"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
Hey Black echo,
I would not dare to
throw nasty, obnoxious insults your way because that is a sign of ignorance as
you have portrayed with your constant bashing of Harley Davidson and its
riders. Look, it's obvious that paying fifteen to twenty thousand dollars for a bike
is outrageous. However, in reading your site, I'm not sure that you aren't spending
fifteen thousand dollars a year of your own personal time criticizing people for buying
these bikes. (How ironic). First off, I think your funny as hell and you
make some valid points, but I only browsed through a couple of sections of your
site and found it to be very involved with much opinion and while I was enjoying the
reading, the thought did cross my mind that you put a lot of time into arguing a
point that is obvious to most people in the world. You were winning me over until I
read the part of you owning one of those piece of crap 1984 500cc Honda
interceptors. I know, you put 80,000 miles on it and it was a great bike for you, but
I seemed to remember when those bikes first came out and they, and their riders, were
the laughing stock of the biking community, (rice burning or Harley). (Why would you
buy that underpowered bike when you could spend just a little more money and at least get
the Ninja 600 which was a much better bike for that time). And please, your analogy
of grabbing the throttle and it responding like a molested gorilla, it might be better for
you to leave out those type of comparisons when referring to any 500cc bike no less that
interceptor. Of course the interceptor being such a big success and so reliable, it's
still one of Hondas best selling bikes today and we seem to see them all over the
road now don't we. I would also hazard a guess as to why all of the Japanese
companies are making all of these cheap looking, imitation Harleys which in their own
right are pretty pricey. It seems that the very companies that you support don't
share your opinion about creating this style of bike. Now I know that you are probably
saying that they make their bikes to be much more reliable and at a cheaper price and that
is fine, but the Harley of today is not the Harley of the past as far as breakdowns are
concerned. They are just as solid as the Jap bikes yet without the cheap imitation
styling. Finally, you had criticized Harley owners for buying a bike and running
out to join a club of other fools or whatever the term you used was. How hypocritical
is this statement? I live in Los Angeles and there is never a shortage of
riceburining clubs cruising up and down the freeways. The only problem, they aren't
cruising, they are usually riding like assholes, cutting in and out of lanes and
causing cars to swerve. This is NO exaggeration and you of all people should be well
aware of this being a police officer. (How many accident calls have you handled
involving a riceburning biker who was at fault versus someone on a Harley)? Talk
about a case of penis envy!! These guys are hilarious in their colorful leathers with
all the emblems of companies as if they were being sponsored to haul ass up the 101
freeway, or that they have to break the speed record to make it up from their cushy little
suburban holmes to Mulhulland drive where they could then meet with the other
"club" members and illegally race up and down the street putting not only their
lives in danger, but the lives of others as well. I have never seen a bigger case of penis
envy then guys who ride bikes designed to exceed 150 mph. It seems to me that your
whole premise of riding a Harley is the act of not using common sense, that the
people who do so buy an overpriced, unreliable bike. How much common sense does it
take to ride these "racing bikes" in a ridiculously dangerous and even life
threatening manner. Give me a break! I could continue to debate and refute many
of your points as you seem to represent hypocracy at a high level and those types of
people are fairly easy game for anyone to take apart, but instead I'll just close by
saying people, and their interests are just different. I used to be a bit like
you where I would be so critical of something because I felt it was silly, or that the
people who were invonlved with an activity that I didn't like were
"idiots". Of course as I got older and matured, I came to the realization
that people are different and complaining about them was doing no more than just
driving ME crazy. If you feel that you would like to be undressed or have
your other inconsistancies handed to you further, please feel free to
write. I am always up for the smaller challenges in life and while I don't
quite have the obvious free time on my hands to handle a
longterm, intellectual, stimulating debate, I will definately be happy to continue
To which I replied
Thank you for the mature and somewhat educated email even though I see that, like your knuckle dragging brethren, you still fail to embrace the simple technology of spell check. Lets see if we can answer your questions and comments in an educated, albeit correctly spelled manner.
I would not dare to throw nasty, obnoxious insults your way because that is a sign of ignorance as you have portrayed with your constant bashing of Harley Davidson and its riders.
That is probably a wise choice on your part
since I doubt you could match my feral talent for the art of the insult or the scale of my
vehemence (which I can ramp up to truly Old Testament proportions if I so desire).
However, please realize that there is a very fine difference between being ignorant and
being entertaining, Jim. Not realizing that rather obvious difference is in itself a
potential sign of ignorance on your part.
Why am I so abrasive to those who do not exist at the same level of the food chain / evolutionary ladder as I do? Thats a rather simple question to answer. The fact is that there are smart people in the world and there are dumb people. Unfortunately, there are far more dumb people than smart people and you must tailor your teaching to the masses. For example; I could sit down and explain the basics of rocket science in great detail to a chimpanzee all day long and never truly expect more than a zero comprehension rate on the part of my simian test subject. However, if I show the chimpanzee how to push buttons and read dials in the correct manner, and reinforce that behavior either with a tasty food reward (for achieving resolute success) or a harsh electric shock to his tiny little simian genitals (for incurring absolute failure), I will have achieved a learning medium that is not only perfectly conducive to my pupils inherent intellectual capacity but I will also quickly receive the desired results in short order.
The same is true with my website.
I have to be harsh when it comes to these superfluous crack monkeys because when all things are finally considered, Im really not dealing with a group of overly bright chimps, now am I? The emails prove that empirically, if not rather nicely.
Look, it's obvious that paying fifteen to twenty thousand dollars for a bike is outrageous.
That would depend entirely on the bike, Jim, now wouldnt it? I would willingly pay $45,000 for a brand new Chevrolet Corvette, but I would not pay $45,000 for a copy of a 1979 Ford Pinto built using 1979 technology, no matter how many fashion accessories you made available for it, how trendy it was to suddenly own a retro-styled Pinto, how large the groups of people were who owned them, or how many American flags you slapped on the current model in order to invoke patriotic guilt for your lack of technological and common business foresight. You would have to be stupid to pay the same amount of money and get one quarter the product. Patriotism isnt about being stupid, at least it wasnt the last time I checked.
