Why do motorcycles always overtake and overspeed?

  1. I feel like these are the real reasons. I drive at or around the speed limit and the times I remember being followed by a bike and not overtaken are probably in single digits. It’s good to know there are more sensible riders out there.

  2. Speeding is one thing but so many people seem to have disdain for anyone who overtakes. It's perfectly legal (if done correctly)! The amount of head shaking, tutting and horn pipping you get if you overtake someone is crazy. Sorry, Janet but I don't want to be stuck behind you doing 29 in a 40 for the next 5 miles in your Skoda Yeti.

  3. It’s kind of confirmation bias, of course you only see the ones that overtake and pull ahead of you. The ones that don’t are behind you still.

  4. Honestly? Because it's so easy to overtake on a bike - they accelerate so quickly that it makes overtaking a far less complex/dangerous proposition than in a car.

  5. And there's the opposite end of the scale too - if you're competent at handling a motorcycle, a lot of times you'll be going into bends and having to check your speed significantly as you catch vehicles in front. If you know the roads, it's a lot better to deal with that on the straighter sections and have the bends clear when possible, especially if you want to take different lines.

  6. 100% this. My partner is a biker and he has been seriously injured twice, once by a lorry and once by a van. Both of whom did not look for the bike before pulling out of a side road. It is much safer for him to be riding separately rather than behind other traffic. He has his advanced riding certificate and they teach you to progress safely to maintain a safe road position. Honestly someone like you going between 60-70 on a national speed limit road would be a danger to a biker. They don’t know if you’ll suddenly brake for a corner etc if you’re not maintaining a steady speed.

  7. The feeling of dropping a gear and cracking open the throttle leaving a car in your wake is borderline orgasmic...Get your motor running..head out on the highway..

  8. Most bikers are you see are "at playtime" you are commuting or working or shopping. They are usually on a day off with nothing to do but have fun, please if you see a biker in your rear view don't make any sudden movements and just let them pass if they want to and back off once they are ahead. It's safer for everyone

  9. Most motorcycles are really fast and riders ride them for the thrill, overtaking is part of that. Its probably also safer for a motorbike rider to be out on their own with little traffic too though, I know a few keen motorcyclists and all say the same thing about 'making progress' to get out of general traffic.

  10. I remember a woman made a £Think Bike" safety video a few years back. Her son had recently died when he struck a car while riding. The video had a helmet-cam video from her son. He was doing 110 MPH over a blind hill, and a car was turning over the crest. He didn't see it in time and could not react. He died on impact. His mum was pleading for CAR drivers to drive more safely. I was like, "WTF is this bullshit. HE was riding like a dickhead and thankfully ONLY killed himself".

  11. That's a gross misrepresentation of that video, go back and watch it - yes he was riding too fast, yes it was mainly his fault, but he was clearly visible for several seconds, not going 110mph, and not 100% but the driver was charged from what I recall.

  12. You only see the motorbikes that are going faster than you and have caught you up. They obviously want to keep going at that speed which is why they overtake. Same reason why you might overtake somebody who is only doing 50.

  13. As a rider myself, if you are doing the limit or faster I would not over take you. I likely would not over take you if you were doing 50 either. Any less then I would be passively looking for an easy over take. And by passive I mean staying a good distance back and ensuring I have time to over take before doing so, not sitting on your butt like a lot of riders do want to just get ahead. The only reason I might over take like you describe is purely cause I have some moron behind me tailgating.

  14. Is your speedo calibrated? (Or use your GPS as a speedo). If not, you're probably doing 55mph in the 60mph limit.

  15. I also believe that most are you out having fun but me personally I also like to have a clear view in front of me, sometimes you don't see debris on the road to the last second on a bike if following a car,van or lorry.

  16. The number of times I've had a bit of cardboard or something flung up at me from the middle of the road as a car goes over it is infuriating.

  17. On A roads, because we can and because it’s fun. You can be as pissed off as you like with that answer but that is the answer. FTR cars also overtake and speed on A roads because they can and because it’s fun.

  18. If you're on a road which has signs like "47 motorcycling casualties in the last 5 years" then you know you're on a great riding road. They tend to be slightly hilly with sweeping and switching bends, fairly good visibility, and have a good road surface. The road from Thame In Oxfordshire to Bicester through Long Crendon is a good example.

  19. I always find posts like this funny. When I am speeding why do other people speed more........ surley my speed when speeding is the right one.

  20. Well that, genuinely not joking, has solved a years long AskUK mystery - why do people get so uppity about cars doing 5mph over the speed limit or doing anything slightly over the law, or often even within the law?

  21. They're the ones who are probably the safest on 2 wheels if you think about it, they've hit their limits, know where they are and don't push past it, plus know the ins and outs of how their bikes behave.

