Elitist mentality among streetbikers

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4/5/2018 11:58 AM

A few weeks when I was at the dealer buying my new bike, I overheard some guy scoffing as he told his son, “who would pay that amount of money for a bike you can’t ride on the street?”

A little over a year ago I applied to work at a small motorcycle dealership. I told the interviewer how I’ve been riding since I was 5 years old, and motocross has always been a passion of mine. He was more concerned about my experience with streetbikes. I told him that stories about road accidents scared me away from them. That led to me being lectured about how streetbikes being unsafe is a common misconception, and that I can be just as easily hurt while in a car accident.

Not trying to paint with a broad brush and label all streetbikers as having an elitist mentality, but just curious if anyone else experienced this type of behavior.


4/5/2018 12:00 PM

Not me, cuz I ride both!


4/5/2018 12:22 PM

I think there is an elitist side to most guys who ride motorcycles but haven't ever ridden on a track.

Same with douchebags and their fast cars. Yes you look cool weaving in and out of traffic during rush hour but you would be severely humbled on a road course, as would any street biker or guy who thinks he's a great rider because he shreds fields with his friends and can do a poppa wheelie really well. Put them on a track with the goal of going as fast as you can for a set amount of laps and it will paint the picture really quick that they aren't as good as they thought they were.


4/5/2018 12:53 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/5/2018 12:55 PM

I had a street bike for a few years but too many close calls with cars pulling out in front of me turned me off. During that time, I rode with several folks. None of them had dirt experience and boy did it show. Motocrossers are accustomed to traction loss from both ends of the bike. Your standard street guy is a fish out of water when things get slippery. I had a DRZ400SM, awesome bike but pretty slow. It had fat street tires that were not designed for anything put pavement. My buddy had a KLR650 with dual sport tires. It was pretty much designed for dirt roads. In a 5 mile stretch of a winding dirt road, I was about 5 minutes ahead of him. Why? He was a fish, and there was no water since he normally only rode on the pavement. I've had street guys tell me 250's were chick bikes after answering their "what size is your bike" question. All they knew how to do was go fast on the freeway. Motocrossers are very well rounded riders. I realize not all street guys suck. All I'm saying is that if you take the average moto guy and put him on a street bike, he'd be as good as your average street guy. If you flip flop that scenario, the street guy would ride like a total beginner.

Contrary to my above statements, that fish out of water bit doesn't apply to actual road racers. Those dudes are THE Gnarl. My opinion is the MotoGP guys are the best 2 wheeled racers on the planet. The precision it takes to slide like those dudes is unbelievable.


Before responding to any post, consider these three things...
1. Context!
2. Context!
3. Context!

4/5/2018 1:08 PM

I ride both, but I don't think either of my rides allows me to be an elitist unless you count my thinking that both my dirt and street bikes from the 1980's make me the elitiest since I don't need all that new fangled technology to ride.


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4/5/2018 1:21 PM

I've gotten the "you ride a 250 and think it's fast.. hahaha I ride a 1000" comment many times. It's everything and everyone. It doesn't just translate into bikes, I call it the mountain climber effect, you could tell a guy you climbed the Rockies, he says, yeah, well I did too, but it was taller when I did it because mountains grow ya know... it took me a while, I'll admit, but I'm happy for people, your rich? Awesome. You got a new scoot? Awesome. I hate jealousy. In most cases, work hard and you'll succeed too


4/5/2018 1:22 PM

TJMX947 wrote:

I think there is an elitist side to most guys who ride motorcycles but haven't ever ridden on a track.

Same with douchebags ...more

I agree 100% with you, Ive ridden with many on the street that thought they were the shit. We would go on rides on the back roads and I'd be at the back of the pack, people would be waiting for me to catch up.....then we would do a track day, it would humble them when I was 10+ seconds a lap faster.....usually track days get the smarter ones to slow down on the street when they realize how quick things can go wrong and on the track you have a little more run off to gather it up and not a solid object to bounce off of.

Picture of me losing the rear end at Jennings T-12, on the street I would have been off the road by the time I got it gathered back up.



4/5/2018 1:51 PM

I ride a Supermoto with a bunch of crotch rocket kooks and all agree, the danger is the broads in cars doing their makeup, hair, cell phone, and eating all at the same time, while changing lanes, or 3. WIthout looking. Ever.


4/5/2018 2:00 PM

It's not as bad as the elitist mentality of some Euros
concerning the gps. wink


4/5/2018 2:04 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/5/2018 2:05 PM

We had a discussion on facebook a few months ago between several people I know who all ride, one of them being a former SX racer. One of the guys that completely steered the direction of the conversation was saying we are crazy riding on dirt and how much safer the street is. The vast majority of us had experience on the street and provided stats along with experiences that completely proved his stance wrong. He absolutely insisted that the was a far better rider than any of us and that he personally is safer on the street than any of us on dirt due to his superior riding abilities, including the guy holding an AMA pro license. It was absolutely ridiculous.
When I had my short stint on the street, I had someone try to tell me that dirt experience doesn't translate to the street. He couldn't fathom that I might have better control of my bike when breaking traction than he would even though he had never experienced it. There's a lot of stupid people out there, and it seems the dumbest of the dumb just love to open their mouths and expose themselves.