Im a firm believer that you should get what you pay for, Jim. That belief does not hold true with Harley Davidson, where you are paying for the honor and prestige of riding a Harley, where you are paying for a lifestyle and an image, where you are paying for form over function, rather than paying for a motorcycle itself. Basically, when you buy a Harley, you are renting a membership in a huge club of idiots. Considering the technology base in use by Harley Davidson, they could expect at most to ask one quarter of what a comparable size and make of import bike could demand. Paying a lot of money for a lot of motorcycle is one thing. Paying a lot of money for a trendy name and a two wheeled strap-on vibrator is another thing entirely. That is my argument.
However, in reading your site, I'm not sure that you aren't spending fifteen thousand dollars a year of your own personal time criticizing people for buying these bikes. (How ironic).
My site is a hobby, Jim. I recommend that you look up that the term and find one yourself. It might help you relax and add years to your life, if not life to your years. This site (one of many I own and maintain on the Internet) is an interest of mine, nothing more, nothing less. I don't do things halfway, and if something grabs my interest, I'm usually pretty passionate about it. Call it one of many blow-off valves for someone who works as hard as they play and defines their character and physical being by what they do, not what they ride, what group or groups they belong to, or how they dress.
And as for the value of my time spent, ultimately, it is up to me to put a value or price on my time in determining what my time is worth, as I am the best judge of what that time is worth not only to myself, but to others as well. Within that respect, I may put in a few dollars of my time (to me) for what you might consider to be several hundred dollars worth of time and work on your part if you had attempted something this grand. What may be a useless waste of time or a laborious chore for you may be a menial task that is an absolute delight for me. Ultimately I am the judge of what my time is worth and I personally believe that what time I dedicate to my sites is time well spent, and that understanding, ultimately, is all that matters in the scheme of things.
First off, I think your funny as hell and you make some valid points, but I only browsed through a couple of sections of your site and found it to be very involved with much opinion and while I was enjoying the reading, the thought did cross my mind that you put a lot of time into arguing a point that is obvious to most people in the world.
If the point is so obvious to most people in the world, Jim, then why does Harley continue to sell so many bikes to so many retards? Why are our minds mentally steamrollered at every turn by cheap item after cheap item carrying the bar and shield logo? You can't walk in a convenience store without seeing some piece of crap item with the bar and shield logo on it. Harley is the biggest marketing whore in the world, prostituting its name and image to anyone who has a dime.
Why dont Honda or Kawasaki or Toyota or
Mazda make cologne, perfume, cookbooks, coffee, condoms, tampons, chess sets, or barbecue
Because they dont have to in order to survive.
Because they sell a marketable product, not a marketed lifestyle.
Obviously, the point is not recognized by most people in the world, otherwise Harley Davidson would have to turn their marketing practices around one hundred and eighty degrees or go out of business overnight.
The point which you refer to and which I proclaim is obvious only to the smarter, more educated people in our society, Jim, the deep thinkers and the true individuals which if you are truly a part of such a segment, you will then understand it to be a minority, at best. It is not recognized by the average plebian NASCAR watching Mongoloid, as evidenced by the current market share of Harley Davidson and the email which I receive. However, since there are still so many ignorant and stupid people out there who are either incapable or unwilling to accept the fact that you cant buy your life out of a catalog and have other people take you seriously, then my site will continue to grow in popularity.
My site is a welcome relief from all the preprogrammed sycophantic drivel that currently defines the trendy, pop culture motorcycle elements that litter the four corners of the Internet today. Todays motorcycling is more about how you look when you ride than how you ride, or even if you can ride. Owning a Harley today isn't necessarily about riding it, hell, it could be in the garage, with zero miles on it and never ridden and you would still be counted as a Harley rider. It is drivel spouted by the army of mindless Milwaukee created clones as the core basis for their pitiful, substandard existence, without which they would revert to being the nominal losers that they always were before they ever strapped on an expensive trademark kickstand for their tiny fragile ego.
You could do a search for Harley Davidson on the internet and find thousands, maybe millions of sites, which all would essentially be tiny little clones of one another, in one shade or another. They would all say the same old thing, all use the same tired old clichés, the hollow bragging about awesome power that is nonexistent, the laughable ride to live, live to ride philosophy, and of course, the Made in America thought which is utterly wrong since a good portion of Harley Davidson motorcycles are assembled from parts produced in other countries, including Japan. These sites would all be singing their Luddite praises to outdated technology and a make-believe lifestyle.
My site is different because it is wholly original. In a world of carbon copy and paper thin facades, that is a welcome change that is widely embraced.
I think that my site is a first, if not one of a handful at most. That may change, but Im pleasantly surprised and filled with hope that there are others out there like myself who see Harley Davidson for what it is; a lackluster piece of bitter old eye candy sold at a ridiculous price to people who dont know the first thing about motorcycles, life, or money.
You were winning me over until I read the part of you owning one of those piece of crap 1984 500cc Honda interceptors. I know, you put 80,000 miles on it and it was a great bike for you, but I seemed to remember when those bikes first came out and they, and their riders, were the laughing stock of the biking community, (rice burning or Harley). (Why would you buy that underpowered bike when you could spend just a little more money and at least get the Ninja 600 which was a much better bike for that time).
Here is where I set you back straight and true
upon the course of fact.
Im afraid that you have had an incorrect memory recall, Jim. I dont remember any negative feedback at all on the various V4 Interceptors in that time period. In fact, the Interceptor line was well accepted and extremely revolutionary in design, if not the dream of any teenager who knew the first thing about high performance motorcycles. The 1983 Honda VF750F Interceptor was even named Motorcycle of the Year and the various V4 Interceptors went on to win AMA championships and countless other competitive events throughout their illustrious, if somewhat short, model run.
