Ruckus Scooter Love

Ruckus Scooter Love
Scootin' For A Slower Pace of Life...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Moto Snobs

These dudes are NOT motorcycle snobs. They are the epitomy of "Cool"!:

IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED, DON'T READ THIS BLOG POST! This is meant to be a "tongue-in-cheek" poke at scooter and motorcycle riders, of which I am one myself.


Now that we got that part over with...

I have been riding a scooter since 2007 and before that I rode a motorcycle in my youth. I don't know if any of this makes me a "veteran", but it does make me an experienced rider of a 2 wheeled machine. In my case, scooter, though it could be a motorcycle because the same observations apply.

What it is, is this: I am SO OVER "moto snobs".

Tired of seeing them, tired of their ilk, tired of their strutting around in parking lots, tired of reading about them on websites where they act so passionate about riding but really, they'd give it up for the latest smart phone or Caribbean cruise.

I don't know if "scooter snobs" are exactly the same as "motorcycle snobs". I suspect a few subtle differences. The commonality is that they think they are superior or somehow better than those who don't ride a two wheeled machine and they want you to know it!

You know them when you see them out and don't lie, you think the same things I am thinking: these people are snobs!

So let's get to it...who ARE these "moto snobs"?

They wouldn't speak or wave to you while you are out riding on your machine if their lives depended on it. Mostly because they don't have enough road experience to actually lift that left hand off the handlebar and wave, but more than that they just see themselves as superior to you as they glide by on their $10,000+ motorcycles or buzz by on their little color-coordinated scooters.

The motorcycle variety is usually found parked alongside the road in some winery out in the boonies or some motorcycle shop's "open house". You know their bikes-they are the ones decked out in ALL the highest priced gear, sporting the most expensive and gaudy saddlebags, and possessing the cleanest tires.

Cleanest tires? That's right, because they only ride on weekends in fair weather. Yes, of course they bought that expensive rain suit but heaven forbid they should have to pull it out and use it because it might detract from their $400 dollar jacket and their $700 dollar helmet.

Plus they have no clue how to ride in the rain and they are scared to death of a rain drop falling on the pavement ahead of them as it might mess up those clean tires!

You also see this variety sashaying out of the dairy bar, dressed in black logo leather jackets, wife beater tees, skull adorned bandanas, and sporting removable tats up and down their arms.

They have cleaned out the shelves at the local motorcycle boutique of all the logo wear and so they now strut about in the grocery store or ride to the hardware store decked out in $500s worth of tee shirts, vests, ball caps, bracelet, and earrings, looking like a walking billboard for every charity ride in the city or state or every motorcycle company on God's earth.

Their "chicks", aka usually suburban trophy wives, wear their own embroidered, leather-vested regalia while desperately clinging to their partner's backs as they ride with the corporate moto pack from rest stop to rest stop and usually on Sundays.

Everybody thinks they are "lookin' good" while looking at their watches to hurry up and get this parade over with because the sun is too hot or it's clouding up or they are just ready for the hot tub and the crafted beer.

This guy is NOT a scooter snob...he is an artistic legend!

Scooter snobs? Well, it's hard to describe them because they are rarely seen riding their scooters. Certainly not out in the countryside and rarely on weekends unless they need to run up to the latte shop and it's not raining and they are in the mood.

This variety starts out thinking they will commute to work in the burbs or city and once they start up they realize that they might get wet, could get cold, and will definitely mess up their hair if they wear a helmet and so after a few tries the scooter begins to sit in the two car garage while they drive the SUV to work.

Gas prices are down, so why not? Many of them started out on a scooter because of high gas prices and if that is a primary motivation to ride a scooter to work then they were sadly misinformed as to what is involved in riding a scooter safely, much less in riding one to work in rush hour traffic in the burbs or in town.

But they don't consider any of that before they rush out and lay down that $2K+ on a scooter they may ride a handful of times before posting it on Craigslist. So many of these scooters, like treadmills, become dust catchers.

More persistent scooter snobs can readily be found at "scooter rallies". These are rare crowd gatherings where the participants seek out like minds for comradery and scooter "riding adventures".

