Bikers Wave Or Nod, Do You Do It?

It’s a subject that seems to split the biking community, the bikers wave!

Do you offer a respectful nod? Maybe a big friendly bikers wave? Or a middle finger in response to anyone else who dares wave at you?

Here in the UK a simple nod is prevalent, whereas most other countries in the world prefer the wave.
You may have noticed this if you’ve done any motorcycle travelling in other countries.

Do you know why?

Well the answer is pretty simple.

In the UK, India and Australia, drivers drive on the left hand side of the road. Mainland Europe, North America and the majority of other countries drive on the right.

For us left hand drivers, waving while riding means letting go of the throttle which isn’t exactly ideal, so a respectful nod is the norm.
Right hand riders can easily wave with their clutch hand.
Sometimes it’s a big ‘I’m a biker too, look at me’ wave – almost to the point where you might hope they lose control.
Sometimes it’s a casual sticking out of the hand at waist height doing the peace sign.

Another little greeting I noticed while riding through Germany was bikers kicking their foot out slightly if they passed you on a motorway. A nice little gesture that doesn’t require you to take your hands off the grips when you’re blasting 90mph.


bikers wave or nod


It is common in most countries to be selective with who you acknowledge.

Some Harley riders might only wave to other Harley riders. Some won’t give a bikers wave to anyone on learner plates. Others won’t do it unless your wearing club patches.

No one gives a wave or nod to scooter riders.

Mostly anyway. It’s very rarely seen in the UK. I guess the long buried ‘Mods vs Rockers’ beef is still visible today! Instead of knocking lumps out of each other on Brighton beach, we are simply denying to acknowledge each other.

Myself, I don’t tend to nod or wave. Definitely not first anyway.
Sometimes if the roads are clear and someone nods I will return a courteous tilt of the head. Mostly though, I just want to enjoy riding without the risk of my head falling off from nodding every two minutes.

When I first started riding I participated in the bikers wave/nod a bit more often, but then I even found myself being selective and I couldn’t make my mind up whether that was fair. So I just stopped giving them to anyone.

What are your thoughts? Do you like to nod or wave to your fellow bikers?

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