TO: Black Echo
SUBJECT: About your site
DATE: January 18, 2008
I'd like to congratulate you on the
apparent success of your site.
Breathing new life into topics of hatred always seems to generate lots
I suppose I could do as well with my own brand of intense language to
support my opinion on any topic of my choosing, but I'd rather be
doing something I like to do.
The effort to describe with many adjectives, your intense dis-like of
not only the brand, but the riders is amazing. Such effort has no
doubt resulted in lots of hate mail which was probably the focus of
your site. I have no doubt it is successful as it compelled me to
write, if nothing more than to tell you what a great emotional
response you've generated.
While I could go on and on here about why I believe you're wrong on
some point, I won't add to the list of emotional responses of hatred.
If I were to say you're right on the money, then that wouldn't
generate the text you're really looking for (and not nearly as much
If you will indulge me for a moment, maybe my opinion would be worth
The riders. - Harley riders are as varied as there are people. They
may like the idea of the stereotype, though they are individuals.
Whatever their look, their attitudes are individual. The typical biker
look of black leather is as much a practical matter as a fashion
statement. It's also a sort of uniform, as in seeing others who share
the same interest. I've personally witnessed Harley riders going out
of their way to help others, in part due to the recognition that their
clothing makes a statement of shared values. While it may be possible
that Japanese bike riders are also out there doing the same, it
doesn't really fit their stereotype now does it?
So I guess my statement here is that an attack on Harley riders, based
on how they look, is rather a weak argument based on an emotional
response that you are not regarded as highly as they are. While all
are not angels, all are not thugs either.
The company. - As with any company, the goal is to make money. If they
didn't have a product that people like, then people wouldn't buy and
the company wouldn't really be viable. Selling a product people are
asking for sounds smart to me whether it's a product I use or not. We
could argue the sense of a company like Rolex, which sells mechanical
movements in their watches, which by most accounts are the finest in
the world for their accuracy - but can't match a microprocessor for
cost, or accuracy. What's left if all sense in the world revolves
around what's better?
Style - Here's where your discussion of foreign superiority might make
the most sense. As others want the customers of Harley-Davidson, they
make copies. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If Harley
didn't have a style that sells, then why are all the foreigners making
bikes that copy them?
Engineering - Harley has come out with updated designs, things like
ABS and the water cooled VROD. They even sell the VROD Destroyer which
can do 1/4 mile times under 10 seconds. As for the design of the
V-Twin, it has been around a while, but that's what people are asking
for. Engineering does come back to style, and there have been many
improvements to the power, and reliability that they can put into the
design. I suppose you could put a chainsaw motor in frame and call it
light and fast, but who would buy it?
As for quips about the relative intelligence of owners, and riders;
I'm not aware that any scientific measurement has been done. I would
assume that folks who can afford a Harley are a little better off as
they are more expensive for some models. If I were to suggest that
they might have better jobs, and that higher education might be a
requirement for those jobs, then I'd have to assume that as a group,
based on my understanding of the economics of the choice, that they
are probably more educated than the average foreign bike owner. Cost
is relative. If it's what you want, and you can afford it - is it too
If I were to attempt to speak for the buyers of Harley-Davidson, I'd
say they probably bought because it's what they wanted - for whatever
reason. Such attempts to demean their intelligence because they may
not understand they have a choice (they probably know Honda makes
motorcycles), really shows a lack of understanding of all the
variables that went into their decision.
Stupidity is willful ignorance or unintelligence. This quality can be
related to a person's actions, words or beliefs, or those of a group.
I'm going back to my new project, slamming owners of Rolex for being
elitist snobs that are too stupid to know that Timex makes a digital
watch that's technically better and when it comes to telling time, no
amount of style can win me over a cheap, lighter, more accurate model
which is why all those elitist, snobs who put looks and price over
something that's so obviously better can kiss my a** and I'm going to
put it on the web and show them how stupid they are, and why I'm so
right, and on, and on, and on...
Well you get the idea..
To which I replied
Thank you for the email and for your thoughts. I'd like to say that you portray yourself as someone who has never owned a bike in their life but yet feels the very real need to jump into an argument that they have no experience at all with other than it seems that one side is having an unfair advantage over the other side and you wish to represent the underdog (as you see it). If you're taking the side of the Harley riders just because I'm intellectually slaying them left and right and you think that is somehow unfair, mean spirited or unkind of me then you need to understand that Harley riders started this argument decades ago when they began to look down upon and insult import riders through no justifiable reason other than their own simple stupidity, their own severe lack of education, their own ignorance of all things mechanical and perhaps a collective and very acute case of penis envy. So ... now that I'm giving the Harley riders some of their own bitter medicine in return and now that I have proven without a doubt that Harley riders cannot take what they freely dish out you come running to their rescue because you believe that what I'm doing is somehow full of hate and that I'm a very mean person for doing what I do.
Oh, sweet naivety... it is so precious when it is in its purest, most adolescent form.
“I'd like to congratulate you on the apparent success of your site. Breathing
new life into topics of hatred always seems to generate lots of interest.”
What you call a “topic of hatred” I prefer to call “merrily flogging the unwashed villagers." I really can't take a large group of people seriously when their collective ignorance borders on the realm of superstition.
