I thought you might get a giggle out of this. Or at least a shaking of the head. For reference, I drive a late model Volvo for the Newcastle-Sydney commute - thank goodness I only have to do it once or twice a week. I'm working in a hospital, where there are more than a few operations to try to save non-leather-wearing bikers. I was a bouncer for about 8 years, worked in Kings Cross Sydney for several of those. And I collect tattoos.
Hardly Dangerous rider vs. Volvo driver
This week I was cruising home from work. I was minding my own business, rolling
along at the speed limit whenever Sydney traffic allowed it. Then the inevitable
red light happens. I slow down and come to rest at the line - as I was the head
of the queue. And a Hardly Dangerous lane-splits beside me.
Now I have absolutely no problem with lane-splitting. To me, it makes perfect sense. Because if a bike is lane-splitting, there's no way for some Dopey Dora to not see them and try to make a strawberry tart out of them.
So this Hardly lane-splits alongside me. And the instant the light goes green, he's off. At this point I couldn't care less - I was busy thinking about anything and everything that didn't have something to do with hospitals, idiot nurses or arrogant surgeons. I was in the right hand lane, a Semi was in the left. The Hardly gets to about 50 km an hour and decides to quit lane-splitting and ride smack bang in the middle of my lane. And it's a main road, an 80 kph zone. And it's the overtaking lane. So I'm trapped beside the truck thats lumbering up the hill.
The day at work wasn't the greatest, and being trapped by an inconsiderate moron at that point wasn't the greatest recipe for making a peaceful hippy out of me.
So the lights get flashed. The rider looks in his mirrors, gestures to the bloke on the back of the bike - something along the lines of "teehee, we're p*ss*ng off a Volvo driver" - and continues to stay dead level with the truck. More flashing. Add a little horn to the mix. And the Hardly rider is still finding it funny that he's p*ss*ng off the huge line of traffic behind him. Having proven that his Hardly can beat a Volvo off the line (whoop-de-sheisse), it should have been no problem whatsoever for this wonderful piece of machinery to go just that little bit further so as to not continue to hold up traffic. But that would be sensible/considerate/not in keeping with being a bad-a*se outlaw on a Hardly Dangerous.
I should point out that this was a stock standard Hardly - wearing standard pipes, standard paint. Totally stock. The idiot on the bars was wearing joggers, jeans, a Hardly Dangerous polo shirt and a flat black skull cap helmet jobbie (the minimum required by New South Wales law). As was the bloke on the p*ssy seat. In other words - a total w*nk*r who bought himself a Hardly for the "outlaw" image. And people wonder why Hardlys are known as an accountants bike.
About a kay after the lights the road takes a right hand bend and the Hardly somehow manages to make through unscathed. More importantly, the bend allowed me to slip between the Hardly and the truck. So the pass is completed.
The Hardly rider decides this is an affront to his manhood. Not only has this Volvo passed him, but the driver obviously is not intimidated by the fact that he's on a Hardly. So the next set of lights the Hardly lane-splits again. On the drivers side this time. And pulls up alongside the open window of the Volvo.
A string of four letter words commence, but the general gist was "whats your problem?" Add a few references to dubious sexuality into the mix. Being polite and informing him of how inconsiderate he's been didn't work. Ignoring the tool didn't work. I'm now officially p*ss*d off. This bloke was obviously looking for a fight, and decided to start bullying the wrong Volvo driver. The sleeves get rolled up, and the seatbelt comes off. Except that the moment the door starts to open the Hardly rider suddenly found his yellow streak and lets out the clutch.
Right into the middle of the intersection.
So, very calmly, I shut the door, refasten the seat belt and laugh as I watch the Hardly rider figure out that
A: Picking fights on the road isn't A Good Idea (TM)
B: Riding a Hardly doesn't make you God of the Road(TM)
C: Parking your Hardly in the middle of an intersection is a rather frightening experience.
D: Not all Volvo drivers are on their way to the nearest Bowling Club - some are tattooed ex-bouncers who don't take kindly to arrogant fools throwing idiotic insults at them.
I spend a lot of time reading and rereading your “Best of owner feedback” articles. They never fail to make me laugh. I’m sure somewhere in one of your many rejoinders I’ve heard you mention a similar circumstance regarding all-too-well-known H-D clichés like the one that happened to me. You think it will never happen to you. Well, it happened to me.
