GERRY'S RESPONSE

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.Some comments on your website. BTW, I found it in a search for Harley emblems!

Your premise is that image and sound must be based on, or somehow supported by performance. One has no relation whatsoever with the other. Where do you base this claim? You persist, after constructing this straw man, to beat him senseless. I know of many icons, celebrities, "in " places or activities that have followers  because of some indefinable quality of presence or image. People and things I would not devote a moments thought or a line of type to have legions of followers. It's not my place to put some yardstick I feel important against something just to knock what others may legitimately enjoy. And if I did, they could be correct in saying I was out of the loop, out of touch, or just plain jealous of whatever I was knocking.

I' ve been around for 52 years and have ridden many bikes, dirt and street. I was probably racing flat track and hill climbs before you were born. I had a 90cc Bridgestone street bike, ( that required mixing oil and gas manually!) in 1967,  then moved up to plenty of Kawasakis, Triumphs and BMWs, before the Harley  Wide Glide and Yamaha Blaster I now own. I don't knock Japanese bikes, they're fine bikes but I don't think they're meant to last the long haul. A friend services Hondas and Harleys, ( Wild Willy in Edgewood, MD), and even though his specialty is the Gold Wing, he will tell you that Honda changes it's engine so much year to year that bikes 5 years old are very difficult to get good spare parts for. He has had up to 3 water pumps for 1998 Gold Wings bad off the shelf. Honda practically tells him and the local Gold Wing Club that 1998 and 1997 Gold Wings are TOO OLD to keep up and should be replaced! My 96 Wide Glide has never needed repair but common PM parts are still available and Willie can get anything he wants for Evo engines and earlier. Like he says, An Evo engine was pretty much the same, just as the 88 engine has stayed about the same. Sure, Harley may not be cutting edge, but when

you can have a Harley over 15 years old hold it's price and still be easily serviced long after it's Japanese competition is asking you to finance at least two or more new bikes, I don't see where your carping about Harley's "high price" springs. 

Two people want a large touring bike:

The Harley can be bought for about 19 k. Before you drive it off the floor, you or the dealer can sell it for more than the price you ordered it at!  Unless you wrap that bike around some tree, you could keep it 5 years and sell it for just about what you paid for it and walk away. Depending on the model you bought and the time of year you sell, you can often do better than that original cost!

The same sized Honda or Yamaha can be put on the road for about 15 k. When you start it up and out the door you could sell it for about 13 k. Five years later, after telling a few thousand people that, "No, it's not a Harley. But yes, I know, it looks like one", he might get 7 k for it.

Overpriced? You have to explain that claim. The Harley rider didn't spend a single cent. Essentially, he borrowed a bike from the dealer for those years. The jap bike rider lost money whether he continues riding or not.

There is a very real reason why the Harley logo is proudly displayed on the tank and Honda and Yamaha to be absent from so many of theirs.

Your representation of Harley riders is a simple lie. Most Harley riders  do not wear German helmets or nazi symbols. I belong to a group of 650 plus and not one looks like this. You state they do as a  fact when you MUST know it to be untrue.

It's very disingenuous to call Harley riders every name imaginable,  (chimpanzee clits?), and then ask those that respond to your rants to do so in a "civil" manner. Also, after using the phrase " half my brain tied behind my back", you ask others to be more original in their correspondence!

 You seem to feel we are rather low in IQ.  We may have trouble handling your long sentences. Let's try something simple:

 Take the Mensa test available on the internet. I'll trust your honesty in your response to me. It is 30 minutes long. If  you get about 20 of a possible 30 correct on that test you  may be eligible for Mensa membership. I turned down Mensa. Pompous types, you'd be at home with them. If you get that far I can test you for the International High IQ Society. Our membership is limited to the upper 5% IQ range. It should be simple for you. I'm a simple Harley rider, yet, I can run instrumentation and medical processes that most people could not guess at and am at the upper 3 % in IQ in logic and problem solving.  Considering your endless rant about the low IQ we Harley owners possess, your capacities must be staggering. 

 You have a big mouth. Back it up. I await the first results.   If you are correct, at all, in anything you wrote, I have told my friends you must certainly test in the upper one per-cent, well past me.

 GGardiner

 

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To which I replied

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.Some comments on your website. BTW, I found it in a search for Harley emblems!

How many Harley emblems do you really need, Gerry?  Did the old, rusty ones finally rattle loose and fall off your bike?  Perhaps you just really feel the incessant need to display to everyone that you own the biggest piece of junk made by man, and to do so by plastering the all too familiar bar and shield logo on everything that you own.

“Your premise is that image and sound must be based on, or somehow supported by performance.  One has no relation whatsoever with the other.”

Image and sound, not based upon performance, are meaningless, Gerry.

For instance: if I dress up and look like a jet fighter pilot, if I talk and sound like a jet fighter pilot, but if I don’t know the first damn thing about how to actually fly a jet fighter or anything about air to air combat, then you see where image and sound, not based upon performance, are meaningless.  Unless of course, you are just posing...

The same can be said for a Harley Davidson motorcycle.  It tries to look tough but it runs like a neutered water buffalo, it handles like a pregnant yak and it sounds like a constipated elephant.  It is also built using Fred Flintstone era technology.

“Where do you base this claim?”

Where do I base this claim?  You obviously don’t understand very much about motorcycles or technology, do you?  I have had a saying for years now, Gerry;

“There is a big difference between being fast and powerful, or just being loud and annoying.”

What that means is that those of you who like to brag about owning a real motorcycle are annoying to those of us who do.  Image is a byproduct of design and design is a byproduct of performance.   If you tune for power, sound will naturally follow.  If you tune for sound, you are inherently doing nothing for power.  That is elementary physics and mechanics.  Musical instruments are tuned for sound, motorcycles are not, or at least REAL motorcycles are not.  When was the last time that any manufacturer won a world series motorcycle race because their bikes looked and sounded better than every other bike on the field?

Just because you play your music really loud doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a rock star, it just means you know how to operate a volume knob on a stereo.  With that in mind, rattling windows and making lots of noise doesn’t equal raw power, brute performance, or riding skill, it just means that you know how to grab some throttle on an outdated piece of junk, an act that only impresses knuckle dragging hill scoggins.   The rest of us real motorcyclists know the “Harley sound” for what it truly is; trendy suburban noise, sold at a stop your heart premium.