“I suppose I could do as well with my own brand of intense language to support my opinion on any topic of my choosing, but I'd rather be doing something I like to do.”
Oh for the meritocratic love of Genghis Khan... I really doubt you could do as well as I have, Tom, because let’s face it … if you could do as well as I have then you already would have done as well as I have and you would be rolling in your own well earned praise rather than chiding another person on their success (over your own obvious lack of success). Aesop would be proud of you, sir.
“The effort to describe with many adjectives, your intense dis-like of not only the brand, but the riders is amazing. Such effort has no doubt resulted in lots of hate mail which was probably the focus of your site. I have no doubt it is successful as it compelled me to write, if nothing more than to tell you what a great emotional response you've generated.”
This is simply another failure on your part to understand the entire situation. What you call an "effort to describe with many adjectives your intense dislike" is simply beating the Harley riders at their own tired old game (and with very little effort involved, I might add). When it comes to insulting other people, Harley riders and their foul mouthed rants are as old, as unoriginal, as lacking in innovation and as boring as their bikes (and also nearly as loud and annoying). Harley riders cannot be original, even when they are trying to insult someone else. They resort to tired old cliches and guttural four letter words in order to peacock up and sound tough. After a while, I simply started returning the favor, so to speak, and becoming quite colorful and creative when it came to insulting those who had insulted me first.
While what I have done may strike you as amazing, the truth is that it required very little effort at all. Unlike my protagonists, I am an original, creative, well educated, highly intelligent, very humorous and witty person. The focus of my site was to educate the uneducated (not the stupid, not the ignorant and not the uneducatable) and to provide some mirth to a decades old argument that had grown quite stale. In that regard, I’ve had some small degree of success in the first part of the endeavor and a much larger degree of success in the latter part. I educate those who might not have the fore-knowledge required to avoid falling into the fairy tale that is Harley Davidson. My greatest moments of happiness are found in emails from former HD owners who simply ask "Why couldn't I have found your site before I bought my Harley? If I had found your site, it would have saved me a lot of time, effort, money and grief if I had known then what I know now."
For those who are already trapped by
the Milwaukee brainwashing and who actively subscribe to it, I can offer little
hope of them ever being an individual or even being a normal (let alone
valuable) part of society again. My purpose is not only to enlighten
others about the make-believe nature of Harley Davidson but also to prevent
people who might not have all the history, who might not have all of the
background knowledge that they need to know, and to keep them from making one of
the biggest and most costly mistakes of their life. If I hurt the tender
little feelings of some idiots and imbeciles along the way then so be it.
“While I could go on and on here about why I believe you're wrong on some point, I won't add to the list of emotional responses of hatred. If I were to say you're right on the money, then that wouldn't generate the text you're really looking for (and not nearly as much fun).”
Your opinion is, of course, your own and you are welcome to it ... thoroughly wrong as it may be.
“If you will indulge me for a moment, maybe my opinion would be worth
Carry on, sir. This discussion has already become interesting and I'm sure that it will only become even more so as we progress.
“The riders. - Harley riders are as varied as there are people. They may like the idea of the stereotype, though they are individuals.”
Harley riders are not varied because they are both drawn to and from a "one-size-fits-all" marketing template and in that regard they certainly are not individuals, sir. I'm not even sure you could still call them "people" as they have willingly become brainwashed zealots in one of the biggest joke religions operating in the world today. When you willingly subscribe to a prepackaged lifestyle then you can hardly claim to be an individual, now can you? If you adopt a "one-size-fits-all" make-believe persona then how can you honestly expect anyone to ever consider you as an individual when the life you choose to lead is not one of your own creation but rather a template that you rent or subscribe to on a daily basis?
So much of the sordid and tepid miasma that surrounds Harley Davidson and its products is made up of pure hypocrisy. In order to be a part of the Harley Davidson Experience, as the religious order likes to call it, you have to become a hypocrite. The humorous thing is that you have to become a hypocrite and you have to forget that you are a hypocrite at the same time. It's as ludicrous as it is funny but that's the Harley Experience for you, in a nutshell.
Individuals live their own lifestyle, Tom; they generate their own experience, not borrow or follow someone else’s. You cannot build your life around a commercially sold lifestyle template then claim to be an individual (regardless of what the Motor Company tells you) or expect other people to accept you as an individual. Harley Davidson sells a specific, trademarked lifestyle that you purchase though I'd say that it is closer to "renting" rather than purchase because you never truly own the lifestyle, you just adapt and conform to it then keep buying pieces and accessories as your money and time permits.
So much of Harley
Davidson is not about being a rebel or an outlaw (as the image and marketing
suggests) but rather about being a conformist to a particular corporation's
opinions, views, and beliefs. When you buy a Harley Davidson you have to
give up your own opinions, your own views and your own beliefs.
By the very nature of being part of Harley Davidson you are conforming (not
rebelling) to the
standardized image that the company is packaging and selling. Harley riders are not
individuals, they are conformists, they are adopters and followers, never
leaders. Harley riders are religious zealots following in the pop culture wake of
the laughable company that they continue to support. Their whole life
revolves around an intricately spun redneck fairytale that is made of up nothing but
make-believe and fantasy driven by styling over engineering, fashion over safety
and sound over performance; in those regards Harley Davidson redefines the act of posing
and those who own and ride Harley Davidsons are nothing more than posers
pretending to be something that they are not.
