Friday, April 17, 2009

Biker want a be???

Hmmm, I hear that phrase a lot and it seems to me that hardcore bikers and people in general seem to think you are either a full time biker or you’re a biker want a be. This brings up many questions in my mind and I’d love your feed back (I’m sure I’m going to get it. Ha-ha). Let's take myself for example; I’m a 46 year old male that has never owned a bike (except for a few dirt bikes and scooters) before, but have always wanted one. Truth is, I just never had the extra cash (wife, kids, mortgage) and none of my day to day friends ride one. So I ended up spending my extra cash on fast cars, boats and jeeps and things. Well a few months back I was diagnosed with type two diabetes and in my mind figured life is short; time to get my first bike.

My first thought was go get yourself a Harley Davidson!

But, after considering the price of one, I was not sure if I would ride it enough to justify the cost. One of my problems is I’m a big guy 6'5”, 270lbs., so buying one of the smaller models like a sportster (under 10 grand new) just would not work for me. I thought about buying a used one, but again I have no friends that ride or work for a dealership where I might get things fixed cheaper on an older bike. So I decided to look at the metric bikes. “True story” a buddy and I stopped by the local cycle dealer, Hattiesburg Cycles, (metric bike dealer) on our lunch hour and I asked the salesman what kind of bike can I get that was over 1000cc’s and under 10 grand. The next thing I knew he was pushing a 2008 Yamaha V Star 1100 (fully loaded)
out for me to take a better look…it was love at first site…I came back the next day and bought it…the price you ask…$ 9,500.00.

After I bought it, the salesman threw me the keys, my wife wished me luck getting it home and I was off. I admit I was very shaky as it had been over 15 years since I had ridden a street bike and did not even have a motorcycle driver license, nor did I know I had to have one at that time…breaking the law…breaking the law!!! Ha-ha.

Ok, all that said now getting back to my questions, I’ve had my bike around 6 months now. I ride it almost every day back and forth to work ,each day to rally’s, long weekend rides and almost anytime I get the chance, hot or cold days (not much into the rainy day riding but have done it too) I consider myself a fair rider (and no I don’t think I’m Evel Knievel

or anything like that) but I truly believe I can hold my own with most day to day riders. Why do people think people like me want to be a Harley guy or a hardcore biker? Truth is I could care less…I just like to ride. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the company of hardcore bikers and Harley riders…but I enjoy the company of metric riders and even the scooter guys and girls just as much.

(ok I admit it, I do make fun of the scooter guys…but its ok because I have one myself. Ha-ha.) Why do people have to always fall into classes, why can’t people just be people?

Here are some of the reasons I came up with;

One; it’s like the great Ford and Chevy debate, Ford guys love Ford cars and Chevy guys love Chevy…hmm, I am a Chevy guy, by the way, but drive a Ford truck…go figure.

Two; I think a lot of my non-bike riding buddies see and hear me talking about wearing leather jackets and even leather chaps (that always gets a laugh). They think that it is someone trying to pose as a tough Harley rider on a metric bike, (Too much of the Fonz).

Little do they know , that the leather is one of the only things that will keep you warm on a cold day and give you a little protection if you hit the road doing 50 mph. Truth is, I wear a blue jean jacket most of the time, unless its really cold outside.

Three; people tend to stare when I’m dressed in khaki pants and an AT&T shirt (required work uniform for management) on my way to work and back. I’m way to lazy to wear biker gear and change once I get to work and change again once I get ready to go home. I swear even if I wore a suit and tie everyday, I would still ride with my tie flapping in the wind. I think sometimes people would rather you not ride if you can’t dress the part (biker gear) not me buddy…I’m going to ride.

Four; why would you ride a bike that is not made in America? Let me just say you don’t get more American than me (I’m all about hot apple pie and baseball)

but there are very, very few of us who buy all American. I actually heard a guy at a rally telling another guy that his bike was made in the good old USA, “true story” the bike was sitting in the back of a Toyota pickup. I hear this all the time from Harley riders, as I look at their foreign made cell phones, helmets, boots, and clothing hanging on their bodies. It just makes me laugh inside.

