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Thread: Is Waving To Fellow Bike Riders Still An Accepted Practice?

  1. #1
    Jeff cookie's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Paradise, CA

    Is Waving To Fellow Bike Riders Still An Accepted Practice?

    My wife and I went for a nice country ride around the Sutter Buttes, (Northern California) over the weekend. I noticed the guys riding Harley Davidson's gave a return wave about half the time yet all other bike enthusiasts waved back with vigor.
    Is there a new code of ethics discouraging Harley owners to give a return wave?
    Are they just too cool or has this gesture of fellowship gone by the wayside?
    I know there a lot of Harley converts in this forum so come on now you can be honest.
    Jeff Anderson
    I ride a 2008 R1200RT

  2. #2
    Your observations about the HD riders not waving is spot on.
    I live/mostly ride in So. Calif. I'm on an RT for now, soon to be a S1000R.
    Ive ridden on the street on and off for 45 years, and yes, the universal wave to fellow motorcyclists has changed in the last 5 years or so IMO. I've observed the same as you: HD riders wave maybe 40-50% of the time. Sportbike (and all others for that matter incuding sccooters) continue to wave enthusiastically/consistently. And again IMO, the HD crowd either thinks they're too cool to wave, or they are so inept at riding they can't remove on hand from the bars to wave? Or their chains or fringe stuff is caught on something on the bike and they can't move their hand to wave...I think I'll go with this one...LOL.
    So here's the position I've taken: I only wave at HD riders if they wave first-Courteous return wave I think.
    All other riders I wave at enthusiastically, no matter what machine theyre on (except HD of course), or wheter they wave or not.


  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    I wave to everybody. Heck, I even wave to bicycle riders and people on lawn mowers. Don't really care if they wave back or not.
    93 K1100LT
    03 K1200GT gone but not forgotten
    14 Victory Crossroads

  4. #4
    Watch This!!! junkjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Cape Cod, MA
    All the cruiser bikes look the same, sometimes I can tell the Harleys from the Hondas by the costumes worn. So I just wave at everything on two or three wheels. Even the guys who look pissed the whole time there riding.
    John Simonds
    2017 R 1200 GS Adventure
    1975 Norton Commando 850 Roadster Mk 3
    If it ain't broke, fix it 'till it is.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffd View Post
    I wave to everybody. Heck, I even wave to bicycle riders and people on lawn mowers. Don't really care if they wave back or not.

    I wave because it is polite. I am responsible for my manners and can't really do much about some other rider's - whom I have never met and may never meet except as bikes passing on the road.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Charlotte, NC


    unless the are not respecting being a motorcyclist and riding in shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops. Then i can't condone their riding attire.

    Quote Originally Posted by brewmeister View Post
    I always wave WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.
    Enjoying the ride, but always on the alert for a rally.......

  7. #7
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Ash Grove, MO
    My girlfriend Wendy is in charge of the wave duties. Thats the bonus of riding two up. I think she waves at every body and everything, including cows, horses and chickens. Thats just her nature, and that why I love her. Some wave back and some don't,- motorcyclists that is, not chickens.

    And we always give a little wave to the slower riders or cars that we overtake.
    Mike Davis
    "Old n Slow" It's a way of life!
    1985 K100RT

    1998 R1100RT

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Virginia Beach
    Here in Virginia, all the Harley riders wave to me, and I wave back.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Bloomington, IL
    I wave when I see another rider.
    Chuck Manley
    2012 Howlin' at the Moon Rally Chair
    Knights of the Roundel #333, IBA Member, Life Member NRA
    Black '17 R12GSA (Outlaw Spirit)

  10. #10
    Registered User okiegman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Eufaula, Oklahoma
    Here in Eastern Oklahoma only about 30% of the Harley riders will return a wave to a non-Harley rider. Most do not even acknowledge there is another bike on the road.

    I grew up in the country and like others have said I tend to wave at everything including when I'm in my cage. It's just something we do out here in the sticks and I like it. Because I grew up with everyone waving at each other I get really irritated when a Hardley rider refuses to return a friendly gesture.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Wes Fitzer-MOA BoD - President
    BMWMOA 170126
    NE Oklahoma BMW Club; BMW Riders of Oklahoma
    2016 R1200GSA

  11. #11
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Fenwick, Ontario Canada
    I always wave, more enthusiastic with good looking cows
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    Ambassador Emeritus BMW MOA Ontario Canada
    Niagara Riders
    Knights of the Roundel #333
    1977 R100RS, (Retired) 1993 R100GS

  12. #12
    Frieden mit uns allen drummer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Hillsborough, NC
    I wave and agree with what Paul said - I can only be responsible for me. I think it is fun to wave to others that enjoy the sport or driving a motorcycle. After all we all have that in common.
    05 R1200RT
    Duragloss, Sidi, Russell, Olympia, Arai
    Sonor Signature Series (no longer made thanks to AMF buying Sonor)
    These are a few of my favorite things ...

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by sdpc2 View Post
    unless the are not respecting being a motorcyclist and riding in shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops. Then i can't condone their riding attire.
    Your sig line states "just enjoying the ride." I find that funny, in light of the above statement. May one assume your philosophy does not extend to these others? Pity.

  14. #14
    Ed Kilner #176066
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Mississauga, ON

    Ontario waves - mostly

    Some Harley riders don't wave, but many do, here in Ontario. Mostly everyone else too. I try to, but sometimes I am not looking at left side traffic and see a fellow rider when it's too late. Always makes me feel a bit ashamed.

    In Quebec, there seems to be many more riders than I am accustomed to. On the north shore between Montreal and Quebec City, it was an almost continuous parade. I got tired riding with just my right hand, and noticed few oncoming riders waved back. They must have felt the same way. When traffic was "normal ", the waving resumed. So, I think waving is normal in Quebec also.

    It recognizes we are looking out for each other and I find it very pleasant.
    2015 R1200RT; 2011 R1200RT RIP; 2000 Triumph 900 (sold)

  15. #15
    Registered User wkoppa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Grayling, MI

    The wave.

    I wave to everybody.

    I think it is special when you get a return wave from someone in a boat or train.

    Wayne Koppa
    Grayling MI

    71,449 Life

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