“Whatever their look, their attitudes are individual. The typical biker look of black leather is as much a practical matter as a fashion statement. It's also a sort of uniform, as in seeing others who share the same interest.”
If you adopt a standardized uniform and a standardized lifestyle then how can you be considered an individual if everyone around you is just like you, dresses just like you, rides exactly what you do and thinks just like you? Are we selling individualism over the counter now? Can you buy individualism out of a vending machine or a catalog now? Is individualism something that you can put in a box or subscribe to? The last time I checked you could not.
The characteristic look of the Harley rider is driven more by fashion than by any concern for safety (please let me know what (if any) impact protection is offered from an American flag colored doo-rag and a pair of wrap around Oakley sunglasses when your skull hits the pavement at 70mph and bounces twice on hot, hard asphalt because you couldn't stop your 900 pound rolling sofa in time to avoid a merging car and you did a high side over the handlebars...). This is simply an evolution of the fact that Harley Davidson chose to put styling over engineering in the 1960’s and later this failure of basic design was carried over into the fashion over safety mindset that permeates their customer base today because it defines the perceived image of the rugged biker (something that the majority of Harley riders are not and never were to begin with). Harley owners like the style of the uniform that they wear, they like the look of their pietistic drapings because it allows them to show off, to peacock if you will, and to prance and pose as something that they simply are not. Owning a Harley Davidson is nothing more than a shortcut to getting a reputation; you forego the time and effort required to earn a reputation of your own while using an excess of money to adopt a pre-made reputation in the one-size-fits-all type scheme. We all know that you can't do this in normal life but that doesn't stop Harley Davidson from selling this concept to a bunch of idiots who also don't understand how life works either and the Motor Company is getting filthy rich in doing so. Pretty people ride Harleys and you can't see pretty if you have a full face helmet on. Pretty people want you to know what they ride so much that they are willing to pay to become walking billboards for the Motor Company. Every single item of clothing that they wear down to their underwear can have a HD bar and shield logo on it and usually does. In hindsight, I'm actually been surprised that Harley Davidson hasn't made their own brand of tampons yet mainly because so much of what they do put their holy logo on is intended for use by wannabe pussies, trailer park twats and social climbing vaginas.
What is funny is that 1% of the Harley owners have defined how 99% of the Harley owners act and dress (or rather how 99% of them pretend to act and dress). Once again, we find that the majority of experience with Harley Davidson is that not only was the company a follower for most of its history but that it has created a customer base who is nothing but a group of followers. After all, you can't be an individual when you subscribe to a commercially sold lifestyle template anymore than you can be a gourmet chef by getting your dinner handed to you at a drive-thru window.
Tom ... if
you need a standardized uniform to identify those who think like you do, who follow
the same faith and
who adhere to the same beliefs that you do then we're moving beyond a
commercially provided lifestyle and into the
realm of an organized (albeit pagan) religion, now aren't we? Religions have often had symbols that allowed
one follower or believer to easily recognize another of the same faith and Harley
Davidson is no different in that regard. The Christians had the "fish"
symbol (often drawn on the ground) ... Harley riders have the bar and shield logo
(often worn in plain view).
“I've personally witnessed Harley riders going out of their way to help others, in part due to the recognition that their clothing makes a statement of shared values.”
"Shared values" can be considered a euphemism for “organized religion” which Harley Davidson can be described as. Harley Davidson is a cult pagan religion, Tom. When you officially refer to your customer base as "The Faithful", "The Brotherhood" and "The Sisterhood" then those are ecumenical terms used since the Dark Ages when the Church was spelled with a capital "C" and was a political (and sometimes military) power in its own right. Harley Davidson even refers to its set of established, taught and practiced beliefs as "The Faith" and tells its customers to "Keep the Faith." Faith, as used in this context, refers to the particular set of beliefs that all Harley riders share or come to share over time, a set of beliefs that are not of their own creation but rather of the Motor Company's invention out of a very real desire to not become extinct. What Harley riders perceive as a "faith" is actually little more than a poorly written script that defines how they act and what they believe.
“While it may be possible that Japanese bike riders are also out there doing the
same, it doesn't really fit their stereotype now does it?”
While it may be possible? Did you just say that? Unbelievable.
What stereotype are you referring to when it comes to riders of Japanese bikes, sir? The stereotype that you understand from your time spent with Harley owners? You obviously haven’t been around very many import riders or else you would know different (and you probably wouldn't have jumped into this argument on the losing side, either). What is humorous to me is that you chastise me for creating or attacking the Harley "stereotype" yet here you create a Japanese stereotype to base your defense and argument on? Interesting.
