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Date: Jul 10 2009

Themes: Hobbies

Grammar: Zero Conditional


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It seems pretty obvious that motorcycles are more dangerous than cars. In fact, in the U.S., motorcycle riders are more than four times more likely to have a fatal accident than people who drive car. So why is it that motorcycles continue to be a popular form of transportation?

One reason might be that in American culture, motorcycles are seen as cool and rebellious. The stereotypical image of a badass is someone who rides a big Harley Davidson, wears lots of leather, and belongs to a motorcycle gang like the Hell’s Angels. But motorcycles mean different things to different people, and they may not be seen as rebellious in every country.

As a child, Ella lived in Thailand and often rode a motorcycle with her parents. Find out if she thinks it’s a good idea for Dale to get a motorcycle.


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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Dale:  You know what I really, really want to do? Like, really soon?

Ella:  What?

Dale:  Ride a motorcycle.

Ella:  Really? It seems kinda dangerous, you know?

Dale:  Not really. Actually, I used to have a [def ]moped[/def] when I was a kid. I used to have a moped again when I was an adult. And I thought it was extremely fun. But I’ve just never had the chance to do the motorcycle thing. What about you? Have you ridden a motorcycle?

Ella:  I did. In Thailand where I grew up, you know, the rules are quite different from the United States. They’re a little more lax on safety. And so I’d ride in the middle between my parents. And then I got in a car…not a car accident, but I got in an accident because the chain on the motorcycle cut through my leg.

Dale:  Was it like a sports bike or a cruiser?

Ella:  It was more like one of those tiny…it was a motorcycle but it was a small one. It’s not like quite a dirt bike but not full-on Harley. Right in the middle.

Dale:  Not like one of those hogs. Have you seen those hogs down the street, like the American…I think I want that one.

Ella:  That one? I can see you rocking that.

Dale:  Do you think it’s more of a cultural symbol though, I mean do you think…

Ella:  If you think Harleys, of course you think Americans. But then if you think just regular motorcycles for transportation, I kinda think of the rest of the world.


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Dale is thinking about buying a motorcycle. He used to have a moped, but he wants to get a real motorcycle. His preference would be to get a big American hog.

Ella thinks motorcycles are unsafe because she got hurt on one when she was a kid. In Thailand, where Ella grew up, many people ride motorcycles as their main form of transportation.

Are motorcycles popular in your country? Do you think it’s safe to ride them?

For more on motorcycles, take a look at this video English lesson about a real American biker!



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I just don't like them, but the truth is that they're definitely an inexpensive means of transportation. It's true that they're widely used in developing countries like mine. For some people, in a huge, crowded city such as Buenos Aires, they are the only chance people have to get to their workplaces on time. Let's not demonize them. Though I certainly dont like them, and would definitely not use one, I do think that used responsibly  (WITH YOUR HELMET ON) they can provide a good way of traveling. The problem is mainly people who use them, not motorcycles themselves. Most people are reckless, thinking that accidents only happen to other people. Let me tell you that in our country car accident statistics are terrible, and for that you can't blame motorcycles. This is about people caring or not about the impact of their actions on other people's lives.

Still, i like bikes more =D

01:01 PM Jul 10 2009 |



Frankly say,I hate those guys who ride bicycle quickly on the street.they always break the traffic rules and make the motors loudly,they think it's very cool,but in many person's eyes,those people's conducts are childish and ridiculous.

12:47 PM Jul 10 2009 |




yes ican say motorcycle is very danger … onse i hit a boy and he was in bad…there is not more motorcycles in my country

12:44 PM Jul 10 2009 |



hi guys —[[ i am so happy -- i wanna be the best from to any 1 here —i coming here to learn english and to tell any 1 to learn it -- i need friend from gulf country —i am boy my age is 17 from kuwait . -----bye


enjoy , , , ,

12:24 PM Jul 10 2009 |



Its fine, I like riding motorcycle am carefully drive then the car. But some time many people accident by it. U know actually motorcycle is very dangerous vehicle if mine. I like driving for long distance by motorcycle. Every time I feel that, the heavy vehicles goes more speed and we can’t control own vehicle where we need. So I will say every bike rider friends be careful your driveing period.

11:48 AM Jul 10 2009 |



The Harley Davidsons are sooooo COOL . but I can't really ride any of those—'

11:41 AM Jul 10 2009 |



Syrian Arab Republic

I like riding motorcycles.

I know it's dangerous but I try to ride carefully.Smile

08:50 AM Jul 10 2009 |




There's big difference between moped and real motorcycle, motorcycle is much faster and heavy and can be very dangerous.


It's okay if you just use motorcycle as a transport, it's usual in most of the third world country, cheaper than cars, faster than bike.


But if you are some rebellious guy, just want to show off, and play some dangerous joyriding game, you better don't. It might cost your life, ok you deserve it, but it might also hurt innocent people, that's unfair.

07:30 AM Jul 10 2009 |



have to admit ,it's very eye-catching if a man drives harley devidson on the road.looks like manly and cool.and it's very dangerous as well, not only the driver , but aslo the passerby.so please be careful when you are driving , for you and the other people. and don't forget to wear helmet.

06:42 AM Jul 10 2009 |



All around the world and not just for now but since long time ago, motorcycles have held an important place in the American Culture, not just as a symbol of rebellious, cool and lax style, but as a symbol of identidy…of the american way of life and even beyond….a global identity, and we are not talking about simple bikes, we talk about Harley Davidsons culture, which comes from mopes to heaviest and biggest ones like Cruisers, or special ones like dirt bikes and hogs, and also full-on harleys; all of these are part of a cultural symbol, of a cultural identity that have spread throughout the world, not just for gangs as some people think, but for anybody that just wants to feel the energy and the pasion to rock this adventure…just to yell the world that want to join not a group..but a culture!!!..thanks

04:58 AM Jul 10 2009 |




Here in Nicaragua people ride motorcycles as a way to save money becuase they spend less gas than cars, but everybody knows that they are dangerous that's why wearing a helmet is obligatory, otherwise you get a traffic ticket and have to pay a fine.

04:15 AM Jul 10 2009 |




To be honest, I have no experience to ride motorcycles. I feel I am unsafe. In my country motorcycle culture  is not so popular but most of people knows  Harley Davidson. If someone ride that motorcycle we look at him and say that hey look at this man, he is so smart and will be rich. Cause Harley davidson is very expensive in my country. So far I have no idea to ride any motorcycle.

02:43 AM Jul 10 2009 |

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