To me "the wave" is actually more about not getting nailed by overzealous cops writing tickets for minor infractions, and anticipating unseen hazards, than it is about "good vibes" (thought I guess that's cool too). When I give someone "the wave" and they do not respond with anything, I don't get offended, I just have no indication of what's ahead, out of my view. If they give me the helmet pat, I know there is a cop, accident, or other hazard in my near future. If they simply give me a wave back, then that's usually a fair indication that all is good ahead. That doesn't mean I let my guard down, or assume there is nothing to worry about, it's just a little extra help, and maybe I can ride with a little extra gusto on that next turn. Also, I'm surprised to hear everyone using Harley riders as the example of people constantly waving. Whether I'm on my GS or Triumph Bonneville, those Sons of Anarchy wannabees are usually the LAST guys waving in my direction because they are SO TOUGH!