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Classification Essay - Evolution of the Motorcycle Rider

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Evolution of the Motorcycle Rider


My first motorcycle was a Kawasaki Eliminator 250 street bike. I consider it to have been my training bike, and it was somewhat generic in the sense that it was not easily identifiable as a member of a specific style of motorcycle. And, more importantly, by associating with other riders, I realized that I was not easily identifiable as a member of a specific class of riders. Riders are a species all their own; and, though there are many sub-classes within a class, observation has shown that three main branches of evolution can account for most riders.

The cruiser (Homo Draggusanus) variety is most often seen riding a vintage Harley or Indian-made motorcycle. He rides very low to the ground in a Ralph-Machio-crane-kick-like position-arms high and outstretched, knees bent, feet level with buttocks. Most cruisers are between thirty-five and sixty years old, but they always look fifty. If one is wearing a helmet at all, it is a small, open-faced helmet covering little more than the crown of his head. The helmet may contain a variety of markings, such as skulls with crossbones, or "Freedom" stickers that tend to match tattoos adorning the rider. The cruiser may have several metal objects hanging from various parts of his body, and he usually has matted facial hair that ranges from one-quarter inches to twelve inches in length. Members of this class also wear tattered bandanas, studded leather vests or jackets, "Born to Ride" T-shirts, or leather boots with spikes. Physically, the cruiser is generally unfit, with dark skin that is somehow both wrinkled and taut, and rotting, tobacco-stained teeth. Though most cruisers are docile unless provoked, a permanent scowl serves t...


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...ner shirts that seem one size too small for them, and, whether or not they have facial hair, they are generally neat and clean. This class is the most easily approachable of the three and usually travels in single, male-female pairs. They are always coming or going, just passing through, and rarely know anyone in the area; yet tourers are the most friendly and outgoing of the classes.

When choosing a motorcycle, one is, in effect, choosing into which class of rider he will eventually evolve. I have not yet decided into which class I would like to evolve. For this reason, I have not yet decided what type of motorcycle will be my second. My decision will rest on a careful consideration of the desirable and undesirable qualities of the different classes. Who knows? Maybe I will begin a new branch of evolution and start a completely new class all my own.


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