The Two-Finger Brotherhood – A Fading Motorcycle Culture?

Recently, a series of pictures posted online caused a lengthy debate about motorcycle culture. How deep is it and how much is it evolving?

When the social media user posted photos of riders holding up two fingers (held like the ‘peace’ sign) at each other, they thought they were just celebrating a well known item of biking culture. Except it turned out that was not the case. Several users commented that they ‘came to the comments to know what this is about.’

What is the Meaning of the Two-Finger Sign?

This is a sign that bikers hold out to each other as a greeting (acknowledgement) and sign of respect when they meet on the road. It is usually a quick flash of the fingers held on the inside of the road. No rule prohibits holding the outer hand though.

Varying Opinions on the Sign

While most commentators were excited to see the popularity of the culture, others opined that it was not possible in their countries where they drive on the left side of the road. Seeing as signalling on the right would require them to release the accelerator, this made sense.

Another person bemoaned the inability to ‘keep this precious engament running.’ They said that it is sad that the levels of road unsafety in their country requires them to always have both hands on the bike at all times. A good safety measure, but sad to see that impunity towards bikers still persists.

A humorous commenter pointed out that the gesture is not viable in some countries anymore. In Countries like Malaysia (83%), Thailand (87%), Vietnam (86%), and Indonesia (85%), the number of households that own motorcycles make it logically impossible to signal every biker on the road.

To substitute the sign of honour where the traditional one is not applicable, many people now hold one leg out whenever they drive by other bikers. Never a dull day in the world of biking, is there?