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Discussion Starter #1
It was a beautiful Spring day in western Oregon on Sunday. But instead of being on the road, cruisers of a certain well-known American motorcycle manufacturer were lined up in front of the local taverns, in droves.

I don't understand that mentality. I'm sure they're happy as clams in their pirate outfits and chromed-out five-figure bikes. And more power to them. If they're happy, good for them.

But I just don't understand it personally.
 

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...And more power to them.
Ummm. Not really. Noise, heat, and vibration; yes. Power, no.

OK here we go again, and I'm probably the worst offender.

I hate pink elephants in the room. Hate em. The whole Harley thing is such a giant pink elephant. Ask a Harley owner "Why do you ride a Harley and dress up like a pirate?", and you'll get a hundred answers, and you'll be lucky if one is really truthful.

Here's my take on "Owning a Harley": It's very similar to owning a Hot Rod. Owning a Hot Rod has very little to do with the joy of driving, and everything to do with the joy of ownership of something considered cool by other hot rod owners.

At least if you ask a Hot Rod owner "so is your car the best one for actually driving that you can buy?" you'll probably get an honest answer.

I was riding with my Toad King Gynoglide owning buddy last summer. We stopped at a tavern (OK I admit it). Some drunk pirate trying his best to be a badass looked at my jacket (Transition 2) and says "you ride one of those g&% beemers, don't you...?"

I said "no..no beemers here. But, hey, is that your sweet Honda outside?"
 

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While I am not a Harley fan I would say that these are normal guys just looking for other guys with similar interests to hang out with. Anything to get out of the house and away from the wife is a good enough excuse no matter how ridiculous you look or how much you over paid for you bike.

They probably look at us and wonder, why does a guy take a perfectly good bike and ride the heck out of it and enjoy putting all sorts of farkels on it? We do it because we love to. They do their thing because they love to as well.

Different strokes for different folks. Me.... I would rather ride all day long and camp at night and repeat the next day.
 

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I work with a bunch of guys that ride hardleys. Most of them are nice guys and a few even ride a good bit. I think there was one other bike in the lot this morning (it was 35 here) and it was a Harley. We have quite a bit of (mostly) good natured ribbing back and forth.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There's obviously an appeal to the brand/style of bikes and the behavior of riding them for 10 miles, parking in front of a tavern for a few hours, and then riding them back home to be rubbed with a diaper and parked on carpet until then next sunny Sunday afternoon -- so many people choose to do it.

Me, on the other hand ... I ride in the rain and cold, in the middle of December, to work and countless small towns around the West coast, covering hundreds of miles a day, on a dirty bike that has a noticeable lack of chrome, and do it solo to the point of being anti-social.

Who's got the biggest grin on their face at the end of the day? It doesn't matter, as long as we're doing what makes US happy. The pirate doesn't have to understand why I ride the bike that I do, or why I would choose to ride in foul weather. Just like I don't have to understand why he does what he does.

As long as he's on two wheels he'll get at least a moderate amount of my respect for that alone. Anything else is gravy.
 

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Many of them are serious riders. Talked to a couple of HD riders, both BRC instructors. Last summer they did the ride to Alaska, one of them with a trailer. Said they had a great time and want to do it again.

I'm not a Harley guy, but they might make sense for distance. And you could get them fixed about anywhere. Probably not so much for Aprillia or MV!
 

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My dad said something that I've always found interesting. "You ride what your friends ride." I think he's right, I guess it's kind of like peer pressure. If your friends ride Harley's then more than likely you will want a Harley. You know it gives everyone a common hobby.

I have a Sportster, and I used to ride the heck out of it. 3 trips across the country (2 to Yellowstone, and 1 30 day 8000 mile trip). Still have my Sportster and it still runs great with 37, 000 miles (and no problems, only routine maintenance). It's been a really good reliable ride.
 

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The only thing I think is funny is that most people who ride a Harley won't be seen with anything/anyone else (while riding) unless that someone is riding a Harley. Personally I think it's ridiculous but that's just me.

Case in point. A guy at work, we actually do the same job, has two Harley's. We've talked about bikes and looked at each others and commented on the machines (nicely, I might add). As soon as we both take off from work he avoids being seen riding with a "Strom". I think it's kind of funny I guess. For me it doesn't matter what someone rides, it's that they ride.

