We’re all going to pay for Toronto’s motorcycle mob scene

Ontario’s motorcyclists will pay dearly if we see more motorcycle mobs like the one that ran amok in the GTA over the long weekend.

In case you missed it, a horde of sportbikes went on a spree of hooliganism around Toronto on August 6, performing wheelies, burnouts and other stunts down major highways. The public got upset, especially due to traffic delays. The OPP asked for help identifying the suspects, and there was a flap in the media. Some motorcyclists condemned the hoonery and others applauded it. By now, the news cycle has forgotten it.

But Canadian motorcyclists, particularly riders in Ontario, need to pay attention to what’s going on, because this sort of behaviour will cost everyone dearly if it keeps up.

The last thing Ontario motorcyclists need is more heat from police. More scrutiny means more tickets for the average rider, whether or not he/she was doing burnouts on the DVP. In a province with strict anti-stunting laws, where riding 50 km/h over the speed limit can land you with a $10,000 fine and more, motorcyclists are going to pay if the OPP decides to enforce traffic regulations more strictly.

And don’t kid yourself: in a law-abiding society like Ontario the OPP will not let this two-wheeled aggression stand. They’ve shut down similar anti-social tuner car cultures in the past, and they’ll put an end to this as well. What flies in the US will not last in Canada.

Ontario 401 Speeding Ticket Cost
Let’s face it: Motorcyclists already have it bad in Ontario, with the country’s most strict anti-speed laws.

From my perspective, I don’t care if you don’t religiously follow traffic laws. I’ve been known to enjoy wheelies and speed and other fun on public roads myself. I’m certainly not going to sit here and judge anyone else who enjoys the same.

However, if you want to be irresponsible, there’s a time and a place for it. Pulling these stunts in the middle of a day down a busy highway only angers everyone else, especially if you’re blocking traffic. Yeah, I get it: cars suck. But despite all the times Granny cuts you off in her Caprice Classic, you don’t have the right to shut the road down. All this does is get people mad and mobilize the cops.

The police rightly see this sort of activity as a challenge, and they will respond, like they did with last summer’s hooligan rides in the GTA. It took them a few months, but they laid some serious charges as a result, and I’d expect to see a much more concerted effort this time around.

But a crackdown from the cops is only one of the effects we’re going to see. If this keeps up, we’re going to see cagers pushing bikes around.  The public is already mad about the whole loud pipes issue, with legislators goaded into anti-bike laws around the country and citizens taking things into their own hands with cheap vandalism. We don’t need any more of this. Here’s the CBC’s report, and watch the YouTube video below for one family’s comments; suburban moms and dads are not impressed, and want it to end.

There’s a lot of buzz about the GTA mobs on social media, with threats such as “Prepare to get your heads bashed in and your brains spilled” showing up on Facebook. Talk is cheap, but motorcyclists already have enough trouble with other motorists on and off the street. We don’t need more danger to watch out for.

Insurers in Ontario are also likely gleeful at the rise in excessive hooligan riding, as they could see yet another reason to jack up rates, despite the fact many of these squids don’t have insurance, or even a motorcycle licence.

We can also expect to see a spillover in other provinces. Quebec, right next door to Ontario, already has the strongest anti-motorcycle government in the country, with provincial leaders sick of bikers after the Hells Angels-Rock Machine war of the 1990s. You can bet they’re watching this new form of mass lawlessness carefully, plotting their own crackdowns.

More of this means more trouble for all Ontario riders, whether they’re involved or not.

Ultimately though, the most significant result won’t just be some hassles from The Man and angry suburbanites. This kind of behaviour is going to end up with serious crashes and riders dead. It’s actually been coming for a while, with the world of motovlogging starting the trend. The guys and girls on YouTube are starting to pay for their hooliganism on the road, with the self-proclaimed “Street Rossi” known as Yammie Noob involved in a very serious crash this year (his second wrecked Daytona in six months), destroying a Porsche and leaving him with serious injuries. Recently, he was followed by Russian vlogger Monika9422. Best-known for her ability to pull off motorcycle stunts in skimpy clothing, the 40-year-old mother died in a crash last month.

These are the people the bike mobs look up to, and some of them will pay the same price for riding recklessly without the skill to back it up. A GTA rider was killed in one of these stunt rides last July, and others were lucky to escape the wreckage in the Labour Day weekend ride last year. If they keep it up, there will be more casualties.