4/5/2018 2:09 PM

It's funny because I've seen dirt guys on street bikes that look super sketchy and street guys on dirt bikes that look super sketchy.

I could never figure out why you would think you're better than someone else because of displacement, brand, or bike type.

Met plenty of Harley guys that think MX and sport bikes are toys but their V-Twin Laz-y-Boy is a perfomance machine.

We're all on two wheels and we love it for the same reasons...it's a shit-load of fun.


4/5/2018 2:24 PM

Braaaphole wrote:

We had a discussion on facebook a few months ago between several people I know who all ride, one of them being a former SX ...more

Yeah but your AMA pro guy probably rode a 250 and it only had one cylinder. Total chick bike.


Before responding to any post, consider these three things...
1. Context!
2. Context!
3. Context!

4/5/2018 2:33 PM

I ride both street and moto. All my buddies who have never even sat on a dirtbine think riding their 1000 150mph down a straight road is more bad ass than anything else. Yet none of them can keep up on a curvy road and they wont even consider trying a dirtbike. One of them tried my 450 after riding his 600 thinking it would be a joke and he kissed the gas and damn near flipped it and hes now terrified of it.

Street riders do have an elitist mentality and it drives me away from riding on the road. All too often i see people my age(early 20s) talking big and bad about how fast they go and they have no skills on the bike.

Also dont get me started on harley riders.

For anyone who hasnt rode on the road.. road riding is the easiest thing in the world. It doesnt hold a candle to riding a dirtbike - even in your yard. If youre any good on a dirtbike youll be dragging knee on a supersport in 2 months.


4/5/2018 2:35 PM

kb228 wrote:

I ride both street and moto. All my buddies who have never even sat on a dirtbine think riding their 1000 150mph down a ...more

Haha, this is pretty spot on. Seriously if you grew up riding dirtbikes, the street is damn easy, if not BORING.



4/5/2018 2:41 PM

Heres the thing, I agree with him saying were crazy paying $9-10K for MX bikes!

They are definitely not worth it, not good investments, and way overpriced, sure I overpaid for my Harley Road Glide, but I didnt get one until I was older and could afford it, and I can sell it or trade it for something at anytime. Do I get more bang for the buck on a bike I can ride on the street? For sure, no doubt about it. Will I ever stop riding dirt bikes, probably not until my body tells me I cant. However, I have not and dont ever plan on buying a new dirt bike. Its just ridiculous how much they are asking. I have been lucky finding a few year old bikes used and getting them for .40 on the dollar.


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4/5/2018 2:52 PM

Nothing looks more ridiculous and stupid than the local street bike idiots on their Harleys without a helmet, and laying al.ost in a prone reclined position with their feet on those stupid pegs next to the forks. I saw a guy on a Harley hit a station wagon and sever both his legs when I was 13 years old, so that was the end of my desire to ride a stupid street bike.


4/5/2018 2:58 PM

I've raced mx, desert and rode a drag bike. Have owned and rode duel sport, sport bikes and have a 1500cc cruiser. The big bad 1500cc is the most boring thing I have ever ridden, but it's the only bike my wife will ride on with me so I keep it for that reason. The sketchiest riders you'll ever see are on these "cruiser rides" with their 25k Harleys. I think it should be mandatory that you ride a dirt bike before ever touching a street bike.


4/5/2018 3:10 PM

When i took my endorsement test for street you had to wear boots for it. At tge time i only had my mx boots so i wore those to the test. I got a near perfect score on the test my friend who was with me.

Said the instructor was saying how skilled and comfortable on the bike i was because of all my years dirt biking when i was out doing the obstacles to the rest of the class.


4/5/2018 3:14 PM

People bag on crotch rocket guys and Stunters, but the truth is, at least those fuckers have some skills.

There is s group of stunters here on super moto and crotch rockets, and while they are kind of a side show, nothing scares me more than these harleys who drop them on the ground, and when they turn, the fuckin back tire comes off the ground when the stupid suitcases hit the ground and then you have a guy doing donuts in the middle of the road sometimes taking out 2 or more others.

Hardly no one on a cruiser harley has any skill at all. Im shocked more dont get killed.


4/5/2018 3:16 PM

No different than dirt bikers referring to street riders as being stupid or idiots.

I road dirt bikes from 5 yrs old until my mid 50’s. Just got tired of having to load up the truck n gear and travel to the nearest track and dealing with just as many practice day nuts as I deal with nutty car drivers.

I’ve been street riding for the last several years and absolutely love it. I currently ride a KTM 1190 adventure bike that handles like a road racer and yet I can buzz down a fire road when I come across one. My favorite thing about the street riding is I can throw on my helmet and gloves and be out on a bike within minutes of getting the urge. Last weekend I went on a ride that took me from the ocean, up into forest land and then desert and back to the ocean. It was spectacular scenery and a absolute blast. Dealing with cars helps keep my senses sharp and boredom never comes into play on the road...too much to look at and watch out for.

