Hey y’all….

I’m going to do something I don’t normally do here.  I’m going to write about something that bothers me.  It’s motorcycle related, so please bear with me.

Recently, I’ve read a few stories about police doing “profiling” of motorcyclists.  It wasn’t really profiling in the sense you and I have expected police to use profiling.  Let’s face it, we all know police will stop a young black man driving through an influential, predominantly white neighborhood while driving his pimped out or beat up Chevy, but not the black man driving the Mercedes, wearing a three piece suit, and appearing like the rest of the white residents to be an affluent white collar businessman.

No, the profiling taking place in Holly RIDGE NC, (as well as other communities through out the US.) affects all kinds of motorcyclists. They are stopping at check points all two wheeled modes of motorized transportation without probable cause.  They are inspecting our safety equipment, as well as our identity cards, our insurance cards, and gaining access to our personal belongings by doing a CLOSE inspection of what we have attached to our bikes.  They are performing roadside intoxication tests, not because they observed the driver performing poorly while driving, but because they have decided during this unwarranted stop to inconvenience or embarrass the owner/operator of the bike…for what ever reason comes to the officer’s mind. 

Have you ever driven past a stopped motorist, and thought… “hee heee…that’s what he gets for speeding through here!”  Or perhaps you thought…. “I wonder what he did wrong?”  

 Have you ever seen a motorist on the side of the road taking a drunk test and thought, “Good, one more off the road!”  

Have you ever driven past a friend, neighbor, or work mate stopped by police on the side of the road…and assumed they did something to be stopped?  Have you ever thought that if this happened to you how devastating it could be to you if your boss drove by and saw you here taking a drunk test…and you hadn’t had a drink?  How would your boss remember you for the upcoming promotions?

When I see people stopped by police, I am conditioned to assume these people did something to warrant the stop.  I assume they were caught speeding.  I assume they were observed performing an illegal act.  I presume they were seen driving in an unsafe manner.  I assume and presume a lot of things…but rarely do I think, “I wonder, did the cop stop them because they are being profiled?”  “Did they get stopped because they ride a motorcycle and for no other reason?” 

I’ve read the argument that motorcycles are harder to operate than cars, and therefore should be subject to police stopping them to check their status for sobriety, insurance compliance, safety equipment compliance, proper registration, proper licensing of both driver and machine.  But in actuality, operating a motorcycle is not harder to operate, but rather is less understood by new owners due to not enough time spent observing or riding the motorcycle. (As children we spend all our lives observing the operation of cars, the usual method of the conveyance of multiple children and others.) Our awareness of what is safe or unsafe behavior is heightened and brought to bear…time and time again through the observance of the behavior and actions of our parents while driving a car.  We do not have this same type of behavior modification and education for motorcycles. Thus we have motorcycle education classes.  That does not go to say or mean motorcycles are harder to operate, but rather they operate under a different set of natural law  than a four wheeled vehicle.  

There is less room and tolerance for mistakes. It’s not HARDER to do unless your a complete moron who is unable to concentrate on the task at hand and complete it in a safe manner. 

There is no argument that will allow a group of motorists (in America) to lose their right to ride the roads without just cause to stop them.  There is no reason to allow the loss of my freedoms on the face of ill thought out safety issues.  

I will not sit idly by while my right to ride is eroded by law enforcement in order to reduce my rights as a citizen of these United States.  I am not a criminal. I do not like being treated as one simply for the mode of transportation I choose.  And neither should you. 

It matters not if I am riding with a three piece patch on my back or if I ride the path of the lone rider. As long as I have not publicly exhibited unlawful behavior, as long as the mandated safety equipment I have on my bike does not exhibit any unlawful flaws, I have the right to ride my machine unmolested by law enforcement.  

It’s time to stand up and tell our police departments, they are not our lord and masters, but rather our defenders of just law. They do not have the right to stop and molest us because we ride.  They do not have the right to take pictures of us beside our bikes on a traffic stop, or to write our descriptions including visible tattoos to put into a central computer somewhere. (Yes, I’ve had that happen to me in a small town in Florida in 1978.)  

Stand now, use your voice to stop these unlawful roadside detentions!  If this is happening in your community…YOU HAVE THE OBLIGATION to become one of the many who will stand up, be counted, and do his/her part to stop this kind of bullying by our law enforcement officials.




  1. I have had this happen in North Carolina riding a BMW and full Aerostitch gear. I don't think it is just the Harley riders, it is anyone on 2 wheels.What is the point? Why are we being singled out?

  2. ABATE should get on the stick an start a discrimination suit. The only way to get Big Brother's attention is to get in his pocket book.Local pols figure they can pad the town's coffers while still pretending to be righteous by targeting motorcyclists.

