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Can I Ride a Motorcycle to My Friend's Funeral

Can I Ride a Motorcycle to My Friend’s Funeral?

I love talking to people about motorcycles. Between being an opinionated guy, having worked in the industry, and having been riding for just shy of a decade, I like to think I can help people.

Then I got asked a question I’m not entirely sure how to answer. It came from a YouMotorcycle reader:

“Hi guys,

I have a question. For three summers I’ve been riding motorcycles with my friend Benjamin. We’ve rode out of state once or twice every summer and I’ll miss him.

His family always disliked Benji riding motorcycles. They were very verbal about it. Benji’s funeral is Friday. He died from injuries from a motorcycle accident over the weekend.

Should I ride to the funeral to celebrate the good times my friend and I shared, at the risk of hurting his family?”

Can you ride a motorcycle to a friend’s funeral? What would you do?

I’m putting this out to the rest of the community to chime in. Please leave a comment.

The names and places have been changed to respect the privacy of the family. 

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  1. I think that, given the deceased’s parent’s dislike of his riding motorcycles, the respectful thing to do would be to go to the funeral by car; turning up on a bike (particularly if the death was bike-related) would just add insult to the family’s sorrow and distress. There’s always time later for a private, personal ride that your reader can do on his own in memory of his friend.

  2. Family should announce if they want people attending the funeral on motorcycle especially if the person died while riding one.

  3. If I were you, I’d ride over to the Funeral Parlor 2-3 hours before the service, pay my respects to my buddy alone, and if you tell the Mortuary staff why, they’ll understand & accommodate you, share your time alone with him, sign the quest book and ride off, he will be remembered by you and you won’t step on his family, that way, you take the high road.

  4. RT @YouMotorcycle: Can I Ride a Motorcycle to My Friend’s Funeral? https://t.co/fEV22HTeRr

  5. Funerals are for the living, the dead don’t care. However what would benji have liked should be also be considered.. Also how much of motorcycling a part of benji’s life?

  6. My father was killed in an accident involving his motorcycle and I would not have been offended (nor do I think any of our family) if his riding friends showed up at his funeral on a bike. It was something that gave him great joy and his riding group had a memorial ride for him on the first anniversary of his passing.

    Maybe I’m selfish, but to me a memorial or funeral is about celebrating what the person who passed was passionate about and the things you shared with them. If riding was a big part of your friend’s life and your relationship with him, I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  7. RT @YouMotorcycle: A reader asked, “Can I ride my motorcycle to my friend’s funeral?”, and many others chimed in. See what they said. https…

  8. The family is grieving and quite possibly in great distress. Riding your scooter can only create ill will. They might see it as bringing a dog to the funeral of a child killed by a dog. Nothing good can happen from it. I would respect the family wishes and avoid riding to the funeral. Have a memorial ride for him (with or without other people) some day after the service. To the end of time you will always believe that riding a motorcycle is what kept your friend “alive” and the family will always believe that a motorcycle killed their family member. Nether one of you will ever change…give them their day (and ride on).

  9. My best friend lost his son. I rode my scooter 900 miles to attend the funeral. My BF asked me to pace the procession, right behind the herse. It was such an honor. I guess it depends on the situation.

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