Pimp Your Ride

By

Pimp Your Ride
Tough love for bike-lovers at Bikerkiss.com.

Calling all Harley girls: If you fantasize about riding off into the sunset on the back of a bicycle made for two, Bikerkiss.com, a niche online dating community for motorcycle enthusiasts, may help you make your dreams come true.

Bikerkiss members need not own a motorcycle to join this community which spans the states, UK, Canada, Australia and Europe. Whether you're looking for a ride or someone to ride with, you can search for matches based on the brand of bike they own. (There are also conventional search fields such as location, age, and so forth.)

While the site is reported to be the first and the largest community for single bikers, only eleven members were online (including this biker-blogger…okay, just blogger) at 4:30p.m. on a Monday afternoon.

The sparseness of the active community may result from a poorly organized site, clearly victim to large discrepancies in logic. (Perhaps neglect from the site's parent company, Successfulmatch.com– which hosts over 30 other niche online dating sites– is to blame.) A link to the bland homepage sits on the far right of the navigation bar, and directions for how to be the model of the month are more visible than the actual model of the month –which, coincidentally, took me about a month to find. In short, no matter what you're looking for, assume it'll be hard to find.

When you do find a member of interest, you can send a wink—a.k.a. an icebreaker such as "I'm interested in you!" or even "I am not a gold member at this moment. Please email me so I can respond"—for free. Replying to e-mail/chats, adding 10 profile photos, browsing profiles and contributing to forums is also free for guests.

It pays to be a gold member ($29.95/one month) because it's a pain not to be; every third click seems to bring up the subscription page. Gold members can initiate e-mail/chat, use advanced search features such as astrological sign, and view lists including "Certified Bikers" --users who have verified biker-status by presenting a copy of a motorcycle driving license. Users can also verify their level of education with a diploma/degree and a photoID.

Gold Members can access the recent biker news page, add extra profile photos, and view full-size photos (guests can only see thumbnails). The community boasts forums, a ride events calendar and user-submitted videos hosted by Bikerkiss.com. (While browsing through the latter, I found borderline pornography in great excess-- while I'm sure there is redeeming value in "Sexy Girl On Exercise Bike," I'm simply at a loss for what that value is.)

You can earn your gold status by inviting friends to register, submitting suggestions, reporting scam users, or promoting the site via article. (Wonder if this one counts?)

To the site's credit, they make links for feedback totally accessible. The best feedback we can give: start your engine and head towards taking tips from BikeAmericaOnline.com or Bikerplanet.com.

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