  3. Unfortunatly there' not much that can be done about it unless there's mass protests and outcry in the media. I don't see this happening unless bikers all rally together and make it happen. But most of us are too busy paying our bills and keeping a roof over our heads. I read through a few of the comments on the news story page and there were posts from people who are defending some of the actions by these "police."Back in 1984 I was pulled over in my 1970 Mustang for not coming to a full stop at a stop sign. Sure I broke the law but what happened afterwards was the real crime. I was wearing my black leather jacket, sunglasses, black leather cap, and back then I looked very "biker." The cop came up on my car with his gun drawn on me and ordered me to step from the vehicle. He was shaking like a leaf and I really thought there was a chance the gun would go off accidentally. I was so frightened he would even pat me down and simply yelled at me to get in the bakc of his car, gun on me the whole time. Turns out he was so shook up he called in my plate incorrectly and it came back as stolen. he refused to call it in again and prepared to take me to jail. I grabbed the barrior between me and him and kept repeating the real registration info on my plate and yelled "call it again."He finally did and it came back as I had said. he let me out and still gave me a ticket. There was no apology, no nothing for drawing a gun on. I guess I was a biker and deserved such treatment. Cops have pulled me over at gun point 3 times in my life. I'm guessing my appearance back then contributed to their actions. I now look all respectable, even on the bike. I always wear my DOT helmet. But there are still gestapo units out there as Chessy's post proves. There are little towns I have ridden through, all dressed in black leather and alone. Rundown, shuttered up, little towns with shiny new police cars all lined up in front of the posh looking police station. I say a prayer and go under the speed limit each time and I count myself lucky. Scenes from old 70's movies like "Macon County Line" running through my head. I'll stay away from Onslow County.

  4. I totally agree with your stand. This is happening in New Mexico and Arizona too. The local police set up near motorcycle hangouts nearly every weekend. I did talk with a friend who is in the department and he stated that a fairly large percentage of riders do not have state license to operate motorcycles and that this is the target group. I think not. Surely no one would ride knowing that his ride could be impounded and a large fine imposed.

  5. I'm so sorry to read that you are experiencing this in so many areas of the country and on different brands of motorcycles as well. fortunatly for me that is NOT the case in my area. I rarely even see motocyclists stopped around here.I don't think our communities motorcycle riding police men would allow it to go on.my hearts go out to you folks having to deal with it but deal with it you SHOULD.ride on everyone , ride onD.L. in Central Oregon.

  6. Chessie, I thought we had to be doing something wrong in order to get pulled over, but to be pulled over just to check if the rider has a license and insurance? I am sure there is a better way to do that.

  7. I don't really see this in the wilds of Montana. Cops don't seem to mess with motorcyclists until some drunk clueless cager runs them over or when one gets drunk themselves and runs off the road. 😦

  8. But what to we do when we are stopped for no reason? Refuse to cooperate? Easier said than done.

  9. Profiling motorcyclists is wrong. Ain't nothing right about it. Luckily for me I have not had any bad experiences with officers of the law while on my bike.

  10. Great write up! I'll post this over on our site as well.

  11. More than once. All late at night. The most recent was a couple of years back. He pulled me over at 1am. Looking for a drunk I'll bet. I said to him"I knew you were behind me. What did you pull me over for?" Pig says "You were weaving." That was billshit. He wrote me for not wearing eye ware. Had a windsheild did not think I needed them. Be anything over 35mph. Hell the court did not even know that they tossed it out. PIG. Profiling period.

  12. About 3 weeks ago a bunch of us rode to a Chili and Chowder festival in a nearby town. They had a few live bands, all the chili and chowder you could taste for $10, and ice cold drafts for $2 each. We had been told the event was biker friendly and there would be some bikes there. As it turned out, the place was almost ALL bikers! It was more like a mini-rally than a chili-chowder fest. We had a great time.The only thing that soured it was when we were coming down the road to make the last turn into the place where the event was being held, there were 3 or 4 State Police cruisers lined up on the side of the road. The Troopers were pulling bikes over for ape-hanger height violations, and busting balls on riders with novelty helmets.Although neither myself or any of my friends were stopped, I was still bitterly angered by what I saw. The town cops who were on detail inside the festival were cool as can be. There were no problems and they never blinked an eye at us. So why I wondered did the State Police feel the need to set up a random checkpoint just outside this place?PROFILING is the only answer. They knew this thing was heavily attended by bikers, so they decided to come down there and fuck with people, pure and simple.If this had have been a festival put on by black folks to celebrate their ethnic foods and culture and the cops were randomly stopping people outside the place, you bet your sweet bippy that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be down there with a full camera crew in protest. Although I don't much care for either of those guys, in that circumstance they'd be right for a change.Being a biker is the only way for a white man to find out what it's like to be a minority who is stopped and detained for no reason or probable cause other than profiling. If it's wrong to profile based on race, then it's equally wrong to do it based on mode of transportation.You are absolutely right when you say that when you see someone stopped by the cops you assume they must have done SOMETHING to warrant being stopped. The idea of American citizens being harrassed by the police for no reason other than being bikers is something that can't be allowed.We all need to stand up and fight back, by whatever means are necessary.