Which is ironic, really. Supposedly, the reason behind the whole motorcycle mob was to raise awareness about motorcycle safety. But just like the whole “loud pipes save lives” argument, which is usually spouted by a rider wearing a beanie helmet, the squid riders are going to have to work on their presentation before we take their message seriously — especially if the rest of us more-or-less respectful riders are left to deal with their fallout.

31 thoughts on “We’re all going to pay for Toronto’s motorcycle mob scene”

  1. Fvcking squids need to take their bikes to a circus…I’ve seen their talent…and ilk on some backroads in Ontario but not riding dickweed on major 4 series…only wish they’d have interrupted a 1% run to see where their shenanigans would go…thinking not…

  2. OPP Press release Sept. 20/17
    Project SADDLE
    POLICE PUT THE BRAKES ON WANNABE STUNT DRIVERS
    Motorcycle Riders Facing Dozens of Charges
    (ORILLIA, ON) – Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has laid 48 charges following a three-month investigation into dangerous motorcycle stunts and erratic riding behaviours in the Greater Toronto Area.
    At a Toronto area news conference today, Superintendent Alison JEVONS from the OPP Highway Safety Division (HSD) and Detective Inspector Scott NAYLOR of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) unveiled details of the investigation and displayed video evidence and some of the vehicles seized during search warrants executed earlier this week.
    Between June and September, with major case management oversight by the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), members of Highway Safety Division (HSD) conducted Project SADDLE supported by members of the OPP-led Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, Provincial Operations Intelligence Bureau, OPP Aviation Services and frontline officers. On 20 occasions, police disrupted dangerous riding activity on busy, major highways, including the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway. Dozens of riders on ‘sport bikes’ actively participated in numerous coordinated stunts that purposefully snarled traffic and put the lives of participants and the safety of other road users and pedestrians in jeopardy. The incidents were captured by participants on video and self-posted publicly to various social media channels. Public response to a request for information is credited with identifying some participants at an August 6th, 2017 incident.
    Police noted these stunts occurred during a period when carnage involving motorcycles was particularly high and the subject of repeated road safety warnings. The same sub-culture of riders has been known to refuse to stop and have swarmed police officers in a threatening manner on several occasions.
    Ten (10) people are facing a total of 35 Criminal Code charges. These offences include Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Conspiracy to Commit the Indictable Offence of Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Mischief, Conspiracy to Commit the Indictable Offence of Mischief, and Flight While Pursued by a Peace Officer. Five (5) motorcycles were seized as Offence Related Property. Six charges were laid for offences contrary to the Controlled Drug and Substances Act.
    One rider was charged with illegal possession of a restricted firearm.

    http://www.opp.ca/index.php?id=115&entryid=59b97fc18f94ac836488f25d Page 1 of 3

    In addition, these ten (10) people and others face a total of seven (7) charges under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act including Driving While Suspended, No Licence Plates, Plates Not Visible, Improper Helmets, and Improper Permits and Equipment.
    Seven of the ten primary accused have made their first appearance in court while three others have outstanding warrants for their arrest. The investigation continues.

    posted by AJ

  3. Been riding a long time…respect for the machine and my experience #1, respect for the unknown variables #2, respect for my bros (if bonded and riding) #3… and not always necessarily in that order…and Mark…thanks for the side by side clarification as I thought it was so…a serious, narcissistic bunch of wankers (not all as some were caught up) and if that’s the way buds and bros need to do it these days, I’m glad I gave up the rice ffs!

  4. Mark, it’s illegal to ride bicycles and ebikes side by side in Ontario, not so for full speed motorcycles. (bicycles/ebikes are required to pull right anytime there is traffic in their lane).

    With respect to the main topic, I don’t see anything other than gang hooliganism at play in this mob activity. I doubt it will have any impact on law abiding riders, drivers and police have no trouble distinguishing between a mob of idiots and the general public.

  5. Fvcking bumblebee swarm wankers did a version here in NS and four were apprehended by the RCMP after the main group sped off…I hope they’ll never ride again…

  6. I am a rider of a motorcycle and it is crazy for people to pull these stunts.Gives us who ride responsibility a bad rap. It is hard enough for motorcycle riders to be respected by people driving cars as they often don’t look for riders..Crack down on these stunt riders hard.They are endangering everybody and should not be on the road.

