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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if any of you more knowledgeable bikers would clear something up for me..

I've been riding for about 3 years and whilst out riding some bikers give you a little nod with their head so I nod back.. I've always thought its just a polite biker thing just to say hello??

I take part in the head nodding as I like the fact that the biker people acknowledge each other.

I have noticed that quite a few of the riders I encounter don't take part in the head nod and its just struck me that the head nod might mean something else???

So is it just a fact that these unwilling head nodders are miserable and don't want to say hello or is it some other meaning entirely?

Cheers

Rivski
 

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So is it just a fact that these unwilling head nodders are miserable and don't want to say hello Rivski
Yep, that's about it! A bit like drivers who don't acknowledge when you've given way to them. Rudeness.

I guess it could be that they're approaching a corner or planning another move which demands total concentration. You wouldn't want to overshoot a corner just for the sake of politeness! But, at the end of the day, some are just miserable! If you're riding in a group, it's different - etiquette is for the oncoming rider to acknowledge the first and last bike, or he'll have a sore neck and look like a half-wit!

Keep waving or nodding. I prefer the continental approach - a small gesture with the left hand - but it wouldn't work too well for us in the UK.
 
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I always give the nod but i find it's mainly Harley riders who don't acknowledge.....:laugh:
I always give a thumbs up to cars that move over when overtaking too... politeness costs nothing... shame a lot of car drivers aren't as courteous...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes I thought it was just a polite thing to do and I always have done it. I do mutter Knobhead to myself when they don't respond!

There are 2 guys in particular that I see every day and they never acknowledge me and they both ride triumph bikes but I still nod to them in the hope it gets on their nerves!!

I have also noticed that most car drivers don't mind you filtering through in traffic, but some get really annoyed and try to block you passing them which I don't get??
 

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Yes I thought it was just a polite thing to do and I always have done it. I do mutter Knobhead to myself when they don't respond!

There are 2 guys in particular that I see every day and they never acknowledge me and they both ride triumph bikes but I still nod to them in the hope it gets on their nerves!!

I have also noticed that most car drivers don't mind you filtering through in traffic, but some get really annoyed and try to block you passing them which I don't get??
I mutter the same thing too....:laugh: You do right to carry on nodding....kill em with kindness haha..
A lot of car drivers are bikers or wish they were so do let you through, but like you say others go out of there way to stop you getting past...probably miffed for having to sit in traffic when you can just breeze on by...:grin2:
 

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There are 2 guys in particular that I see every day and they never acknowledge me
In my experience, having both ridden for pleasure and commuted into London, Paris and other cities, the British 'biker-nod' and the European biker wave seem to be mostly a recreational thing; urban riders, even if they're perfectly happy to throw the nod when out in country lanes on a sunny afternoon, won't do it every day in town on the way to work, shopping, etc. I don't think they're trying to be rude, I think there's just a slightly different etiquette when commuting in a city. The same seems to apply on dual-carriageways, and even at bike rallies, where everybody obviously loves bikes and there's great community - but there are so many bikes your head would be going up-and-down like a yo-yo!

I have also noticed that most car drivers don't mind you filtering through in traffic, but some get really annoyed and try to block you passing them which I don't get??
Yeah, this definitely happens. It's pathetic and childish; "I'm really slow/stuck in traffic, you're not, I'm jealous and so I want you to be stuck, too". Our last line of defence [erm, short of trying to take out a wing-mirror..] is the biker-head-shake; you don't look back at them, but just after you pass them you slowly shake your head side-to-side, as though bewildered and saddened by by their behaviour. If they have a scrap of humanity remaining in their dark, car-driver soul, this ought to make them feel like the awful monster they have been! (Then, you just put it behind you* and get on with your ride!)

(* Yes, literally as well as figuratively..)

I also encountered a lot of bikers in France who waved at me with the right foot after overtaken me (I was on a car). Never seen that in Spain.
The right-foot-wave generally just means "thanks" (for instance for moving to the edge of a lane to allow the rider to pass, or letting them ahead of you in a queue or at a junction); it's preferable to raise a hand in thanks, I feel, but if you're filtering it may not be safe to take a hand off the bars, if you're overtaking your hands may be doing stuff with the clutch and throttle, etc. etc. (Sometimes, in an overtake or whatever, even your feet are busy but you want to thank the car driver - when this happens to me I generally give them a sort of big theatrical head-nod; it probably looks rather ridiculous, but hey, at least I can be confident it can be seen from a car a little ways behind me!)
 
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'The nod' not so common in Sweden. But to hold up your left hand slightly whenever you meet a motorcycle is. I even salute the Hells Angels or Bandidos when i meet them, sometimes you get the 'middle finger' back 😬 But like @Yamaboy said, kill em with kindness...
 

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I always go with the down left hand as salute, even if sometimes I don't get an answer from the biker I'm waving at.
Nodding with head is just something you do when you can not remove your hands from the bars :)

Keep it up always and everywhere! :D
 

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I have also noticed that most car drivers don't mind you filtering through in traffic, but some get really annoyed and try to block you passing them which I don't get??
one thing I've noticed is that - statistically speaking - women are much worse at giving space for filtering... wonder if that is a local thing, or a widespread phenomena...

Luis

disclaimer: before someone flames me: I'm not a misogynist! and women excel at quite a lot of things, albeit biker awareness may not be their strongest pursuit ;)
 

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Here in Greece we use the headlight signal for salutation. I usually end up cursing at car drivers cause the don't use their blinkers of their rearview mirrors.
 

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'The nod' not so common in Sweden. But to hold up your left hand slightly whenever you meet a motorcycle is. I even salute the Hells Angels or Bandidos when i meet them, sometimes you get the 'middle finger' back 😬 But like @Yamaboy said, kill em with kindness...


Same with any country that drives on the right. They wave not nod. If we wave in the UK it would be with the right hand and that of course would scrub off speed and have the potential to be dangerous.
 

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I get a lot of the down-low left hand peace sign when spotted by other bikers. And a nod if they have a hand full of clutch. It's the polite hello. And yes, some Harley-pirates often don't wave back depending on how seriously they take themselves in their pirate-persona.
 

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In the US I usually do the hand wave with 2 fingers down, and nod if my hand is full of clutch or at a light. Most cruiser guys wave around here (NC) but I remember up in NY they still had the whole stupid sport bike vs cruiser attitude thing which I never really understood. We are all riding, I don’t care what you’re on. I usually wave to trikes too.
 

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In Northern England you get a lot of nods between bikers, down South especially London you get ignored so I've pretty much give up with it here. I'll always reciprocate but no longer nod first or you look/feel daft.
 

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I've noticed here in the U.S. that many riders reply with a two finger (something like a "V" ) rise in reply to a wave, vs. actually replying with a wave. In part, I think it's because there are getting to be so many motorcycles on the road as opposed to 20 or 30 years ago. When there are a lot of riders out on the roadways, it gets pretty hectic trying to wave or reply to a wave every few minutes, not to speak of having your hands leave the bars so frequently. I've even noticed car drivers replying to a hand wave with the 2 finder reply so they don't have to take their hand off the wheel. It's hard to notice that at 60 plus miles an hour.
 

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Actually most riders around here, Northwest US, will wave if I am on a motorcycle, rarely if I am on my scooter. So, I wave at everyone and don't worry if they reciprocate or not. Even Harley riders will wave most of the time, unless they are wearing the Nazi style 1/2 helmets or are on an old oily chopper. It's funny when I pass someone and he raises his arm and waves like we're old friends from wayback, I assume he/she is a new rider.
 
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