A modern (and I use that term “modern” very loosely) EVO engine displaces somewhat over one point three cubic liters (1300 plus CCs) in size yet manages to barely cough and wheeze out only a little over fifty-something asthmatic horsepower.  Why is that, Gerry?  Is that staggering performance to displacement figure achieved due to all of the cutting edge design and high technology that Harley embraces or is it because the Motor Company is and has been stagnant for over three decades now?  Could it be that Milwaukee is content to sell their products based on sound and image alone?  Probably, because they don’t know the first thing about performance or how to create such a trait in any of their ancient products.

You know my opinion on the matter.

Harley produces roughly one horsepower per twenty-one or twenty-two CC’s of displacement, fuzzy math being used and the exact figure will vary somewhat depending on application.  Do you think that is impressive?  If you do, then you can count yourself among the herd of easily wowed scoggins that spend a great amount of time pondering if the little light actually stays on or not when the door to the refrigerator is closed.

Japan has shown consistently that it can build anywhere from two to four times the horsepower per liter than America can, or in other words, to do the same job with half or even a third of the displacement, all using technology.  That’s not advanced technology, that’s modern technology.  The cutting edge stuff pushes the envelope even further beyond Milwaukee’s ability to reach and makes most scoggins run around spastically on brain overload, bumping into each other and turning green when they inadvertently swallow their chewing tobacco.

The Japanese motors impress me, Gerry.

They do far more with far less and they don’t make as much noise when they are doing it.

“You persist, after constructing this straw man, to beat him senseless. I know of many icons, celebrities, "in " places or activities that have followers  because of some indefinable quality of presence or image. People and things I would not devote a moments thought or a line of type to have legions of followers.”

Gerry, you have just described what it is like to own a Harley!  It is something that the crowd does not because it is inherently a monumental good thing, but because it's the trendy thing to do.  People when present in large numbers are never much of an environment for truly deep or original thinking.   Most groups tend to follow the more beaten path rather than strike out on their own, and they tend to do this without very much fore-thought being given to the matter at hand.   Another saying you should learn to remember is:

“If you want to go nowhere fast, just follow the crowd.”

Harley lives off of that fact, and makes a nice profit in doing so.  Owning a Harley is an admission of your own codependence on a corporation to provide you with justification for your own existence as well as basic instruction on how you should act, how you should dress, and what products you should buy to fill your life with.  You have to be as smart or smarter than what you own.  It takes no brains to own or work on a Harley, therefore…

“It's not my place to put some yardstick I feel important against something just to knock what others may legitimately enjoy. And if I did, they could be correct in saying I was out of the loop, out of touch, or just plain jealous of whatever I was knocking.”

Yardstick, dipstick, standardized test, anal probe, urine sample, regardless of whatever form of accepted measurement that we, as a society, use to gauge someone’s intelligence, the process itself is a concept that has long been applied by society to judge who is worthy and who is not.  This simple process has been going on for as long as recorded history. Society has always, in some form or the other, tested people to see who deserves what and who will fill certain slots in the social order, all based upon what they can provide to society in turn.  Society tests its members, in a variety of ways, to see who will build the rockets, who will pilot those rockets, and who will have to clean up the launch pad after all the others have gone home for the day.

Gerry, I’m sorry that you feel that it isn’t your place to stand up and point out what is right and wrong, or what is smart and dumb.  That is the problem with today’s society, no one has the spine to stand up and point out when other people are stupid or wrong.  I believe that is not only every educated human beings inherent right, but also their inherent duty.

“I've been around for 52 years and have ridden many bikes, dirt and street. I was probably racing flat track and hill climbs before you were born. I had a 90cc Bridgestone street bike, ( that required mixing oil and gas manually!) in 1967,  then moved up to plenty of Kawasakis, Triumphs and BMWs, before the Harley  Wide Glide and Yamaha Blaster I now own.”

Well, I’m 34 years old, and I’ve been riding since I was ten, so that’s about two and a half decades of being in the saddle.  I’ve ridden a lot of bikes, all different types, all different models including motor scooters, mopeds, off road dirt bikes, three wheelers, four wheelers, import cruisers, import standards, import sport bikes, import sport tourers, Harleys, Guzzis, a pair of Triumphs, a Duc, and the odd BMW when chance permitted.  I have to honestly say that the most disappointing motorcycle I ever rode was a Harley simply because it did not live up to any of its reputation, except in price and dealer attitude.

I’ve been a devoted disciple of advanced technology ever since I first saw and heard a compact Honda V-four engine.  My 1984 Honda VF500F Interceptor had over 80,000 miles on it when I traded it in for a 1993 Honda VFR750F and the ’84 never gave me any trouble.   Fill it with gas, do routine maintenance, check and change the fluids, turn the ignition and ride it forever.  The VF500F was in near perfect condition when I traded it in, well maintained, it was just obsolete in the styling department and of course, the new VFR750F was pure poetry in motion with its technologically advanced 750cc liquid cooled, 16 valve gear driven DOHC V-four engine.  The new generation of V-four power plant, evolved from the first generation VFR, which had itself evolved from the same generation VF series, sang with a voice that no Harley could ever match.  It transcended simple mechanical harmony and bordered on angelic in tone.

To show you how much technology had advanced in 9 years, the then modern 1993 750cc power plant made twice the power of Honda's old first generation three quarter liter V-four and almost three times the power of the 9 year old 500cc V-four power plant.  That is technological evolution.   That is what happens when you have to be better than your competitor, not just sell more T-shirts and leather jackets than they do.

When was the last time that Harley Davidson took one of their engines and tripled the power in a decade or less?  Never.  And they won’t ever do it, simply because they don’t know how to, and also because they can’t.   They just aren’t that smart, Gerry and they never will be.  Why?   Because they aren't competitive.  Competition breeds technological evolution.   Take away the competitiveness, and you lose the need for technology.

“I don't knock Japanese bikes, they're fine bikes but I don't think they're meant to last the long haul.  A friend services Hondas and Harleys, ( Wild Willy in Edgewood, MD), and even though his specialty is the Gold Wing, he will tell you that Honda changes it's engine so much year to year that bikes 5 years old are very difficult to get good spare parts for.”

What do you mean “not meant to last the long haul?”

