OK, so I am 54 years old and I like/love riding modern sportbikes and I don’t care what anyone says or thinks. So there!
And what, may you ask, has prompted this statement?
For many years I have been…, well, let’s just say I have not had a huge desire to own a Harley. But, in the interest of fairness, for a long time now I have said to my wife that I am clearly biased and prejudiced: I have never ridden one and still I say I do not like them! To be fair I should reserve judgement until I have ridden one. Which I finally did today at the Harley demo at Trev Deeley.
Let me start off with some very definite positives:
1. In going through Trev Deeley’s Harley museum, I was (for the second time now) very, very impressed. The rich history, the achievements, the consistency of purpose and engineering approach: these are amazing things and I think theirs is a rich and proud heritage. Something to be proud of and envied.
2. The image, culture and style that they have been able to create over the years is awesome. The very obvious pride of ownership, the brand loyalty, the huge follwong: most companies in the world just dream of achieving that kind of brand identity and consumer recognition.
But today has again confirmed: the Harley lifestyle is just not for me.
I have no argument with Harley owners and loyal followers. I am reminded of my ride down to Winthrop last year: the town was alive with Harley riders. Clearly people that love their hobby, love their bikes and many that cover the length and breadth of Canada and the US. Old, young, different shapes ans sizes, but they are all proud Harley owners and riders and enjoy what they do.
But it is just not for me.
How can I explain my preference for a modern Japanese sportbike over a Harley? Perhaps it is like the comparison between a scalpel and a sledgehammer. And I know that I am a poor user of the scalpel: sort of like using it to remove a splinter from my finger rather than a heart bypass operation. But I love the feeling of using it. I love the control, the razor sharp response, the way it does exactly what I want it to do. The technological edge, the handling, the braking, the tautness.
And occasionally I rise up to the level of using it for…. let’s reach for an appendectomy! Not everyone needs to be a heart surgeon to appreciate a scalpel.
Or perhaps it is like a Stradivarius violin as opposed to a bass drum. Both are essential in an orchestra. But they are so, so different. And yes: I use my Stradivarius to play “Happy birthday to you”! But through some stretches I occasionally manage a few bars out of something like the 1812: rather brash and somewhat crude but with at least some quality to it!
So: let me confess:
Hi, my name is Alwyn, I am 54 years old and I am addicted to riding sportbikes. AND I EMPHATICALLY DO NOT WANT TO BE CURED!