BTW assholes/elitist come in all shapes n sizes and on any vehicle made. Some people aren’t open to others choices for entertainment


4/5/2018 3:17 PM

At a dealership streetbike sales and streetbike accessories are far far greater than mx bike sales. I guessing the interviewer needed you to know something about and not scare away his streetbike sales.


4/5/2018 3:33 PM

This is a loaded question. There are elitist in absolutely everything. What you are experiencing is likely due to the percentage of sales that dealership does. Also the possibility of a sale. I don't have any hard data, but I would imagine street bikes account for a major chunk of a dealers bottom line as compared to motocross bikes. Street bike riders come in all shapes and sizes. It is also easy to have a mid life crisis and go get a Harley. Grab a helmet, boots and some sunglasses and you are set to go. Motocross requires a lot of gear, a truck and a reasonable understanding of what it takes to "go" dirt bike riding.

The dealer needs people who cater to the customers that contribute the most to their bottom line, simple as that.

As far as the rest of the discussion... After a decade and a half of racing everything from motocross to desert to arenacross, then buying a Harley recently, its very true. I was never fast in the grand scheme on a dirtbike, I wouldn't say slow though...

What you really have to think about is how you ride a dirt bike. Even when I was out on practice days or carrying the mail across the desert, I liked to push it, go fast and try to be faster than the buddy you were out with that day. When you are out on the street, you have to obey laws, so for the most part you have to ride within those limits. Those who have saddle time on the road probably have minimal time "pushing" it.

Not to mention a motocross bike is infinitely harder to ride than a street bike. I'm not talking about that niche practice day sport bike guy who is dragging knees... I am talking about the average rider. You have to exert a bunch of energy to go even remotely fast, and generally control the machine more. Once you have done that on a 450 around Glen Helen, hoping on a Harley and cruising the Ortega seems like a cake walk.


- When the Going Gets Weird, the Weird Turn Pro

4/5/2018 3:57 PM

I was bored to death riding on the street and came back to motocross in less than a year. It is kind of scary when you think about how many people are out there on 600s, literbikes and gigantic cruisers whose "riding skills" are incredibly narrow. I used to watch some moto vlogs and I was always very, very shocked when guys who frequently made videos flying down the road at 100mph+ would try out a 250cc dual sport on some easy trail or field and be absolutely helpless.


4/5/2018 4:10 PM

Gonzo0100 wrote:

This is a loaded question. There are elitist in absolutely everything. What you are experiencing is likely due to the ...more

I agree, the fact is that selling streetbikes is more important to them as a dealership. I just wish the guy saved me the BS point about getting in a car wreck vs a streetbike accident.


4/5/2018 5:15 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/5/2018 5:23 PM

As a person who somehow survived my streetbike late teens and twenties, streetbikers should be elitist.
And I can’t think there was any law I obeyed. That hp is like crack.

One bad day and you are dead.

My 525 does about 8km of street duty a year. Who knows what is going to happen in life.
But this life time has filled it’s need of getting cut off by old men with hats and fat broads trying to light their cigarettes making left turns in front of you.

And I missed the cellphone era, happy for that.

The hp is juicy though!

Salesman’s attitude probably has to do with a two year old left over new MX bike in the corner and making $.

Motorcycling is so fun, the last thing I would care about is what someone else thought. So beautiful when you pull that lid on, you are free.


In my 60’s and still loving dirt scoots up here in the frozen north.

2021 Husky 501s

4/5/2018 6:02 PM

Road bike are for gay ! Few friends (road biker) tried my dirtbke on a track. Man they couldn't even close one lap and now they re scared of dirtbike


4/5/2018 6:13 PM

OFWGKTA wrote:

Road bike are for gay ! Few friends (road biker) tried my dirtbke on a track. Man they couldn't even close one lap and now ...more

Gay, straight, whatever.

I’ll tell you one thing, when you are a young lad, many a pretty girl will say,
“take me for a ride on your bike”. I found them to be quite a meal ticket.

No good now, married...the woods are calling.

I’m dirt all the way, but if a person said, hey, try my Hayabusa on the TCH I’d be, “hold my license”.


In my 60’s and still loving dirt scoots up here in the frozen north.

2021 Husky 501s

4/5/2018 6:17 PM

watched a guy on a crf450 dirt bike set up for supermoto smoke a lot of guys on crotch rockets, on a road race course.
He would get smoked down the straights and blow right past them on the corners..


4/5/2018 6:19 PM

Join a group, put down the other groups. Boring thought process but fun in jest once in a while. Street guys think we're lame, we think quads are lame, quad guys think they're faster than bikes, etc.. Soccer moms think all of the above are idiots.


4/5/2018 6:23 PM

I had both from age 16-21. When I took my street bike test at age 16, twelve people took the riding test and ten failed. I got 100% on the test. I believe that was from my years of dirt bike riding. Street bikes are fun transportation for me but mostly boring. I sold my bike to my best friend and a week later he was hit by a car while he was going 50. He was an experienced rider we started riding together at age 10. He survived but had many serious injuries. Another of my friends from riding died 10 years ago on the street. Mostly it's the cars that scare me!