First I’ll point out that I wasn’t even on my bike at the time. Nowhere near it. It was at home. I was at Wal-Mart with a friend looking for one of those inexpensive computer desks and talking about motorcycles. My friend has been thinking about buying a bike for some time. He kept hearing a lot of the guys at work talking about their Sunday rides and I guess it’s started to get to him. He asked my opinion on what he should get.
I started by asking him what he wanted out of a motorcycle. Did he want it to just putt around, cheap transportation, speed, or maybe a combination of all of them. He was swayed a little more to the cruiser side and I told him that was fine; just stay away from the H-D dealership in town. I had just barely started explaining that you don’t need to spend more than 10 grand for a good bike when this putz I’ll refer to as “Dude-Man” wearing a H-D “Live to ride, blah blah blah” shirt interjected with “Dude, Harleys are the best, man!” (Now you see where I came up with his little pseudonym?)
“Really? How so?”
“It’s American made, man…”
That’s where I cut in, “Stop! That is where you are wrong, dude! Saying Harleys are made in America is like saying the moon is made of green cheese.” After a short, stupid looking, glance I continued, “A good number of Harley’s components are made in little places like Japan, China, and Taiwan. They’re boxed up, sent here, and then the bikes are ‘assembled’ here. Harleys should be known as the ‘Assembled in America’ motorcycles.”
He asked me what type of bike I rode and I told him (GSX-R1000). I returned the question and was astonished at Dude-Man’s response.
“I ain’t got no bike”
“I’m getting my license next month.”
I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. I couldn’t believe what just happened. I mean I’d heard of it happening, but I considered it more folklore or something equally as implausible. But no, they really exist. Morons, who have never even kicked their leg over a bike, spouting about the grandeur of Harley-Davidson. Re-damned-diculous!
I looked over at my friend, who seemed just as confused as good old Dude-man, grabbed him by the shoulder and said, “Lets go, I’ve heard enough.”
First off let me compliment and thank you for your therapeutic website.
It's nice to see I'm not alone in experiencing this unacceptable counter
bike culture of Neo Harley riders. There is however a light at the end of
the asshole Harley owner tunnel and it's called time. In time the poser
will be extinct and the very thing that created the poser will be its
ultimate demise. As you are very well aware, based on what I've read on
your website, HD launched a marketing campaign based on American patriotism
aimed at the baby boomers in the early 80's. This campaign was very
successful, two year waiting lists, people willing to pay $4000 over MSRP,
etc, the downside to this form of marketing has an expiration date and HD is
seeing it. The baby boomers already had it in him/her, anti-Japanese
motorcycle feelings and hidden rebel wannabe biker images that they can
relate to from their youth and Harley capitalized on it. HD's average age
of it's customer base went from the mid to upper 30's to the upper 40's in a
relatively short time. Waiting lists went from 2 years to several months
and some places can even provide in stock delivery, if you want that color,
and only certain dealerships can still get away with charging over MSRP.
Yesterday's Harley rider is getting old and is NOT being replaced with new
youthful riders. That was supposed to be the point behind the V-rod, to
appeal to the younger crowd but they don't want it and why should they?
140mph top speed and mid 11's in the quarter for $20k!? Japan provides way
more power and half the price and today's youth knows that. Today's youth,
unlike boomers, appreciate technology in fact they expect it, boomers don't
play with X-Boxes (and I'm not talking Madden Football either) or games like
LIFE AND DEATH on high end Pentium's, hell boomers were wowed when cable TV
became available in their area. Think about it, some kid with a Honda
Civic, a coffee can tail pipe and decorated with tattoos of Japanese
sayings, is unlikely to buy a Fat Boy in the near distant future and tell
the Japanese motorcycle crowd to, "get a real bike". What's Harley going to
do, design an in-line four 150bhp bike to sell to this person? Yeah right!
There's no way Harley can compete with the Japanese head on. Harley is about
"potato-potato-potato", push rods and nostalgia, that's why the V-rod is
going to die on the vine, it's not what a traditional Harley is about and
Harley's real and only customer base, the boomer/poser, doesn't want it
either. The other reason why the boomer/posers won't be replaced is their
bullshit, asshole, egomaniac attitudes that they dish out onto the real
biking community. These people have burned their bridges of passing the
torch of Harley's future onto the younger crowd of import riders and import
riders are not going to be willing to become what they've grown to despise.
Yes in time Harley will die again along with all the posers it created and
good riddance and the real biking community can start cleansing the roads of
this unwanted ilk of pretend bikers. Harley Davidson should've died as a
martyr, it would've been remembered as another icon of old Americana like
steam locomotives and big heavy muscle cars. The bar and shield would've
actually had substance behind it, old school real bikers would've been able
to display it proudly as they still tool around on their old Harleys of back
in the day. Instead of dieing its rightful death in 1980 it was brought
back from the dead, and what happens in sci-fi movies to people who are
brought back from the dead? They become soulless zombies and that's what
Harley Davidson became, a soulless zombie, an empty shell of what it once
was and stood for.
I'm 40 years old and got my first bike when I was 15 and have been riding
ever since. My current ride is a 1999 Yamaha V-Max, it was purchased new
and was paid off in 2001, how many Harley riders can boast that?
When my prophecy does finally come to fruition, might I suggest a sort of
Memorial addition to your site and list the names of all the sheep that sent
you derogatory emails throughout your site's history, I know it'll be a lot
of typing but they should at least be remembered for the entertainment value
they've provided the site.
Ride safe and please keep up the "therapy"!
(This guy understands exactly what I'm saying. He really does! -BE)
Hello Mr. Shields,
I arrived at your site, not in the to distant past, as I Googled in a search for Harley humor (or as some refer to those archaic pieces of mineral deposits, as harly) to torment a co-worker who happens to ride a full dresser. I found the altered Steppenwolf prose. My ribs still hurt! Forgive my ignorance, I never thought it worth my time to get the actual model of this hurley ( spelled this way intentionally). Nevertheless, I have yet to stop laughing at the majority of posts that come in from the genetically indisposed, and those who choose ignorance as a life style. Not only that, your replies are sharp witted, logically thought out, and oh so very humorous! Thanks for the mirth!
I was a 'Wing rider, as I have progressed from an early start with a Kawasaki 454 LTD to the Wing. I did take some ribbing regarding the 'Wing at the time and its cross between an automobile and a motorcycle. Truth be told, this bike should have 4 wheels. My line of work is a Sr. Unix System Admin, in both AIX (aches) and Solaris (The guys who used to have great stock options...). I have a lovely and very intelligent wife of 8 years, a beautiful 19 month old son and another baby on the way. I chose to sell the "scooter" as I called it, for the time being, to spend the time with the family. They'll be taught to think for themselves, as I was, by my father.
As a past anecdote, I have had the pleasure of sounding my horn at beleaguered and broken down hurleys on the side of the road, as I have traveled west through South Dakota from my home state of MN, on my way to Montana or Colorado. There was many a hurley "cooling" off, with an owner, who know doubt, was praying that the junk pile would start, as the buzzards lazily wheeled overhead. I took immense pleasure in seeing the middle finger tossed my way, as I beeped, waved and drove on by. I tossed the bike into a classic "tail wiggle" as I drove on by...just so there would be no misunderstandings...hopefully, that didn't excite them in an "improper" way.
Before I digress any further, thanks again!
When my long term ailments and the seeming spiral of our society into
pure ignorance get me down I enjoy visiting your web site. Thanks for
taking the time to not only help your community but to cheer up people.
I love motorcycles, and have ridden many kinds since that first ride
almost 40 years ago. I can't remember ever not being interested in
motorcycles and the shooting sports.
As a firearms instructor and range master I've often put forth that
you can tell you're doing your job if at least 10% of the folks
you're dealing with are upset with you. Less than 10% disagree and
your range gets too friendly/dangerous. More than 50% upset, maybe
check your methods but.... you're dealing in entertainment, enlightenment,
and hopefully re-educating some sad examples so just keep it up.
The toes you step on perhaps will turn out to be fingers when the owners
Just wanted to let you
know you just pegged it when it comes to Harleys.. Sadly I was involved in an
accident in 1982 on my KZ 1000 when a car ran a red light and hit me broadside.
My dad was never one for bikes and after I recovered he insisted I ride
something slower and heavier and so I bought a Harley. And for the last 23 years
I have owned a series of Harleys. Each a chrome plated " master piece ". A
couple months ago I decided to try and find another 82 KZ 1000 but ran across
the Kaw ZRX 1200. Well 3 days later I owned one. Suddenly I came out of my
Harley induced coma.... it all came back to me. My biggest regret is that it
took another 2 weeks to dump my last Harley...finally motorcycles are fun again!
I must have had a head injury from the 82 accident that just cleared up.. I have ridden more miles in the last three weeks than I had in the last two years on my Harley. I am even enjoying the comments from the flock about my " crotch rocket ". Drove over to my local Harley dealer on the Kaw to get some chain lube.. a woman comes over... sneers at the Kaw and says " Real Men Ride Harley's " I say...no real men ride whatever the hell they want. Well I guess I was officially ex communicated that day!
Keep up the good work.... there are others like me that are still in the Harley induced comas... they must be saved!
For years I rode Honda’s & Kawasaki’s. Due to the addition of children I went without a bike for 12 years. When finances were better I dreamed about Harleys for years until I too fell into the Harley Venus Money Trap (FXD). I bought a brand new 2002 Dyna Super Glide, thought buying a Harley was the best investment I could ever make. I even thought I’d look like a bad ass. When I rode the bike on my 60 mile trip home, I knew after the first 30 miles I had made a mistake. It didn't even compare to the 1983 Honda V65 Magna I had previously owned. The handling, weight, sluggish engine, underpowered H.P., and balance were horrible. When I rode over R.R. crossings the bike bounced all over the road. The chain cover on the left side of the bike looked like chrome when I bought it but, it corroded under the clear coat after the 1st year. The dealership told me that I could BUY better aftermarket suspension, chrome, etc. I already spent nearly $15k on the bike and now they tell me I should spend thousands more to make it handle & look better??? WTF!!! I also bought the extended warranty for 6 additional years for another $1,800. That's $300 per year!!! Was Harley so poorly constructed that the average cost to repair them was $300 a year?!?! I stuck it out for 4 years and tried to make the best of it but, I finally had enough. At one time I had drooled over the "appearance" for the Screamin’ Eagle Fat Boy 103C.I. It was a really cool looking bike with an insane price tag of $28,900. I went to the local Suzuki/Yamaha dealership and started shopping. The 1st thing I saw inside the front door was the 2006 Suzuki Boulevard M109R. Not only did it look comparable to the Screamin’ Eagle Fat Boy, but it's price tag was (Cash) $10,600. I immediately started a comparison. The M109R had 109 C.I. (1783cc), 127.4 H.P., and the extended warranty was only $399 for 3 additional years. The bike (if bought in the month of April) also included a really nice leather jacket!! The salesman also gave me a 4’x8’ advertisement banner of the boulevard!! I started getting prices for trading in my Harley. After it was all said and done my Harley was only worth a mere $7,800!! Hey!! Wait!! That's it?? I thought Harley was such a great investment?? I called around, looked at prices on eBay, and found that after 4 years of owning it, my bike WAS only worth about $7,800!! So much for selling a great bike for more than I paid for it!! A friend of mine has a '04 Super Glide with his fancy straight pipes, S&S Carbs, etc. We were out playing around and he was very quickly in my rear view mirror no matter how hard he tried. I heard a lot of noise going on behind me, but couldn't even come close. I only ran my M109R up to 100mph and he was already 150 feet back!!! Unless Harley can give you the best value for your buck I have no intentions of ever going back!!
I happened upon your website quite by accident and I must say that I'm already a fan. As a lifelong motorcyclist and former Harley owner, I find Harley vs. Jap Bike discussions infinitely entertaining. I currently ride an 02 ZRX1200 and my next ride will either be a Speed Triple or perhaps if I can afford it, the new Ducati Hypermotard. I'm a Canadian serving in my country's armed forces and having traveled extensively in the United States I relish every encounter with Harley folks. Nowhere else can you meet a more committed group of intellectually challenged troglodytes hell bent on spewing pseudo patriotic Harley Davidson drivel. What's even funnier is the fact that we in Canada have the same type of brainwashed Lemmings even though Canada has little in the way of a motorcycle manufacturing tradition. I call these people hillbillies by association. You won't find anything funnier or more sad than a Canadian biker festooned with U.S. flags and other H-D paraphernalia expounding the virtues of a motorcycle marque that has no historical significance to his own country. Don't get me wrong, I love Harley's, but I love any two wheeled vehicle that gets me out on the road ripping through the wind. Keep up the good work and good luck with your hugely entertaining website.
Thank you for all the
time you put into your site, my brother showed it to me and I have been sharing
it with others, and using a lot of the jokes to zing my technologically impaired
motorcycling friends. I've met quite a few people who are fans of your site,
thank you again, James
some buddies and I were having coffee one night. they asked what kind of bike I had. I told then I had an old xs 400, after my my divorce I was lucky to have that. they then proceeded to tell me what kind of bike would be good for me. I was told I needed a fat-boy, or a sportster, night-train. I stopped then and told them that those are cruisers, I liked something with a bit more of an edge. one of them piped up and stated that cruisers have an edge, I replied, no, I like a sharp edge..... silence.
I have been most amused by your site as it seems to show what is really going on in the minds and souls of the Milwaukee V-Twin crowd.
Also, I have been forwarding the link to my riding friends.
One story; While in San Pedro, California, at a restaurant, an older Asian gentleman was walking around looking at the Harley Davidson motorcycles parked in front of the restaurant. A young lady, parked in her car nearby, shouted at the Asian gentleman, “You see those? Those are American motorcycles, built here in America.” The older Asian gentleman simply looked over at her and smiled as did I from my vantage point. She was driving a Toyota! -LJames
Hey there! Hilarious site you have.
I agree with a huge majority of what you
say. I started riding about two years ago and ride a Victory Kingpin. I like the
bike, its funky looking, comfortable and a good ride. When I bought it, I was
really into cruisers; I like the look and the riding position of them. I wasn’t
impressed with anything Harley offered but was intrigued with the Victory line.
Anyway, after narrowing down with my second bike was going to be (didn’t start
on the Victory), either the Kingpin or BMW 1200GS I decided to try test riding
them. While at the Victory dealership, they just happened to have the exact bike
I wanted on sale significantly lower then the suggested retail price. I ended up
buying it and never did test ride the GS. A year later, my wife bought herself a
shiny red GS. I finally got to ride one! What an amazing bike. I still like the
Kingpin, but it made me think of my KP as a cushy slower heavy luxury car, the
GS was a fast, comfy sports car. It was a real eye opening moment. I still love
my Kingpin and like Victory bikes, but I think I’ll be selling my ride this
spring and picking up the new 1200GS Adventure.
Anyway, here’s my story. A few weeks back, myself and about 6 friends went out riding around the coast just north of San Francisco. It was mostly Victory people but we had my wife and her GS and even a large scooter that tagged along. If it’s got two wheels then it’s welcome to ride with us. It was a great day and we all had a lot of fun, we saw probably around a hundred Harleys out riding along. You could tell the Harleys were coming because you could hear them about 2 miles away. We pulled into a cheese factory for a break during the afternoon. There was already another riding group there, about 20 Harleys all lined up along a fence. Out of the twenty people standing there, maybe two acknowledged us, one was actually friendly. To the rest of them, we simply didn’t exist. What made me really laugh though, was the white Harley support truck parked with the bikes, following along with them, I guess picking up all the Harleys that die along the way. Nothing like going for a nice all day ride, and needing a truck to follow you the whole way to make sure you actually make it back home!!
Good stuff on your site. Keep it up.
Just took a look through your site about HD owners and the lemming-like
devotion that the bar and shield seems to inspire in them. While I haven't
encountered the... well, let's say more rabid types of HD owners that you
have, I've encountered a more gentle form of the attitude. Mostly, in my
neck of the woods, they just fall back on the "if I have to explain it to
you, you wouldn't understand" line. And the funny thing is, I seem to get
it from all cruiser riders, not just HD owners. Something in the water,
Your line of reasoning echoes my own, actually, in that I find it
interesting to pay more for older technology that isn't as refined. I'll
use my own (admittedly short) riding career as an example. I got my license
in 2003 after taking the Canadian equivalent of the MSF course and went out
and got a brand-new Yamaha VStar 650 Custom, mostly because all of my riding
friends recommended a cruiser for comfort (they all rode cruisers). Even
then, I couldn't see the point of spending extra just to get a HD. Besides,
they really don't make any beginner-suitable bikes (Sportsters are kinda top
heavy for a newbie such as myself). Then I started having back problems a
year and a half later. I went to my physiotherapist, who told me that the
cruiser riding position was causing my bad back.
So much for cruisers (and Harleys) being more comfortable. Sitting with
your feet in front of you, I was told, means that every shock goes directly
to your spine rather than giving you the opportunity to support yourself on
So last July, I traded the VStar in on a leftover 2004 Suzuki SV650, the
What a revelation.
I no longer had to muscle the bike around curves. It was like the bike was
responding to my thoughts, rather than me making a conscious effort like on
the VStar. And at 70 HP, it's not even an overly powerful sport bike, so
it's manageable for a newbie like me. While I wouldn't recommend it for a
first bike, it's a great second bike.
Even better, it was $1K less than I paid for my VStar back in 2003.
Cheaper, better handling and faster... Gotta love that.
I can honestly say now that I'm likely not going back to a cruiser. The SV
has spoiled me. When the time comes to replace the SV, I'll probably look
at another naked sport bike or a sport tourer. Sure as Hell not a HD,
I do take some exception to some of your comments about Erik Buell, though.
At least he's trying something different with the engineering (fuel in
frame, oil in swingarm, etc.) and the bikes are truly distinctive. Me, I
like a bit of oddball engineering (speaking as an owner of old British and
Italian cars). Shame he's hamstrung with a boat anchor for a motor, though.
I remember looking at the CityX that I took for a test ride last year from
behind and wondering why everything was shaking so badly and why the exhaust
sounded like a tractor. It was fine once I was rolling, but at a stop it
vibrated worse than my VStar.
Oh, and the bolts falling off seems to be a cruiser thing - my VStar was
less than a year old when the lower muffler almost fell off because the
bolts holding the lower muffler on disappeared somewhere along the way.
That's when I discovered that lock washers and blue Loctite are your
American-made super bike... Ever look at the MotoCzysz? Again, at least
he's trying. He might fall flat on his face, but at least he's trying
Publish my email on the site if you wish, but I'd appreciate it if you could
leave my name and email off of it. I still have to live with the cruiser
riders 'round here. ;)
Another Harley Kool-Aid drinker....
What is it with these people?
Today (Sunday) I went into work. I did this of my own free will and choice. There was quarterly fire system tesing going on and I had some issues and questions about the system and some of the equipment I needed to have answered. I have tried to resolve these issues over the phone, but sometimes it is just better to talk to them in person. Testing was to start at 9:00 am.
It is a cold (35 degrees), dreary, cloudy, overcast day and I decided I was going to ride the VFR anyway. I have the proper gear for this and I haven't ridden in about a week, so it was just something I felt I needed to do.
I suit up in thermal under-armor (top, bottoms and hood or balaclava), Joe Rocket riding suit, Sidi race boots, gloves and of course, MP3 player with isolation ear-phones under the helmet.
There was very little traffic and... well... Let's just say, I got there quickly.
I arrive and everyone is there getting security badges. There are a couple of light-hearted comments about my "Red Power Ranger" outfit. I am the first to laugh and make fun of it by striking the "Rocketeer" pose. I know it's a funny looking outfit, but it keeps me safe (with all the body armor) and warm.
We get the system tests going and I got the things taken care of that I needed to. One of the contractors turns to me and say's "I hear you got rid of your cruiser and got one of those crotch rockets... How come?"
Now I knew this half-wit was a Harley owner from the start. I honestly tried to not get into the unavoidable conversation that I could see was rumbling down the tracks out of control.
I reply, "Because I got tired of always having a sore back, butt, hands and losing my hearing to straight pipes after riding for only an hour."
"What kind of bike were you riding?" He asks.
"A Honda Shadow." I replied.
Right on cue, the "Brain-Trust" Harley owner makes that little snort of contempt and disgust sound, rolls his eyes and says, "That's your problem, it wasn't a Harley."
To which I replied, "You don't even want to go down that road. This is not a conversation you want to have with me."
I was able to slow down the inevitable by briefly talking to another one of the contractors, but I could hear the clanking noises echoing around in the Harley riders head. I remember thinking to myself, "I wonder which Harley-Davidson sales/marketing slogan he will spout off first?"
He proceeded to tell me that if I had bought a "Real" motorcycle, that I would have been perfectly comfortable. (Not to mention smarter, better looking and infinitely cooler judging by his tone.)
I told him that the bike was comfortable. It is the nature of the seating position that is inherently taxing on the body. Not to mention they don't turn or stop as well as a sport bike. The Shadow, being a Honda, of course did everything better than a H-D anyway.
He then made some comment about "Jap crap" to which I responded with one of the best quips I've ever heard..."A Harley-Davidson is just God's way of saying he's sorry he didn't give you a penis." (Thanks Black Echo)
You'd have thought I'd let the loudest
fart in the world, right in his ear at the most sacred alter of the "Church of
This whole conversation really just degraded from there, but the crowning moment was when he told me "My Harley gets me more chicks than your bullet bike ever would."