You claim that generosity and good Samaritan-like behavior are two action traits that don't fit the "stereotype" of Japanese bike riders, that Japanese bike riders would not help other people if given the chance yet you believe that a group of bikers who pride their selves in being portrayed as rough and tough hell raisers and anti-social outlaws are more inclined to help people in need or people who may be in a position of being defenseless? That's kind of like using the likeness of Attila the Hun for Red Cross campaign posters. If anyone knows more about motorcycles, motors, engineering and how things work then it would be the import riders since their bikes are generally the far more advanced (and therefore more technologically complicated) models on the road. Most Harley owners would be lucky if they could tell you how many spark plugs their motor requires let alone where you put the oil into the engine or how many quarts it takes. Harley has dumbed down ownership of their brand so much that the only real people who know how to work on a Harley are usually the dealerships and when you have free towing during the warranty period and after-hours towing numbers for when the warranty expires ... why do you need to know anything about your Harley Davidson? Fix your Harley Davidson? You're not paying $30,000 for the Harley Experience so you have to stand on the roadside looking at a dead bike and wondering why you paid $30,000 to stand on the roadside and look at a dead bike. No, you pay thirty grand to ride and ride and ride and that means that you don't even have to think about repairs or towing or whatever. As long as you have the cash or credit to keep the Harley Experience rolling forward, you don't even have to think at all. Harley will do all of that for you and really, when you pay someone thirty grand to live their version of their dream, don't you kind of expect that they'll take care of all the small details like a slung rod or a blown motor?
The reason you often see Harley riders helping other Harley riders (and you hardly ever see import riders helping other import riders) is that the production quality of Harley Davidson often presents great (and frequent) opportunities for one Harley rider to help another Harley rider and usually that aid is in the form of helping to load their non-functioning bike into the back of a pickup truck or onto a towed trailer for transport to the nearest Harley Davidson dealership for repair.
“So I guess my statement here is that an attack on Harley riders, based on how
they look, is rather a weak argument based on an emotional response that you are
not regarded as highly as they are. While all are not angels, all are not thugs
I don't attack Harley owners on how they look, I attack them on what they believe. The “look” is merely the proscribed, approved and mandated vestments of their pagan religion, sir. You just described the biker look as a “uniform” and that is probably as close as you are willing to agree to the points that I present in my argument. I could care less how Harley riders look since they dress their selves out of a catalog that not only dictates what they wear but also dictates that they proudly display the sacred logo on every piece of clothing that they wear. In essence, when a Harley owner wears Harley clothing, they turn every square inch of their body into a living billboard that advertises for the Motor Company. The mirth of this is that Harley owners are actually dumb enough to pay for the privilege of advertising for the company. How dumb do you have to be, as a collective group of people, to be tricked into paying someone else in order to do their hard work?
You claim that all Harley riders may
not be angels but that all are not thugs either. I would like to postulate
a different view and that is that all Harley riders are simply dullards of one
form or another regardless of which side of the law they lean towards. Harley Davidson's customer base truly is composed of the
lowest common denominator in our great society.
Harley owners like the “bad boy” look because it allows them to intimidate without having to intimidate (because let's face it, how intimidating is a fat, double chinned, middle aged balding accountant in poorly fitted leather riding gear?). Like the sound of their motorcycles, it is noise with no power or as Shakespeare's character Macbeth (of the self titled play) said in Act V, Scene V, the entire Harley Davidson Experience is " ... a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing." The look of an outlaw biker is one that Harley Davidson plays heavily on even though they choose to distance their corporate identity from such well established outlaw bike gangs as the Hells Angels, i.e. the very people who made the bad boy biker look famous and desirable. Harley is a giant corporate parasite that feeds on the efforts and images of those who are drawn to it. While Harley loves to enjoy the notoriety of having a gang of bikers like the Hell’s Angels riding around on their products, they can, of course, never officially acknowledge the outlaw biker groups or their notorious actions for obvious legal reasons. However The funny thing is that in an interview with Sonny Barger, one of the original Hell's Angels, he said that if the outlaw biker gang were to be formed today, from scratch, that they would probably be riding Suzuki GSX-R1000s and GSX-R1300s instead of Harleys.
Harley Davidson makes a killing off of the bad boy biker image but when was the last time that Harley Davidson rewarded the Hell’s Angels with any recognition or congratulated them on maintaining the “bad boy” image and gave them all brand new bikes for their effort? Never and they never will. Like all of its customer base, Harley Davidson is a parasite that leaches the efforts and work off of those who ignorantly worship it. Harley Davidson sucks free advertising and milks the reputation from people who willingly pay to display the corporate logo (because they think that when they have willingly allowed their selves to be branded like cattle that they have attained some sort of rare individualism when the truth is that they’ve just willing joined the herd and the flock).
Make no mistake about it, the Harley Davidson bar and shield logo is a brand much like the brands used by ranchers and cattlemen back in the Old West to mark their herds. The difference between Harley riders and the cows in the Old West was that when you went to brand a cow, you had to corral it, rope it and hold it down while you applied a painful, red hot branding iron to its posterior. In other words, what Harley riders willingly line up for, willingly pay for and do voluntarily ... cows have long since been smart enough to do everything they can in order to avoid. Cows don't want to be branded for life with the logo of their owner but Harley riders are more than willing to step right up and gratefully receive the holy logo as a brand on their body. That's the difference between Harley riders and cattle ... cattle are, historically, a smarter breed of animal. After all, you don't see cattle paying the ranchers to stamp a burning brand on them, do you?
The company. - As with any company, the goal is to make money. If they didn't have a product that people like, then people wouldn't buy and the company wouldn't really be viable. Selling a product people are asking for sounds smart to me whether it's a product I use or not. We could argue the sense of a company like Rolex, which sells mechanical movements in their watches, which by most accounts are the finest in the world for their accuracy - but can't match a microprocessor for cost, or accuracy. What's left if all sense in the world revolves around what's better?
