from:         Terry Tolentino
date:          Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 11:22 PM
subject:     American Angst

One day, when you grow older, and your veiws change,you will find a Harley that fits you. Then you will undetstand what it means. I sounded just like you when I was young.  I used to pull up next to Harleys, reve my Kz900 and leave them in my smoke. I had an 883. It was light, fun but wasn't fast enough to give me that rush. So I bought a 1450cc model. It's pretty fast. 0-60 in no time. Over 100mph, no problem. I'm not dragging my knees around corners but I get a good hard lean. Instead of just riding fast around my neighborhood; like you do. I ride from city to city, sometimes in the rain. I need my bags to carry stuff. I like the weight, it keeps me from being blown around on the highway. I don't know what your beef is with H-D. But one day you will come around. :)


To which I replied


“One day, when you grow older, and your veiws change,you will find a Harley that fits you. Then you will undetstand what it means.”

Thank you for the email, Tony.  You present an interesting but laughably flawed argument (and you’re not the first to do so, just the latest).  You erroneously believe that owning a Harley Davidson is somehow a sign of maturity and success, that as I grow older and smarter and wiser that I should swap one set of beliefs for another as the inevitable avalanche of hard earned experience rolls down this huge, jagged faced mountain we call life and both buries me alive and carries me along with it.

I don’t think so.

You see, one thing that you don’t “undetstand”, sorry, understand, is that you’re basing your argument on the erroneous assumption that owning a Harley Davidson is something that is smart to do, that what the Motor Company says it is actually can be taken at face value, that a Harley Davidson is actually a real motorcycle, that Harley Davidson actually produces motorcycles at all and that people who ride Harley Davidsons are actually real motorcyclists … none of which are true therefore your entire argument is invalid from the start.

What you’re trying to say to me is that one day when I grow older that I’ll give up rational thought, throw my hard earned experience away and abandon my rugged individualism just to embrace wholesale commercial make-believe all in order to be liked not for who I am but for what I own.

Like I said … I don’t think so.

“I sounded just like you when I was young.  I used to pull up next to Harleys, reve my Kz900 and leave them in my smoke”

Oh, I very much doubt that you ever sounded like me when you were young because even at an early age I had a low tolerance for posers and over hyped commercialized memes (long before they were even recognized as “memes” … we just called them “trends”).  I saw through Harley Davidson at an early age probably because I was a teenager in the 1980s, way back when Harley Davidson did a lot of its crying and whining and begging for its life and I was there, at an impressionable age, to see it all.  I was there when Harley Davidson, big bad Motor Company that it pretends to be, officially sold out.  I was there when they started making products based on style and image rather than engineering or technology or performance and when they started marketing their products to RUBs and other money heavy, brain light easily gullible simpletons who erroneously equate price with quality and don’t look much deeper than that.

So you used to rev your Kawasaki and leave Harleys in your smoke?  Wow.  I can’t say that I’ve ever raced a Harley before … it just seemed so … pointless to do that, like a waste of effort and perfectly good gas.  It would be like pulling up next to a short yellow bus in a Ferrari Enzo and actually thinking that the short yellow bus was even in the same class as the Ferrari.  Your mindset also assumes that a Harley is actually a motorcycle, which it isn’t.  A Harley is nothing more than a strap-on penis with a kickstand.  It’s a chrome plated dildo yacht designed and marketed for people who want to get noticed but who couldn’t get noticed on their own without the help of a 800 pound, chrome plated noise maker.  Picking on Harleys on the street isn’t sport, it’s more like bullying because it’s so easy … effortless, really.

“I had an 883. It was light, fun but wasn't fast enough to give me that rush. So I bought a 1450cc model. It's pretty fast. 0-60 in no time. Over 100mph, no problem. I'm not dragging my knees around corners but I get a good hard lean. Instead of just riding fast around my neighborhood; like you do.”

Another failed assumption on your part.