Just in order to jog your faulty memory back to the stone cold reality in which the rest of us live, it was the advent of the 1984 Honda VF500F Interceptor and the 1984 Yamaha RJ600 which defined the modern sport bike. The Kawasaki GPZ550 was caught napping and subsequently had its ass handed to it in short order. A few years later, 1986 IIRC, was the first of the Ninja series and there began a success story in its own right. Here is an interesting short excerpt from Cycle World which goes far in nicely invalidating your erroneous mental recollection:
The VF500F Interceptor was introduced a year after the 750 Interceptor. When it arrived, it could have been largely ignored by the press, in favor of its bigger siblings, but instead it was welcomed enthusiastically. It was the general conclusion that this was the most balanced sport bike available on the market, and the most fun to ride. The 500 was based on the Japanese/European market VF400F. With a dry weight of 408lb's, it was 100lb's less than the 750!. The claimed horsepower was 68bhp, it had the best power to weight ratio in the business, at 136 horses per liter. The liquid cooled VF500F had a hydraulic clutch, 11:1 compression ratio, and a stratospheric redline of 12,500rpm. The close ratio 6 speed gearbox allowed the rider to easily stay within the exceedingly broad power band. The agility of the VF500F was legendary, and many of the bikes it was compared to were of much larger capacity. It could certainly run quite successfully in such (larger displacement) company.
For what it is worth, I purchased my 1984 VF500F Interceptor used in 1990 for $1200 cash. I worked my ass off all summer long at the local supermarket to pay off the bank loan (it was for 12 months, I paid it off in four months). The bike was in near mint condition, complete with riding gear and a color matched red, white, and blue Bubba Schubert Bell M1 helmet. The 84 Interceptor was a great buy with low miles and the perfect college / daily transport for someone who worked part time 24 hours a week at the local grocery store to make ends meet while in school. It had all the looks in all the right places, it would lean into curves at outrageous angles and the compact V4 had enough power to get me into a lot of trouble / danger if I had let it (which I didnt). I loved the smooth revving liquid cooled V-four, the throaty rumble from the exhaust that perfectly matched in sound the power that the engine produced. This wasnt a shake the windows at every stop light outdated paint shaker turned motorcycle engine, this was a purr like a kitten and roar like a tiger when you grabbed it by the tail kind of motor. The technology behind that motor, the ease of maintenance, the anvil-like reliability, and the aesthetic design of the Interceptor, which, in my opinion, was far tougher looking than anything comparable of that era, all went far into making me one happy owner and the envy of other performance seekers. My Interceptor was one of the cleanest examples around locally, and usually I could expect at least one biker or teenager / college student to come calling at the grocery store where I worked inquiring who owned the Honda Interceptor parked out front and if it was for sale. I did and no, it wasnt. Still, it was nice to own something that every one else admired and desired. I even got two of my friends hooked on the Interceptors, soon adding a 1986 VF500F Interceptor and a 1986 VF700F Interceptor to the lineup in our group.
Here is a picture of a 1984 VF500F Interceptor in the red, white, and blue color scheme that I owned (and the best looking color scheme of the short lived series, IMHO). Hmmm. Looks like Buell is copying the style of the old Interceptor for their new Firebolt. That would also still make Buell 20 years behind the rest of the world in style.
I traded my 1984 VF500F in at the local Honda
dealership, not because there was anything wrong with it, but because I wanted an updated,
more powerful, more modern Honda V-4 sport bike. That bike was a brand new 1993
VFR750F in white and black color scheme. I had read an in-depth article on the new VFR in
a CYCLE WORLD magazine right before my 24th birthday and knew what I wanted that year for
my birthday. When I want something, I get it, even if that means that I work my fingers
down to the bone to do so and two months after my birthday, I handed the keys of my nine
year old VF500F over to the dealer and rode off on a freshly assembled, ten miles on the
odometer cutting edge V-four Honda sport bike. It took two months to get the bike in to
the dealer. Dont ask. Happy belated birthday to me. The gear driven overhead cams
sang a song of performance the likes of which you would simply have to hear to appreciate.
The name itself invoked visions of high speed, of G-forces and technology, not a pot-belly white trash redneck trailer park dweller with a leather fetish who got off on watching NASCAR, pro-wrestling, and Jerry Springer. The bike was deceptively fast, it felt much slower than it really was, which is a testament to its ability to handle and accelerate as well as its cutting edge suspension technology. Roll the throttle back, and you would be hitting a hundred miles an hour in the time you thought you were taking to see sixty and that hundred miles an hour felt like you were only doing sixty. The bike gave you plenty of room to react to any conditions in the road. Go into a corner at a speed you felt comfortable with and you would either impress yourself or scare yourself a whiter shade of pale when you glanced down at the speedometer to find out how fast you were really going.
Later models of performance bikes did produce more power, but they also cost more as well. When you are working two jobs and going to college, every penny counts, and the Interceptor not only got me to school every single time without fail, but was also powerful enough to street race against bikes of that era, as well as strong enough to put my girlfriend on the back and go anywhere in the state or out of state comfortably for long hauls. It also fit within my budget, at the time, which made it all the more attractive.