I'm afraid that you are comparing two very, very, very dissimilar things based on your failed perception of price, worth, and how people desire these products. I have said it countless times before but I guess I will have to say it once again; caveat: you cannot compare Harley Davidson to anything great or powerful because Harley Davidson is not, never has been and never will be great or powerful. Doing so does not elevate Harley Davidson up to the level of the great and/or powerful thing that you are comparing HD to, instead, it lowers the great and/or powerful thing that you are comparing HD to down to HD's level which, to most things in the world, is considered an insult in and of its own right.
The harsh truth is that you simply cannot ever compare a company like Rolex to a company like Harley Davidson because the two operate on very different principles. Rolex is a (if not the) leader in its field while Harley Davidson is in last place among motorcycle producers (despite what its marketing department may tell you) and this includes engineering, technology and competition. Harley Davidson has shown a century long history of consistent failure, poor management, and bad business decisions throughout its comical existence and the company itself has had to be bailed out of immanent bankruptcy and corporate extinction twice; first by AMF and later by Uncle Sam (both within the space of about a decade). I doubt if the history of Rolex is full of poor management decisions, bad business ventures, corporate buyouts from companies not even related to watch making or begging for government loans to protect them from Timex (and Accutron and Teeter-Totter and Swatch). I doubt if the history of Rolex is full of stagnation or that Rolex didn't earn the reputation that it has today by exerting extremely hard work and diligent effort in its field. I doubt if Rolex prostitutes its logo on so many items that are not even related to watches or watch making like Harley does with its logo. In other words, whereas Harley Davidson became the number one American manufacturer of motorcycles (not number one manufacturer in America or number one retailer in America, those are different classifications) it did so only by default because all of its competition became extinct. Harley Davidson was never, has never and never will be a leader in anything that it attempts (I say attempt because Harley Davidson has actually done very few things).
What you are doing here is comparing one of the finest mechanical watches in the world to one of the biggest pieces of motorized junk in the world and you honestly believe that you can draw a common comparison? Not bloody likely, sir. In short, comparing Rolex to Harley Davidson is like comparing the personal history and artistic talent of Norman Rockwell to that of George Trosley.
You ask; "What's left if all sense in the world revolves around what's better?" My answer to you is simply this: "a much better world than we have today." In America alone one of our greatest social problems is that we worship mediocrity. Harley Davidson is a perfect example of this.
Style - Here's where your discussion of foreign superiority might make the most sense. As others want the customers of Harley-Davidson, they make copies. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If Harley didn't have a style that sells, then why are all the foreigners making bikes that copy them?
If Japan is copying Harley Davidson then please explain to me which Harley Davidson model my 2004 Honda CBR600RR was copied from? Form follows function, Tom. The North American F-86 Saber jet fighter (1949) was merely a copy of the Russian Mig 15 (which appeared a year before the NA F-86 did). Form follows function in almost every aspect of life (unless you are Harley Davidson and you've substituted styling for engineering then I guess that function could follow form but it's not a good idea to do it that way). The Japanese aren't copying Harley Davidson, Tom. Their designs are simply adjusting to contemporary market demand (be that as it may). The Japanese are producing a comparable product that is better built and sold at a far less price because the Japanese bikes do not rely on image (and just image alone) in order to sell.
If Japan is copying Harley Davidson they why isn't Harley Davidson selling more of its "original" designs than the Japanese are selling "inferior copies"? In 2006 alone, Harley Davidson produced and sold only 349,200 motorcycles (that was considered a very good year for HD). Honda, in comparison, sold 10,271,000 motorcycles that same year (of which only a percentage were sport bikes) and this was several percentage points down from their previous years sales. If the import companies are "copying" Harley Davidson then the public must like the "copies" far better than the "originals" because the sales figures show that the imports sell a hell of a lot more "copies" than Harley sells "originals."
Are the Japanese "copying" Harley Davidson?
I don't think so but I can understand how someone with no economic or business training / experience would jump to that conclusion given what they see at face value. As for the Japanese copying Harley Davidson, you have to ask yourself "Why would highly successful companies want to copy a company that has a long history of nothing but failure and sordid reputation of having to be bailed out when the going gets rough not once but twice in less than twenty years (three times if you count Willie G. buying the company back from AMF)?" That's like going skydiving and saying to your jump instructor "I want to make just as big a crater in the ground as that last guy whose chute didn't open!"
Are the Japanese copying Harley Davidson? Logic would seem to say "no." and the mathematics also seem to lend credence to this fact. In 2006, Harley Davidson produced 349,200 motorcycles. Honda, produced over ten million motorcycles in the same year. If the Japanese are copying Harley then apparently more people want to buy the "copies" than they want to buy the "originals." Oh, that's ten point two million motorcycles for Honda alone. When you add in the other three major import motorcycle manufacturers (not counting the Germans, Italians and British manufacturers) then it kind of becomes overkill against Harley.
