Real Biker? No thank you.

I have got to get a Sport Bike now.  Reason, I have to distance myself from the Cruiser set.  My thing about disliking Harleys is really more about disliking Harley Extreme Enthusiasts.  I’ve had run in’s in the past with these brand new leather clad insurance brokers who just got their new HD’s with only 400 miles on the odometer – “Get a REAL bike!”  Really?  You mean your obnoxiously loud V-Twin that cranks out only 58 horse power because it’s engine technology is 20 years out of date… that’s a real bike.  But my bike with it’s V-4 engine with a Carb for each piston and 4 valves for each piston and tuned for 90 horses with huge torque and a huge powerband to give me all that power whenever I want it… Yeah, fine.  It’s not a real bike.  You win.  Even though with your anemic power output to pull your huge bulk which gives you at most half the power to weight ratio… you straddle a better machine, Sir.

“You’re not a Biker on that!”  Really?  Because I’ve not seen you riding all week.  Because it’s been nasty weather… and then it was too hot… and you’ve been rolling in your Cage all summer except just today when you finally got the weather report you wanted and you just pulled on your Leather Vest to show off your Patch.  Fine.  You are a Real Biker.  I’m not.  I’ve only ridden my bike every single day… Sometimes arriving at work soggy… sometimes arriving at home sodden wet.  But grinning.  I’ve ridden in thunder storms, rain storms, wind storms, dust storms, snow, hail, through freezing cold, and blistering heat… every day.  And you are going to tell me that I’m not a real biker.   Cool.  Because if you are  a Real Biker, I don’t want anything to do with being a Biker.   If it makes you feel better… I’ll call myself a Rider or a Motorcyclist.   You, Sir, can be the Real Biker.

Yeah, I don’t want anything do with all that… I’m going to trade my Cruiser for Sport Bike.  Ideally a Sport Touring bike.  Because I don’t want anyone to even think about calling me a “Biker”.

This Magna is now on KSL for sale or trade.   Now if I could trade this for a Honda VFR, I’d be well pleased.

34 thoughts on “Real Biker? No thank you.”

  1. It goes both ways. When I owned a Harley I rode it all the time in all kinds of weather — never had a lick of trouble with it. I did have people who owned various metric bikes that my Harley was outdated, would constantly be in the shop, was slow, etc… My bike ran great, I enjoyed riding it and didn’t really care what people with other bikes said.

    The obnoxiousness exists on both sides of it.

  2. Same here. We have two Harley Rallys, one in Spring and one in Fall, and they are the biggest headaches we have all year. The “hardcore bikers” trailer their Harleys in and mount up like they’ve been burning road all day. And then there’s this “Loud pipes save lives” BS. They’ll probably all go deaf from it.

    I’m looking at getting a KLR 650. That’s my kind of “bike.” Utilitarian, rugged and adaptable.

    1. Oh hell yeah. Go dual sport. You can do better on the street and you can do better on the trail. But you just can’t beat the versatility of a dual sport. And in the dual sport class you can’t really beat the Kawasaki KLR-650.

  3. I’ve always wanted a KLR-650… more over the Marine’s version that gets 100 miles per gallon and an 8 gallon tank. It’s a diesel, but it’s cool.

    1. Parts are going to be an issue there. Last time I looked into the company that builds the diesel engines won’t sell to the civy market.

    1. Gawd, yer gonna get us stomped around here. I agree with ya though. I have 9 bicycles, call me a nerd. One of these days, when I am gainfully employed again, I’m coming to Utah for two things: gun training with George and a mountain bike ride (or three) in Moab.

      Dirt is good, pedaling is good, quiet is good ;)

    2. I just bought a new road bike. It costs twice as much as my current daily commuter but is half the weight.

      But I wear mountain bike shoes and don’t shave my legs, so I’m not a real cyclist.

    1. There’s a new Harley endurance race. Minneapolis to Saint Paul.

      What’s the difference between a Hoover and a Harley? The location of the dirt bag.