  22. All fun and games until they're splattered against the side of an innocent driver's vehicle. I've seen those pictures in my job. Not pretty at all.

  23. I know a couple of bike commuters. One at least is a daily down the M40, no matter the weather or time of year. Big weather suit, plugs in to the bike and has heating elements everywhere, looks like a hazmat response but in black. I wish I knew the bike, but it’s a big 90s Japanese thing that’s all fairing and windshield and has wide tires and is covered in road grime.

  24. I usually find that drivers that stick to/under the speed limit and complain about others going over, are more unpredictable and generally worse drivers than those that drive faster.

  25. I think car drivers are simply unaware of the level of performance many motorcycles operate on, even what many call a 'beginner bike' will accelerate as fast as a Ferrari. It's like a dog trotting amongst a group of tortoises, to the dog it's just going about it's business but to the tortoise it looks like it's a maniac. On my GSX1400 I'd pull away from traffic lights at what felt like a pleasant rate with no rushing and then look in my mirror after a couple of hundred meters and the cars weren't even across the junction, it must have looked like I was shot out of a cannon!

  26. There is a logical error in your thinking. If you are doing 60 on all national speed limit roads, then the only bikes you are going to see overtaking you are obviously the ones speeding. The ones also doing 60 are not going to be overtaking you, hence you won't see them.

  27. I think you need to get off your high horse mate, you're saying you do a "cheeky 65-70", that's still classed as speeding above the legal limit and i GUARANTEE you do that for a longer period of time than you think or you push it up to 80 when there's no one around and it's a straight

  28. OP is a massive hypocrite, and keeps changing the speed he’s accusing the bikers of going every time someone brings up his own “cheeky speeding”.

  29. I’ve been run off the road by a van overtaking on a blind bend. Been knocked off my bike by a car pulling out of a side road into me (no I wasn’t speeding). Been knocked off my bicycle in the same way. Perhaps it’s just that there are idiots and cunts on every form of transport.

  30. Think about the number of times you’re on a 2 lane road doing the speed limit and how many cars go past you. Nobody cares about the speed limit up until the point of impact. Choice of vehicle is irrelevant

  31. I don't think it will be all, the same as I guess some cars will also overtake you if it is clear, and they can.

  32. If the car in front of me is the only car, then I’ll often over take because riding is easier without having another car obscuring vision. It’s not necessarily because I want to go faster. More often than not, I’ll end up back at a similar speed to the car I’ve just over taken, but it’s one less potential hazard in front of me. Most (not all..) close calls I’ve experienced on my bike has been due to the cars in front of me. Either them misjudging corners on winding A roads, looking at phones etc etc. Again - it’s not imperative. If there are several cars ahead, I just hold back and keep a nice distance and stay in the column of cars. BUT if I have an opportunity to have nobody in front of me, I’ll take it. Basically, because I can. That’s about it.

  33. As long as they stay out of my way once they're done, I really couldn't care less. For one thing, them riding dangerously is really only being a danger to themselves, which is partly why it's probably more tolerated.

  34. With cars, you speed up but have to slow down because the vehicles infront of you get in the way. Speeding on a busy road doesn't actually save that much time in a car. With a bike lanes are a suggestion. You just overtake anything so speeding does actually get you there faster. Not saying it's the correct thing to do, just that speeding and overtaking is functionally more effective on a bike.

  35. You can go faster than most cars for a fraction of the price, thus making any chump able to ride at silly speeds thinking they’re badass. If Lambos were £6k there would be a lot of knob heads driving them 😂

  36. Because I can and I ride to the road and weather conditions, not looking at my speedo every few seconds. Also - speed limits obeyed when not on national speed limit roads

  37. I’ll overtake if I am behind a large van or lorry, the turbulence can get pretty choppy and irritating behind larger vehicles, but I won’t usually zip in front of a car doing the legal speed limit

  38. Even in a car I would do that lol Typically vans/lorries on my route do 50, and there's some good roads along the way that allow easy overtaking in a car.

  39. Cruising in a bike is incredibly boring. Then when you factor in the excessive amount of fun on tap just by twisting the throttle and accelerating up the road it’s very easy to see why 90% of bikes will blast away

  40. As a biker - we filter through traffic as thats one of the main benefits of a bike - you dont often do traffic jams.

  41. Because they sre cars as obstacles to get around rather than other road users. It's the same reason they'll tailgate on your passenger side until they have a gap to squeeze through, because they think they can just dart around you if you suddenly brake. I've had bikers literally punch my wing mirrors because I wouldn't move over for them on the motorway despite me being in the process of passing cars to the left of me.