People claim that the other manufacturers are copying Harley because that accusation artificially raises Harley from the joke that it is up to the same playing field that the other manufacturers share and you simply cannot do this either logically or in reality. Harley is no longer in the same league as the rest of the world and by saying that Harley is being copied, you are thereby implying that Harley Davidson is just as good or better than the other contemporary manufacturers and that is just not true. If anyone is making copies of bikes then it is Harley Davidson and they are making copies of bikes that they used to make not because they can but rather because they have to. In fact, that is all that Harley Davidson really does make ... copies. Let me try to explain it in a way that you might understand it. Say that you are a music company and you have a collection of artists and their songs. These artists aren't producing any more songs or changing the songs or lyrics but the songs are, on a small scale, a popular hit and these same artists and their same albums sell year after year after year. So, if you never change the songs or get new artists and you crank out the same old albums year after year after year, you are not making new albums, you are making copies of albums that were new a long time ago. Harley isn't making any new motorcycles, they are merely churning out copies of designs that were new a long, long time ago.
When you don't introduce any new models and the existing models that you do produce never change year after year after year (or rather decade after decade after decade), then by definition what you are building this year is simply a copy of what you built last year. If the model that you build this year is the same as the model you built last year and the year before that and the decade before that then you are not producing a motorcycle; you are producing a copy of a motorcycle that you once produced. People often respond to this with the classic cliche of "If it ain't broke don't fix it." The problem with that is that Harley's designs were not broken, when they were first introduced five decades ago but today they're laughably outdated. Harley Davidson does not operate on the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" methodology, it operates on the "it's broke, we don't know how to fix it and we don't care since we're Harley fucking Davidson and you're damn lucky to be buying our broke old junk."
Harley Davidson is king of building copies because when all is said and done, that's all that they can do; hell, it's the only thing that they know how to do. They build copies of bikes, they build copies of customers, they build copies of clothes that were in style five decades ago ... everything that HD builds falls into a specific set of models, fashion, styling, and a particular school of thought. Harley Davidson is all about copying and when you produce nothing but copies then you can hardly be considered to be original.
The Japanese manufacturers are not copying Harley, they are merely adjusting to current market demand and trends. What is funny is that in order to meet current market demands and trends, Harley didn't have to change their designs ... they just keep building the same old crap year after year, never changing, and when the market swings back around again to nostalgia and retro-styling Harley proudly (yet erroneously) claims that everyone else is copying them when nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth is that the other manufacturers have been to a lot of other places in the market and come back again for a while. Harley never left the "retro-styling" not because it chose to remain in that particular type of styling niche but because it simply could not change the way that it produces or designs bikes. The market isn't adapting to Harley Davidson, the market is simply swinging back around to an era that Harley Davidson never left (and apparently can never leave). I understand how you could easily be confused on such a circumstance but once you have some financial and economic training, market experience and a college education in business (as I have), these things are easy to see as they occur.
Engineering - Harley has come out with updated designs, things like ABS and the water cooled VROD. They even sell the VROD Destroyer which can do 1/4 mile times under 10 seconds. As for the design of the V-Twin, it has been around a while, but that's what people are asking for. Engineering does come back to style, and there have been many improvements to the power, and reliability that they can put into the design.
If Harley Davidson introduces something new, Tom, then the Japanese introduced it three decades or more before Harley ever did. Let me say it one more time; Harley is a follower, not a leader. Harley Davidson has never been a leader in anything that it has done (except maybe a leader in poor management, bad business decisions and failure after failure after failure) and never will be a leader in the motorcycle industry. Harley is three to five decades behind the rest of the world and the only people who are impressed with Harley's "innovations" are rednecks and people who don't know the first thing about motorcycles.
The Harley V-Rod. How many times do I have to dispute and dethrone that ridiculous piece of bastardized engineering. The Harley Davidson VRSC V-ROD is powered by a liquid cooled, mulit-valve import engine (Porsche of Germany) thus proving that Milwaukee is incapable of building a high performance engine on its own (and thus proving that the American built air-cooled V-Twin is inherently unusable for high performance applications because it is inherently a poorly designed engine for anything other than the agricultural use of draining rural ponds on farm land). The union of a Porsche (German) engine in a Harley (American) frame leads to an example of the hypocrisy that is inherent to the Harley system of beliefs. Harley riders hate the Japanese (often quoting the attack on Pearl Harbor) but they are willing to accept a model of Harley Davidson powered by a German engine. The Germans killed far more Americans on D-Day than the Japanese ever killed at Pearl Harbor yet Harley riders are content with this and even embrace it. There is also the fact that if Germany hadn't gone to war with the rest of the world back in the 1930's that Japan would never have attacked Pearl Harbor in the first place.
It is such a vital part of the Harley Davidson experience. The funny thing is that when Harley owners bring up the aspect of Pearl Harbor and being patriotic, watch how they fuss and fume when you remind them that during World War 2, the Germans were allies with the Japanese. So, if Harley Davidson is producing a model of bike with a German engine then I guess that if we follow tradition (which Harley is very strong on) then Japanese bikes are now allies of Harley Davidson via the link-pin of Harley's alliance with Germany. Don't you just love it when the Harley riders' own logic is their own worst enemy?