  13. 1. Kurt, it seems to have started (for NC) when they reworded thier helmet law last year. Since then, they have found it far to easy to stop and harrass the biker. Profitable too.2. Spooky. I do have a problem when I hear a statement like "most of us are too busy putting food on the table…" Wait a minute Spooky, are you telling me you don't have time to go to a monthy meeting with ABATE, or BOLT, or some other motorcycle action group who fight for your rights? They might appear to be a party group at first, but they really do accomplish good things in the biker rights fight. You may not be able to contribute much money other than your initnal yearly dues…3. New Mexico, AZ. and CO. are becoming hotbeds for this type of profiling. Be careful out there.4. D.L. it's something we all should be on the lookout for. Ready to stop it before it becomes ingrained and hard to weed out of our law enforcment's way of thinking. Keep a wary eye open my friend, it could come to you fast.5. Lance, all law abiding citizens think this. It's the way we are conditioned to think. It's never happened to us before…getting stopped for no reason other than the mode of transportation we choose. EYES WIDE OPEN NOW!6. Dale when stopped, never refuse to co-operate with a law enforcement officer unless your willing to spend some time as a guest of their community with a bunch of other guys all unhappy about being where they are. The battlefield is not out on the street with the police officer himself, but with the policy makers at city hall or at state levels. You need A.B.A.T.E, AMA, B.O.L.T OR some other type of legislative experience to fight these illigal actions.7. Juan, Suicide Wheels is one of my favorite blogs, and thank you for this…http://suicidewheels.blogspot.com8. Webster! Tell it like it is!9. Joker…they will sit outside the gates of your funeral home, taking pictures of all the brothers and sisters who have come to pay respects to a fallen brother….they will photograph you as you gather at the graveside, and photograph the bike numbers of your ride too. (It's happened to me, I KNOW for a fact this stuff happens.)

  14. Thinking about it – if you for instance would like to steal something it would be more convenient to use a car than a bike. It is also seem easier to drink or do drugs in a car than on a bike. I don´t know if bikers are treated differently in Sweden, for some reason we have very few cops.Ride on!

  15. Chess it also happens alot here in Indiana. They also Profile a person if thay have alot of tats even in a cage( when ya have arm setting in open window and being told later we know your a biker bacause of the tats) I have experienced both in this screwed up state. They profile us in all sorts of different ways they can come up with.Respects and Be SafeTRAMP

  16. "motorcycles are harder to operate than cars" If this were a true statement Chessie, there wouldn't have been all those new owners hopping onto their new motorcyle at the dealership and driving off back in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, etc. before classes and endorsement(s) regulations.I drove off the lot with mine w/o having had a class. When I renewed my license I added motorcycle to the license. Kept the endorement ever since. Wasn't until I restarted riding that I took a MRF class. Those weren't around when I 1st started. Just wanted to see what they were all about.For being pulled over? Well, I was watching one of those realty cop shows the other day. This cop was behind a car. It didn't swerve. It didn't sway. It wasn't going too slow. It wasn't going fast. Singled lane changes correctly. To this day, I still can't think of any reason the cop would have run the plate. There was no cause that I could visually see that would have indicated to this officer to investigate this vehicle/driver. I guess this kind of thing happens all the time. Slow night..yeah sure, I'll run plates..maybe get lucky for an outstanding warrant, etc.

  17. LS~I started riding my own bike in 1971. No there weren't any rider courses then either. But I didn't just get on and have a great sense of how to ride either. I learned using the school of hard knocks, both the knocks I receieved and the knocks of my friends. MC saftey courses give the rider an extra edge…and the advanced courses are great too. I don't know everything, and I haven't experienced all the crap that can pop up at me down the road, so knowing a few road secrets make me feel just fine.Cops read plates to be checked all the time. They follow you, and want to run your plate, they run it. That's not profiling. Profiling is sitting on the side of the road, pulling over bikes, and nothing but bikes. Not because someone knocked over a bank and made his get away on a bike, but because "motorcycles are more dangerous, bikers are more likely to ride w/o endorsements, ect….ect…ect."

