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Thread: New rider here with a question

  1. #1
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    New rider here with a question

    Whats the deal with acknowledging an oncoming motorcyclist? Some point two fingers down, some do a Hawaiian thing with the thumb and pinky, others just wave by pointing their clutch hand fingers up. thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    New riders should keep their hands on the bars and their attention focused on the ride (road, other vehicles, etc. etc. etc.). Maybe give him a short happy nod back. Make friends later.

    Actual hand signals depend on where you live, present conditions ("cop ahead", "debris ahead"), and your mutual understanding of what the hand is saying.

    Welcome to the fold!

  3. #3
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    Thanks Paul

    That's sage advice! I haven't returned an acknowledgement yet, just for the reasons you state. I'm still curious about meaning and etiquette.

    Thanks

  4. #4
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Two fingers sideways or down is just a convenient Hi.
    I sometimes give a low thumb up, especially if he's also on a BMW; this can also mean Your way ahead is clear (popular here on Angeles Crest, with debris + cops).
    Thumb and pinky is "Hang Loose".
    Fist up can be either "Right On!" or "nail it" (pumping fist, for faster groups).
    Fingers sweeping back & forth downward is You are about to encounter debris.
    Quick tap to the head is cop ahead (acknowledge with a nod or thumb).
    Palm down is caution, slow down ahead.
    One finger is I'm an idiot who thinks his bike is better than yours.
    And so many more... Google "motorcycle hand signals" but don't depend on them.

    Etiquette? We ain't got no etiquette!

  5. #5
    Morning Person
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    I just flash two fingers down, like inverted peace sign...some say it communicates the number of cylinders your bike has (F800ST...parallel twin), but who knows. Have heard all kinds of stuff. I get all kinds of waves...doesn't matter what you do.

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    Thanks Paul aand Flyrider,

    That's pretty much what I thought.

  7. #7
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    I haven't paid too much attention lately, but normally when the oncoming bike has chrome-plated forks it's NOT a BMW.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  8. #8
    Rally Rat
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    Wave

    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    I haven't paid too much attention lately, but normally when the oncoming bike has chrome-plated forks it's NOT a BMW.
    So does that mean that you don't wave? We're all riders out there.
    Boxerbruce

  9. #9
    Jack Herbst
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    Talking

    Much ado about nothing. Sit back far in the seat with feet on Highway Pegs--right hand in the air (holding a local beer), left hand in the air displaying your middle finger. That should keepem thinking for a while. If he turns to follow, hands on the bars (after throwing the beer away) and run like hell. It'll put some spark in yer day!

    Jack
    "All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I realize I should have been more specific."

  10. #10
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    I'm so tired of having to acknowledge waves from all of the giddy riders (mostly Harleys) out there, that now I just nod my head.

  11. #11
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weasel View Post
    I'm so tired of having to acknowledge waves from all of the giddy riders (mostly Harleys) out there, that now I just nod my head.
    Sometimes I wave and sometimes I don't. Head nod is more typical from me.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  12. #12
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    There are more posts and threads on this topic than Carter has Liver Pills. (Do they still make those?). I can't recall where I saw this originally:

    Top Ten Reasons Why Harley Riders Don't Wave Back
    10. Afraid it will invalidate warranty.
    9. Leather and studs make it too heavy to raise arm.
    8. Refuse to wave to anyone whose bike is already paid for.
    7. Afraid to let go of handlebars because they might vibrate off.
    6. Rushing wind would blow scabs off the new tattoos.
    5. Angry because just took out second mortgage to pay luxury tax on new Harley.
    4. Just discovered the fine print in owner's manual and realized H-D is partially owned by Honda.
    3. Can't tell if other riders are waving or just reaching to cover their ears like everyone else.
    2. Remembers the last time a Harley rider waved back, he impaled his hand on spiked helmet.
    1. They're too tired from spending hours polishing all that chrome to lift their arms.

    Top Ten Reasons Why Gold Wing Riders Don't Wave Back
    10. Wasn't sure whether other rider was waving or making an obscene gesture.
    9. Afraid might get frostbite if hand is removed from heated grip.
    8. Has arthritis and the past 400 miles have made it difficult to raise arm.
    7. Reflection from etched windshield momentarily blinded him.
    6. The espresso machine just finished.
    5. Was actually asleep when other rider waved.
    4. Was in a three-way conference call with stockbroker and accessories dealer.
    3. Was distracted by odd shaped blip on radar screen.
    2. Was simultaneously adjusting the air suspension, seat height, programmable CD player, seat temperature and satellite navigation system.
    1. Couldn't find the "auto wave back" button on dashboard.

    Top 10 Reasons Sport bikers Don't Wave:
    10. They have not been riding long enough to know they're supposed to.
    9. They're going too fast to have time enough to register the movement and respond.
    8. You weren't wearing bright enough gear.
    7. If they stick their arm out going that fast they'll rip it out of the socket.
    6. They're too occupied with trying to get rid of their chicken strips.
    5. They look way too cool with both hands on the bars or they don't want to unbalance themselves while standing on the tank.
    4. Their skin tight-Kevlar-ballistic-nylon-kangaroo-leather suits prevent any position other than fetal.
    3. Raising an arm allows bugs into the armholes of their tank tops.
    2. It's too hard to do one-handed stoppies.
    1. They were too busy slipping their flip-flop back on.

    Top Ten Reasons Why BMW Riders Don't Wave Back
    10. New Aerostich suit too stiff to raise arm.
    9. Removing a hand from the bars is considered "bad form."
    8. Your bike isn't weird enough looking to justify acknowledgment.
    7. Too sore from an 800-mile day on a stock "comfort" seat.
    6. Too busy programming the GPS, monitoring radar, listening to ipod, XM, or talking on the cell phone.
    5. He's an Iron Butt rider and you're not!.
    4. Wires from Gerbings is too short.
    3. You're not riding the "right kind" of BMW.
    2. You haven't been properly introduced.
    1. Afraid it will be misinterpreted as a friendly gesture.

  13. #13
    RROOKEY rrookey's Avatar
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    I wave to everyone, to me it's not about what they ride but that they ride! and I do the 2 fingers down (keep two wheels on the ground) I use othe hand justers to oncomming riders, top of helmet for cops, palm down to slow down..

  14. #14
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    I also wave to everyone: ALL motorcyclists (yeah, even Harleys), scooters, bicyclists, hot girls in convertibles ... and especially cops. And I never see a cop on the street that I don't go up, introduce myself and thank him/her for what he/she does on my behalf. I can only imagine what chaos would exist without cops to keep as many of the idiots off the streets as they currently do. I really appreciate them and I let them know it.

    Yeah, I've gotten my share of tickets, but I never got one that I didn't deserve. Pissed me off to get the ticket, but I was mad at myself for doing something stupid, not mad at the cop for helping to keep the streets safer.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  15. #15
    Morning Person
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    I've gotten some of the most exuberant waves from Harley drivers in do-rags and leather vests, riding with ape-hanger bars. I get a kick out of that, because the irony is that you wouldn't expect one of those guys to wave to BMW rider. What a hoot!

    A rider is a rider...it's a sign of freedom to me, when another rider waves. What's a cager got to wave for? "Hey...I'm on my way to work to pay off the mortgage and my kids' credit cards...just felt like expressing my joy with a wave..." Not.

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