Sixty-eight horsepower from a 498 CC liquid cooled V-four in 1984 was simply outstanding, if not the realm of unbelievable as far as technology went. The V4 Honda was packing more horsepower than even the biggest Harley V-twins were making. What does Harley have to compare to the lowly VF500F? Lets look at a side by side comparison of your ridiculous Milwaukee sport bike and a 19 year old Honda VF500F.
|Seat Height||31.5 in||28 in||32.3 in||30.5 in|
|Wheelbase||55.9 in||60 in||54.7 in||52 in|
|Dry Weight||406 lbs||489 lbs||370 lbs||385 lbs|
4 valves per cylinder
2 valves per cylinder
Liquid cooled Inline 4 DOHC
|Bore x Stroke||2.36 x 1.73 in||3.0 x 3.81 in||67mm x 42.5mm||3.5 in x 3.125 in|
|Gearbox||6 speed||5 speed||6 speed||5 speed|
dual twin piston caliper discs
twin piston caliper disc
dual four piston caliper discs
six piston caliper disc
twin piston caliper disc
twin piston caliper disc
|single four piston caliper disc||single piston caliper disc|
|Colors||Red, white and blue||Vivid black, luxury blue pearl, jade sunglo pearl, white pearl, luxury rich red pearl, chrome yellow pearl||Red / Black, black, Pearl Yellow||Artic White / Blue, Artic White / Orange, Battle Blue / Orange|
I have included the latest version of Honda's middleweight sport bike, the brand new CBR600RR as well as the new 2003 Buell Firebolt (which I consider to be the primary American attempt at a sport bike), for comparison to show you how 20 years of technology has an impact on the models offered by the rest of the world's companies, but apparently not by Harley Davidson.
Harleys smallest motor in its middle weight 'sport' bike, the 883 Evolution V-twin, nineteen years later, in 2003, produces a less than amazing (and poignantly outright embarrassing) 48 horsepower. Forty-eight horsepower from 883cc? That means that a nineteen year old Honda, which you show such obvious contempt for, with 383 CCs less displacement, was still producing twenty (20!!) more horsepower and had a power band almost twice the size and range of your beloved Harley Sportster. The nineteen year old Honda also weighed 71 pounds less than the current best that Harley can produce and had a suspension that would run circles around the modern Milwaukee example of how NOT to build a 'sport' bike. The Buell fares far better than the Sportster, but it still comes short compared to any of its competition; it's heavier, slower, weaker, and more expensive. All apparently standard building practices for Harley Davidson.
So, how can Milwaukee be proud of that?
Nineteen year old import technology still whips
current domestic offerings and the best American sport bike produced still falls short of
its competition. This just goes to show that Harley is so far behind the rest of the world
in design and technology that Im surprised they can truly qualify as ever having
advanced with the rest of civilization out of the Bronze Age. Hell, I'm surprised
that Harleys don't run off of coal, steam or have wind sails as little horsepower as they
are producing. The Sportster engine definitely qualifies as a two hamster mil and
one of those hamsters is criminally lazy.
Sorry, Jim, but I find nothing but sadness and pity when I see Harley Davidson and what they offer. A nineteen year old bike is still more powerful, lighter, faster, handles better, and has more technology than the current model of Harley Davidson. Thats not just sad and embarrassing for America, thats patently fucking pathetic and there is no excuse that Milwaukee can make that will even come close to correcting what they has done for the last three decades, which is polish their name and design lines of clothing instead of designing motorcycles to keep up with the rest of the world. The truth is, the best that Harley can produce cannot stand toe to toe with the best that the rest of the world produces.
Even the old import bikes are far better than the current crop of Harleys. Given the choice between a nineteen year old VF500F for a thousand or so buck or a brand new Harley 883 Sportster for nearly six grand, Id take the nearly two decade old VF500F any day. Oh, the things I could do to that V4 with five grand in my wallet ... and still have plenty left over.
And please, your analogy of grabbing the throttle and it responding like a molested gorilla, it might be better for you to leave out those type of comparisons when referring to any 500cc bike no less that interceptor.
Oh, I am truly sorry to burst your little make believe bubble of reality again, Jim, but people like you apparently live in a truly amazing fantasy world that is ordered by simplistic convenience which itself has no root whatsoever in reality. Since you are wholly ignorant on the heritage of Hondas V4 sport bikes, I will now go to some basic, if lengthy steps to attempt to educate you.
Grabbing the throttle of a 1984 VF500F Interceptor was enough for Honda racers to win many championships. The 84 VF500F was one of the fastest bikes of its kind in the day it was produced, and would certainly hand anything made in Milwaukee, regardless of size, its hairy, inbred redneck Hee-Haw ass any time, any where.
The VF500F was a bike that demanded to be ridden hard and fast (in that respect, it is very similar to most wannabe Harley harlots), and rewarded riders who learned how to control its cutting edge design with breathtaking performance. The Interceptor dominated at the tracks and circuits around the world, in both professional and amateur competition. This performance heritage was a prelude of the long lineage of thoroughbred race technology handed down to the street by the import companies and by Honda specifically.
My Interceptor ran quite fast for what it was, and for its day it did run like a molested gorilla. The VF500F was one of the fastest 500cc bikes of that time period and would keep pace with any other 500cc or similar displacement offering from the other companies as well as outrun any Harley product of that period. The design was cutting edge technology, the frame was a design shared by the GSXR and other full sport bikes. The power plant of the 500cc Interceptor produced over 136 horsepower per liter, setting new records for performance, and the handling of the Miniceptor is legendary even by todays standards. In the later years, most 600cc bikes would slap it down easy, but thats because technology marches on and all things that depend on competition to drive technology eventually become obsolete.
The VF500F series bowed out to the CBR 600 Hurricane series in the late 1980s, which itself went on to become just the award winning CBR series. The still current CBR series existed through the base model, then the F model and from the F model to the F1 to the current F4i (injected) as the king of Hondas mid-level sport bikes. The 500 series of sport bikes was abandoned when the rules for competition allowed for the larger 600 series engines to be used. Today, you will find very few 500 sport bikes being produced, as there is not a demand for them and almost no competition for them to compete in (and thereby evolve technologically). The 500 series of sport bikes have, like all technology must, evolved into something greater or risk becoming obsolete. The most stable of the V-four sport bikes grew from the VF750F to the VFR750 to the VFR750F to the current VFR Interceptor which is over 800ccs in displacement and is digitally fuel injected; a far cry from its almost twenty year old ancestor.
