There is an article out of Indonesia - from the Jakarta Globe that has my dander up.

The article expresses that the administration of the town of Lhokseumawe intends to prevent women from straddling a motorcycle - in other words if they want/need to be on the back of a motorcycle for any reason they will need to ride side saddle.

According to the article:   

Suaidi Yahya, the mayor of Lhokseumawe told the Jakarta Globe:
“We want to save women from things that will cause them to violate Shariah law. We wish to honor women with this ban, because they are delicate creatures.” End quote.

Making these "delicate creatures" ride side saddle is safer - protects them in some way?
In effect - this will also ban them from being able to ride their own motorcycle because they are not allowed to sit astride a bike - so if the woman has no other means of transportation - she will have to walk...

Because of some outdated religious thinking, women are going to die because they have to ride side saddle or suffer if they can not afford a car by having to walk.

The planned bylaw is part of the overall goal of preventing women from wearing pants in public.

I find this whole thing offensive and yet, I realize that this is the way of life these people know... I know one thing - I would not fare well in a country that told me how to dress or that I couldn't ride my own machine because I am female...

I get offended enough when I am told I can not wear my vest with a patch on the back or that I have to turn a motorcycle related tee shirt inside out if I want to go into a bar...telling me I have to wear a skirt would send me off the deep end! Telling my I could not ride my own machine would see me in the funny farm - I am sure!

How do you feel about this law? I realize India is a long ways away and that their laws there do not really affect us here, but none the less I am asking for your opinion...

In other news:

In Australia: 2 Piaggio 500 cc three wheel motorcycles were taken off the road after the brakes failed on one causing a crash.  These motorcycles were ridden by Australian paramedics in a trial and they are said to have been the latest in a string of faults and safety concerns paramedics had raised since the trial began in 2011.

In Minnesota: Polaris is excited about the relaunch of Indian Motorcycles - they are completely overhauling the iconic brand with an eye to bringing the classic style of the Indian into a new century. They have big plans based on all of the learning they have done with their very successful brand - Victory.

In Gear news: New anti concussion helmets are going to make a debut at the Supercross track in Anehiem.

There are other articles that may be of interest to you that have come in over the holidays - check them out at where our work is keeping You informed!

Our 6th Annual Beat the PMS Blues Online Show 'n' Shine has begun accepting entries! We have a ton of wonderful prizes from a variety of sponsors - everything from gear to books!

The "Name Belt Drive Betty's Beaver mascot" contest will open on the 4th - help me name this sweet lady that renowned cartoonist ad author of the Bikers are Animals book series - Paul Jamiol has created for me.

I will be heading out today to attend the Calgary Motorcycle Show - then it will be off to Edmonton and Vancouver. In Ontario - Lou DeVuono of the Heroes Highway Ride & Rally will be running the Busted Knuckle's booth at the International Show in Toronto this weekend and next weekend in Ottawa at the International show there!

Be sure to stop by our booth - you can buy/order your "And I Must Go!" tee shirts, "Belt Drive Betty & the Busted Knuckle Chronicles" tee shirts and see the beginning of our collectibles line.

You will also be able to place your order for the 2013 Little Black Book, get three free Apps for your cell phone and renew or get a subscription to the newspaper!

And then there is the annual HUG CHALLENGE - Calgary has won two years in a row!

So for all of you western riders - come on out to the Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver shows - give me a hug - let's swap some road stories and start 2013 off with a bang!

For you in Ontario - hugging Lou or shaking his hand is like a proxy - which means I will get a ton of hugs when I see him next - which if all goes well will be at either the Spring or National show.

Lots of reasons to get out and ogle motorcycles folks - see you at a show near you!

I leave you with a few funnies shared with me by friends on Facebook and by email!

Have a great week and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!
Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

Post a Comment

  1. testcees8:53 AM

    Hi Betty
    Jakarta is in Indonesia, not India.
    Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world. The country is sliding down to a more and more extremist version of Islam and then we see Sharia rules overpower governmental rules. Women are being pushed back more and more. Most of them don't know any better. Those who do know better do have a hard time.No excuses but so it is. You couldn't live that way because you are raised in another way and would be ready for silly sanctuary in no time. Or be locked away in prison for endangering the country

  2. You are right - Indonesia not India - Type O central this morning...

  3. While Indonesia is a long way from Canada Betty, the laws there and the repression of women does affect us here. We have a growing Muslim population in Canada and increasingly I see intolerance from them as well as toward them. There have been demands for Sharia law to be adopted in Canada which so far has been refused by the supreme court of Ontario.
    This will change when the number of Muslims is greater than the number of other religions in any province unless our wimpy Federal government stops this crap in its tracks. There is no cure for religious intolerance except education but you cannot teach those who are so blinded by faith they cannot differentiate between their belief and truth. Thankfully I am old and will not live to see the world these fanatics make. Or destroy.

