throttle hand, nod is just as good and any acknowledgment between bikers is a good thing.

Then again when I was in Germany this week there were so many biker waves I was getting RSI so mostly gave up.
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Old 26 Jul 2013
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Originally Posted by retryrider View Post
Bit tricky that where it wld involve removing throttle hand, nod is just as good and any acknowledgment between bikers is a good thing.

Then again when I was in Germany this week there were so many biker waves I was getting RSI so mostly gave up.

you wave your LEFT hand to say Hi, stick out your RIGHT foot to say thanks ( to car or bike that has made way for you)

but then that is here in France, LHD
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Old 27 Jul 2013
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There is a north south divide. From Leicester up the acknowledgements increase. Plod, BMW, Harley and scooter riders are still a bit variable.

Turning right by following the left lane of a roundabout is defensive. Lots of cagers won't slow down, cut across both lanes as they go straight on ( fine if it's clear, a killer if they don't look for you). Use the left lane and you force them to stop. By the time their xr1i is back up to 120 dB you are over the horizon.

Andy
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Old 27 Jul 2013
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Years ago there was more camaraderie between bikers mainly I think due to oldd brit iron breaking down and other bikers stopping to help, nowadays a majority of the riders don't know a wheel spindle from a handlebar, and the bikes are so much more reliable, also bike clubs are not like they were, the whole scene as changed, remember a 'Nods as good as a wink to a blind horse'!
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Old 27 Jul 2013
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I've given up nodding in London, no one ever nods back but I've noticed that the further out I get in any direction the more people nod maybe you were just to close in to the big smoke.
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Old 27 Jul 2013
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In the US you see the same thing. We do the two finger wave here with the left hand. Much easier if your on the right side of the road instead of the wrong- I mean left side HAHA. Its about 80-85 percent and the holdouts are usually riding gold wings and the full dress Harleys. They are usually in packs and working too hard to stay in formation on their 700lb. + bikes to notice any one else. Other times the whole pack does it and your hand is out there for a week until they all go by. Can't win them all. thumpthump
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Old 27 Jul 2013
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I sometimes nod and sometimes wave, but I always acknowlege a fellow rider. Always have done and always will do. I've been riding for almost 35 years, and road manners in general have slipped a lot, not just amongst us.

Charlie
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Old 28 Jul 2013
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I ride a KLR 650 In Ireland.
It seems that the kids on sport bikes are going too fast or just feel bad for me riding a KLR and don't bother to wave.
The mob on the tourers, BMW's and the like, usually give me a royal salute as I pass them.
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Old 28 Jul 2013
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I wave or nod to other adventure bike riders and return the wave or nod from anyone else, when i see it.
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