To answer the question of why people ride motorcycles, you really have to ask why you shouldn't ride one.
Dale writes today about a subject that I tried to address before...
There's a old biker saying, to the effect that, "If you ever throw a leg over your bike, and you aren't just a little bit afraid, it's time to hang it up." That's good advice, really, because if you are riding on the street, and don't still feel the incentive to ride as if you were invisible to everyone else on the street, you'll get overconfident, and bad things will inevitably happen.I tend to agree with the last sentence.
But, the opposite is also true. When you throw a leg over, and your first thought is, "I hope I get out of this alive," then you should probably stop riding, too.
In other words, if you're very concerned for your safety, then you shouldn't ride a motorcycle. It's inherently dangerous, and despite how skilled or cautious a rider you are, most such crashes are the fault of drivers who didn't see you.
If you can accept that, then you can free up your conscience, think more clearly, and enjoy the ride.
Perhaps you thought about buying a small motorcycle, or scooter, to save money on fuel, or because you have this altruism to reduce your carbon foot print. Well, you had better fully register this thought before skipping gleefully to your nearest scooter dealer to jump on the bandwagon.
You may end up reducing your carbon footprint to zero.