The reason your 883 wasn’t fast enough is that it had no balls and that’s a direct result its poor and severely outdated design as well as its complete lack of technology and engineering.  You had an 883 (entry level) Harley and now you have a 1450cc model, which is over twice the engine size that I have in my Honda and I doubt if you have anywhere near the 115 horsepower that my little 600 has, stock for stock. 

Zero to sixty in no time? 

As compared to what, Tony? 

As compared to a zero turn radius riding lawnmower?

And … I laughed at this part of your email … you say that you aren’t dragging your knees?  Tony … you can’t drag your knees on a Harley.  If you try, bad things happen.  Seriously bad things.  A Harley isn’t a performance bike no matter how big an engine you put into it.  Eric Buell found that out the hard way when he designed some really neat American made sport bikes then powered them with piece of shit Harley motors.

Let’s be honest here, shall we? 

Really, brutally honest.

You ride a Harley. 

You ride a big motored Harley. 

You ride a big motored Harley because your 883 Harley wasn’t fast enough (duh) and because Harley Davidson, lacking any sort of engineering or technology base, believes that bigger is faster.  This is simply not true.  It may have been true, like 80 years ago before engines really became high tech wonders and Harley may really still be throwing big motors in their “bikes” simply because Harley can’t build any kind of world class engine let alone a high performance engine so they just keep building bigger engines.  It’s all they know, Tony … and that’s because they live in the past and they aren’t smart enough to build anything better.  Saying that bigger is faster is like saying that an elephant is going to outrun a cheetah.  Sure the elephant is bigger and louder and you wouldn’t want it to fall on you but … 

The cold hard reality is that zero to sixty on a big motored Harley is like stomping the long skinny pedal on a Dodge Cummins turbo diesel crew cab dually pickup truck while it’s pulling a double axle gooseneck trailer with a John Deere tractor chained down on the back … it’s just three times louder and nowhere near as exciting.

Over 100mph, no problem?

Again … let’s be real here, please?  How fast does your Harley really do on the top end?

100 mph?

110 mph?

Doing 100 mph on a Harley is like using a blowtorch to dry your hair … it may seem like a good idea at the time but once you really get going …

100 mph.


My ’04 Honda CBR600RR does 130 plus miles an hour in the quarter mile alone on its way to its 165mph top speed.  100 mph?  My Honda isn’t even breaking a sweat at 100 mph because that’s just a little over halfway past the middle part of the tach and speedometer for my bike.  You talk like your Harley’s performance is something to be proud of or awestruck by but to those of us who actually do ride real motorcycles your “performance” is laughable.  100 mph?  I can almost do that in first gear and I have five gears after that to take up the slack.

Now with facts and figures thrown out for a foundation, let’s talk about why I own a sportbike (since I’ve gone over this countless times and you failed to either read that part or understand it once you read it).

I ride a sportbike to live.

It’s as simple as that.

It really is.

I don’t ride fast around my neighborhood, Tony.  I’ve got no real need to.  I enjoy life and I’m in no hurry to hop in the grave ahead of my time especially with all the idiot drivers out there.  In my 14 years of experience in the ER it has been my observation that the majority of motorcycle accidents and fatalities, at least locally, occur to RUBs and other pretenders riding big tour bikes and Harleys.  Posers with cosmetic safety gear who are more concerned with how they look when they ride rather than protecting what

God gave them.

I ride to live.

That’s why I don’t bet my life on cheap equipment, cheap weapons, cheap armor, cheap parts or cheap motorcycles sold at a premium to people who think that price equates quality and who aren’t smart enough to know better.  I own a sportbike because I value my life.  I value race track engineering trickled down to the street.  I value race ready triple disc brakes, race ready suspensions and race ready engines.  I value heavy duty high performance parts that can run, all day long, at 15,000 rpm and 165 plus miles an hour because at 70 miles an hour on a two hour commute those parts aren’t even going to blink let alone break a sweat.

