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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by r60man, Nov 5, 2013.
A good reason to make sure you have one.
I enjoy this forum, but rarely post...odd that I'd reply on this thread, but here's my .02 cents...
I've been on bikes since the late '60's starting with a Honda minibike, and through the years have been blessed to own a wide variety different bikes...many of them memorable ones. The list includes dirtbikes such as Huskys, Bultacos, and Hondas too, throw in a Penton or two, and a Kawasaki, with a couple of CJ framed 'one offs' included. I've owned the original UJM, an awesome CB 750 K1 that I kept and rode for many years, but have had a long list of other fun street bikes through the years, which includes a couple of HD's. My barn has had a wide variety of bikes in it through the years, and to me, that's a great thing.
While I admit that it's true that there's the potential for just about anybody to become an a$$hole under the wrong circumstances, I believe those idiots are the minority. I've noticed that time and miles on bikes tend to temper those things in most riders. If someone stays in our sport for the longterm, they figure out the secret...that the real joy is just in being on the bike!...whatever it is at that moment. The friendships I've made are awesome...but the biker culture (like our society) will always be in change. There's something about putting 100,000 miles on many different bikes over many years that just puts the 'brand' issue into perspective, and reminds me of what being on the road, or off the road, on any bike is all about. I keep thinking...'so many cool bikes, so little time to ride them all'. There's a few don't share that perspective though, and often their identity is found in being a part of some 'biker culture'.
I've had a couple of incidents in my time as a rider...and they were from noobs, or non-riders. Their comments proved to me that they haven't figured it out yet...the awesome joy of doing life on 2 wheels. Recently, I've noted a growing crowd in our local multi-line bike shop which includes HD, Triumph, and all four Japanese lines. On the surface, these guys look like they've come off of the set of 'Sons of Anarchy'. Then I look at them, mostly young guys, and I wonder which of them will figure it out and be 'one of us' (a rider and lover of motorcycles), and which ones will move onto the next fad once they become bored. I'm reminded of the truth once again...that in every group or style of riders, there's the one's who ride for the joy of it, and they are the majority...and will always be those who are in it due to some identity crisis.
A few will always use something to divide and fight...I see motorcycling as the great unifiying thing, as I think about all the folks I've made friends with through the years...from a motocross track, or an enduro, to a weekend of carving twisties in the mountains...all because we just loved being on our bikes. I can connect with any of those guys who are out there on the trails and roads because they are riders, no matter what they happen to be riding...and the rest don't matter. I just ride away and pity them for not getting it...
Well spoken. Thanks for sharing a sliver of your wisdom.
When I got a bike in the 1960s and began riding, people like them didn't exist. Nobody cared what other people rode. It was the fact that one did ride that mattered. The area patch clubs were the ones who put on all of the sportsman races to make a few bucks for beer and such. I never owned an H-D and nobody ever made a comment about the fact that I rode Brits. Most of the clubs rode mixed makes, anyway. We rode together and partied together. There were a few clubs that had reputations, and they kind of kept to themselves, but weren't hostile towards anyone else who rode.
I think the way we are today came from several things. I blame the biker exploitation films and the print media and sleazy journalists. Harley-Davidson gets a share of the blame as well. They all made money by creating the image, an image that didn't really exist previously.
So now, we have those who are wannabe Sunny Sunday riders with room temperature IQs that dress like pirates, ride everywhere in huge groups at 30 mph blocking traffic, and despise anyone who doesn't ride an american made cruiser bike.
There are less and less of us old timers every year. I lost a couple of good friends this year and one the year before. One road raced a '49 WR Harley until he was 85. But there are younger folks who think like we do. And they're welcome. We're the real motorcyclists who care about the sport and know that there's more to it than Sunny Sundays.
ttpete - I agree...and am glad to see the younger guys out there too. The Sunny Sunday crowd may get the attention right now for they're the product of our marketing and media culture as You correctly stated, and sometimes they're the source of some of the insanity as described by the OP, but I still believe they are just one more passing fad. Life's too short to let them define me or the incredibly diverse world of motorcycling that we both know. Ride on!...(and enjoy that TT!)