I just clearly said that my ’84 Honda VF500F Interceptor had over 80,000 miles on it when I traded it in and it ran like it was brand new at 9 years of age!  The only reason I traded it in is that the nine year newer VFR750F took my heart strings the same way, if not more, than the ’84 VF500F had done when I first saw it parked at the local college.  The reason that Honda changes its engine is that it isn’t happy to rest on its ass and be satisfied with the bare minimum engine required to move its cycles around.  And since Honda tunes its motors for power, instead of sound, the motors will constantly evolve.  Honda understands that in the REAL world, that it is technology which keeps it competitive with its competitors, not how much tacky crap they can slather their logo on.  Honda is always innovative, always looking at how to improve their models, their engines, their suspensions, their power trains and the forms which house those designs.

That’s called “P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S”, Gerry.

It is an integral part of any forward moving civilization.

Progress is a tasty recipe requiring equal parts of ingenuity, forward thinking, research, design, and the implementation of new technology all baked in a think tank, mixed with cutting edge manufacturing capacity, served fresh each year and sold in volume to give a deep discount to the end user.   That is why Honda serves up improvements and new designs year after year, while Harley merely serves the same old stale old pile of tepid dog shit decade after decade.

Progress does not come without some cost, namely you lose the ability to be complacent.  Complacency is the perfect breeding ground for non-competitiveness.  For Honda, complacency is not acceptable.  For Harley, it is considered the home team advantage.

“He has had up to 3 water pumps for 1998 Gold Wings bad off the shelf. Honda practically tells him and the local Gold Wing Club that 1998 and 1997 Gold Wings are TOO OLD to keep up and should be replaced! My 96 Wide Glide has never needed repair but common PM parts are still available and Willie can get anything he wants for Evo engines and earlier. Like he says, An Evo engine was pretty much the same, just as the 88 engine has stayed about the same.”

Well, I can match your Honda horror stories with Harley horror stories of parts and quality concerns probably two or three to one.  Why does Willy have so many parts available for Harleys?  Harley is stagnant, Gerry.  Your friend Willie can get anything for any Harley because the motors haven’t changed (or advanced) in decades, just like the designs of the bikes.  A part for a 1982 Sportster will probably fit on a 2002 Sportster, but I doubt that anything from a 1983 Honda 750cc engine will fit on a 2003 Honda 750cc engine.

Harley Davidson only produces V-twins.  Sure they have a few different sizes, some with more cams and valves than the others, and some even have optional fuel injection.  But they are all V-twins in a limited range of displacements, all breathe through Japanese carburetors, all are shoved into dated frames that are almost as old as the design of the motors.  Honda, on the other hand, produces single cylinders, twin cylinders, V-twins, V-fours, inline fours, and six cylinders, in sizes ranging from a few CC’s up to well over 1.3 liters.  Honda builds all types of engines, from car and truck engines, to motorcycle engines, and even power generators.

When was the last time you saw a Harley Davidson electrical generator?  I guess there's not much of a market for an auxillary power generator that weighs 400 pounds, had an 80db exhaust note, had to be kick started, crank it, shakes your whole house to the foundation, rattles like a can of loose bolts when it runs, produces an incredible 60 watts of power and costs $6,000, no matter how many letters of the alphabet you assign to the name or how many tassels you hang from the handlebars and the kick starter.

Harleys pretty much all come from just a few old parts bins in Milwaukee.  The inbred scoggins stamp out the same tired old parts 24 hours a day, fill the huge bins, then occasionally rearrange the parts in random order until they get something that looks in passing like the bike that their grandpappy used to ride.  Spray paint it a slightly different color, throw in a new set of wheels, a pin stripe or two, tack on two more letters of the alphabet, and add three grand to the price.  It’s like a redneck version of Legos, only with really bad country music, home-made moonshine and rampant sister swapping.

No matter how you look at any Harley engine, they are still the same, tired old farm irrigation pump turned lackluster motorcycle engine that they were at the beginning of the 20th century.  Harley is not an engine for the 21st century.  Why would you need a lot of different parts when the very same parts from twenty years ago still fit the engine today?

Think, Gerry.  Think.   Let's use some circular logic here: Harley is stagnant.  Stagnant is bad.  Therefore Harley is bad.

“Sure, Harley may not be cutting edge, but when you can have a Harley over 15 years old hold it's price and still be easily serviced long after it's Japanese competition is asking you to finance at least two or more new bikes, I don't see where your carping about Harley's "high price" springs.”

My argument, again, Gerry, is that Harley is an outdated design that is simply copied and reproduced over and over again, year after year, by Milwaukee.  It has no innovation, no forward thinking, no evolution and why should it?  A Harley is based on image and sound only, each of which require only duplication, not innovation.  If the design of a Harley were based on any kind of measurable performance, it would require a large dose of innovation to be introduced to the design, a commodity that Milwaukee apparently has to import directly from Porsche of Germany.  In case you are still clueless about HD, most of what you pay for when you buy the best that Milwaukee can offer is the name and the reputation (be that as it may), not the bike itself.   Harleys retain their high resale price not because they are good bikes, or even passable examples of classic motorcycles, but because they are “Harleys”, and stupid, gullible people still tend to think that anything made by Harley is the greatest bike in the world.

Oh!  Good.  I see that you have presented to me an interesting example of sheer fiscal ignorance, so let’s review that now, shall we?   

“Two people want a large touring bike.  The Harley can be bought for about 19 k. Before you drive it off the floor, you or the dealer can sell it for more than the price you ordered it at!  Unless you wrap that bike around some tree, you could keep it 5 years and sell it for just about what you paid for it and walk away. Depending on the model you bought and the time of year you sell, you can often do better than that original cost!”

Bwahahahahaha!  Oh, what ridiculously laughable nonsense!  Come away, Gerry.   Let us have you deprogrammed before it is too late!

If a Harley is worth so much more money than what you are paying for it, Gerry, then why isn’t the dealer selling it for more?  Wouldn’t it make sense to sell something for the price which it was worth, if it was really worth that much to begin with?  What planet do you live on, Gerry?  It sure isn’t Earth because down here on Earth, we have something called “economics”, which respond to market fluctuations and conditions and this "economics" is driven by something in turn called “logic”.

In other words, if the dealer can sell the bike for more than you are about to pay for it, then why isn’t he?  Because life and economics, as you have described them, simply do not work the way that you have describe them.  Period.

In the real world, the Harley that you are intending to buy will be sold to you at the price that it is currently worth, which is called “market value.”  What someone is willing to pay for the Harley is “perceived value.”

If a Harley is really so more valuable than what you are paying for it, then why is the dealer deep discounting it to you instead of selling it at this make-believe premium which you suggest?  If Joe Scoggin is waiting outside in the parking lot and will pay you more for your bike than you are going to pay the dealer, then why isn’t the dealer getting Joe Scoggin to come in and buy the bike to begin with and skip over you completely?  What you propose just doesn’t make a lot of financial sense, Gerry, but then that is the kind of silly lemming logic that people like you tell me over and over again in order to validate their fiscal ignorance and the fact that they not only don’t know a whole hell of a lot about motorcycles, but that they also don’t know a whole hell of a lot about money either.

There’s a simple rule of business that we have in the real world, Gerry, it’s called “the law of supply and demand”.  This basically states that the more demand there is for a particular item, then the more the price will rise in direct proportion to the supply of that item.   The law of supply and demand completely invalidates the theory that you have presented to me on this make-believe market value of a Harley.  If a Harley is worth more than what you are asked to pay for it, then the Harley will sell for that greater price, there on the showroom floor, until such time that the market is saturated with Harleys and people become unwilling to pay the higher price, at which time price will adjust itself to match supply.  As more and more bikes sit on the showroom floor, waiting to be purchased, the price will come down to a favorable price to entice Joe Scoggin to walk in and ride out.  As less people buy the product, the more product will become available, and the price will fall to entice the customers to buy the product.  That is how business works, Gerry.  Not the other way around.

Let me put it simply.

If a Harley can be sold for $24,000 cash when it is brand new, anywhere in the world, then you are not going to walk into a dealer and pay $19,000 cash for a brand new Harley.  You will pay $24,000 cash for that Harley.

Sorry to burst your unrealistic concepts of economics.  If the world truly worked the way you think it does, I would be making partners with a banker tomorrow to get a loan to buy out the local Harley Davidson dealership’s stock, roll it out into the parking lot outside, and sell it for a 20% or higher profit margin to all of these make-believe scoggins which you think are just waiting outside to fully reimburse you and reward you on top of that for your trouble.  If I could find one of these scoggins for every bike in the showroom, I could pay back my loan, and pocket about $200,000 all for an afternoon’s work of dealing with idiots and signing paperwork until I acquired carpal tunnel syndrome.

I guess these scoggins with the deep pockets could exist, after all, the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” had to originate somewhere.  I think Harley coined that particular phrase myself.  It would go far to explaining their marketing practices and their product, if not their corporate mission statement.

“The same sized Honda or Yamaha can be put on the road for about 15 k. When you start it up and out the door you could sell it for about 13 k. Five years later, after telling a few thousand people that, "No, it's not a Harley. But yes, I know, it looks like one", he might get 7 k for it.”

As you have just shown, most people are completely ignorant about motorcycles in general, and Harley depends on that fact to turn a profit as well as survive.  People recognize the Harley logo, but they often don’t have a clue that the bike is anything other than a “Harley” or a “rice burner”.  Most people who would ask if a bike was a Harley without looking it over closely are the ignorant kind of stumpfucks that keep Harley Davidson in business to begin with. 

As John Gullato once said so eloquently in an email conversation which we had; “"Sure, nine out of ten people would want a Harley if you asked them, but then again, nine of ten people don't know shit about bikes."

Which only goes to reinforce my argument that Harleys are not bought by either knowledgeable people or smart people.   They are bought by people who want to make a statement about their status in life, who want to make an entrance when they appear, who want to pose and show, rather than ride.

Five years down the road?  A lot happens in Japan in five years, Gerry, if not the rest of the world but almost nothing at all happens in Milwaukee.  You might get some new T-shirts, a few more household items with the bar and shield logo on them, or another trendy Harley boutique opening up in a mall somewhere, but that’s about it.  In our information based society, computers become obsolete in three years, some models faster than that.  Five years is an eternity in the high technology race, and to any corporation who depends on technological superiority to keep them competitive in the marketplace.   However, five years is but a drop in the bucket for Milwaukee. 

If Harley based their motorcycles on any kind of performance or technology, and made a genuine effort to at least keep up with the rest of the world, if not compete directly, then their bikes would look a lot different than they do now.  They would be lighter, faster, cheaper, and more dependable.  They would have a sound that was naturally generated from their engine designs, not artificially stimulated as the main selling point.  The fact is, Harley is not a motorcycle because it does not keep up with the times.

Harley is not competitive.

Harley is not modern.   Harley is image and sound, without performance.

Your question is why would someone want to get rid of a Japanese bike in five years while people hold onto Harleys for years, even decades after that?

Simple.

Innovation.

The reason why Japanese bikes are ‘disposable’, if that term can be used, is because five years later, the new version of that very same import bike will be far superior to the now five year old model, and who wants to pay high dollar for something that is outdated (besides those who would buy a Harley, I mean)?  I would a lot rather spend $24,000 over a period of six to ten years and get three different Suzuki GSX-R models, each more powerful, lighter, better handling, and more advanced than the model before, than I would spend $24,000 and be stuck with one lackluster Milwaukee vibrator for ten years, with no hope in ten or fifteen years of seeing any technological innovation or change.  If you aren't into sportbikes, then for the price of your average Harley, I can afford to pick and choose several different brands of import and own multiple types of bikes.  I could have a cruiser, a sportbike, and a standard or tour bike, or I could have just one rather bland, overrated domestic model.

Stagnation.

If you have the same product, itself identically produced year after year, technologically stagnant, never changing, never evolving, selling on sound and image alone, yeah, you can get the same price for this year’s model as you did for a model from ten years ago, because they are functionally and technologically the same and their price is driven more by artificially inflated market hype than by real, actual worth.  Gerry, what is the difference between a 1982 Harley Davidson and a 2002 Harley Davidson?

The real difference?

Not much, if any, and that is why a 1982 HD and a 2002 HD hold their prices comparably.  With very little difference, hell, as long as it says Harley on the side, some three tooth hill scoggin is going to be proud to have it parked next to his mobile home in the trailer park, and if they have to get a fourth mortgage on the trailer to do it, no problem, because it’s a “Harley” and they aren’t going to ride no Jap crap, but they’ll roll their Harley up in the back of their Toyota Tacoma pickup truck when it breaks down.

Harley has not only made a roaring success out of marketing the same design and technology year after year to stupid people, but apparently they have tricked these people into believing that the older, more outdated a Harley is, the more valuable it is!  The icing on the cake is, of course, the misconception that you can buy a Harley, ride it for five years, rack up 100,000 miles on it, and then sell it for what you paid for it.

I love that!