As for the "bar" thing, ya, you should see that over here (where there really is a bar on every corner). Drinking, unfortunately, is the "state" pastime.
 

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I'd have to say it's a cruiser thing, not just Harleys. I once did the cruiser/pirate thing, for about 2 months. My ass/back/hips would hurt after about 100km of being seated like that and I'd need some off time, usually a bar or terrace, where you can linger without loitering. Now that I can do hundreds of KM in a day, I save the drinkin' for when I get home.
 

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For some it is about the journey, for others it is about the destination. It really doesn't matter - we all enjoy M/C at some level. ...to each its own.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've never met a Harley rider in person that I didn't like. And I've never met a beer I didn't like (although I like some beers more than others). But like chocolate and pizza, I'll never combine the two. Even if I am wearing a pirate costume.

And I know that a lot of Harley riders actually ride, with 10k more per year (my personal average). It's not about that.

It's about having such an expensive, gorgeous machine, many of which were actually made to be ridden -- and then not riding it. I don't understand that.

But as one poster put it, for some it's the journey, for others it's the destination. I guess that's why we made freeways and taverns -- for the 'destination' folks.

As for me? I'll stick to the 'getting there is 99% of the fun' mantra.
 

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I love bikes... I love beer... I seriously dislike bikes and beer combined. Nobody seems to question that "little" detail. To me, part of my pirate style aversion comes from the rowdiness and the irresponsible behaviors associated with these guys. Not all of them are like that, clearly, but a lot are.
 

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bikes

Too many guys I know that ride Harleys let their bikes define them and that is the first step in failing as a true rider...............

I started laughing when I read this today because I've been taking heat from 4 "Harley" guys here at work all day. On Saturday 15 of us spent 10 hours of our day hanging out on our bikes, riding way out of the way for a big lunch and then a quick ride back on the highway to save some time. I didn't have a chance to catch up with them yesterday and today the "harley's" told me they aren't riding with me ever again. Complaining that their bikes were made for cruising at 70mph....that I was pushing their limit on fuel by not stopping every hour......and one complained his bolts were coming loose because we hit speeds of over 80mph during the ride home and his bike shook too much. I promised next time I'd mount my GPS on their ride and let them take the lead.

There are always different people at our work related group rides and I always judge the rider on experience and skill; but now....the Harley's go up front instead of the rookies.
 

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You didn't have to guess "Harley" did you?

It's about having such an expensive, gorgeous machine, many of which were actually made to be ridden -- and then not riding it. I don't understand that.
I have a neighbor with an astounding collection of guitars; Gibson, Fenders, Martins, Taylors. Some are re-issues some are vintage. He collects them, doesn't really play them. I went over there one night and he let me play them all. He had a great old tube amp for the electrics. He loved hearing these instruments played, some for the first time. He also has a healthy supply of Shamwows.

I don't begrudge him his collection, he hopes to make money on it someday.

Guess what brand of motorcycle he owns?

Motorcycling is, in essence, irrational. The economics don't compare favorably to other safer and more convenient transportation. 40,000 miles of V-Strom ownership has proven that to me, and this is a fairly cheap bike to operate. The chrome and leather worship services that pop up in and around pubs and taverns in the summer are just a different point on the spectrum irrational transportation.

I don't begrudge Harley enthusiasts their fun, until it interferes with mine. Is 5 MPH below the posted speed too much to ask?
 

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I ride with almost all Harleys, because that's about all that's around here.The bunch I ride with go the speed limit, and don't drink. This is a rare group, but they are great people. I don't think the "pirate" thing is really very respectful, when you consider how much money it takes to buy all the leather. It really doesn't look anymore out of place than someone with dayglo riding jacket and pants on. Let alone motocross boots. I don't really care what someone else wears, or what they do, as long as it doesn't bother me. If you want to make fun of someone go to a mall and look at the weird teens with pants hanging down to their knees, holes in their head with spikes and chains-now that's funny! Cheers--BB
 
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I respect those that have them to ride them. Those that have them to look at them not so much. The guys at work try to give me a load of crap for riding a china bike. All I say is come and go for a ride with me, after the fact lets see what you have to say about my bike. I've only had one take me up on the offer, he yelled uncle after we filled up and I went 180 miles before stopping, would have went more but he had to fill up. Now all of them have respect for the lil black zuki, that is in the parking lot everyday of year all year long. :fineprint:

RR
 
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