Sunday, December 2, 2007

Everything is Harley

I am one of those riders who waves at every motorcycle I see when I'm out riding. Not everyone responds, but a lot of them do, whether they are riding crotch rockets or Goldwings. I really believe in the idea that a rider is a rider and we all need to look out for one another regardless of what kind of bike we prefer. Even so, it is frustrating when I go shopping for anything related to motorcycling and everything is geared toward Harley Davidson. I went into a shop that calls itself a woman friendly motorcycle shop, Girlz Ride 2. All the gear was either leather or pink and cut for an 18 year old hard body on the back of her boyfriends bike. Nothing in the store was suitable for on road/off road riding. When I go into Alaska Leather, I expect to see predominantly leather. That is their name after all, but Alaska Leather carries more non-leather than that shop. And the helmets in GR2 were either seconds or something else was wrong with them. They had three helmets that were full face, but there was no seal on any of the three. I ran a dollar bill around the top edge of the face plate with barely any resistance. Wear that helmet in a downpour and you'll be taking a shower inside the helmet! They had plenty of bandanas with a death head though, so I guess that's all right.

It isn't just gear though. I walked into a hobby shop thinking it would be a kind of cool gift for my husband if I got him a model of his BMW R1200 GS. The store was busy so I had to wait for help, and eventually was able to talk to the owner. I asked him if they had motorcycle models. He told me they had a wide variety. Cool, this sounded promising. We walked over to an aisle that had probably 20 models of Harleys. "Do you have anything that doesn't say Harley Davidson on it?" He nods and says he has other bikes also, and shows me a collection of generic choppers. I said, "No, what I'm looking for is a dual sport type bike." He gets this superior, condescending look on his face and says, "Honey, I love motorcycles and I've never heard of a dual sport." I laughed and said "Sweety, you don't get out much." Needless to say I didn't buy anything at that store.

So after wandering around the mall some more, I saw a display of crystal figurines. I have to admit I love sparkly, so I went over to look. They had figurines of everything you could think of from tractors to airplanes. Maybe they'll have a motorcycle. "We have a motorcycle," the saleslady told me. I'm thinking you can't be too specific when you are trying to sell crystal motorcycles. And let's face it, the stereotypical Harley Davidson rider that everyone seems to cater to doesn't look like the sort of person who is going to buy a crystal figurine. So I'm expecting the lady to hand me a generic motorcycle, not Beemer, but not Harley either. After a moment searching she hands me an obviously fragile crystal bike. It's pretty generic looking, looks more like my F650 than his 1200, but still... The delicate crystal spokes in the wheel, the curve of the seat, then I see it, etched subtly on the side of the sparkly tank, Harley Davidson I hand the figurine back. "Thanks, not what I'm looking for."

So I think it is time for Kawasaki, Yamaha, Ducati, Beemer, Honda riders everywhere to unite and yell at the world,

We Don't All Ride Harley's!

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