  4. You asked for peoples opinion, so here is mine.

    On the face of it, I would have to agree with the sentiment of what you are saying here. My own personal opinion is to give people the freedom to do pretty much what they want is very important. I was bought up in a country, England, where the culture defines a particular set of rules and a way of life that I have got used to. It is only natural that I don’t like it when people from different cultures tell me the way my country does something is wrong – most of us cannot help that. The same applies to other to people of other cultures as well. We have to be careful to recognise that other parts of the world have completely different ideas of how things should be done. Your example of women being made to ride side-saddle is a good example of this. In your part of the world and mine, this makes no reasonable sense and our minds object to it. However, where the laws and cultures are completely different, it really isn’t a big issue. On a recent visit to Thailand, I saw many women and girls riding side-saddle on the back of a bike. There is no law that forces them to do that, but they choose to do it. The laws of Indonesia may seem odd to us at times and maybe we would wish to change them, but we cannot and perhaps we should not try, as we have no right to. Imagine a person from Indonesia saying that under Shariah law Americans should be forced to give up their guns – what a reaction that would cause! Or, that due to the violence involved, Canadians should be made to be face trial every time they threw a punch in Ice Hockey! Throwing a punch in Canada is considered assault, but most are ready to turn a blind eye to this in the name of sport. Does the rest of the world not think this is madness? In the west we like it, as it shows passion for what the players are doing, but in some parts of the world this is abhorrent.

    I am lucky to have travelled the world quite a lot and I have seen many things that I consider odd or downright strange. Bare-breasted women in South America are not uncommon in the jungles, wearing neck rings to extend the neck is still seen in parts of Africa and neither is wearing huge heavy ear-rings to extend the ear lobes. These are all odd to us, but perfectly normal in those cultures. When I first saw women riding side-saddle on the back of a motorcycle, I too thought that very strange, but after a few days of seeing obviously very happy women choosing to do this, I changed my mind. Reading the full article in the Jakarta Globe newspaper does make it clear that the side-saddle law is a local proposal only in a part of Banda Aceh (remember this was the Indonesian province devastated by the Tsunami in 2004) and that it applies only to women riding as passengers, and will ban women from straddling when sitting behind male drivers on motorbikes as this is considered “improper”. It doesn’t say they cannot ride motorcycles on their own when sitting straddled, so you Betty would be very welcome to ride straddled on your motorbike. To save some modesty under their culture, preventing them from riding side-saddle behind a man might seem odd to us, but I suspect it is a relatively minor issue to the women of the area.

    Like most people, I don’t want somebody else’s culture forced upon me. Equally, I don’t want to change theirs in their own country.

    Okay, I am ready to be shot down now....

  5. No being shot down Gary - you bring up some great points as do Marv and Cees - I ask for opinions because I like to know and understand things from a variety of perspectives - it helps one to expand their mind.

    The article does state that they will not allow women to wear pants - maybe I am strange but I could not imagine riding a machine in a skirt or dress - looking at how other cultures treat women does make me grateful to live where I do!

  6. Certain customs & laws in some cultures, especially based on religion are indeed ridiculous. Carrying this to create restrictions and oppressions of women is even more outrageous. This stance does not come from living in a more 'hip', intelligent, progressive or enlightened culture or country and therefore some bias view that lacks tolerance or understanding for other societies. It comes from the FACT that pants or skirts have nothing to do w/ faith, spirituality. I will firmly suggest no religion's god cares what a person is wearing but, rather what is in their heart or soul. It is damn sad the silliness some religious beliefs shove on people, not to mention insane wars & conflicts & killing due to or in the name of religion. All of this is completely contrary to what the point of religion should be. If only we could have spiritual beliefs w/out religious BS.

    And yes, too often we don't fully appreciate or lose sight of how good living in Canada really is comparatively, for women and the rest of us, too.


  7. This is absurd! I think there are some countries that just don't get it. I mean, I understand they are trying to preserve their culture BUT some laws are just pure BS. oh, and that they are doing it to protect women because they are delicate???????? Nonsense!