Russ Jack rode in and had time to share these insights with us. Enjoy!
I would like to start by applauding your
candor and integrity. I have been a regular reader of your website and find it
very amusing. I freely admit to not being an English major, but DAMN some of
these responses are awful! I have several coworkers who ride Harleys and we
enjoy riding together. They ridicule me for riding “rice” and I ridicule them
for spending less than half of what they did and having a bike that is,
literally, better in every single way. Before I start a few stories, please feel
free to repost as much, or as little, of these as you like.
Why Harley-Davidson? I ask my HD riding coworkers this often and found a strange counterpoint to non-HD owners. When they deign to answer (apparently some have deified the Harley to where it cannot even be critically discussed), they use all subjective terms and clichés. When I ask the same question of the non-HOG members I get objective answers. It FEELS powerful vs. it IS powerful. Big difference. If I had to choose between being tough or acting tough I know which I would choose. Paying more money for a lower quality motorcycle just doesn’t make any economic sense.
The HD buying “Experience”. I told my co-worker buddies that I was selling my Corvette and buying a motorcycle as soon as it sold. They said “Awesome! Looks like you’re finally getting a Harley!” As if it were a given. Isn’t that along the same lines as saying “Awesome! Now you can get that bass boat you never knew you wanted!”? Huh?!? A few weeks later, at lunch, I informed the same co-workers that I was ready to buy my bike. Again, in their misguided zeal, they assumed I meant a Harley. After extensive poring over of numbers, test riding, and talking with fellow enthusiasts, they assumed I’d just walk in and say “I’ll take that red one over there! Of course I don’t need to see its performance or cost. If it is a Harley it MUST be powerful!” They were actually serious. I almost couldn’t believe it. That’s like walking into a car dealership and just picking one and saying “I’ll take one”.
We did go to the HD dealership. I agreed that it would be hypocritical to not even consider a Harley. After all there may be some magical feeling or sense of FREEDOM that didn’t exist on other bikes. I was approached by the Sales Manager that they knew and he asked me “What kind of Harley are you looking for?” It was a reasonable question. I was at a dealership that sells only Harleys. I replied, “I want a comfortable, very high performance street bike. In particular, I want it to accelerate very quickly at any street speed or even to the quarter mile”. He smiled and said “I think we can find you something”. He lost some of the smile when I continued. “…Something that runs in the nines (quarter mile time) for under ten grand.” He actually laughed and said “you won’t find that”. I told him I already had. I later bought my Hayabusa for $9,850 plus tax OTD. He knew I probably wasn’t a sale, but was cool and still wanted me to consider their motorcycles. After sitting on / looking at several heifers, err Hogs, I gravitated to the only HD that had any degree of “performance”. The VRSC V-ROD. I took a used (and upgraded, faster one) V-ROD for a long test drive. When I returned they asked what I thought. Trying not to be too harsh I said it was great for a Harley. The speed was close to a Honda 919, the handling was poor for a sport bike / great for a cruiser. Of course I could buy my Hayabusa AND a 919 for the price of a “stock” V-ROD… The “Harley-Davidson Experience” so far was, well, pretty damn weak.
The Torque Fallacy.
I have one “Harley Buddy” that kept
insisting “it (Harleys) is about torque, not power”. Um, aren’t they pretty
tightly related? Anyway…
He keeps saying that in a roll-on, or for the first 60 feet / 60 mph, that his Harley could “take” the ‘Busa. First off, my bike also makes more horsepower AND torque than his Harley (which is modded too!) I did some quick math. More power, less weight, better mechanicals. Nope, don’t see it. Well, at a light he pulls up next to me and cracks a wicked grin (kind of like the new Harley ad says) and revs it. Well, he never pulled ahead at ANY time. It was a massacre. I honestly thought that he missed a shift or something broke. Nope. Like the saying goes “if it’s broke, don’t go fix it”. Something like that. I have ridden extensively with them (they’re still friends) and any speed contest of any kind is pretty one sided. It isn’t my riding skill either; a trained monkey could whoop their ass on this bike.
Harleys, Sex, and Friends.
I ride with my friends and find that the
better I look, the more social I am, and the more content/relaxed I am, the more
attractive I am to the opposite sex. The only place I notice more interest in
them is at, you guessed it, a Harley hangout. Most women just like that you have
a bike, it they care at all. As for a group of friends, my friends have Harleys
not the other way around.
Hells’ Angels and other Scum.
I hang out with my friends at HD clubs and
Sport bike clubs. One of the fattest and least terrifying people I’ve ever seen
comes in wearing his SOS (Sons of Silence) Jacket. Now, if you think a “Bad Ass
Biker” is something to fear, think again. Let’s break it down. By BAB, I’m
assuming it doesn’t mean “Bad, Ass biker” which would
sound like some deranged sex act. SOOO…. either the bike or the person is “Bad
Ass”. We already know the bike sucks, so that leaves the person. I’ve never seen
a fighter list “I own a Harley” as one of their martial talents. So, at most,
they are a despicable (and cowardly) criminal. Or a complete poser. If you want
to know a really scary “gang” with members that are well trained / equipped,
resourceful, and NOT cowardly - they are called POLICE. Enough said.
That’s all for now. I know this is long and (unlike some hill-scoggins out there) I know my English isn’t perfect. The difference is that I LIKE to know when I say or do something incorrect. After all ignorance is (or can be!) temporary, stupid is forever.