He just found out that the Obamacare web site works. His preacher is diddling boys. The sheriff won't give him a concealed carry permit due to his meth conviction. His girlfriend is pregnant. His wife lost her job. His dog died. And he's too stupid to figure out how to make Krokodil.
And you say, "I'm not going to say a word, 'cuz you're man enough to kick. my. ass."
If it makes any of you feel better about the shit you get; I get it all the time, since my current ride is a little TU250X.
On the + side, the laughing usually stops when people see me riding in the winter and/or we start comparing mileage. It's a 2011 model and I'd have way over 21,000 miles on it by now, if I hadn't been laid up for the past 3 months with a broken collar bone. (fell at work)
Something about mileage seems to lend you credibility as a "real rider".
Most don't get the 250 thing, until I explain that I live in the city, have no garage or backyard to park it in, and expensive bikes parked on sidewalks in Reading Pa., make for theft targets. (this bike replaces my stolen 09 DR650)
more than likely someone off their meds or should be on them.
100 years ago and older if you acted like that you were just shot or pushed off the cliff without questions asked.
Most overlooked post in the entire thread.
First bike: Honda Rebel. Rode it on a 4200 mile trip 6 months after getting my license. Got a lot of comments like "that engine is going to blow up" and "you're f'ing nuts" and lots of "when are you going to upgrade?" I noticed the comments pretty much stopped when I got to northern Idaho....(I'm from southern California). One guy was going to say something, then looked at the odometer after asking how long I'd been riding (and I already had almost 1500 miles before the trip).
(btw, that was probably the best trip I've taken so far. Went on a trip with the Vstrom this summer, had a great time, but it wasn't quite the same).
However, I had so many more great conversations with people who wanted to ride, but felt intimidated. I heard so many times "I could ride that!".
None of those people would look at a big cruiser (ie Harley) and say that.
The bike was the perfect ambassador for the fun of riding. Which is what it's all about. Some people either forget that or got into riding for some other reason; probably ego related.
Sorry for the off topic story.
Yeah, sounds like way too much to drink and pissed about something he had no control over so he took it out on other people.
Some people's scrotums are three sizes too small.
Some folks flunked Kindergarten.
Others are just assholes.
I am about 2 hours from York. But honestly they have been bringing people in not laying off. At least I haven't heard about lay-offs recently, and they are usually on the news around here.
I don't think the knucklehead's comments had much to do with bikes. He is a nut and you did the right thing.
I have found that the surefire way to get a friendly conversation started is to simply say "nice bike". If it is such a rat bike that I can't say it with a straight face I can always find something else positive to say - one time I was stumped until I noticed that the owner had welded up his muffler out of a coffee can - that was actually pretty cool
Huh, sounds like you met Skippii.
I don't often get the "real bike" comments. If it does happen, I tell them that I looked at HD's, but couldn't get knobbies in the right size, so I had to go with something else.
You may not post much, but when you do
This is true...starting with a simple compliment can make all the difference and is often the first step to learning someone else's story and making a new friend. As to the OP, there wasn't an opportunity to do that...and again, to just walk away and let the idiots reveal themselves is the best thing. A wise farmer once said, "Never get in a pigpen and wrestle with a pig...the pig enjoys it, and you just get covered in mud."
I was riding off-road at an OHV area a month or so ago and came up on a guy riding a nice DRZ 400, I was on my WR250. I simply said "Nice Dual Sport man!" He kind of shook his head and just looked the other way..totally snubbed me! Almost like he was embarrassed to be seen on it. I just took off but still felt a little hurt....Not like I wanted to be BFFs or anything!
Don't fuck with this guy - or anyone that uses deescalation as their first option. Really don't fuck with them if they tell you "I am not very tough." The real deal never looks or acts tough. They won't be "mad" at you as they kick your ass, instead they will feel bad for you (way worse.)