When It Comes to Your Ride, Don’t Be a One Trick Pony

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December 3, 2010 | By: Patrick Garvin

As part of my duties at J&P Cycles, I get to travel the country attending various rallies and races within the motorcycle community. And I’ve noticed a trend that didn’t take me long to recognize, nor did it require any super human observatory powers on my part. In fact, I’m pretty sure anybody who’s been on a bike for a while or attended his or her fair share of bike shows has seen this.

For lack of a better term, let’s call it motorcycle prejudice. This syndrome takes its form in a lack of understanding and tolerance between one motorcycle culture and another.

The American V-twin crowd looks down its nose at the Metric cruisers about “riding rice.” The metric guys refer to the Harley guys as owners of overpriced machines that fall apart. And both sides have a problem with the crazies on the crotchrockets. Then there are the dirt bikers who aren’t even considered motorcyclists by some.

Here’s my question: Why on earth would you think better of yourself and less of someone else based on the type of bike they ride? And please don’t bring up that tired argument about bikes being “made in the U.S.A.” That sentiment falls on deaf ears when you consider that most so-called American-made parts are produced overseas, and some metrics are made right here in the “good old U.S. of A.”

There are many Goldwings that have “Made in the U.S.A.” stamped right on the motor. Besides, how many of the people standing on the “Made in the U.S.A. soapbox” are driving an import car. For that matter, how many guys who claim they don’t ride Harleys for maintenance reasons drive old Chevy trucks?

My point is this: Why limit yourself? There are so many incredibly cool machines out there. Why would anyone want to restrict themselves to one style of bike? With the incredible technology available in the sportbike market, you can get year-old machines that have better set-ups than MotoGP bikes of a decade ago. And the Motor Factory in Milwaukee seems to be upgrading and tweaking its product year after year. Gone are the days of a 20,000-mile HD that marks its spot in the garage. And Metric cruisers and Goldwings are some of the smoothest-running bike on the road — and they make surprising power to boot.

Believe it or not, I was recently introduced to the world of dirt bikes and now I’m hooked! In fact, I’m beginning to believe that there may be no more exciting way to ride a motorcycle. Ducati has a rich history and puts out an incredible product with as much swagger as any manufacturer out there. And we haven’t even talked about all the old café racer and chopped hardtails that you can pick up on eBay for a song. CB750s, XS650s — the list goes on and on.

I’m not saying you should change what you ride. Just expand your horizons a bit. All I ask is the next time you are a rally or local watering hole, don’t snub the guy next to you just because he’s not riding the same iron as you. Go over and check it out. You just might like it.

Comments: 8 Comments | Categorized Under: Announcements

Comments (8)

I ride a 03 vstar almost everything customized in one way or another, it was my first back I bought it after my tour in iraq. The group I ride with varies from streetglides,old knuckle,aprillia rsv4, bonneville 650, R6, roadglides, electra glide, intruders, cbr, to full customs with S&S motors. We are the mutts of the dog pound some are die hard harley riders others won’t ride anything but italian me I rider cruisers cuz that’s what I can afford plus if I had a bike as fast as my boys aprillia I would kill my self on it but the point is we are all on two wheel and I rather ride with my group of mutts than anyone who looks down on any of them. Keep the shiny side up and god bless

Hi to all,
I have been riding motorcycles since the late 60s. I pretty much went through all the British invasion talk about hard to start in the rain. It will hone your skills as a bike mechanic very quickly if you want to ride. Always wanted a Harley but just couldn’t afford them at that time. My next motorcycle was a 650 cc Yamaha I refer to it as my Japanese triumph. It ran very well with very few problems started great in the rain. The only thing I didn’t like about it was a very high center of gravity, which always made me feel uneasy. Also, the finish on the bike did not weather well. And you pretty much couldn’t do anything about it. You had to paint the part or replace it. Then came my Harley days. I first Harley was a 1970 superglide I love this motorcycle I still own it. I use it as my street bobber. The motor has never been overhauled, and it runs great. And yes it does leave a little oil. After all, it is gaskets and flat surfaces. My second Harley is a 2000 heritage soft tail classic. I also love this bike as well. No more oil leaks. This is the bike that I use for longer runs. It also holds its own with my brothers victory kingpin. Next summer. My brother could be in for a surprise as I’ve just replaced my camshafts with a little hotter ones. Back to the reason for the article I would just like to say that I ride with all Two wheeled brothers and sisters of the Road no matter what they ride. It’s all about what you can afford to ride and what you like. Ride with my golden rule, ride as if you are invisible . It has kept me safe all these years keep safe and enjoy being in the wind..

Riding a Honda VTX now but did have a Superglide. The Superglide has Jap and China from the factory. I think abt every addon item I picked up at the stealership was made in China now.

Screw It Lets Ride!!!!!!

I started out with an old “bobber” ’52 panhead. Through the years it became a fine “chopper.” I have owned “baggers” from 1957 to 1977. Pans to shovels. After thirteen Sportsters, stock, modified, and fully custom, I think that covers the US made bikes. I rode almost every Honda made until 1971. I worked in a Honda shop. 50s, 70s, 90s, Dreams, TTs and all. Dirt bikes made it as far as a 250cc. The Harley had a two stroker too. A Rapido and a Leggero. The newest I ever had was my 1977 ElectraGlide “bagger.” Now, it’s a different story. I still have a ’72 Sportster and Leggero, however, I recently bought a used ’05 Suzuki S50. From a chain to shaft. From right side shifter to left.
From a kicker to electric start? Directional lights, juice brake, juice clutch, disc brake. I think you all are spoiled. I’m liking the gas mileage though. I’d like to see a crotch rocket with a “suicide shift.” There would be a lot less trying to race from light to light. How many can say they kicked for an hour in the rain to get their bike started? Not enough “riders/bikers” have paid their dues to be prejudice about anything a bike has to offer. We all choose to ride what we have. A good rider can handle them all. If you have to be prejudice, hate a “cager.”

I think everyone sould have a fleet of motor cycles from dirt to street. Each one is different and lots of fun. so spend some cash and have fun

I have ridden metric bikes ever since 1973, so I can not knock the rice. But the only reason I have never purchased a Harley Davidson is the price whoa have you priced a new street glide $30K. dealer servicing these golden pagodas is $500 a pop, where I can get my rice served for about $70.

But my next choice is the Victory Kingpin, they’ve got to be the sweetest one on the road. It right now is USA made but who knows for how long?

Amen to that Brother…

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