Unwritten Code of Conduct or Secret Society?


Since purchasing my scooter, Hidalgo, almost a year ago, I’ve taken notice of something that seems a little odd to me. As I pass the drivers of other scooters and motorcycles on the road, they often let go of the left hand grip, drop their left hand down to the side, and then do kind of a two-finger wave/salute thingy with that hand.

At first I just thought it was just one or two people waving in a weird way, but then, when it happened three times in one drive home, I started to take notice. Sure enough, it happened pretty often, and it wasn’t just the same one or two people doing it. Soon I started testing out initiating the unique wave myself. The majority of the time, the other riders will return the signal.

So my question is: Is this just some unwritten motorcycle wave?

Shortly after getting my driver's license, I noticed that when you’re driving in your car on a canyon road, a dirt road, or just a road that is generally in the middle of nowhere, nearly everyone you pass will wave at you like it's just understood that you will wave back. Is what I'm noticing now the same type of thing but for motorcycles and scooters everywhere?

The remote location wave makes sense to me. Afterall, if you're in a remote location, you want to be friendly because if you break down, that guy you waved at earlier might pass you and you want him to be friendly back. But what is the motivation for the two finger motorcycle wave?

Did it originate with motorcycle gangs and then just spread to everyone from there? Or does it go deeper? Is it some sort of secret society of two wheeled motorists and they’re checking to see if I’m a member? If so, where does this society hold meetings? Is the initiation painful? What benefits do I get? Someone please help! I need answers.

Also scooter related, I've been wondering what the public opinion is on “splitting lanes” when riding a scooter or motorcycle in a traffic jam or slow traffic. What do you think? Acceptable or rude? (No comments about dangerousness please. I don't care about that. I know it's dangerous, but is it also poor form?)

Linda Winegar

My greatest blessings call me Mom.