I am afraid that what you are doing here is comparing similar bikes and dissimilar technology which is like saying that the Sopwith Camel was a piece of junk because it could never hang with an F-86 Saber Jet. However, a Sopwith Camel was direct competition to a Fokker series of airplane, its primary competition during that era, just like the North American F-86 was competition to the Russian built, Korean flown Mig-15. Each plane, in their respective eras, was the most advanced fighter of their kind. Later technology will always overcome earlier technology. An F-4 Phantom would kick an F-86s ass just as a F-86 would kick a Sopwith Camels ass.
Of course the interceptor being such a big success and so reliable, it's still one of Hondas best selling bikes today and we seem to see them all over the road now don't we.
Your rather inept attempt at facetiousness is your own simple answer, Jim, whether you intended it to be so or not. The reason why we dont see a veritable plethora of 500cc Interceptors on the road today is not because the Interceptors were such a badly designed bike, but rather because the Interceptors were such a powerful success in their own right. Ill get to that in a bit, but another, simpler reason is that the VF500F series was, in historical context, a rather limited production run of 1984 to 1986 models. Three model years will not produce a lot of bikes and simple attrition has pretty much killed off most of the family of Interceptors since then, which is a great pity in hindsight.
You wont see very many VF500Fs on the road today, that is true, but I would ask you in turn how many CBR600s do you see on the road? Youll honestly have to answer that you see plenty. There are all different models of the CBR on the road also, from the older Hurricanes (post Interceptor, I saw two beautiful examples just the other day; a 600 and a 1000 model) to the newest CBR600F4i (one of which is parked at some apartments near my day job and several that buzz to and fro in front of my office during lunch).
There is also another, very important reason why the highways are not choked with 500cc Interceptors and that is because the 500cc Interceptor has been entirely replaced by newer, faster, lighter, better more advanced models that consecutively have filled the same niche in Hondas marketing scheme that the VF500F once did. I thought that much would have been rather obvious to someone of your claimed intellect, Jim, but apparently you have a bad habit of missing the rather obvious.
Today, when you see a CBR600F4i (soon to be the CBR600RR) on the road, that bike is the current breed of middle weight Honda sport bike, the type of bike that the VF500F Interceptor fulfilled in its intended role for the production years of 1984 to 1986. When you see a CBR on the road, what you are seeing is not a carbon copy of 1984 technology, no, what you are seeing is the modern mid-sized, ultra advanced Honda model of sport bike that has benefited from all the lessons learned from the VF500 series of bikes, and later the lessons learned from the Hurricane class of bikes. The CBR600F4i is the culmination of almost twenty years of technological advancement, lessons learned and knowledge applied to the middle weight performance platform.
Unlike Harley, the import companies are constantly improving their various designs and each new breed is better than the last, removing the imperfections and improving on the concept. The day of the Interceptor is gone, sadly, and now there is only one true Interceptor left in production.
Now, Jim, if Honda never produced anything but the same old design, year after year, then you would see plenty of VF500F Interceptors on the road, because that would be what Honda would utilize for its mid-level sport bike and all it would produce. If Honda never embraced technology, if Honda never competed against other high technology industries, if Honda only desired to sell the same model of bike year after year, if Honda sold their image instead of their designs, then yes, you would see plenty of VF500Fs on the road today. Just like you see plenty of Harley Sportsters. If Honda kept producing the 1984 VF500F Interceptor as their premiere middle weight sport bike, and Kawasaki and Suzuki were both fielding cutting edge 600cc class sport bikes, then Honda wouldnt have a prayer in hell of being competitive or maintaining anything like it does for a share of the middleweight compact sport bike market. Look at the 1984 VF500F listed above, and compare it to the ultra modern 2003 Honda CBR600F4i. Common sense would tell you who would win any type of competition. Now assume that Honda was like Harley, and all it did was crank out the same tired old design year after year. Now put the 84 VF500F Interceptor into the AMA championship races against the Suzuki GSX-R600, the Kawasaki ZX-6R, and the Yamaha YZF-R6 and you would have three bikes going neck and neck for the victory cup, and one bike way in the background being left further behind with each lap.
However, since in the real world it is a fact that competition breeds technology and that all social change is essentially technology driven, you see where the big companies are in fact, working to shape the way that we live by introducing us to newer, better technology. Companies like Harley Davidson, who do not embrace technology, who refuse to advance, are an anchor and chain on the ass of humanity, weighing us down and doing nothing to advance the race.
Competition among those who embrace technology always breeds constant change and improvement, so you can see where there is a big difference between a 1984 VF500F Interceptor and a 2003 CBR600F4i. My question is, what is the difference between a 1983 Harley Sportster and a 2003 Harley Sportster? The REAL difference?
Almost none, and thats my point. Honda and Harley are very different. Honda is not stagnant and Honda is not an image for sale.
I would also hazard a guess as to why all of the Japanese companies are making all of these cheap looking, imitation Harleys which in their own right are pretty pricey. It seems that the very companies that you support don't share your opinion about creating this style of bike.
Jim, Ive explained this before in depth, and if you had taken the time to read through my site, you would have discovered your answer. However, let me refresh you on this. The reason that Japan creates cheap looking, imitation Harleys is because it has found that there is a viable market for the look of this type of bike. Did you notice that a Mig-15 and an F-86 Saber Jet look almost identical? Why is that? Could it be that form follows function? Could it be that there is an ideal design for a cruiser, for a standard, for a sport bike and that Japan is only producing their own versions of this form? I believe so. Using your logic, you might as well go ahead and accuse Russia of making MiGs that are just cheap looking, imitation F-16s. Why do all DVD players look the same, why do all VCRs look the same, why are all cars two or four door models with four wheels?
Form follows function, Jim. I thought that would be rather obvious.