      What do Harleys and hound dogs have in common? They both like to ride in the back of pickup trucks.

      How can you tell if there’s a Harley rider at your party? He’ll tell you.

  4. I’m not a biker/rider/motorcycle enthusiast, nor do I play one on TV, but IMO, you’re gonna get flak no matter what kind of bike you ride. You get that Sportbike, I’ll wager you’ll be hearing stuff like “It’s only so-and-so many CC’s. It’s not a real bike,” or “It’s not [BRAND], so it sucks.” It’s the same thing in the muscle car world. I love the Pontiac GTO, and I hear similar retorts from Ford, Chevy, and MOPAR fans.

    IMO, you should keep your Valkyrie. It’s what you’ve dreamed of for years, you’ve always loved it, so keep it. Ride it every day, and laugh and point at the “Real Bikers” who are sitting on the side of the road next to their broken-down Harleys.

    1. Love the Concours. Never did get into those real biker conversations. I just walked or rode away while muttering something about “come talk to me after you break that jacket in”.

      I rode Kawasakis and my HD buddies never said boo about it to me.

      Probably because I always shared my drugs with them…

  5. And if everyone gave you a ration of crap for carrying a 1911, or a glock?

    If you have a bike you like to ride, ride it.

    If you care what other people think, I’m afraid I can’t help you.

    -Plat
    VTX1300 6,000 miles
    traded in an ACE 750 with 12k on it (10k mine)

  6. A Valkyrie is a hell of a machine. It will keep up with most sport bikes on the straights and can handle some curves also. You will arrive fresh as a daisy to boot. Plenty of room for optional galley and head.

  7. The Valkyrie is about the only “cruiser” style bike I will consider.
    I REALLY like standards… like the ZRX1200R.
    A big sportbike or sport touring bike is an almost perfect machine.

    Jim

  8. Upon completion of my ’69 Triumph build I rode it up to a friends house on the lake for a BBQ. As his neighbor(who we’ve known since highschool) walked into the yard he asked “whose bike is out front?”. I simply stated “mine” and went back to my beer. The next few minutes were rather funny..
    Neighbor: So now you’re a biker?
    Me: No actually. Unlike you I don’t shop at the “Harley store” in the mall. I don’t have shelves of Harley merchandise lining my house. I also didn’t get a half assed Harley tattoo 13 years before ever riding a motorcycle. You can keep the name “Biker” and your “live to ride-ride to live” gaudy fake gold derby cover. You and the rest of the suburban badasses can go for you warm Sunday rides to the dealer to get oil changes and leather tassels for your grips.

    The conversation went down hill from there. Not that I have anything against Harleys. I just can’t stand “Bikers”, or at least who pretend to be. My old boss had a stone stock FXR with about 80k miles on it. Rode from Jersey to Sturgis, Daytona, Laconia and out to Cali more than once. Didn’t wear patches or beanie helmets, rode to work(and everywhere else) in the rain and never once referred to himself as a biker.

  9. I just got offered a 2008 Kawasaki Z1000 Sport Bike for trade for the Magna plus 3 grand boot. (money on top of trade) Oh man. If I had 3 grand laying around, I’d trade in a heart beat.

  10. If you’re going Dual Sport…you should take a good look at the Suzuki Vstrom. Water/oil cooled, fuel injected, 98HP bone stock in the 1000cc version — there is a 650cc also, same frame, 1″ lower on the seat — but for long rides the liter bike does better for me…oodles of torque and 60-100+ about as fast as you can think…”need to pass that truck”.

    I have the 1000, and it’s a great machine. Handles very well for everyday commuting but the suspension is tall enough to ride off pavement (it’s no dirt bike, but it WILL take a dirt road with aplomb). I believe you’re tall enough that the seat height won’t be an issue; used Vstroms can be found for reasonable $$ and being Jap made they’ll run and run.

    Also sounds like, if you’re getting wet or miserable you need better gear. Try this here:
    http://www.tourmaster.com/xcart/catalog/Transition-Series-2-Jacket-p-240_3.html
    I run this with the matching transition pants — zip off the waterproof outer and you have a mesh covering for hot weather, put the quilted liner in for cold weather, and you can ride in almost any weather.

    Good luck, stay safe!

  11. I lusted after a Heritage Softail for a couple of years back in the late 80’s, but never took the plunge.

    I’ve ridden on one motorcycle in my life, as a passenger, and enjoyed the hell out of it.

    …..but, honestly, that was more about the girl than the bike…….

  12. There are people who enjoy motorcycles.

    Then there are people who define themselves by their motorcycles. The same goes with sports teams, or car brands, or whatever else people can use to put on a prefabbed personality.

    What they are really saying is, ‘I am an empty person. I have nothing to define myself as an individual, so I’m going to attach myself to a group and hope no one notices.’

    These people attract and reinforce each other.

    People who just enjoy motorcycles are instantly repelled by them. They recognize, even if not consciously, that they are dealing with the false self projection of an empty soul.

    Then again, I have been accused of sometimes over thinking things.

  13. I’ve noticed that there are accessories on the market to “standardize” sport bikes. Windshields for fairings that are a bit taller with a lip on them, to kick the wind over your helmet, risers for the handlebars so you riding long distances is easier on your back. Foot peg movers, and host of other little things for people who ride a lot. I never got around to it on my little bike but I was going to put a head light blinker on it to increase visibility for city riding.

  14. After taking the MSF beginning riders course in 1990 I went to the local Honda dealer to buy my first bike. I was young and no credit and my father would not co-sign. So I started looking and fell in love with the ST1100, the bank said no. I then looked at the Pacific Coast, the bank said no. The only thing they would ok me for was a 1989 Transalp. I did not care much for the bike but it worked even after 68,000 miles. My current ride a Kawasaki ZRX1100. My favorite saying to those Harley guys “Why would I pay twice as much for half the bike?”

  15. I just bought a 2001 Suzuki DRZ 400s last Thursday after completing the MSF course the weekend prior. On the three 15 mile rides that I have taken on it, it has been a total blast. I plan on keeping it for about two to three years to get proficient and then I am thinking Moto Guzzi V7 Classic. I have a buddy who is the man in our area for Moto Guzzi and everytime I see his bikes I fall farther and farther in love. I say ride what you like.

  16. Glad to see you saw the light so quickly. Your lower back will thank you, in addition to superior handling ergos. Lotsa good suggestions up there. Consider expanding outside the parameters a little…unless you are hauling passengers/etc. a CBR600 will do the job, although of course the VFR is superior machine. I would only avoid another back-breaking cruiser, or a lay-down crotch rocket. anything in between is fair game, including Concourse, KLR or v-strom…

  17. I’ve had a Yamaha YZF-R6 since 2001. Sports bikes will definitely separate you from the cruiser crowd… right into the crowd of 18 to 20-somethings who will look at you like you’re am old man. Who will brag about the wheelie they rode on the highway for 40 miles. Through twisties. At 90 MPH. Who will try to race you every chance they get. Who do stupid things that give all riders a bad name.

    Even more of the cruiser crowd will look at you in derision and mock you for your “crotch rocket” (from Japanese cruisers) or your “rice rocket” (from the HD crowd).

    About 30 minutes into a ride, your wrists will start hurting. About 45 minutes in, your shoulders and deltoids start to cramp from the riding position. About 50 minutes in, your neck starts to hurt from having to crane it at odd angles to see the road ahead and around. About 60 minutes in, your back starts to hurt from being hunched over the tank. After that, you just want to get off and make the pain stop. My R6 is for short rides *only* now.

    I can find pros and cons to anything I choose to ride. And, there are jerks in every group of riders – HD, import cruisers, sports bikes, pedal bikes. My point is: Ride what you like to ride. Ride it with pride. To h**l with what anyone else thinks.

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