  18. ciao! ha aperto i battenti il nuovo portale di cinema direttamente dagli studios di Cinecittà. News, recensioni, anteprime, foto, video e tanto altro ancora; e se vuoi collaborare con noi scrivendo recensioni scrivici @ dnacinema@yahoo.it http://dnacinema.blogspot.com/ P.S. Complimenti per il blog, ottimo lavoro! (saresti daccordo per un'affiliazione? ci terrei particolarmente…) A presto! Lorenzo

  19. They are pulling them over because they want to write citations. Motorcycles in many areas are ripe for the picking. No operators license, insurance, etc. are all very common unfortunately. They want citations because money is coming in one for or another from it. Federal funds are granted on numbers of citations, not convictions. If you win in court, the police have one more entry to get grant money with regardless. As for clubs, they're bringing much of that on themselves. I wouldn't join any club that would accept someone like me as a member, but others need it. As soon as they see a club patch, criminal activity is suspected. I wish had good answers, but I don't. I think if I were to join any club, it would be a club that legally defends it's members. If one member gets a citation, all members help him fight it.

  20. i totally agree!! i am lucky that it doesn't really happen in my area…and joker that was sick that they were waiting on the outside of the chili cook off…i always wondered why there are never any road checks next to bars???? now that would make scence. get the drunk drivers off the road so that the bikers would be safe!!

  21. Chessie, Cyril Huze must of read your bog on this. Check his blog out.

  22. Chessie, as far as I know it is not happening in my area of Texas. I have heard no police in my club make any mention of this and would certainly object. I do, however regretingly know, it exist. Some small towns set speed and other traps just for the all mighty dollar.

  23. OK, just going to throw in my 2 cent's worth here.For starters, IMHO, motorcycles are indeed more difficult to pilot than cars and trucks. In a typical automatic transmission car, the pilot has the throttle, brakes and steering wheel. On a typical manual transmission bike, the pilot has throttle, front brake, rear brake, clutch and shifter. And balance? Unless the car driver is twirling around or jumping off a ramp, balance and vertical equilibrium is only a passing thought. On a motorcycle, it is a paramount consideration.Now, about the profiling… I thought, sure as sh*& that somewhere along my last two weeks of riding I would be pulled over. Nope. And, considering I was wearing all black leather, have long hair, bike has straight pipe exhaust and many places I blew past police at more than 10 MPH over, it was a surprise no one noticed. Heck, I even pulled over and chatted with a police officer in a little Tennessee town for about 10 minutes. Not even a mention of the noise or of whether I had proper licensing and insurance (which I do). Rode through AZ, NM, TX, LA, MS, GA, FL, SC, NC, VA, TN, AR, NV and OK with no problems. Just my observation here.

  24. Here we go…The entire time you were riding on your trip, how many times did you have to THINK OF HOW TO USE YOUR CLUTCH?…Or is it pretty much an automatic reflex for you by now? Even in a panic stop…one of the first things you grab for is your clutch, right along with your brake…right?Balance? are you kidding me? Your telling me that at this point in your riding you still spend time thinking on how your balance is? COME ON! I know that's not true. YES, when we are LEARNING to ride, it's confusing, we get tunnel vision on aspects of riding that scare the shit out of us…we use the steering aspect rather than the leaning aspect as we turn, we think about balance as we slow down….we scare ourselves into becoming webbles who wobble…and sometimes fall down. But now…do you really think about how and when your gonna shift? Do you really find yourself dreading the curve and the turn up ahead? Isn't lining up your path in turns pretty much automatic? Do you really fret over it? Do you really spend any time thinking on it…or is it something you just do…and so properly? It's like learning to drive a four wheeler in icy and snowy conditions. Until you get past the learning curve…it's a tough job…once you have your time in, and your aware of the work involved…actually I think it's harder than learning to ride a motorcycle. So tell me…when you live up north…you have to think about winter driving for as long as five months…at any time in those months you will find yourself driving on slick roads…it's harder than riding a motorcycle isn't it? Less than 1% of american riders will ride on icy or snow choked roads… but if the same driver is in a four wheeler, they will test them selves on that same icy and snow choked road….it's dangerous, it's difficult, but once you have done it for a season or two…it becomes pretty automatic…you know what to do when your car starts to slip down hill in a direction you didn't intend…You see what I mean?Learning to ride is daunting, but once the time is in…it's pretty much as automatic to the rider as driving a car is to the driver…but with a whole lot less distractions…. distractions are difficulties… and difficulties are dangerous.

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