It's interesting how in less than 30 years, Harley has gone from being a symbol of the counter-culture to an icon of patriotism. I sometimes wonder how and why that happened. One of the most interesting comments I read on Harely was from Sonny Barger, former President of the Hell's Angels. He said he wished the Angels had taken up the faster, more reliable Japanese bikes of his day (CB 750's, I'd guess), but the HDs were just too ingrained in their culture. Now, the "rebels" are on high-tech foreign bikes, and the "Establishment" rides Harley. Hmmm.
I don't know any European HD riders, so anything I said about it would just be a guess.
I do know from my reading that EU riders in general are under far tighter restrictions and closer scrutiny than we are. Horsepower restrictions, speed limiters, enforced standards on customs, all seem to be the norm over there. That's one of the reasons I'm a proponent for the motorcycle community here to be proactive in regulating ourselves. If we step up with solutions like not allowing untrained people to buy high powered motorcycles, I believe the general public and the government are less likely to jam unreasonable regulations down our throats.
The weather has sucked so bad here, I need to do something for entertainment. Not only has the weather been bad, but I just spent the whole weekend working on the Shovelhead, so you can see what kind of mood I'm in.
Yeah. Just like the gungrabbers and anti-smokers reduced their attacks when the respective industries knuckled under.
I don't suppose you remember the "Less sound, More ground" campaign of the 70's? The bikes got quieter and the fascisti closed the land anyhow. Or when the industry agreed to quit building 3 wheelers... the anti-ATV people never backed off one whit.
Little Hiltlers never stop. Regulating others is a compulsion.
Yes, things have come full circle. The old guys are living the rebel youth they never had (and doing it badly) and the young kids are going nuts on fast sportbikes. I don't think you can believe Sonny either. He still rides and works on Harleys. I don't think he really believed that crap. Just some sour grapes because him and The Motor Company never got along too well. For me, I dig all bikes. If it has two wheels, I want to ride it. For those stuck on a brand, I think it sucks for them, because there are just too many cool bikes out there they will never get a chance to ride.
Hey, everything's going to brighten up this week. Over the next two weeks all the goofballs will get in their "Jump Back Into The Ride!" post-winter crashes, people will stopped being shocked upon sighting the sun, and the happy, fortunate land of Chicago will be enjoyable again.