Try to do that with a toaster, or a VCR, or a computer.  People would laugh at you if you tried.  But Milwaukee isn’t selling to any really smart people, now are they?   No.  Milwaukee is selling prepackaged ignorance at a premium and making a profit off of it!  Who says stupid people are bad for society?  They certainly aren’t bad for the economy!  I mean, face it, we had people who bought PET ROCKS in the ‘70’s.  That was your generation, Gerry.  Here’s a big clue.  Rocks are free.   No one owns a rock, except maybe God and He put enough down here that everyone could have one, or two, or a dozen, in any size, shape, or color you want.  Hell, you can come to my house and adopt as many as your pockets can hold, I won’t charge you a dime.  

Think about it.  Someone sold someone else a pet rock.

Knowing that there are people out there, in YOUR generation, who once paid someone else good, hard earned money for a small ROCK, some yellow STRAW, a small set of CARE AND FEEDING INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOUR PET ROCK, and a small cardboard BOX to keep your rock in … then I can really understand Harley’s target market and what a rich, rich vein it is that they have tapped into, a vein rich in ignorance and easily disposable income.

“Overpriced? You have to explain that claim. The Harley rider didn't spend a single cent. Essentially, he borrowed a bike from the dealer for those years. The jap bike rider lost money whether he continues riding or not.”

The Harley rider didn't spend a single cent. Essentially, he borrowed a bike from the dealer for those years?!?!

(insert stern look of disapproving incredulity here mixed with a slow shake of the head expressing humorous disbelief at your resolute ignorance)

Gerry!  Please tell me that you are not that financially na´ve.  What laughable nonsense economics you espouse!  If a Harley is so valuable, if it sells for so much profit, why would a dealer let someone ‘borrow’ a bike for all those years?  So, in essence, what you are saying is that the Harley dealer just lets people ride out of the dealership for free, with a big old personal IOU for $19k?  He just ‘borrowed’ the bike in the long run.  Using your logic, anyone could go into a Harley dealership, pick out a bike, and when the dealer said “Will that be cash or charge?” the new owner says “I’ll let you know when I bring it back in five years and sell it back to you for this exact price, with a 100,000 miles worth of wear and tear on it.”

Bwahahahahahaha!

Oh, that is just so not happening, Gerry.  Tell me, now really, did you graduate from the DeVry Business Institute or what?  None of you scooter scoggins know the first thing about economics or business, which simply goes to prove my point that if you can afford a Harley, then you might not be smart enough to own anything else.  Hell, if you knew anything about money or motorcycles, then you wouldn’t be riding a Harley in the first place, now would you?

Where do you think the original nineteen thousand dollars comes from, Gerry?

Did some scoggin just go out and pluck it off of the money tree in the backyard?  Nineteen grand is a whole hell of a lot of money to a middle class American family, the so called real men and women which Harley says it represents.  It’s a lot of money to me and I know that, given the brain that God graced me with, I’m not going to waste nineteen grand on an outdated piece of junk like a Harley Davidson, just to say that I ride the same bike that Ken and Barbie do.   Hell, I winced when I had to pay fifty cents on the dollar for an ultra low mileage, two year old Chevy LT edition 4x4 Blazer with all the options that was a program car at the local dealership.  I thought that $16,000 for a $32,000 vehicle was still too much to pay.   And that was an American made vehicle.  American stuff doesn’t hold its value, Gerry, or rather very little of it does.

If you seriously believe that a Harley is some kind of investment, then you are a financial idiot and do not deserve to handle any more money than your mommy will give you as a weekly stipend or allowance.  Better yet, why don’t you send me your hard earned money and I will keep it for you.  Honest.

I’m still shaking my head in utter dismay at your logic, but let me get this idea of yours straight, Gerry.

You spend nineteen grand on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and you ride it for five years, rolling and racking up all those miles that you claim Harleys are good for, putting wear and tear on all of the mechanical components and the frame, and then you are going to turn around and sell it for nineteen grand again and you think you came away doing well, that you somehow cheated the dealer, and that your money humped its little brains out silly for you doing all the hard work while you did nothing but play?

Sorry, the truth is, you lost money big time in the deal which you just described.

Holy odiferous troglodytes, Batman!  How can that be?   Let me explain some basic high school economics to you.

Do you understand what nineteen grand, properly invested could do for you in five short years?  A lot more than an outdated rattletrap piece of junk is going to do for you as an investment.  This is just another common lie perpetuated by the ignorant to make them feel better for getting bent over a stump by those scoglodytes from Milwaukee and buggered silly until their eyes rattle around in their vacant skulls.

The great lie is that a Harley is an investment and a good one at that.

The truth is, Harley is not a good investment, it’s a piss poor investment and a rather flippant waste of good, hard earned money.

Hell, given the logic that you use, Gerry, a shoebox under my bed is the same kind of great investment that a Harley is, only better, because I don’t have to buy tires, oil, filters, or gas for the money stored in the shoebox or any fashion accessories to go with it.  In five years, I can just reach into the shoebox under my bed and get my nineteen thousand back out with no hassle whereas you have to take the time to sell your Harley to someone to recoup your ‘investment’ and you are still out all the basic elements of upkeep, fuel, tag, and insurance.   I don’t have to buy any of that for the shoebox.  That and the shoebox won’t leak all over the carpet under my bed, I don’t have to worry about having to trailer the shoebox anywhere or spending hours polishing the chrome on it and when I open the shoebox up at three in the morning, it doesn’t annoy the hell out of my neighbors for two blocks all around me.

Of course, like the Harley, the shoebox wouldn’t have actually made any real return on my investment, but at least it would have performed the same, financially, if not physically, if not better, and I would have been able to get my money back at any time, instead of having to go through the hassle of finding someone dumber than me to take an outdated piece of crap off of my hands.

The import rider who paid less for his bike got the same style of bike, more reliability, better performance, as good or better warranty, more dependability, and used the rest of the money that he saved (when he didn’t do like the crowd did and buy a Harley) to purchase other things or invest his money and get a better return on the money that he had left over.  In other words, he didn’t pay for a trendy name like you did, he purchased a motorcycle, a rather well made one, and he didn’t have to pay extra for the emblems that were stuck on it.

You really need to take a course in basic finance and economics, Gerry, because you and apparently a lot of other misguided HD owners simply don’t know the first thing about money or economics.  People like you know that you have money, but you don’t have the first clue on what to do with it.  I think someone’s had you, and royally if you actually believe all of that financial garbage that you just spouted off to me.  Go ask a smart, successful investment broker, or an educated, experienced banker, and see if they agree with your assessment of Harley being a good ‘investment’.  They’ll laugh at you, or better yet, they’ll take your nineteen grand, invest it for you, keep the return it generates, and in five years, give you your original sum of money back.  I myself will be glad to do this for you if you so desire.  It’s the same concept as what you are portraying.

Hell, for five years of interest on nineteen grand, I could pretty much buy a brand new sportbike, standard, or cruiser and still not touch the principle amount, just use the interest alone.  Using very, very fuzzy math, if you had $19,000, and you invested it for five years, at a return of 5%, in five years, you would have over $5200 just in compound interest alone.  A brand new GSX-R600 retails for about six grand, less if you know how to haggle right (like I do).  A Honda Shadow is in that realm as well, give or take some haggling.  The point is, for the interest alone on what a Harley costs, I could buy an import bike without touching the principle.  In other words, my money worked hard for me to buy me a motorcycle, without losing anything in the process.   That’s a very low investment percentage, Gerry.  I could do much better, so the profit would be a lot higher on my return.  So, in five years, purchasing a Harley as an ‘investment’, you have really lost over five grand of potential money, plus the cost of upkeep of fuel, oil, tires, fashion accessories, etc.  Let’s say that you spend, on average, fifty dollars a month on gas, three hundred a year on tires, and about a hundred a year for oil, plugs, filters, and other lubricants.  We’re being very fuzzy here just to illustrate a ball-park figure.   All of that comes to a grand total of:

HARLEY COST
purchase price of original “investment” $19,000
potential market interest lost on original investment $5200
gas, $50 a month, times 60 months $3000
tires, at $300 a year $1500
oil, plugs, filters, lubricants, general $500

Grand total

$29,200

Less original cost

$19,000

You have spent

 -$10,200

Now, this is being very conservative in thinking and isn’t including the price of insurance or tag and title.   We're also assuming that you are paying a lump sum of cash for the bike, instead of financing it which would add considerably to the amount of loss on your part through the attrition of interest on your account.  Fifty dollars a month on gas is no where near what a real biker would spend, probably far less but we're trying to not just go and blow the figures out of the water and send all of the scoggins into shell shock so we'll keep the numbers nice and easy.  Just riding around town and going to my job every day I used to go through about eighty to a hundred dollars of gas a month, so if you double the gas use / mileage, you can add another three grand to that total above, for a whopping loss of over thirteen grand, or over two thirds of the original investment price of your Harley.  So, in reality, you lost somewhere over ten grand for your great investment and possibly far more depending on your style of riding and if you finance your purchase or not.

You will now say "But I've got all of my money back at the end of 5 years and I got to ride a Harley for FREE!"

and I will say

"No, you are right back where you started five years ago, only you are now over ten grand poorer with nothing to show for it other than maybe a few tattoos."

Now, if you purchased that Harley above, and five years down the road you sold it for $34,000, then it would have been a good investment because you would have made back all of your initial money, all of your upkeep, and turned a profit at the end above and beyond all of your costs.  However, who is going to pay you $34,000 for a 5 year old Harley with 100,000 miles on it when they can go and buy a brand new version of that Harley, with zero miles, for $19,000?  Only a fool, but then, you have to look at what we are dealing with again, so it might be possible...

Here’s another big financial clue, Gerry.

An investment generally doesn’t require a lot of upkeep, and if it does, it doesn’t require almost a 50% influx of additional funds to keep it going.  An investment works for you, not eats up more of your money while doing so.  An investment is a treasure, it is a tool for storing away value and increasing that value.  An investment isn’t something that you have to keep pumping money into in order for it to work for you.  You can itemize those necessities all you want, but no one is going to pay you for the tires, oil, filters, etc. that you use.  I don’t care how much genuine HD oil or filters that you use.  And we’re not even counting in insurance, tag, tax, or title.  That is the cost of operation. 

Investments generally don’t have to have insurance, tax, and title or a tag bought for them.  They don’t have a cost of operation involved therefore a Harley can not be considered to be a good investment.

Does a Harley still sound like a really good investment to you now, Gerry?  Not to me it doesn’t, but then, I understand money, how hard it is to come by, and how to spend it well while making it work for me.  That’s why I’m not stupid with my money, and why I don’t spend it on stupid stuff, like overpriced, outdated fashion accessories thinly disguised as trendy motorcycles.

The bottom line is that a Harley is a ridiculous investment.  Anyone who thinks that a Harley is an investment is a not only a financial imbecile, but also an idiot.  Period.

“There is a very real reason why the Harley logo is proudly displayed on the tank and Honda and Yamaha to be absent from so many of theirs.”

Yes, Gerry.  That very real reason is an over the top, down your throat and out your ass sideways brand identity saturation campaign.  It is image overload and brand association forced upon the weak minded and the criminally gullible in order to brain wash the simpletons of our society into feeling the pseudo-patriotic guilt required to keep a bunch of scoggins in new overalls and straw hats every few years or so.  The Harley logo is displayed on the gas tank so that you recognize this logo, this emblem, and that the next time you are shopping for some mundane household item, you will recognize this logo again.  You will be pressed to buy the HD version of toilet paper, of clocks, drinking glasses, tampons, antacid, cologne, bottled drinking water, Christmas tree lights, or whatever the logo is currently slathered on.

Harley wants you to see their emblem because it is the only thing that they have going for them; image, and that emblem represents the very core of what it means to own a Harley.  You're not riding a bike, you're riding a self-propelled logo and you are advertising for free while paying out the ass for the privilege of doing that advertising.

Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, or Kawasaki, on the other hand, don’t have to meet their bottom line and be profitable by prostituting their image and whoring their logo on everything under the sun like Harley Davidson seems only too happy to do.  The reason that so much rides on the Harley logo is that Harley has made that logo their main selling point.

Harley is a logo, not a motorcycle.

Honda is a motorcycle, not a logo.

Big difference there.

Harley is worried about what they can put their logo on next, while Honda is worrying about what kind of technology is going to give them a solid foot against their competitors in the 21st century.

Honda and Yamaha sell motorcycles (and cars, in the case of Honda / Acura) and very GOOD ones.  Harley can’t figure out motorcycles, don’t hold your breath waiting on them to build a car or truck, hell, they have to get Ford to build their version of a truck, just like they have to get Porsche to build their only half way decent high performance engine.  When it comes to anything other than making officially licensed and endorsed accessories, T-shirts, stuffed animals, fashion wear, or stamping out the same tired old design year after year, Harley Davidson doesn’t have the first fucking clue.