When I go back and review this, it looks like I picking on Harley guys and girls. This is not true at all. I hear these kinds of remarks mainly from non-riders. To me there is nothing better than the sound of a Harley with aftermarket pipes; it’s a sound once you hear it you will never forget it. It reminds me of a race car with un-capped headers.

As I mentioned above, I bought the bike I have now partly because I was not sure if I would ride it enough…well I have proved to myself I have bike riding in my blood and am now dreaming of a bigger bike. And yes, most likely it will be a very large Harley as I would love to ride one all across the USA.

Ok, I’m sure some of you are asking yourself…after all that, why would I buy a Harley…first I have nothing against Harley or Harley riders…second, I love the sound…third, now that I know I love riding, I don’t mind the extra expense of owning one…fourth, I love the aftermarket products…fifth, it is an American made product and as Americans we should try and support American made products as much as we can, just don’t get caught up in the hype that buying a Harley will save America's economy.

Hmmm, I wrote this post (above) about a month ago but just never got around to posting it, other things kept coming up. Well the other day at work something happen that might change my mind on what kind of bike I might want to buy now. Stay tuned….


Bikermomma said...

Just the love of the ride should be good enough! Who cares what you ride, or if you put 3000 miles on it in a week! Just Ride!

Mr. Motorcycle said...

I totally agree with you.

Fiddle Mike said...

I refuse to wear a leather vest or leather jacket.
Ride your own ride, Big Al.

chessie said...

Al, some of us have gotten over ourselves a long time ago. When I think of all the years I wasted being an HD snob...I'm appalled at myself. Yes I still ride Harley, I love HD, but I'm not ashamed to ride another ride, When I'm asked to review the Victory, the Yamaha, the Honda...I do so with an open mind, although you will have to keep in mind, after 38 years, I will always have to compare the ride to my HD experience.

It's human nature to want to say "My Dad is bigger than your Dad," but it's also human nature to learn from our mistakes and grow into real people who enjoy all kinds of bikers...but damn it, I still had better see YOU riding the bike and not the bike RIDING THE TRAILER! (oh Al, I don't really mean to be picking on YOU, but rather anyone who owns a bike).

Good subject.

GYMONR said...

BIKERMOMMA, MR MOTORCYCLE, FIDDLE… I agree its more about the ride than what you ride, just get out and enjoy yourself.
CHESSIE…Don’t beat yourself up to much about being a former HD snob, everybody has been a snob about something once or twice in their life’s…as for as trailer and my bike…well that is just not going to happen…wait a minute there is my guy trip to the mountains late this summer to do some white water rafting that I was thinking about towing my bike so I could get in some mountain riding (by the way none of my buddies ride) hmmmm maybe I’ll ride it solo and just meet up with them along the way.
Big Al

B Hiatt said...

Man do and ride in life what you like.Enjoy the moment whatever you ride.The only thing that matters at the end of the the day is how good you feel,the freedom you feel and how good your ride was.
People can have an opinon just like ass****. You have more important things to worry about.
I had a Honda 1st time but then got my Harley. I had good times on both,didn't worry about anything except how good it was to ride.
I also am dibetic, blacked out riding and hit a tree with my face,fell 15ft plus on RR tracks,helment came off and so did my face and tore my Liver,fractured skull and ain't supposed to be alive and the other riders were told I'd die before got to the ambulace. enough of that but hit by a car a few years and flown to Babtist Hosp. again with lots of broken bones and again wasn't supposed to make it but it wouldn't my time.Not my fault either time but I will ride again and miss it everyday and meet good people when riding. I don't think I ever got any grief for over 15 years,about what I rode.
I wore what I needed,didn't have to get an opinon. I could dress myself for where the ride took me.
I can understand your thinking but how important is what you ride matter? If you ride it and does the job. thats all that matters.
My friend enjoy you time riding,
thats all that you have to remember when you get older is how much you loved the ride.
Sorry can't spell better and I'm not giving you a hard time.
I'm glad to be here and will be in Rockingham and might get to see you there.

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