My dad and I own a motorcycle repair shop. We work on American and European bikes from late model to antique. We work on euro bikes because we love
them, and we work on American bikes because well... that's where the money is.
So I hear a lot of discussion, bickering, and BSing about who's bike is "best" mostly BSing. While their is the occasional beemer, or Ducati rider
with a snob complex, the majority of the bovine excrement comes from Harley riders on the topic of performance. Now, before the mandatory hog rider
machismo starts flying let me disclose that I own a couple of Harleys, and an Indian. I love them and would not part with them. I also own several
euro bikes too, a K1200LT beemer, a K1200S beemer, and a Moto Guzzi Norge 1200GT.
While I love the sound, look, and soul of my hogs, I would not disgrace them with a performance show down against my euro bikes, the K1200LT will
trounce any stock, or moderately modified Harley, and it's the slowest euro bike I own. It takes a highly modified big twin to stay with it. I could
jump on the K1200S, and their isn't a street legal Harley anywhere that can run with it. It hits 90 mph in 2nd gear, and handles like a wet dream. It
does 0-100 in less time than it takes 95% of bikes to get to 60. On the flip side if I parked it next to my Harleys at a show and shine no one would
give it a second glance, and my wife won't ride it because it's rough and windy.
I own different bikes for different reasons. The best one is the one I'm in the mood to ride today. My 1980 Electra Glide feels faster at 80 than the
K1200S does at 130. Going fast on a slow bike is more fun than going slow on a fast bike. Mountain curves are wasted on a peg dragger, and long
distanced on open highways are excruciating on a sport bike. I love my Harleys for their soul, and I love my euro bikes for their performance. I don't
delude myself that the Harleys should strive to become what they are not, or that the euro bikes will ever turn heads like a Harley. So Harley
guys... quit embarrassing yourselves by trying to race a bike that was born, and bred for speed. Asian, and European bike riders, don't underestimate
the power of cool.
I'm sick of hearing BS fishing stories about ultra fast Harleys. Those bikes are unicorns, and never show up on the street to actually run me. They
always belong to a buddy, or a friend of a cousins ex-girlfriend's half brother, or they're indefinitely in the shop. Somehow they're never actually
being riden by anyone. The 1 in 10 Harleys that actually will accept the challenge are new riders who think "feels fast" means is fast. Then they get
a first hand experience in what fast looks like from behind. The worst part is that I'm usually riding my K1200LT tourer with the wife 2up, and it's
the slowest euro bike I own.
European, and Japanese bike riders need to learn that it's not always about who's faster. My slow, loud, vibrating Harleys are pure fun, and never
fail to strike up conversation everywhere. The Harleys are simply gorgeous bikes. Rolling art. The exhaust note is one of the sexiest aphrodisiacs on
the planet. Fiddling with them, and customizin them is their inherent charm. Big boy toys. Who ever gets tired of toys?
So next time you ride past that Harley wave, and appreciate the beauty of an American icon, and a rider who likes to cruise in style. When you get
passed on your Harley by a BMW, Guzzi, or Ducati wave and admire the technological marvel, and efficiency of applied modern engineering. You're both
having fun doing what you want on what you choose to ride.
edit on 28-4-2016 by Binder because: Typos