Look back at the example of the MiG-15 and the F-86 Saber Jet. The MiG-15 came before the North American F-86 Saber, so in essence, the F-86 Saber was a cheap imitation copy of the Russian plane. The MiG was faster, had a higher rate of climb, was built tougher, and carried far more powerful weapons than its American counterpart. It was only due to the fact that the American pilots were better trained and more experienced than their Korean counterparts that the F-86 enjoyed such a high kill to loss ratio during the war. Oh, and for what it is worth, the Russians stole the design of their jet engine from the British during a Worlds Fair exposition. The first Russian air to air heat seeking missiles were direct copies of the American Sidewinder, one of which was reportedly returned to the Russians after it had struck a MiG and failed to detonate. The MiG pilot, looking at an American heat seeking missile stuck in the side of his plane like a giant arrow, bugged out and ran for home. Soon after that, American pilots began to face Russian heat seeking air to air missiles, which were almost exact copies of the American Sidewinder (the Russians even duplicated the case). History is wonderfully ironic, full of how one nation stole a particular technology or copied it and made it better before turning it against its original makers. Such small things are what win big wars, whether that war is one of military force, political maneuvering, or capitalistic economic might.
Look at the North American F-86 Saber Jet and the Russian Mig-15. Notice any similarities? Form follows function, however, Harley would like you to believe that function follows form, which is not only wrong, but illogical as well.
North American F-86 Saber Jet and Russian MiG-15.
Separated at birth? You be the judge.
Actually, the MiG-15 came first... America even then had to play catch-up.
Once upon a time, America went to war using a straight wing combat jet, the F-80 Shooting Star. That jet was the best that America could build, at the time. The Russians introduced their advanced technology MiG-15 during combat and it outclassed the F-80 in every aspect, leaving the Russians with a superior jet over the Americans and the ability to export that superiority to client countries. America then had to quickly learn about swept wing technology and combat jets from her main enemy. The result was the F-86 Saber Jet, a virtual copy of the Russian MiG-15.
Those who don't learn from history are doomed
to repeat it. This holds true for countries at war as well as companies trying to do
business in the marketplace, and is especially true for the introduction and upkeep of
technology. Maybe now America can learn something about making quality motorcycles
from her competition. Maybe its time for America to capture a Honda or a
Yamaha, reverse engineer it, and make that bike better with a better American version of a
Or maybe we simply cant.
Maybe were not smart enough to make a
truly great motorcycle, or we're too lazy to do anything new and innovative, so we just
stamp out a mediocre copy of what we do know how to build and use an over-hyped, out of
control marketing strategy to sell it to all the totally ignorant little scoggins.
Technology is a harsh mistress, Jim: She does not tolerate fools or sissies. She can destroy a person, a company, or a nation when nothing else can. She becomes ever stronger, ever more complex, ever more powerful and compact, ever more seductive and beautiful over time. If you want to keep up with her, you have to use your brains instead of your feet. Everything in her wake, in time, fades to either historical footnote or seldom remembered insignificance.
To think that Japan is copying
Harley is ludicrous, Jim. Form follows function. The Japanese have already
taken the best that Harley can produce, improved it, refined it, and sold it for less and
they have higher production than Milwaukee does, which means that not only can they make a
better product, they can make far more of them than Milwaukee can. Why is this?
Ill let you explain why that is in the next section since you are in the
habit of answering your own questions even as you ask them.
Now I know that you are probably saying that they make their bikes to be much more reliable and at a cheaper price and that is fine, but the Harley of today is not the Harley of the past as far as breakdowns are concerned. They are just as solid as the Jap bikes yet without the cheap imitation styling.
But when you buy a Harley, you are paying so much more for so much less, and you have to deal with retards doing it. You have answered your own question all by yourself, Jim.
Japan took the inferior, outdated product that Milwaukee made, corrected it in nearly every way, improved it beyond what Milwaukee can produce, and then sold a far higher quality product for far less. So it goes back to intelligence and common sense, Jim. Do you buy a similar design that is higher quality, more powerful, lighter and faster, or do you buy the more expensive, less powerful, lesser quality, heavier, slower version which you perceive to be the original? And as for being solid, when was the last time you heard of a Honda breaking in half at a weld point?
Harley may be more reliable today than they were 50 years ago, but they are still 50 year old designs. I would expect that if you did something over and over again, time after time, for fifty years, you would eventually get it right sooner or later through sheer muscle memory and simple repetition.
Apparently, Harley is finally getting their
shit together after five decades, which means that they are still two and a half decades
behind the rest of the world because the rest of the world got their shit together in the
early 1980s and those that did havent looked back since.
Finally, you had criticized Harley owners for buying a bike and running out to join a club of other fools or whatever the term you used was. How hypocritical is this statement? I live in Los Angeles and there is never a shortage of riceburining clubs cruising up and down the freeways. The only problem, they aren't cruising, they are usually riding like assholes, cutting in and out of lanes and causing cars to swerve. This is NO exaggeration and you of all people should be well aware of this being a police officer. (How many accident calls have you handled involving a riceburning biker who was at fault versus someone on a Harley)?
The types of riders you refer to are not admired by me, Jim nor are they praised and glorified anywhere on my site. Id have a site making fun of them as well, if there were any locally to mock and if they constantly sent me badly written death threats choked full of broken grammar and misspellings simply because I believed that their behavior was idiotic. I do not condone SQUIDs or their incessantly immature behavior on the street. In fact, I shook my head at a new movie coming out, along the lines of The Fast and the Furious called Brothers With Bikes or something like that. Apparently, it is going to be Boyz in the Hood with sport bikes and stupid / dangerous stunts that will go far in undermining the perception of those who are easily influenced by such simple things as moving pictures with words. I think it is going to do a lot to damage the sport bike community all in the name of a quick buck to the mindless sheep who will flock to see it (and afterwards try to imitate the stunts they saw across the parking lot of the theater).