The Harley Davidson VRXSE V-Rod Destroyer that you proudly refer to is a very limited production competition only model. Please note the words "competition only" as the V-Rod Destroyer replaces the normal "SC" with an "X" to denote that it is non-streetable. The difference between Harley Davidson and the import companies is that when Harley Davidson builds a ten second capable bike you have to use a trailer to get it to the race track and you can't ride it on the street. When an import company builds a ten second capable street bike, you can ride it off the showroom floor, down the street and it idles like a kitten in traffic. When the import companies build a ten second capable street bike, you can also use it as a daily rider or cross country tour bike with no problem. My own bike, a 2004 Honda CBR600RR weighs less, costs less, has the same horsepower, has a quicker acceleration, quicker quarter mile, and a higher top speed than a standard production V-Rod and it does all of this with an engine that is one half the displacement of the V-Rod.
My bike also costs from $10,000 to $15,000 less than a V-Rod.
So... for ten to fifteen grand extra over and above what my bike costs, what are you really getting for your money there, Tom? What is your money going for if it isn't going for better technology or superior engineering over and above what my bike has? If the Japanese can build a faster, more technologically superior, better engineered bike than the V-Rod and the import bike costs a third of what the V-Rod costs then what exactly are you paying for on the V-Rod that costs so much more money than the Japanese bike? When you pay a whole lot more for a whole lot less then you have to start to wonder (and question and research) just what you are getting for your money. The truth is that you're getting to pay Milwaukee for the right and privilege to ride around on and be seen on a Harley Davidson.
Any improvements that Harley Davidson puts into its designs usually come decades after the Japanese have already done so. Harley Davidson is at least three (possibly even five) decades behind Japan in almost every category. I thought that much was rather obvious.
The Harley Davidson VRSC V-Rod? Seen it before. Liked it better almost 25 years ago when it was first introduced in 1985 as the (then) brand new Yamaha V-MAX.
I suppose you could put a chainsaw motor in frame and call it light and fast, but who would buy it?
I suppose you could put an air cooled irrigation pump in a frame and call it a "motorcycle", but who would buy it?
Oh, wait. That's already been done and it's called a "Harley Davidson."
Idiots and wannabes buy them all the time.
As for quips about the relative intelligence of owners, and riders; I'm not aware that any scientific measurement has been done. I would assume that folks who can afford a Harley are a little better off as they are more expensive for some models. If I were to suggest that they might have better jobs, and that higher education might be a requirement for those jobs, then I'd have to assume that as a group, based on my understanding of the economics of the choice, that they are probably more educated than the average foreign bike owner. Cost is relative. If it's what you want, and you can afford it - is it too expensive?
has never been a leading indicator of intelligence, Tom. I know a lot of
smart people who are poor and a lot of dumb people who are filthy rich.
Once you achieve a higher education (especially if you have the good fortune to
take business classes) you learn to be smart with your money and paying a lot
for a little is definitely not being smart with your money regardless of what
your neighbors may think or what level of society you may feel you need to
represent. Sure, you can waste your money if you want and for some people
the price of a Harley Davidson is pocket change, literally. However, you,
Tom, wrongly equate price asked with quality of the product and money spent on
the product with education earned by the buyer. I find that to be terribly
naive for someone who professes to be educated.
If I were to attempt to speak for the buyers of Harley-Davidson, I'd say they probably bought because it's what they wanted - for whatever reason. Such attempts to demean their intelligence because they may not understand they have a choice (they probably know Honda makes motorcycles), really shows a lack of understanding of all the variables that went into their decision.
Why would you want to speak for the buyers of Harley Davidson?
That seems ... counter intelligent.
Oh, that's right.
Harley buyers need someone like you to speak for them because after a decade and a half it is obvious that they can't speak for their own selves (not without putting their HD logo boot in their mouth). Am I doing such a good job of ridiculing these cretins by presenting them with documented historic facts, obvious fallacies in their system of beliefs, proving their long standing myths to be just that ... myths, and hurting their feelings by giving them a dose of their own medicine with a new twist applied to it that you suddenly feel that you have to step in and speak out for the poor little old Harley riders?
I'm just wondering why you chose Harley to side with ... that's kind of like volunteering to be the spokesperson for the Special Olympics when you could have been a spokesperson for NASA. Of course, if all you understand is the Special Olympics and you don't have any real experience with rockets then ...
Harley owners buy their bikes because they have a void in their lives which needs to be filled and they are either unwilling to fill that void their selves or they are simply incapable of filling it in on their own. Individuals don't buy and ride Harleys, Tom, because buying and riding a Harley requires you to surrender any personal individualism that you have and in turn accept and embrace a prepackaged lifestyle that has been designed by someone else. When you buy a Harley, you are required to dress a certain way and to think a certain way and to act a certain way if you want to be accepted by others of your kind. When you surrender to the lifestyle that surrounds Harley Davidson you inherently give up the lifestyle that you called your own. It's hard to be an individual when you're just another number in the herd. Oh, the illusion is there, backed by marketing lines and powerful graphic images but the reality isn't very far under the surface of the make-believe and that reality isn't pretty.
The purchase of a Harley is often surrounded by ignorance and misinformation because the kind of people who buy Harleys are inherently ignorant. When you have Harley owners who can't even spell the name of the bike that they ride, that's pretty telling on their level of education and quite a bit sad. You claim that Harley owners are intelligent simply because they can afford a Harley Davidson. I say that's a pretty weak determinant for measuring IQ. I'll be fair though ... let's give Harley owners one IQ point per cubic inch of engine displacement that they have. That should put most Harley owners as having an IQ of about 88 which, I think, is perfectly in line with the type of emails that I receive on a regular basis.