  42. Because as a biker it’s safer to be in front of a car than behind it. For eg. People slamming on the brakes without checking mirrors, not indicating etc stop being a Karen and let us live

  43. It's dangerous for us bikers to sit behind cars. Every time you slow down you take forever to get back up to 60, for us it's 0.5 seconds on the throttle. So although you may be going 60 now, after every tight bend or traffic light we then have to go frustratingly slow for ages. If a tractor pulls out then we need to wait for X amount of cars to overtake it, if at all, so many cars drivers will sit behind a tractor for 10 miles. We would rather be at the front of that queue behind the tractor so the second a gap opens up we can take it. Lastly bikes brake a lot lot worse than cars, so I'd rather just nip past you than have to constantly be assessing my braking distance to your bumper.

  44. You might well be using a road that's notable to bikers and well known for being a pleasant drive so you see more of them? If that were the case, it might be they're more 'enthusiastic' when riding on that road as they're there to make the most of that ride.

  45. i personally think that some motor cyclists are very stupid, why do they always feel the need to over take? they then complain when they get hit off but sometimes its really unsafe if you ask me. i understand that sometimes it is easy enough to over take and get somewhere quicker, but sometimes i just wonder their thought process.

  46. It's unsafe riding bunched up in traffic on a bike. Because of your size, people follow way too close and motorbikes can stop very quickly - so you're constantly at risk of being rear ended. It's much safer just to put some distance between yourself and other cars.

  47. When I rode a bike frequently it seemed that every car driver was out to kill me - not deliberately, more in a "didn't see you , mate" kind of way. Bike riders learn that every car driver in his little bubble of air con and radio 2 is a threat.

  48. I used to ride a 600cc motorbike in the 1980's. My bike had 70+ horsepower, would do 0-60 in 5 seconds. I overtook a lot of cars, may have exceeded the speed limit. It was a real adrenaline rush, especially in comparison to my car, which was a LOT slower. However, I was careful about my use of speed, respected stopping distances and distrusted all other road users, which is why I am still alive. I quit motorbikes after my children were born.

  49. If you have a powerful bike, the acceleration is intoxicating, and you can do it short bursts on the straights, with not that much skill. The bends are much more challenging on a fast bike. Most car drivers would not have any idea how it feels. So, simple answer is that it’s irresponsibly irresistible. That said, I’m too old for that shit now, and just like to potter about on mine.

  50. Just want to add a moan on to this. I live in a cottage on a back road and the number of bikes going full throttle down a 40 is ridiculous, and you can hear them from at least a mile away approaching, and then retreating.

  51. As a motorcyclist, my simple honest answer is. They’re so absurdly easy to go fast on, that 60 feels like you’re barely moving, even on a moderately powered bike. Yep it’s speeding, yep it’s illegal, yep you sometimes look like a bellend. Alas.

  52. bcz i don't wanna be stuck behind a car when i can easily filter through get to wherever i need to get to faster. it's a lot more fun too

  53. I don't ride a bike or know the answer to this question, but I remember a road safety advert about how car drivers should be careful around bikes. It stated that they can appear to be driving slower than other vehicles and you should take extra care before pulling out in front of them. I always felt that while it might be a measurable fact that small objects appear to travel slower than large objects (and I am not convinced) the issue was more that when you see a bike riding towards you, you might assume that they are riding at a similar speed to other vehicles when in fact they are often going significantly faster.

  54. Because they’re silly. That’s all. I see them all the time and I always let them go. Sometimes they’re so fast and unpredictable, I just slow down (safely) so they can go away.

  55. same reason someone in a sports car just doesn't overtake they smoke you full bore... showing off to you, and whoever is with them.

  56. They don't have to pick their overtakes so carefully because they need less space to get passed, and their acceleration is greater than even a supercar (due to the lack of weight)

  57. Because so long as the motorbike wears a helmet cam it's always the cars fault. Bikers can do no wrong

  58. Sounds like my commute on the A32, I find commuting times they’re generally the same daily bikes I see and unless they’re late for work they’re alright, weekends it can be (not all the time and not all bikers!) seem like a racetrack.

  59. We are particularly vulnerable on a motorcycle. If we're rear ended and smashed into the back of you, it could kill us. Putting space between us and other traffic, or simply riding along side traffic rather than within it, is safest for us. Plus cars are relatively slow, and going around them is quick and simple.

  60. Because theyre massive idiots and those making excuses in the comments are even bigger idiots. Someone will scrape them off the tarmac someday don't worry.

  61. You can see from the comments ITT exactly why they do it. They lack all common sense and think its fine it could never happen to me that just happens to other people. Just like a guy near me who was always speeding on his bike.

  62. As a motorcyclist, I hate sitting behind a car, even if it's going at the speed I'd otherwise be going.

  63. Not exactly related but I guess potentially somewhat related - why do civilian vehicles engine able to accelerate pass 100mph when it's extremely rarely needed for civilian use?