I dont advocate showing off or riding fast or making a nuisance of myself. I advocate riding softly and carrying a big stick, of having respect and even fear of traffic. For me, I want the most technology, speed, power, handling, braking, and the least amount of weight in the smallest, easiest to handle package I can purchase. To me that is a sport bike, of 600 to 1000 cc displacement. To you it may mean something else entirely. Just because I can do 180mph on the top end doesnt mean Im going to go out and there and do it all the time, just like pilots who fly F-15s dont go around at supersonic speeds all the time. But like the pilots of those high tech fighter jets, when you need speed, isnt it nice to know that you can either shove the throttle all the way forward to its full military stop, lighting the afterburners (or on the street being able to just roll the throttle back to crank open the injectors all the way) to get your ass out of a crack most ricky tick? I think so, that is why I ride something light, nimble and quick, not something heavy, sluggish that is uglier and slower than a constipated snail.
Like combat pilots say; Speed is life.
Or like I tell people; "Speed is to get
you out of trouble, not get you into trouble."
Use it wisely, dont abuse it.
I have no respect for SQUIDs, Jim. They give sport bike owners a bad name in general with their racer-boy antics. Ill go off on a SQUID as much or more so than I will a Harley idiot. Why is that? Because being an idiot on a Harley doesnt directly affect my chosen motorcycle community, it's kind of a given anyway and expected, but being an idiot on a sport bike does directly affect how people perceive me and others who may not act in such an immature manner. Being a SQUID will cause my insurance rates to climb and respect for my type of bike to decline among the easily impressionable (aka politicians and insurance agents). In other words, I police stupidity when I see it, regardless of make or model, domestic or import. This makes me different from most Harley riders who are afraid to police their own camp for fear of being ostracized or of hurting another bikers feelings when confronting them with their inappropriate behavior.
Unlike Harley owners, Jim, I dont put up with stupid crap or juvenile idiots and wannabe posers in my chosen motorcycle camp and am very vocal about it when I see it. Please dont lump me into those groups of suicide jockeys as that is not what I preach nor will you find me advocating such juvenile behavior on my site.
I rode with a group like that once. I never
rode with them again once their antics started to be displayed openly in public. The few
riding groups I have belonged to have been rather sedate in their speed and touring
mannerisms, and usually consisted of members who were years older than I was. I look for
maturity in a riding group, not the average top speed of the group and how much tire smoke
we can produce between point A and point B.
And as for the sport bike vs. Harley accidents, locally, Ive seen far more Harley riders hurt than sport bike owners. Mainly because people who buy Harleys locally buy them for one of two reasons; image or prestige. They generally dont know the first damn thing about owning a motorcycle, and they are in their late 40s and the Harley is the first bike that they have ever owned. They buy into the whole bad-ass biker image and they buy the biggest, shiniest, loudest Harley they can find, and then tool around with all of their catalog gear on display like some self propelled mannequins. When they twat themselves up against a pine tree or flail out in front of a dump truck, they wake up dead and wonder why the greatest bike in the world let them down.
Back in 1998 when I hit a full grown deer at 70mph on my 95 Ninja ZX-6R, I totaled my bike and walked away with a slight case of road rash. A Harley rider, two days previously, cruising at 45mph, struck a deer and had his bike scissor over on his spine. Im walking today, hes still a quadriplegic. Perhaps being light, agile, and quick is better than being big, heavy, loud, and slow, especially when it comes to getting your ass out of danger.
Ive worked a few motorcycle accidents locally, almost all of them were cruisers or standards, and were of the too much throttle, not enough suspension type wrecks, or to put it professionally, they were riding outside of their capacity. The big bikes were all Harleys; usually some dumb middle age tourists passing through and being completely ignorant or trying to look the part without paying attention to the road in front of them and traffic around them. Ive not worked a single sport bike accident locally, so, I can honestly say that Ive seen far more Harley accidents than sport bike accidents because at least around here, the stupid people ride Harleys and the experienced, cautious riders are on the sport bikes. Your locality may differ considerably, but you asked and that is how it is down here.
Also, in the ranks of my police department, there are six import bikes including two CBR600F4s, a ZX-6R, and only one Harley. All privately owned, and the Harley is ridden only occasionally and then only in good weather. The sport bikes Ive seen parked out front in pouring down rain. The local Harleys are fair weather poser machines, while the imports and sport bikes are full daily drivers and all weather bikes. And when my department refuses to buy HD police bikes, when most of the officers ride import sport bikes, that says something. It says that people who put their lives on the line and depend on the best technology out there arent going to be satisfied with image. We demand performance, not image and sound.
Talk about a case of penis envy!! These guys are hilarious in their colorful leathers with all the emblems of companies as if they were being sponsored to haul ass up the 101 freeway, or that they have to break the speed record to make it up from their cushy little suburban holmes to Mulhulland drive where they could then meet with the other "club" members and illegally race up and down the street putting not only their lives in danger, but the lives of others as well. I have never seen a bigger case of penis envy then guys who ride bikes designed to exceed 150 mph.
Well, you are describing people who live in California and no one has ever said California was the center of mental prowess in the Union. Hell, you people in California recently ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional and you think that I take anything going on in California seriously? You people are in another different world than the rest of us. I can't really believe that anyone smart lives in California. Hell, most of the people in California aren't even US citizens.
Oh, please, bwahahahahaha! Penis envy is the foremost prerequisite for owning a Harley, Jim, and you need a terminal case of the affliction before you ever start to seriously look at a Harley in such a way that you begin to think about buying one! Why else would you ride a big, loud, shiny, out of date piece of junk that did nothing but broadcast a make believe image of yourself if you werent trying to compensate for a severe linear shortcoming in another department? Why strap a big, weak V-twin between your legs if you had something there already to depend on?
Because Harley is an overpriced strap on dildo for the emasculated.