Why do Honda and Yamaha not put a big, flashy logo on the gas tank?  Simple.   Their name is their reputation, not their logo.  Perhaps they don’t want a symbol on the tank because they are afraid that stupid people might think that their bikes are Harleys and that might hurt the image of their bikes.  After all, you mental plebeians seem to think that Japan copied Harley in the design of their bikes.   I have a different theory.  Japan once again saw that America produced an inferior product that was expensive, outdated, and overweight.  Japan took the concept of Harley Davidson, rebuilt it from the ground up, improved it in every way, and turned around and sold it for less.  The absence of a logo should be taken as a sign of strength, Gerry.  Honda and Yamaha don’t need to slather their logos on everything they can, because the reputation of their product sells their product, not the size and shape of the logo.  It’s not that they are ashamed that they don’t carry the bar and shield logo on a particular type of motorcycle, it’s the absence of the bar and shield logo which ultimately is the telling point, and which speaks volumes that the motorcycle which lacks that redneck stamp of approval is ultimately the better machine.

Nothing says “redneck” and “white-trash” like the bar and shield logo, hence, Honda and Yamaha want no chance that their products will be confused with the more plebian, sheep shagging domestic makes and models found on this side of the pond. 

All points which I thought would rather be obvious to someone of your claimed intellect.   After all, you began this argument with the admission that you were looking for Harley emblems.  Some companies can sell their products without shoving their logo down the consumer’s throat or plastering it all over their product.

Other companies simply can’t.

Some companies let their products speak for their logo, rather than their logo speak for their products.

“Your representation of Harley riders is a simple lie. Most Harley riders  do not wear German helmets or nazi symbols. I belong to a group of 650 plus and not one looks like this. You state they do as a  fact when you MUST know it to be untrue.”

I state that Harley riders tend to belong to huge groups because they are an army of dim-witted, identically dressed, deeply confused, shallow-minded, pseudo-individual conformist twat-gits suffering from the mother of all denials.  They need the strength of huge groups of like-dressed neural simpletons to tell them that they really do ride a real motorcycle, to endorse their brand of commercialized, store-bought, corporate prostituted life, and to patronize and praise their ability to flip through a catalog and dress themselves in a conformal manner.

How many people do you think are in my group, Gerry?

I’ll give you a hint, start counting on one hand, and stop after you use the first finger.

I ride alone, because I am an individual.  I dress like no one else around me, I ride a bike that is unique to me, and I don’t search for validation in the opinions of others nor do I seek to join large groups of dimwits in the very real need to justify my existence and / or my choices.  You really do fit the stereotype, don’t you, Gerry.

Six hundred and fifty?

My God, that’s a lot of fucking sheep!  Did you all get sheared by Milwaukee at one time, or in small groups?  I guess what I'm curious to know is if you got some kind of group discount for getting bent over a stump and reamed at the same time?

“It's very disingenuous to call Harley riders every name imaginable,  (chimpanzee clits?), and then ask those that respond to your rants to do so in a "civil" manner. Also, after using the phrase " half my brain tied behind my back", you ask others to be more original in their correspondence!”

I really don’t care if I step on any toes, Gerry.  I’ll get over it, rather quickly and I can promise you I won’t lose any sleep in the process.   Whether you do or not is your own personal problem.  Too many people today try to make too many other people happy and that is the inherent problem facing our nation, we have instituted zero tolerance for intolerance.  We are completely intolerant of intolerance and fail to see the hypocrisy in all of this.  I love it!

I’ve made my stand, these are my guns, and I’m sticking to them.  If you base your life around an image, or a logo, or a corporation, then you deserve to be ridiculed until you cry.  If you present false logic, blatantly erroneous pretenses, and a host of other nonsense, I will shoot it down and hang you out to dry.  Oh, and by “civil” manner, I mean that I expect spirited, even heated arguments.  You can call me any name in the book that you want.  However, I do not expect people to send me stuff along the lines of :

“Hey, asshole!  I ride a Harlly and it’s the greateast bike in the hole world and youre just jelus of that fact so suck my dik you dooshbag rice faggut.  Ima gonna kill you dead with my tir iron if I ever gets my Harley fixed and finds out where you lives, you dumbfuk sonufabitch homo gook luvr.”

And he’ll probably trailer his Harley down here as well when he comes to look for me.

I get a lot of that kind of email, it’s just too easy to respond to and I simply delete almost all of it after rolling around on the floor laughing uncontrollably until my eyeballs liquefy and dribble out my ass.

Maybe I should rephrase that term from “civil” to read “somewhat educated”.  Would that clear things up for you and those like you?  I thought that when dealing with the average Harley owner, using a term like “somewhat educated” might be setting the bar and standard well out of their reach and might scare them off.

And yes, I do ask for originality.

I lead by example.  I want someone to meet me at my level, and then surpass it.   I want to set a goal, have someone else break it, and then for that in turn to give me a challenge to be even greater, to set a new bar to be judged by.  It isn’t that hard, if you exert a little effort.  That’s life in general, Gerry.  I set the example, I move the bar higher.  I hope others follow it and improve upon it.  It’s time we set the bar higher, and kept it there, not lowered it for the losers in society so that they can pass and feel good about themselves.

“You seem to feel we are rather low in IQ.  We may have trouble handling your long sentences.”

Most of you do, Gerry.  Most of you do.   Anyone who likes Harley, NASCAR, and professional wrestling is not going to be, by any stretch of the definition, a stalwart mental giant.  The examples of Email which I post are the norm, not the exception.  And, you have to look at what I’m dealing with to begin with.  Hell, some of you are lucky to master the concept of fire, let alone something as advanced as electricity.  We won’t even get into the discovery of basic personal hygiene (which is apparently still lacking in most Harley circles).

And I've said it before and I'll say it again, you can be the smartest or toughest sheep in the flock, Gerry, but you are still a sheep.

“Let's try something simple: Take the Mensa test available on the internet. I'll trust your honesty in your response to me. It is 30 minutes long. If  you get about 20 of a possible 30 correct on that test you  may be eligible for Mensa membership. I turned down Mensa. Pompous types, you'd be at home with them.” 