Stupidity is willful ignorance or unintelligence. This quality can be related to a person's actions, words or beliefs, or those of a group. (Wikipedia reference).
seems to describe the actions and nature of Harley owners exactly. When a
huge group of people swears allegiance to obsolescence, when they willingly pay
more for less, when they allow their selves to be branded like ignorant cattle and
they willingly pay to
advertise for the company they swear fealty to then I call that being willfully
ignorant and patently unintelligent. The sad thing is that Harley owners
actually pay huge sums of money in order to be both ignorant and stupid.
I'm going back to my new project, slamming owners of Rolex for being elitist snobs that are too stupid to know that Timex makes a digital watch that's technically better and when it comes to telling time, no amount of style can win me over a cheap, lighter, more accurate model which is why all those elitist, snobs who put looks and price over something that's so obviously better can kiss my a** and I'm going to put it on the web and show them how stupid they are, and why I'm so right, and on, and on, and on...
Good luck with your project though I doubt it will be the huge success that American Angst has been ... if it's any kind of success at all. You see, your website is going to be based off of a simple self perceived snobbery and will not be a website that is based in any kind of reality or a website that you can base on historic fact and precedence. Where I can back my arguments up with facts, historical notes and other concrete evidence you will not be able to do such. You won't be trying to tackle any great social issues, you won't be trying to wake up a population that spends more time deciding who they're going to vote for on American Idol than they will in the upcoming 2008 presidential election. You won't be using humor as a tool to introduce new ideas or spread enlightenment or to teach and educate. You won't be doing anything really constructive and I doubt if you'll generate any humor or get much fan mail (or site traffic) at all.
When you start to study owners of Timex watches and Rolex watches, I doubt if you will find that the Rolex owners are degrading and demeaning to the owners of Timex watches while at the same time taking the "can't we all just get along?" road in their arguments. I doubt if you will be able to discover 57 different key points of argument which are repeated verbatim to one degree or another among all Rolex owners as part of their pagan cult's faith and system of beliefs. I doubt if Rolex will ever refer to its customers as "The Brotherhood", "The Sisterhood", or the "The Faithful." I doubt if you will find that Rolex owners take yearly holy pilgrimages to Sturgis or that Rolex owners travel in huge packs and annoy the hell out of everyone around them. I doubt if you ever set down to dinner in a quiet restaurant and had a Rolex owner pull up outside with the noise from their watch disturbing everyone in the establishment and the Rolex owner gloating over the fact that the sound of their watch made you notice them and stare. I doubt that Rolex tunes their watches for a particular sound rather than for a legendary state of mechanical precision. I doubt if Rolex has ever tried to copyright the sound that their watches make. I doubt if Rolex sells all kinds of lifestyle accessories with the Rolex label on them, all in order to go with their watches. I doubt if Rolex owners get Rolex tattoos or name their children "Rolex" because they can't afford a Rolex but they want to be able to tell people that they have a "Rolex" at home. I doubt if Rolex owners will send you poorly spelled death threats or poorly spelled emails for that matter (if you get any emails at all which I doubt that you will).
Well you get the idea..
Yes, I get your idea and while your idea is cute I predict that it will ultimately have a failure to launch on many, many levels the least of which is that people simply won't care about arguing which is better; Timex or Rolex. While you equate a Rolex to a Harley Davidson (because it is high priced and "low tech" in that it is mechanical vs. digital) and a Timex to an import (because it is low priced and "high tech" in that it is digital) you fail to understand that for this comparison of Rolex and Timex to work correctly (and to imitate the overall core of my website), a Rolex would have to be sold at a Rolex price yet be built to one quarter of the technology used in a Timex. In other words, like Harley Davidson, most of the price of the Rolex would be based on image and not on engineering, reliability, technology, precision, reputation or any other attribute that you would normally link to having a cost associated with it.
For what it is worth, a Rolex watch does not compare to a Harley Davidson at all. If I had to compare watches to motorcycles, and you chose the Rolex vs. Timex to compare, I'd say that in translation you'd really be comparing Italy's Ducati (Rolex) against any of the Japanese makers (Timex). If you wanted to compare watches to motorcycles then the closest you could get to a Harley would be an old Teeter-Totter watch (but it would have to be sold at a Rolex price).
Your idea for a heated debate between Rolex and Timex owners is hardly of the intensity that you will find between Harley and Import owners, if you will find any intensity at all. I'm sure you may try to drum up some zealots on both sides but I doubt that they exist. Still, everyone needs a hobby and since you apparently like to jump into arguments between subjects of which you have absolutely no experience at all then at least the Rolex vs. Timex argument will allow you to get in on the ground floor for the lowly price of a Timex watch (which is far, far less than the price of an import bike let alone a Harley Davidson).
Good luck, Tom, and remember these two simple universal truths that are a part of my website and for which you apparently don't yet understand:
Selling price does not always equal quality; Harley Davidsons are a perfect example of this.
Wealth does not always equal intelligence; Harley riders are a perfect example of this.