Oh, and you left out the fact that SQUIDS often dye their hair to match the color of their bikes, which is another sure sign of mental retardation. That or it makes them look like a really bad anime porn star.
Jim, I think you are mistaking penis envy
for the raw edge of competitiveness. Theres a lot of difference between
stock makes of sport bikes, not to mention ones which are heavily modified. The bikes
which I prefer and the ones which the clowns you see ride, are basically race bikes with
just enough safety features (lights, turn signals) to be driven publicly on the street.
With great power comes great responsibility, that is a saying by which I live and one
which you should no doubt be familiar with. It's a motto I live by.
This years model of Honda CBR may be king of the sport bike crop, but next years Kawasaki Ninja may appear to clean house. Competition is fierce between the four major Japanese manufacturers, as well as the Germans and Italians. The winners of this years sales are usually the ones with the best technology backing their designs, which allows them to win at the various tracks and events, and thereby gain even more reputation for the reliability of their products as well as the performance required to be number one. That sheer, animal-like competition is fueled by innovate research, design, and technology, three things that Harley doesnt have a clue about and three things that they have to import themselves into Milwaukee in order to have access to what the rest of the world generates on their own.
Harley is unfamiliar with technology or competition, they are foreign, even alien concepts to the Motor Company.
Their super bike VR1000 team and cycle are professional jokes, I think they would be more competitive if they switched to dirt track racing, which is where Harley does manage to hold some sway (I guess that is because the engine was originally a tractor motor that the Harley finds a home so easily in rural fields). Nothing Harley builds is fast, and if you ride if fast, youll either wind up hurt or seriously killed. Last time I cared to check, Harley competed against Harley, not import vs. Harley. Why is that? Because Harley gets its ass kicked each and every time by imported bikes smaller and bigger than it and it doesnt have a chance. Do you want to race Harleys? Fine. If you put two identical Harleys next to each other and want to race, then its going to come down to who is the fatter rider and who has the least wind resistance (measured at that natural air dam called a pot belly) as to who will actually win the race. Since Harley is all about posing and Harley is not competitive in any sense of the word, I wouldnt expect you to understand the spirit of performance and competitiveness that is so ingrained into the sport bike community.
To borrow a much clichéd saying from the hill
scoggins; If you have to ask, you dont understand.
It sounds like youve found a real group of idiots and posers. Sorry again that you cant spot the difference between enthusiasts and idiots. I can, but then, Ive had a lot of experience in dealing with both types of people on the road and on the highways, behind the badge and when I'm not wearing a badge.
It becomes second nature after a while,
spotting the idiots, that is.
It seems to me that your whole premise of riding a Harley is the act of not using common sense, that the people who do so buy an overpriced, unreliable bike. How much common sense does it take to ride these "racing bikes" in a ridiculously dangerous and even life threatening manner. Give me a break! I could continue to debate and refute many of your points as you seem to represent hypocracy at a high level and those types of people are fairly easy game for anyone to take apart, but instead I'll just close by saying people, and their interests are just different.
My point is, when you buy a Harley, you are buying a name, not a motorcycle and you are paying dearly for the use of that name. Automatically. Its part of the Harley Experience, and its required if you own a Harley. You don't have any say so in the matter. You aren't buying a motorcycle, you're buying a life style, one which you believe is better than the one you have. But you would be wrong.
Jim, your argument on speed and recklessness would hold some small amount of logic if I advocated riding fast and recklessly, or slathering myself in factory logos and aftermarket company emblems, which I dont. Speed is a lot of fun, in a controlled environment and at the right time.
Traffic is not the place for speed. Any
cop will tell you that.
I used to be a bit like you where I would be so critical of something because I felt it was silly, or that the people who were invonlved with an activity that I didn't like were "idiots". Of course as I got older and matured, I came to the realization that people are different and complaining about them was doing no more than just driving ME crazy.
What you call being critical is what I call standing up and voicing my well informed opinion. Too many people today dont have an opinion, and if they do have one, they often dont know why they have that particular one and they certainty cant back it up or argue its defense worth a damn. I'm beginning to think that most people have an 'opinion de jour', that is, they wake up in the morning, turn the TV on, and watch to see what the popular opinion is for the day and they adopt that until the TV tells them they need to adopt a new opinion. It is so much easier when someone else thinks for you, tells you what to believe, what you want to believe, when they take care of you, dress you, and provide all of your basic products in life that you need. So easy... It is far easier to walk with the crowd and not make waves, than to swim against the current and make ripples.
Sorry to see that you backed down from what you once stood for, Jim. Those who cant cope often quit. No one ever said that being an individual or having a spine was easy. It's hard work, the reward is pretty much what you can make of it and the hours are a real stepbitch.
You havent matured, Jim, youve just
grown old and complacent. A lot of people mistakenly blame 'maturity' for
'complacency'. There is a big difference in being different and being indifferent.
Enjoy your doddering old age, Jim, for you apparently wear it well.
If you feel that you would like to be undressed or have your other inconsistencies handed to you further, please feel free to write. I am always up for the smaller challenges in life and while I don't quite have the obvious free time on my hands to handle a longterm, intellectual, stimulating debate, I will definately be happy to continue with you.
Thank you for the offer to undress me, Jim, but I think that I have someone special already in my life to take care of that when I so desire. I also believe that I have shot more than enough boulder sized holes in your argument to sink it to the bottom of the briny intellectual deep in a post-haste fashion with no survivors. If you would like to revise your argument and back it with more well thought out logic as well as a healthy dose of basic spell-check (spellin majik, scoggins fear it...), I would offer to review it again and make further comments, correcting you again when and where you go astray.
However, until such time as you may decide to submit a more worthy argument, I simply must move on to greater things and to better educated, far more forward thinking individuals. It is there which I feel that my valuable time is best spent and at least that way, I know Im getting my moneys full worth out of my time.