I value being able to cruise quietly past some hillbilly who is broken down on the side of the road, decked out from head to toe in HD apparel as he stands there wondering why his $18,000 Harley Davidson FTC (which I’m pretty sure stands for “Fuck The Customer”) “Little Willy” Special has stranded him like this, especially when it only had 900 miles on it, and then he looks at me riding by on my Honda and he thinks “I ain’t gonna ride me no Jap crap!”

I value being able to out brake, out handle and out accelerate any trouble that life throws at me.  Getting where I’m going in one piece is more important to me than how I look while I’m getting there.  I don’t care how I look while I’m riding because I’m riding to survive rather than riding to make a fashion statement that only my wallet instead of my personality can back up.  That’s the difference between us, Tony.  I support a company that is interested in riding, you support a company that is interested in posing.

I ride to survive.

You ride to pretend.

I don’t ride fast around my neighborhood, Tony.  I cruise, slowly.  I ride my sportbike at legal speeds on the highway and commute to work on it over 70 plus miles a day in city and highway traffic.  I’m a cop and I work for a state agency where a speeding ticket could keep me from driving my company vehicle and could thus hinder my ability to do my job (or earn an income).  A ticket just isn’t worth it for me so I just go with the flow, knowing that in stop and go traffic, in the dangerous world of cell phone using morons and texting idiot drivers that I’ve basically brought an M16 to a knife fight.  Just because I have a bike that has 115 horsepower (stock), will do the quarter mile in ten and a half seconds at a trap speed of over 130 miles an hour and will top out on the far side of the 15,000 rpm tachometer at over 165 miles an hour doesn’t mean that I ride like that everywhere I go.

It’s a sportbike, Tony, not a bottlerocket.  My Honda is a precision designed, precision engineered work of ultra-high performance mechanical art.  It’s not a cheap firework where you light the fuse and then it takes off and you have to hold on tight because you can’t stop it until it runs out of gas.  There’s a piece of technology on my Honda that you may not be familiar with; it’s called a “throttle.”  On real motorcycles, the right grip is called a “throttle” and you roll it back to increase power or roll it forward to decrease power.  How far and how fast you roll it determines the kind of power you make and how quick you make it. 

On a Harley Davidson, the right handlebar grip is not called a “throttle”, it’s called a “Volume control” and you roll it back to make your Harley louder or roll it forward to make it less loud.  On a Harley, the right grip has nothing to do with power, it only has the ability to rattle windows two blocks away and to utterly annoy other people sitting in traffic around you.  Revving a Harley in traffic isn’t like revving a Ferrari, no, it’s more like revving a John Deere tractor and it has the same effect on those around you that revving a tractor would.  The only people who actually are impressed with Harleys are the people who aren’t smart enough to know better.
Since you have chosen to own a Harley (and have chosen to own Harleys before) I’ll understand if you aren’t exactly familiar with anything that even comes remotely close to being a precision designed, precision engineered work of ultra-high performance mechanical art.

With great power comes great responsibility … something that’s unheard of among the Harley crowd simply because when it comes to power Harleys have no real power to speak of.  Noise isn’t power.  Noise is just that, noise. 
Just because you’ve got a really loud voice doesn’t mean that you can sing.

“I ride from city to city, sometimes in the rain.”

I ride in the rain as well but only if I can’t avoid it.  I’ve literally had to dump my boots out when I got home after my work to home commute because where I live the weather can be a bit unpredictable.  If I wake up and it’s raining outside, I take one of my sports cars to work.  My mother didn’t give birth to an idiot.  Showing up at work on a motorcycle when it’s pouring down rain outside and you knew it was raining outside when you hopped on your bike isn’t a sign of intelligence or of being a hardcore biker … other than maybe being a hardcore stupid biker.  I check the weather before I hop on my Honda … there’s an app for that, Tony.  Try it out and see how much better your life gets when you start to realize that just because you can ride doesn’t mean that you have to.

“I need my bags to carry stuff.”


Sweet Mother of Hostess!