Not everyone at these rallies is a snob. Some are actually solitary riders who hope that perhaps they might make some connection with kindred souls who ride more than to save gas or look fashionable or run up to the internet cafe for a bagel and coffee.

At the rally a group might go on a ride around the burbs or scoot into the heart of the city, but the feel of the rides are utilitarian. It's a "hurry up and let's get this part over" deal so they can get back to the merchant booths and lawn chairs up in the picnic grove 'cause the barbecue is almost done and the pop is cold!

Many of these moto snobs on scooters hope to epitomize the 1960s "mod" style in clothing and demeanor which more or less is the same as the current "hipster" or "grunge style" of the 1990s.

Others are "rockers", which usually translates to the James Dean style of dress and attitude and most gravitate to motorcycles after a season or two of feeling dorky riding a scooter to the sports bar for football games.

With these two lame choices, it's no wonder many scooter riders who aren't snobs go on to motorcycles or relapse back to the bicycle path because they are tired of being in a perpetual identity crisis.

That is, unless they are "hard core" riders of anything two wheeled and they just like the scooter versus the motorcycle or perhaps they come to own both. Plus many bicycles too numerous to mention.

The preferred rally scooter usually is of the Italian variety, or is a knockoff style thereof. Others scooter brands are tolerated as groveling wannabes.

Many of these rally scooters are slathered with stickers, decals, pinstripes, teddy bears, flags, and anything else that takes time to do to a scooter and which allows the rider to justify why they are not just riding that scooter instead of decorating it constantly.

We won't get into those who are constantly "modding" their scooters for an extra 5 mph or bigger tires or lower seat or wider handlebars. They NEVER ride their scooters because the scooter is always torn apart or up on the workbench!

Narcissists and artsy types gravitate to these types of "lifestyle" displays in scooterdom and convince themselves that they are truly being unique and authentic at the same time.

The scooter becomes a projection of the inner personality of the rider.

Hello Kitty, who knew?

The scooter rider is NOT French, but the scooter looks Parisian with flags and colors and an Eiffel Tower silhouette on the cowl. (look that word up)

The scooter rider is NOT a war veteran, but the scooter is "Army green" with big white star decals or is Air Force blue with little airplane decals all over.

Don't get me started on dog owners and cat owners! Their scooters woof and purr along usually bedecked with puppy paw stickers, cat whisker seat covers, and sometimes even obnoxious "Luv My Fur Child" flags a-flying!

Yes, "moto snobs" are out there everywhere you go, so beware!

Are you one?

Photo Disclaimer: Don't sue me, I did not take these photos. I lovingly borrowed them off the internet. Thank you for your classy contribution, whomever you are!


  1. PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Deb you nailed it! I've been both scooterist and motorcyclist and still love them all. When I rode the Yamaha vino the local scooter club thought I was a poseur and no one was welcoming. i went to one rally and that is where I met Bob, he was the only person who talked to me and didn't care what I rode, all the vintage Italian riders were snobs, Fast forward to motorcycle world now and I still don't fit into any one groove not that I want to. I went ti the second scooter rally to meet Bob and my Vancouver buddies and the vintage scooter people staying at the motel were quite rude and said "Get out of here shifter" Bob actually said something to the one guy and told him to chill. I have to say I was a little taken aback.

    As for motorcycle snobs because I am a gear geek and ride a Honda Sport tourer I don't really fit in with the local motorcycle culture here. But I do fit in with the Moto Mamas there are 163 of use and we ride everything from a 50cc scooter, to Maxi scooter and every type of motorcycle and we are nonjudgemental and just ride for the love of it.

    I wave at scooterists and motorcyclists. I learned 4 years ago you never know who is under the helmet and it is about the love of the ride. Yeah My scooterista friend you nailed this 100%

    PS I saw the BMW maxi scoot the other day and thought hmmmm, might like one of those.

    1. Wow! Well, then it looks like this is definitely a "universal phenomenon" and not just all a bad dream in my fevered brain! LOL

      Your groups sounds awesome! I wonder if I could get a group of gals down here together to do that. Might be worth a try.

