Ten stupid things motorcycle riders do

stupid wheelie

Riders are a tough and determined bunch, but we’re also a little bit stupid at times.

Put your hand up if you’ve done any of the following 10 stupid things “other” motorcyclists do.

1 Take the long way home

Who’s finished work a little early one day and ridden home via all the mountain roads turning a 22km commute turned into 222km journey? *

2 Save on fuel

Do you hate paying exorbitant prices for fuel and wait until you see a low price at an “El Cheapo” servo, even if it means almost running dry in the meantime?

Dirty fuel - ethanol

3 Waste money on farkle

You save money on fuel so you can spend more money on farkling your bike, like a chrome brake fluid cap at $150.

4 Be an individual

You love riding for the freedom, individuality and the “me” time, yet you usually ride with your club, dressed exactly the same and on a similar bike.

5 Be like Charley Boorman

You’ve bought the $30,000 German juggernaut and spent another $4000 on riding gear and hi-tech gizmos such as a fancy GPS so you can travel the world like Charley Boorman, but you’ve yet to put your wheels on any dirt.

Charley Boorman rides the Moralana Gorge Rd
Charley Boorman rides the Moralana Gorge Rd in the Flinders Ranges

6 Worry about resale value

You’ve spent all that money to go travelling and get dirty, but you’re so concerned about racking up mileage or possibly damaging your bike that you limit your travel to well-surfaced roads to preserve your resale value.

7 You’re a performance freak

A power-to-weight ratio beyond any exotic supercar is not enough for you, so you spend thousands on a titanium exhaust system, Power Commander, tuning and dyno testing, even though you’ve never had the bike on a racetrack.

8 You’re Valentino Rossi

You lean off you’re shiny new sportsbike, trying to get your knee down, when all of a sudden a bikie on a low-clearance panhead goes around the outside of you on a mountain pass.

stupid wheelie
Getting it up means something else to riders

9 You’re the stunt king

You’ve tried pulling a wheelie, but the first time you did it in front of your mates, it was so small they laughed at you and the second time you almost flipped your bike, stalled and then dropped it. That was also the last time you tried to pull a wheelie.

10 You’ve got dropsy

The only time you have ever crashed a motorcycle is in front of all your friends when you stopped at the cafe, flipped down your sidestand and it flicked back up before you realised and you and the bike came crashing down.

11 You can’t count

That’s right, there are 11 items in our top 10 because you can’t count, so that’s why you end up with a leftover bolt, run out of fuel, lose a rider from your group and why you thought 130 was actually 100km/h!

* I’m not really sure that number 1 counts as stupid or just obsessed!

By the way, I’ll admit to at least half of the above. How about you? Got any more to add?


  1. I’ve never done any of those the closest I’ve come is an unplanned wheely or three
    First one scared the hell out of me because it happened when I really needed both wheels on the ground, I had just done a full tune up on an old bike replaced leads and plug etc so when I went to do a quick takeoff at the lights after filtering to the front I used the same amount of throttle as I would have before the tuneup so up came the front wheel almost to flip point I had to hit the brakes then do a quick flick to the right as I was about to reared a parked car. My next effort on another of the same bike resulted in me doing a 50 meter mono with spinning wheels and a lane change all in front of mr plod the bike I was on was a Honda 400 4 super sport with a 550 Yoshimurra kit and a dodgy gearbox that only occasionally went into first gear hence the unplanned wheely.

  2. One of the stupidest things I’ve done on a bike was to try and see if the front tyre was losing pressure by leaning it over instead of stopping. Predictably, the front tyre was low on pressure and I ended up in the bush. Then there was the time I got a new power pipe on my TS 400 Suzuki, and decided to pop a mono in my street. Throttle response was brisker than usual and it flipped straight over. But the dumbest thing I ever did was lose my temper while riding. It was in Cairns, and I just picked up my DT360 Yammie after a service that was quoted to be half what I had to pay. Believing I’d been ripped off, I rode off toward the local Yamaha shop to check the price of parts and did a U turn between two cars parked in the central strip. Because I was angry, I didn’t check for traffic, and pulled out in front of a ute I used to drive with a previous employer. That lesson was cheap, because I was able to ride to the hospital after it. Over the years since then, it’s probably saved my life a few times because it taught me to never allow emotions affect my thinking while riding, driving, or flying. Later, over 20 years of flying commercially, where emotion can easily diminish your thought processes, I never had an accident. That would have to be the best lesson I’ve ever learned, and it wasn’t taught in any driver, rider, or pilot training course I’ve ever done.

  3. A few years ago I had just picked up a ZX1100 and was feeling cool so decided to show off and park near the beach so everyone could admire my machine. When it was time to leave I stalled the bike every time! After about 30 mins of stalling and an increasing crowd of onlookers I realised the stand was down.

    1. Hi Nick,
      Ah yes, forgot about that one. I’ve done that several times.
      I’ve also tried to start a bike on several occasions without success and wondered what was wrong … the kill switch was on!

  4. No. 6 is a good point. Too many riders love their bike so much that they are afraid to make full use of it. They forget that being a motorcyclist is not about owning the prettiest bike. It is all about riding, riding, and more riding. Having stone chips, scuff marks and general wear and tear on your bike is a badge of honour. It shows that you, as a rider, are the real deal.

  5. Popped a wheelie at a stop sign in front of a group of people. Unfortunately I had a 2 litre bottle of soft drink and nothing else in the top box. The bottle had rolled forward while braking. Then when I picked up the front wheel it rolled backwards upsetting the balance of the bike, and I had to quickly put the wheel down again. It resulted in a wheelie that was high but very short. The onlookers made a lot of noise but I couldn’t tell if they were cheering or jeering. I felt very embarrassed because I can do much better than that. Lesson learned; – Don’t do wheelies when you have loose heavy items in the top box.

    1. I can recommend 8 litres of milk in the scooter top box for thrilling and unexpected mono’s.I don’t which what was bigger the spectators eyes or mine wide eyed in fear.

  6. Have you ever overtaken a lineup of slow sunday drivers only to find out that the first one in the line is an unmarked cop car ……. I have, I even got to donate to their xmass fund…….

  7. Guilty as I once tried a front wheel stoppy in front of the boys on a Sporty
    Need I tell you what happenedoffff lol

  8. Ride past large shop windows and looking at my reflection to see how cool I look and nearly rear ending the vehicle in front.

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