  7. Yes, we’re going to pay for this. We’re also going to pay for all the stupid media portrayals of motorcyclists as criminals from Brando to Sons of Anarchy. We’re also going to pay for all the antisocial loud pipe fans who have to annoy all the people all the time.

    It’s a shame we can’t seem to have any positive portrayals of motorcycles in the media or the news: It’s all negative crap, all the time.

    1. I guess you are too young to remember CHiPs. The motorcycle riders were the good guys. Ponch was sometimes in a bit of trouble, like when he had non-regulation tailored shirts.

      1. Of course I remember CHiPs. The POINT is that there is nothing like CHiPs or Then Came Bronson or any other portrayal of motorcycles in a positive way on the media ANYMORE.[*] All we get is Orange County garbage, Sons of Anarchy trash and assorted “bad biker” crap. All of which portrays all motorcyclists who are sub-human criminals and not worthy of the same respect and protection as “real people”.

        [*] With the possible exception of Keira Knightley’s Chanel advertisement.

    2. A lot of good promo from these works pushed riders along the way…double edged sword bro…but that’s why many of us ride 🙂

  8. Similar sportbiker asshat buffoonery was witnessed on public highways in Nfld. as well this past weekend. Stupid is, as stupid does. tsk, tsk

    1. Yessir…Halifax area had it and four of the louts (and a loutess) got a shitshovel recently for more of the same tomhoonery – stoopid sh!tshow stuff best saved for the enduro or beer runs- not he main highways with their GoPros ffs! PS – keep the Go Pros for porn lol!

  9. My opinion of the types who use these gatherings to close down highways and intimidate cagers couldn’t be worse.

    But then again, on most of my commutes I see such a level of incompetence from cagers and no-one seems to care – give me a day and an unmarked car and I’d guarantee atleast two dozen distracted driving charges alone. This is what’s actually killing people on a daily but I only seem to see cops hiding behind bridges focused on speeders vs. actually patrolling the roads – a “it’s always ok to go after them as long as them ain’t us” – mindset.

    Cue the curmudgeonliness…

  10. A cautionary tale sure, but it would be helpful if there was actual evidence of these supposed burnouts, excessive speeding and blocked traffic referred to rather than a boring video of an (admittedly large but hardly illegal) number of motorcyclists safely passing another vehicle.

    1. Take a look at the CBC report that includes video of all that mayhem, which is linked in the story right beside the video from the car – which is itself interesting more for its commentary than for its images of bikes passing left and right and on the hard shoulders.

    2. I was crossing the GTA last weekend on the 401. Some stragglers ended up in the collectors near where I was in the express. 100 km/h wheelies in heavy traffic (they were just past an area where there were accidents both east and westbound at the same time). One of the heroes was visibly wobbling in the one-wheeled equivalent of a tank-slapper but managed to hold it when he put the front end back down. In any case, it was not just motorcycles passing people. There is also ample video evidence if you care to look for it.

    3. By ‘safely passing’, you of course mean passing BETWEEN vehicles (illegal)? And (while I only watched the boring video once), I don’t recall seeing many turn signals being used, if any at all (also illegal)…

    4. Well I guess you do not have a lic or know how too drive in Canada!!!! They were driving reckless, passing without blinkers, foot does not count, they were not driving in a staggered formation as required by law, cutting off drivers and the list goes on. There were numerous videos of these squids on the news and social media, some even posted on the sites I belong to, so a lot of them had go pro’s so most of them will not be driving next year or the next 10 years, which is good news, for they keep our insurance high.

      1. Not that I agree with what they did but their is no law on the books which states you have to ride staggered , In fact it is legal to ride side by side if a cop wanted he could trump up some ticket but it would get thrown out as every motor cop in Ontario rides side by side . Which every justice is fully aware of

        1. Actually, it’s illegal in Ontario to ride side-by-side. Only one vehicle is allowed in the lane at any one point, with no exception for motorcycles. Police cars and bikes are officially exempt from the Highway Code, though they are actively encouraged to adhere to it unless circumstances dictate otherwise. In practice, cops have better things to do than enforce the side-by-side prohibition for bikes.

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