Back when I was riding a scooter to work everyday, I was always amazed at how many people talked to me/hollered at me/whistled/otherwise acknowledged my presence. A lot of times it was fun but sometimes I didn't want to talk to a carload of teenagers asking about my gas mileage.
Since I've been riding my motorcycle people don't really talk to me unless they're another biker. Sure, every now and then someone will come up and want to talk motorcycles but it's extremely rare for someone to talk to me if I'm geared up and on my bike.
Am I that scary? I guess I could be. My bike is black and rather Mad-Max-styled. A full face helmet is slightly intimidating, and I notice a distinct change in the level of respect I get when I'm wearing my storm-trooper-looking Joe Rocket jacket. It seems my black leather has the same chilling effect on the casual observer.
Now, I'm a pretty laid back guy. I usually hold doors open for people, say "excuse me" and smile when I make eye contact with others. I hate to admit it but it's awfully fun playing "alpha male" for a while when I'm off my bike but still in my armored cycle-wear. I'm still polite and cordial but people practically trip themselves getting out of my way. One time, a guy was about to cut ahead of me in line, caught a look at my warrior-like splendor, muttered "sorry" and slunk to the end of the line.
I wonder if dressing as I do has an impact when I'm riding. Do cagers think "ooooo, scary biker" and stay clear? If so, freakin' SWEET. I'm going to make me some skull shoulder armor and put as many spikes on my person as possible. Perhaps I'll even draw some "Angry Eyebrows" on my lid.