  64. My regular route out of town on the way home has all the speed limits. 30, 40, 50, 60, dualy all in the space of 2 miles.

  65. The advantages to riding a motorcycle many. cheap insurance, cheap road tax, cheap to buy (you are quite often able to buy the fastest production motorcycles on the planet for less than 30K new) easy to maintain yourself, don't pay on toll roads or bridges, you can park anywhere and not pay for parking, as far as I can tell road laws do not apply to motorcycles as far as anyone cares, you never ever have to sit in a traffic jam ever again. And even with this non-exhaustive list of pros none of them are the reason I ride a motorbike. I do it because it's fun.

  66. It's not really that hard to figure out. People ride motorbikes for the thrill, not to drive the speed limit.

  67. A half tidy road rider will find a higher speed more “comfortable” to cruise at and to be honest you just get used to riding at a higher speed when it is safe to do so. Nipping past a NSL car on a good road is always nice as you can modulate your speed for your enjoyment.

  68. Similar to when someone catches up with someone else when they're walking, they will pass them if and as or when as soon as the opportunity arises. It is almost impossible not to do this. In much the same way, when on a motorbike, if one catches up with the vehicle(s) in front they will be passed, the general exception being if the rider catches them but very shortly after needs to turn off. Speed limits generally play little to no part in the decision to pass unless the rider is protecting a pointed licence

  69. Another thing to consider is that a biker will overtake to distance themselves from traffic. I’m not going to be sat between 4 tonne of metal to my front and rear and be the meat between a very stupid sandwich. Only takes Doris behind you to be looking at her phone and it’s not just going to be a creased bumper but a serious crushing injury or worse for the biker.

  70. It’s fun. I don’t even ride bikes and I know that’s fun. Same reason sometimes people overtake in cars when there’s not really a need - it’s fun.

  71. Because why not and yes it is unsafe but that’s the fun thing about it, the adrenaline also they’re allowed to lane split, plus the risk involved is on the rider, if a bike crashes into a family car at 50mph who’s going to come out worse?

  72. It’s because most bikers are impatient arseholes, I’ve never had a bike stay behind me when I’m staying at the speed limit. They always overtake no matter what and break the law.

  73. I love seeing bikers blast past me. Now I have an EV I sometimes join in with the over taking fun. If they have the balls to hit 80,90,100 on a windy country road fair play to them. Rarely see them speeding on 30mph roads. Im not far from Matlock bath, bikers love to meet there on a sunday zipping along the A6.

  74. You're only ever gonna see the over takers, that's science. Those doing the same or slower speeds behind you never catch up. But they are there...

  75. I might want to enjoy riding on a twisty road a bit faster than 60/65 and being stuck behind a car. Overtaking on most bikes is a very quick and pretty safe manoeuvre.

  76. The actual answer is that for a bike to be following you, they had to be going faster than you to catch up with you, then slow down to your speed to stay behind you. They don't slow down/stay behind for the reasons stated in all the other replies.

  77. Most of my reasoning is down to planning really, I don't want to be behind a vehicle that affects my visibility of the traffic ahead, don't want to be near anyone who's not too concerned of who is around them and could potentially ruin my ride.

  78. I recently took my CBT and the teacher taught us to overtake and always be at the front of traffic for safety reasons. That’s why bikes filter through to the front bike only section at red lights (I drive in London). It’s safer for the biker.

  79. Cos they don’t wanna be stuck dawdling behind you, even worse if you slam your brakes on when the speed limit changes.

  80. When the speed limit changes any road user should expect the vehicle in front to slow down to that speed - and as you should be slowing to there shouldn’t be a problem. Have a safe gap and maintain it whilst also looking behind for the potential idiot behind not concentrating. It’s the same as if you’re in a car

  81. Apparently some people would rather waste time and fuel messing around than just getting to where they're going

  82. So I remember watching something about this many years ago, the argument was that bikes should always filter/overtake and always go around 5 miles faster than the traffic around them. The logic behind it was that people will take notice of a bike for around the first mile or so, after that they tend to forget they are there as usually they will.only be viewed from the rear view mirror not the side mirrors, so by going faster then other vehicles you find that different drivers will be taking note and will actually keep you safe,

  83. Already been mentioned but its because they can. Some bikes have the same size engine that your car does, on a frame that weighs less than a quarter of your car. It's quicker to accelerate, quicker to stop and can take corner at a greater speed.

  84. Cars do this also. I stick to the speed limit no matter what the speed limit is, even the annoying 20mph speed limits. This is because I live in a 30mph area where people regularly do 70mph and it annoys the shit out of me, and also I have a cruise control thingy and I am lazy.

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