I still enjoy the sight of a motorcycle being ridden confidently, quickly and safely - I can identify with the thrill of doing exactly that, and I can admire the skill of a good rider. Motorcyclists are not, therefore, by definition a category of road user which invokes my ire.
You know there's a 'but' on it's way, don't you...
What frequently attracts my attention/mild frustration/ridicule is the proliferation of truly awful motorcycle riders. Having achieved a fairly lofty standard of motorcycle riding through intense professional training, I can recognise a good rider and a bad rider with equal ease. What I see in my part of the world are large numbers of people on very expensive chrome-covered heavy old fashioned bikes (usually Harley Davidsons) who are actively engaged in riding them very badly - in fact so badly, it sometimes looks like they are doing it on purpose.
It's not as if these riders are not trying to attract attention to themselves: festooned in impractical, non impact absorbing loose-fitting leather clothing, unintentionally hilarious leather chaps and decidedly odd brightly coloured bandanas worn underneath open face helmets, they scream for other to look at them. Cruising the high street in order to be seen, after all, is one of the main practices of such people. Being seen in their 'bad' boy and girl leathers is very importsnt to them - so much so that they are prepared to dress in some ridiculously funny outfits in an attempt to look like the 'bad to the bone' type of individuals who ride motorbikes.
There's a couple of big problems with that though (I know that there's more but I haven't got all day!); firstly my experience of genuine mtorcyclists was that they are almost to a man and woman, a thoroughly warm, friendly and open group in direct opposition to the myth of the mean and dangerous people portrayed on the silver screen. Secondly, far from (rather ostentatiously) demonstrating a leaning toward individualism, such dressing up in leather outfits actually constiutes a trendency to conform to a certain image, which is itself a misrepresentation. After all, dentists, accountants, financial consultants and lawyers are not renowned for their violent rampages (I'm not saying they CAN'T conduct a perfectly good rampage, I'm merely saying that we don't usually hear about such events...).
It's all fake; the bikes are usually heavy, unwieldy pieces of glitzy crap which are slow and represent a devolution of motorcycle technology; the majority of these kinds of riders are incompetent if not downright dangerous; the clothing element is just foolish and funny and the notion of being free individuals is completely contradicted by the visual conformity they all fall into. Individualism doesn't come into it. The boys and girls on the pocket rockets are the real individuals on the roads.
It's a shame really - motorcycling is a lot of fun, especially with a reliable, fast, smooth machine underneath you and and proper training which allows the rider to explore their personal limits without wobbling around the roads, almost falling off every time they pull away from a stop or turning a smooth, sweeping bend into a series of jerky steering movements.
It probably shouldn't (I mean there are more important things in the world to think about), but this cultural phenomenon really pisses me off...