So the big news in the world of motorcycles this week is Harley Davidson’s plans to change things up over the next few years. Cycle World, details the proposed changes in their article. It’s worth a look if you’re a motorcycle enthusiast and haven’t read it yet. I say, it’s about time. I’m not quite sure about the direction they’re headed but hey, I’m an open minded gal. I remember when choppers were the craze a few years back and Honda gave us the Fury. The popularity of shows like Orange County Choppers I’m sure helped in this trend. It looked really cool until you realized that many of those shiny parts were plastic. I’m not an economist so I couldn’t give you the stats on how successful that endeavor was but it couldn’t have been too much of a flop because it was still in production as of 2017. The idea of a production chopper seemed somewhat of an oxymoron to me, but to each their own & I don’t mean that smugly.
As of late, I’ve seen insults flung about on various bike forums regarding HD & the changes and I don’t get it. If you’re a purist and you love your brand/style of motorcycle then more power to you. If you’re like me & open to various types of rides then changes are exciting. Anything to get more people riding is awesome. My hope is that companies like HD look at buyer trends and pricing. You’d be hard pressed to find a twenty something with an average income that is willing to drop $25k or more on something like a motorcycle. HD isn’t the only pricey motorcycle manufacturer either. Have you seen the price tags on new sport bikes? Who wants to start life shackled with unnecessary debt? Isn’t motorcycling supposed to be about freedom? I hope HD considers this when marketing it’s new models. The boomers continue to age and the millennials are the ones spending money now. I hope the motorcycle companies give them a reason to fall in love with this hobby and keep coming back. Nothing wrong with the past but give the young’uns something they will enjoy and can afford.
There’s an event that I have yet to attend, but am making serious plans for future attendance. From what I have learned the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show is an event in which various Bike builders have the opportunity to showcase their hard work and ingenuity in building bikes. Crazy amazing creations that I can’t wait to view in person. Events like this inspire my imagination and creativity. What an awesome way to interest young idealists to the world of motorcycles? If large companies want to stay on top they may want to consider sponsoring or hosting events like this in attracting new customers. You can celebrate a brand without being a sellout. My Pearl is a HD and once she’s rebuilt, she’ll still have the heart of an American V-twin. Unlike monogamy in marriage, I’m allowed to love a wide array of motorcycles and still be of good moral character! Sarge (my Triumph Tiger) is my newest fling and it’s so much fun to ride for completely different reasons. I applaud Harley’s efforts but as far as adventure bikes go, they are going to have some stiff competition. The idea of a HD adventure bike is really just beyond my ability to imagine as of yet, but hey who knows? I like HD for the sound, the nostalgia, and the ability to go crazy custom on a Sporty with relative ease.
A great place to really indulge in my love of all motorcycles is the Barber Motorsports Museum. This facility boasts a wide selection of motorcycles, ATVs, a few cars, and even a lawnmower (ya gotta check out the lawnmower display). Not to mention, there is a great track at the facility as well. The hubster drags me along every year but this is one trip I enjoy. This is a great place to introduce an interested party to the world of motorcycles.
Here’s a few shots of my little man on one of our excursions to the museum…As you can see, it’s more than just motorcycles. I don’t own stock in the place or anything but I just really enjoy it. Mr. Barber did a fine thing with putting this collection together.
I’m a biker, I like bikes. I’m excited to see what Harley puts out, even if it’s crazy, it means they are adapting & I like to see old companies succeed. There was a great little HD mini series about the birth of the Harley Davidson brand that got me feeling all nostalgic. Not so nostalgic I’ll go out and engage in the orange and black cosplay, but the idea of a couple of regular dudes coming up with ideas in a garage is quite appealing. Kinda like the awesome story behind the Britten motorcycle, also definitely worth checking out! The Barber Museum actually had one of the few Britten motorcycles on display for a while. It was a thing of beauty that you can read about here on the link, John Britten.
I think this next generation of motorcyclists and bike builders can bring some cool stuff to the world of bikes as well. Mr. Britten was ahead of his time and taken too soon. I’d love to see more of that type of ingenuity. I’d also love to see a decrease in the brand bashing. A week ago someone (another motorcyclist) noticed my helmet and commented, “Oh I was relieved when I didn’t see the bar and shield on your gear. So your not one those Harley nuts right?” I don’t care for any type of discrimination (I find that bikers are usually pretty cool folks) so let’s be nice and maybe, just maybe we can keep some of the nostalgia from the past while looking into some cool advances for the future. Whatever your ride of choice, have fun and enjoy the road. Life is too short to be a hater.
“🎶Come gather ’round people Wherever you roam and admit that the waters around you have grown…🎶” -Bob Dylan