How much stuff do you carry when you ride, Tony?  How much of that stuff do you really need?  I carry a backpack with me when I commute.  A backpack.  My daily carry pack / get home bag is all I need when I head out.  If I can’t fit it in my backpack, it doesn’t need to go and I carry a backpack because if the shit ever does hit the fan and your bike is down for the count you’re going to find it hard to hump a bunch of miles on foot with a pair of saddle bags slung over your shoulder … if they still can be swung over your shoulder.  If you’re carrying so much stuff on your bike that you need to permanently mount exterior cargo bags and soft / hard luggage to carry that stuff then you’re completely missing out on what a motorcycle is for … and you would probably be better off driving a car where you’re going.  Ditto for if you have a trailer hitch on your Harley and you pull a little trailer behind it.
I bet the saddle bags look cool, don’t they, Tony?

Yeah, I bet they look pretty cool and when it comes to owning a Harley then looks are the most important thing to remember when you ride because in reality, looks (and image) is about all you have going for you.  In fact, looks and image are the only thing that you have going for you on a Harley because everything else got left behind and forgotten about sometime in the early 1950’s.

“I like the weight, it keeps me from being blown around on the highway.”

Saying what you just said is like saying that you like to fuck obese women because it keeps you from sliding out from under them and falling off the foot of the bed when you’re having sex.  My ’04 Honda CBR600RR weighs a little over 400 pounds wet, about 600 pounds and some change with my five foot twelve frame sitting on it and I have yet to get blown around on the highway (and I’ve been riding bikes for over 35 years now).  I’ve gotten buffeted a few times on really windy days when a big truck passed but I’ve never been in an experience where I felt I was in danger, where I squinched up any material from the seat under me or I felt that I was about to get tossed off the highway into the median or the right of way.  At most it was a minor, if that, inconvenience.

At most.

If that.

Once you ride for any amount of time you start to understand what riding is about, what it entails and what you can expect when you ride.

My Honda is probably half the weight of your Harley and I have no problems with getting blown around on the highway.  Perhaps you need all the extra weight of your Harley Davidson to overcome a severe lack of basic riding skill on your part. 

“I don't know what your beef is with H-D.”

See the first section, Tony.  In short, HD is a fake company that builds a fake product and sells it to fake people who think that they are the real thing.  HD is a joke and it has been almost from the moment it first opened its doors for business.  If you want to know HD’s many sins, take time to read my website and go through the replies, if you can read and if your reading comprehension level is high enough.  Otherwise just keep telling yourself that HD is cool, that it is an American bike, that riding it somehow makes you a better American and that it is the greatest bike in the world.

Keep telling yourself that because ignorance really is bliss.

“But one day you will come around. :)”

It makes me smile when some Harley owner says something like this.  It’s tantamount to saying “I understand that you’re an individual and a free thinker but one day you’ll want to join the flock and start to let others think for you, let others dress you, let others tell you what to say and let others tell you what to believe.”

Sorry, Tony.  That’s just not going to happen.  In fact, the older I get the more resolute I become in my position that I will never own a Harley Davidson or support the Motor Company or take part in the ridiculous make-believe lifestyle that Harley Davidson has had to invent and market in order to stay in business (since they failed a long time ago at actually making motorcycles).  Harley Davidson is to motorcycles what MTV now is to music videos.  You see, Tony, as you grow older you’re supposed to become smarter.  With age comes experience and wisdom.  I can understand someone like you, with no knowledge of Harley Davidson’s long history of failure, of their long history of copying other manufacturers, of their long history of crying and whining and begging for their life, of their long history of not being able to compete with real motorcycle manufacturers in the realms of performance, engineering or technology … I can understand why you might be of the IQ to fall for the hillbilly mindtricks that Milwaukee plays on its target market. 

The point is that as you grow older you’re supposed to get wiser and smarter.  You, by trading your Kawasaki for a Harley, seem to be the exception to that rule.