Originally Posted by portalespeanut
I enjoy this forum, but rarely post...odd that I'd reply on this thread, but here's my .02 cents...
I've been on bikes since the late '60's starting with a Honda minibike, and through the years have been blessed to own a wide variety different bikes...many of them memorable ones. The list includes dirtbikes such as Huskys, Bultacos, and Hondas too, throw in a Penton or two, and a Kawasaki, with a couple of CJ framed 'one offs' included. I've owned the original UJM, an awesome CB 750 K1 that I kept and rode for many years, but have had a long list of other fun street bikes through the years, which includes a couple of HD's. My barn has had a wide variety of bikes in it through the years, and to me, that's a great thing.
While I admit that it's true that there's the potential for just about anybody to become an a$$hole under the wrong circumstances, I believe those idiots are the minority. I've noticed that time and miles on bikes tend to temper those things in most riders. If someone stays in our sport for the longterm, they figure out the secret...that the real joy is just in being on the bike!...whatever it is at that moment. The friendships I've made are awesome...but the biker culture (like our society) will always be in change. There's something about putting 100,000 miles on many different bikes over many years that just puts the 'brand' issue into perspective, and reminds me of what being on the road, or off the road, on any bike is all about. I keep thinking...'so many cool bikes, so little time to ride them all'. There's a few don't share that perspective though, and often their identity is found in being a part of some 'biker culture'.
I've had a couple of incidents in my time as a rider...and they were from noobs, or non-riders. Their comments proved to me that they haven't figured it out yet...the awesome joy of doing life on 2 wheels. Recently, I've noted a growing crowd in our local multi-line bike shop which includes HD, Triumph, and all four Japanese lines. On the surface, these guys look like they've come off of the set of 'Sons of Anarchy'. Then I look at them, mostly young guys, and I wonder which of them will figure it out and be 'one of us' (a rider and lover of motorcycles), and which ones will move onto the next fad once they become bored. I'm reminded of the truth once again...that in every group or style of riders, there's the one's who ride for the joy of it, and they are the majority...and will always be those who are in it due to some identity crisis.
A few will always use something to divide and fight...I see motorcycling as the great unifiying thing, as I think about all the folks I've made friends with through the years...from a motocross track, or an enduro, to a weekend of carving twisties in the mountains...all because we just loved being on our bikes. I can connect with any of those guys who are out there on the trails and roads because they are riders, no matter what they happen to be riding...and the rest don't matter. I just ride away and pity them for not getting it...