      Ride on, sister! You are a legendary role model in my book!

      Hey, email me...I've got a motorcycle question for you!

    2. Oh, yeah, and leave it to Bob to be kind, reach out, and try to bridge the gap for a newbie!

      What a sweetheart, that man!

      Missed so much...

  2. **chuckles** Here in Florida we seem to get a lot of people out on Harleys. No helmets or jackets and riding the main roads. Generally speaking I ignore them because I know Kimmie is a well used and high milage bike, she's not "like them"...does that make me a scooter snob?

    1. No, never! You could NEVER be a "scooter snob" Robert!

      Yeah, I've got a Harley store about a mile up the road and I see them coming and going all the time sans helmet.

      I will have to say that when I have gone up there to look at stuff and hang out that some have come out to admire my scooter and ask questions about it. Especially the women who work in the store.

      It's all good! I've got a few Harley items myself from there and mainly because they feature a graphic of our local covered bridge on them.

      Plus they have nice "open houses" twice a season with music and food and I ride up when I can.

      Otherwise I have NO two wheeled comrades 'cause the other scooter riders are over at the latte shop in the "fashionable" part of town! ;-)

      Ride on, brother!

  3. Great post. I don't know what is wrong with human psychology but I see stupid snobbism in many contexts. Among sportbike-riders, cruiser-riders, etc. People who feel compelled to turn their noses up at others enjoying the same activity. It's so unattractive and self-defeating. We should celebrate others who share the joys of two-wheeled adventure, not look for ways to criticize them. My belief is that this impulse comes from insecurity.

    1. I have to agree.

      I saw it a lot in the bicycling world too. Road bikes versus recumbent bikes versus mountain bikes, etc.

      Shame some people have to act like this.

    2. I know this was all tongue-in-cheek, but I think Shybiker nailed it. I've witnessed snobbery from all styles of bike riders, from the leather and loud pipe set, the Italian red bike crowd, the German automobile bike riders.. Heck, even from some fellow sport-touring riders.
      I don't care what most people say or think about my bikes, but I do get tired of the "get a real bike" attitude of some riders I know. I find myself riding with them less often these days.
      I'm sure it's their own insecurities talking.

    3. Yea, sometimes I can "feel" the glare of disapproval once they realize I am passing them on a scooter.

  4. Great post Deb and I agree with what the others have said.

    I think we all see this in some form or another. There always seem to be cliques within bike types and brands.

    We wave at everything from a person on a bicycle, little kids just standing on the sidewalk, and all other modes of two and three wheel travel. The way I see it is that we are all out there facing the same dangers and enjoying the same breeze, why not be cordial.

    And yes, the snobby attitude of some riders can be annoying.

    1. One of the main reasons I don't go out for "group rides". Just don't enjoy the "competitive vibe" there.

      Keep on waving! :=)

  5. Hilarioius! This blog entry just made may day. Yes, snobs exist everywhere. In Germany you mostly get the snotty Beemer rider, all equipped for world touring, but never actually found on the road, because his/her farkling continues to the max. There is also the snobby vintage scooter rider who snorts at our automatic boxes, but he never actually gets to ride as his/her vehicle is always on the verge of a break down or just broken down and torn apart. I for myself appreciate every rider on any kind of two wheels, scooter or cruiser, heck even crotch rockets. I just love motorcycles, and the community sense that usually comes with it. Ride on!

    1. Sonya!
      Yes, it sounds like they are EVERYWHERE! :-)

      Glad you enjoyed the post. I surely had fun writing it too!

      Safe riding, sister!

  6. What a great post Deb!

    On my Vespa, some cruisers return my wave, none initiate. On the Honda Shadow ALL the cruisers initiate the wave. They are my 'brothers' don't you know.

    The bottom line is that too many people make up for their natural insecurity by playing roles, like Harley Dude, Squidly Sport Biker and so on, and they can't step up or step out without facing their insecurity.

    Quite pathetic. You nailed it Deb!