I took your test, 30 questions, 30 minutes.  I had to use a sheet of scratch paper to do some of the figuring but the rest of it was a lot less difficult than I imagined it would be, or perhaps MENSA is itself overblown in its image, in which case it would be very similar to Harley Davidson in that respect.  I passed 28 out of 30 questions and thought them to be rather easy in their range of application.  Two of the questions, the one involving finding the word “BANALITIES” hidden inside the word “INSATIABLE” and the question involving prime numbers were the two that I missed, and I probably spent the last eight minutes on those two questions alone. 

I have learned a new word!

Joy of joys!  My mind has expanded once again and will never return to the same shape it was when I awoke this morning.  Now I must find a way to sneak this new word in my daily conversations with the dullard plebeians. Like I said before, the day I stop learning is the day that they close the lid on my box.

Thank you for the opportunity and the challenge to take the MENSA test.  I had been meaning to do so for sometime, out of curiosity, but just never got around to doing it.  You finally provided the incentive to look it up and take it.  I can’t say that I was impressed.  MENSA seems like another trendy group to belong to, especially for smart people who probably spent their childhood getting beaten up on playgrounds around the world and held upside down over the jungle gym until their milk money fell out of their pockets.  I hope that the real MENSA entrance exam is far more challenging.  I’m not very impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

Would I join MENSA?

Probably not, but for different reasons that you state.  I see MENSA as just another group, it’s kind of like Sturgis, only for really smart people and just not as loud or stinky.  MENSA is trendy.   It’s another badge to wear to show that you belong to a large group of similar minded people and that you aren’t a true individual who can stand on your own.  I don’t need a certificate in a frame or to pay dues to a group for someone else to tell me that I’m smart or educated or have the wisdom to be able to use my intelligence.  I have a college degree, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  That’s enough paper on the wall.  I make my living building and maintaining computer systems and networks, running my own department.  I hold one of five positions at the very top in my entire state.  When I’m not doing that, I’m either wearing a badge in my community, or I’m pulling private security work for patrons and clients.  My wife is about to earn her Masters degree and will then be working on her doctorate after that.  She’s a math teacher, 8th grade algebra with a certificate to teach high school advanced math as well.  Once she finishes her Masters, she might try to start teaching college level math and move on to teaching at a university.  Her ultimate goal is administration, she wants to be the principal of the school where she attended as a child, to give something back to the community.

How about you, Gerry, how well did you score on the MENSA test?  You obviously didn’t do so well in the FINANCE and BUSINESS section of the MENSA test, now did you?  Fess up.

“If you get that far I can test you for the International High IQ Society. Our membership is limited to the upper 5% IQ range. It should be simple for you. I'm a simple Harley rider, yet, I can run instrumentation and medical processes that most people could not guess at and am at the upper 3 % in IQ in logic and problem solving.  Considering your endless rant about the low IQ we Harley owners possess, your capacities must be staggering.”

Societies.

Groups.

Clubs.

Associations.

Flocks.

Herds.

Gaggles. 

I simply must decline your offer to join yet another pasture of bleating sheep, no matter how special you think that you all may be or how large your craniums might measure in circumference with a tape ruler.   I’m just not the kind of person who needs vast amounts of carbon copy company in which to lose myself in and feel at home.  I seek out other individuals who are different than me, not ones who are the same.  I seek new experiences, new points of views, total difference, even exact opposites.  I crave to be different, to know people who are different than I am, and to stand alone, not to follow the crowd.  I want new stories, not just rehashed versions of the same story. 

Congratulations on the ability to run instrumentation and medical process that most people could not begin to guess at.  Most people couldn’t fly a space capsule either, but in the 1960’s, NASA easily trained monkeys and other primates to do that very task.  These poor, scared shitless simians were shot out into space and then managed to push enough buttons in the correct order to return home again safely.  The chimps usually got a banana and a pat on the head at the end of the flight, all for a job well done.  I’m sure you as a human being get more far more as compensation, though the jobs are probably almost identical and a monkey could be trained to replace you at any given point in your career.

I’m sorry, Gerry, but the ability to push buttons and read dials was proven long ago to be a task that could be mastered by simple domesticated simians.  You could probably be replaced by a well adapted, highly trained and only semi-house broken chimpanzee, in the worst case scenario.  And all they would have to do is pay him in bananas.  I’m sure your salary would buy a ton of ripe bananas and some clean drinking water as well as some newspaper to line the bottom of your replacement’s cage.  That would in and of itself represent a considerable cost savings that could be realized on the part of your employers.  How’s that for business economics?

Humans, on the other hand, are judged by the works that they create, not the buttons that they push or the dials that they read.  If you had actually created the equipment that you brag about, instead of just operated it, then I might be impressed.

You speak of intellect, Gerry, but I learned a long time ago, that there is a very real difference between common sense and book sense.  Book sense will only get you so far in life, it may allow you to score high on MENSA and other similar tests, to complete the crossword puzzle in the New York Times newspaper, or to rack up a high score at trivial pursuit and be the life of the party at a bunch of geeks, but the real test, that is, life itself, grades upon a much harsher curve than any standardized form.   You can be the smartest person in the world, and still starve to death. 

You and I appear to be very different.

The fact that you own a Harley, that you need large groups of people to belong to in order to justify your existence, that you turned down MENSA because you thought they were pompous asses while you claim to be in the top 3% of the intelligent people in this world yet you can’t even recognize basic finance and accounting philosophy leads me to think that you are doing more than pulling my leg.  I think you are shooting me a rather torrid stream of tepid shit and I’m just not buying it.

You might have more book sense than me, but I can assure you, that a mixture of the two is far more preferable to a surplus of one over the other.

“You have a big mouth. Back it up. I await the first results.   If you are correct, at all, in anything you wrote, I have told my friends you must certainly test in the upper one per-cent, well past me.”

Once again, you require constant validation for your existence, you need an official members card or a gold stamp of approval or more Harley emblems to be who you think you are, to solidify and reinforce your perceived position in life.  You require a piece of paper to wave in the air or frame on the wall saying that you are intelligent, rather than people recognizing your abilities on their own.  You need a crutch to hold you up, because you are too weak to stand on your own.

I particularly like the part of the MENSA test that asked:

“Which of the following proverbs is closest in meaning to the saying, "Birds of a feather, flock together."?

And the answer, of course, is "A man is known by the company he keeps."

Enjoy your Harley, Gerry.  With 650 like-minded sheep in your flock, I think that proverb applies to you rather aptly.

 

 

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