And there it was...
The H-D marketing machine has penetrated yet another 4 inch thick skull. In case you haven't seen the newest incarnation that the advertising/marketing team at H-D has puked up, here is a brief version:
Guy dropping off date at door, she shakes his hand and runs in the house. Repeat three times with slight variation on the theme. Now, show a new 2006 H-D FLH-IJKLMNOP... parked at the curb of a house with a bra hanging off the bars and a trail of clothes leading to the door. Yeah... Pure genius huh? When your customer base possesses the intelligence and maturity of Mrs. Higginthallers' 7th grade health class, of course you go for what they can relate to... the crotch (cue Beavis and Butthead).
Well... after that I looked him square in the eye then square at his "package" then square in the eye again and asked, "So... are we compensating for something?" Followed closely by "You must really believe those commercials, don't you." Then, "If the only reason you ride a motorcycle is for image or to pick up (trashy) women, you are riding for the wrong reasons."
At this point things were uncomfortable for all in the room and I figured if I stayed it would just get worse.
I put on my gear, got on my comfortable, quiet, reliable, powerful, affordable, high-tech Honda with an excellent linked braking system... and rode home.
I must admit... I laughed almost the whole way there.
- GregH -
I am stationed here in Germany, my stable includes a 1998 Ducati 916 and a 2004 BMW R1150 RT. I just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know how much I enjoy your website and to share an incident that happened to me today. It's probably not web worthy, but I thought it was amusing.
So there I was in the parking lot of the
PX (Post Exchange) today at lunch standing by my RT getting my gear on. A family
approaches the mini-van parked next to me, Mom and Dad and two small adorable
girls. Mom was pretty hot, and Dad was wearing a
Harley hat, Harley t-shirt, Harley belt buckle, Jeans and engineer boots.
The older of the two daughters takes a look at my RT and exclaims "Now THAT'S a pretty motorcycle Dad."
To which I replied, "Thank you, sweetie."
Dad says to his daughter, "But Honey, you know that's not a Harley-Davidson, I thought you liked Harleys?"
Daughter responds to Dad, "I like that one (pointing at my RT), I wanna ride one like that when I'm older."
Dad is looking a little frustrated now, so I try and save him, thinking I would save dad some embarrassment in front of his kids and tell her daddy has a nice bike too.
I say to the daughter, "I'm sure your daddy has a very nice bike too."
To which daughter replied, "My Daddy doesn't have a motorcycle."
I looked at Dad and said, "Poseur, You know, your daughter has better taste in motorcycles than you do."
You are going to LOVE this.... have you by chance seen the latest Harley television commercial? Those crafty hill scoggins are really up to their tricks now. Either that, or they're getting even more desperate for sales.
The commercial shows little back-to-back snippets of guys trying to get in a "goodnight kiss" after their dates, in the car, standing on the porch, on the driveway, etc. Each time their date makes a run for the door, so these guys are left disappointed. After a dozen or so of these little instances, we see a Harley parked in front of a house with a bra hanging off of the handlebars and some familiar noises emanating from the house.
The tag line is "Things are different when you get your Harley-Davidson"...
Oh please, say it ain't so..! I was crying with laughter after seeing that one. How much of a sad sack do you have to be to buy into that? It just goes to show that it really is all about IMAGE when it comes to Harleys, and they know it and they're playing it up as much as they possibly can.
As you say, I just hope that substance, not image, still rules at the end of the day. Otherwise, we're in a whole lot of trouble.
Yes, I saw the commercial the other night and I knew then the very definition of the term "vindication." If you haven't seen this commercial, you need to. It goes far in explaining the Harley mindset. - Christopher
You Rock!!! I have owned 2 Harleys and will never own one again, and I ride everything. Your website is the funniest thing I've read in a long time... Funny story...
My wife and I stopped for gas at the local Chevron the other day, she saw someone she knew and went over to say hello, the other lady was with her Harley people with all the fring, etc and acted like she didn't know my wife lest she be accused of cavorting with dual sport riders. (the horrer).When my wife realized this, she told her " I may be on a foreign made bike, but I'm riding my own which I see you're not, I guess that makes you self loading baggage"
Harley chick just stood there, in her HD merchandise...
My wife and I then
pulled out heading for a 1100 mile, 3 day ride on our "rice burners"
Keep doin' what you're doin'