Motorcycle Superstitions

Cherryl Anne Cruz

Common superstitions abound in the motorcycle community. Some might be worth a second look; while others are just plain, downright ludicrous. Whatever the case, these unfounded beliefs still hold influence on some riders (and passengers alike). And perhaps, you can even see yourself believing one of them.

Here are some of the most common superstitions in the motorcycle world:

Have your bikes blessed before you ride them.

This isn’t surprising. The Philippines is home to roughly 84 million Filipino Catholics today, so blessing these motorbikes in church parking grounds is really a common fixture in the country’s religious culture.

Still, it’s interesting to see one religious item that’s commonly found in most bikes (and four-wheeled vehicles): rosaries. Some are so dilapidated that the beads have already fallen off. But hey, if it makes you and other riders feel safe, then by all means, hang on to them.

Don’t ride a dead man’s bike.

Would you ride a dead man’s bike? Many won’t (we wouldn’t). Some say it’s bad luck; others say that the previous owner’s spirit will haunt you for the rest of your life.

Some seances, however, would advise riders against riding bikes where the previous owner died while riding the motorcycle. For us, it’s more of a subconscious, mental thing. How can you ride a bike that you know killed someone in the past? Of course, we know it’s downright illogical–and sort of smacks us right out of our credentials as respectable journalists (ahem). Whatever the case, it still gives us the jitters.

Green motorcycles are unlucky.

This is one case where “Green” is definitely not in. In fact, green motorcycles were considered bad luck, perhaps due to how they were used before.

There are two theories why green was considered unlucky. Way back during World War II, riders who rode green motorbikes were sent out to carry messages between their base and camps. Of course, it made them targets for enemy snipers and sharpshooters who desperately wanted these messages out of their hands.

The second theory is that green army surplus bikes, particularly those olive-green Harley-Davidson WLAs were refurbished and sold after the war. Apparently, they say that these bikes were really not in good condition, so many were unreliable and would break down easily.

It’s bad luck to wear a dropped helmet.

This actually makes sense. Dropped helmets can develop invisible cracks that may cause your helmet to crack wide open during a strong impact. And believe us, that’s something you don’t want to happen.

So yes, for safety purposes, wear helmets that haven’t been dropped. You really don’t want to compromise your safety here.

Superstitions will always be part of our culture. And while some are interesting, others can really be quite strange. Whatever the case, it’s always best to take them all with a grain of salt.

Know any other motorcycle-related superstitions that we don’t know about? Let us know about it!

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