Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Those Harley Guys

The Pirate’s Code, it’s more in the nature of what you might call guidelines.

There are Harley-Davidson riders who would die before they would admit that any other bike was of even passing interest. They go out of their way to disdain “rice rockets,” and claim they wouldn’t even touch something that isn’t a Harley.

Well, that’s more in the nature of what you might call guidelines. If you get them talking, you’ll find all sorts of exceptions. Not that you could ever get them to admit out loud that there are any exceptions.

1. There is plenty of interest in old Indian motorcycles, or in fact, any antique. Maybe they just like saying “suicide clutch.” Who wouldn’t?

2. If their kid goes shopping for a bike they usually figure he can work his own way up to a Harley. If it’s the kid’s bike, they’ll ride that “just to see if it’s okay.” A lot. Even if it’s Japanese.

3. There is respect for Ducatis. They may think the styling is too European for them personally, or the ride too quiet, but they will talk admire these bikes. They don’t like to let on that they’re curious, but they are. They’ve “heard” that the 650 is like the 750 of anything else for power.

4. Victory, Triumph, the new BMW (0-60 in 3.0), and a few others earn some grudging, or perhaps grunting, respect. Just not in complete sentences.

5. If you’re going off-road, suddenly all the Japanese manufacturers become acceptable. There’s a disconnect that makes those machines like jetskis or skimobiles, not in the actual motorcycle category at all.

Go figure.

No comments: