Regular road riders are no doubt familiar with the expression gracing the faces of many Harley, Victory (pictured here) and Japanese cruiser clone riders. The look of self-satisfied toughness couldn’t be more obvious; novelty helmets cover neither the eyes nor the lips of those effected by cruiserface. While the intention is intimidation, the reality is ridiculousness. Put an end to cruiserface now.
Photo: Pepe Le Pew
The American Society of Facial Reconstruction Surgeons — intimately familiar with the epidemic after reconstructing the faces of many drunken cruiser crashers — defines the disease thusly: a subconscious furrowing of the brow accompanied by a pursing of the lips and involuntary squinting caused by the lack of protective eyewear. Cruiserface is often accompanied by an involuntary front-to-rear nodding of the head, as if keeping time with a tired classic rock tune.
While cruiserface has many potential causes, listed below, experts agree that the most common is the mistaken belief that other people are somehow intimidated by your excessively loud motorcycle.
In order to familiarize myself with the affliction, I spent a couple hours riding the kind of bike cruiserface is often associated with. The 2013 Victory Judge is sold under the tag line “American Muscle Reborn” and is identical to every other motorcycle in the Victory range with the exception of a relatively narrow rear tire and white sidewall lettering intended to conjure memories of ‘60s-era muscle cars.
Initially overwhelmed by the enormous weight — 660lbs — and near complete lack of leverage caused by the enormous reach to the bars and forward-mount foot controls, I found it impossible to create the kind of over-confident conditions most often associated with the onset of cruiserface. Attempting to navigate urban traffic only made things worse, the lightswitch brakes easily locking and the utter lack of ground clearance threatening to pitch the bike down the road in every 90-degree corner. With 113lb/ft of torque, the 1,737cc, air-cooled v-twin is capable of relatively impressive straight line performance, but only once the gargantuan mass of two huge pistons can be cajoled into altering inertia. We say relatively because the Victory’s 12-second 1/4 mile is notably off the pace of even a 600cc sportsbike, but assume potential cruiserface afflictees are unaware of things like facts.
Navigating corners on Mulholland Drive, I began to fear that my experiment could result in failure, as conditions capable of reproducing cruiserface continued to remain elusive. Perhaps it was my insistence on a full-face helmet that caused it, but my look was more abject terror at the arrival of each new corner than it was confident cockiness. My visor remained closed as we were approached by a group of young women intent on remarking on our accents; their looks of derision at the chrome and candy apple red phallus I was sat astride resulted in flushed cheeks, not a physical manifestation of, “Ohhhhh yeahhhhh.”
Performing repeated u-turns and ridebys in assistance of a photoshoot did little to improve matters. Unable to fully reverse direction in the space of two lanes, the good ship Judge also proved precarious paddling around slight changes in elevation and over unsure footing. Luckily, uphill driveways were on hand to help us navigate multi-point turns, the elevation removing most of the need to push the bike backwards.
Throughout the afternoon, cruiserface remained elusive, instead replaced with frustrationface, scaredofothertrafficface, embarassedface and myhandsarenumbbecauseofvibration face. Uturnface was particularly apparent, constructed of a mix of abject terror, intense concentration and extreme embarrassment as I held up traffic for minutes at a time.
Convinced that I’d failed in the endeavor, I returned home and parked the bike. It wasn’t until I was reveling in the safety of no longer having to ride the Judge that cruiserface made a surprise appearance. Asked to sit on the bike for stationary photos, suddenly the impossible weight and extreme stretch between seat and controls manifested a sort of cocky aloofness. A middle finger to squares, liberals and the clients of the accounting firm I was suddenly convinced I ran. It was, finally, cruiserface.
The experience on the Judge allowed me to assemble a rudimentary list of potential causation factors behind cruiserface:
- A failure to understand that engine size is, in fact, inversely proportional to penis size.
- Simply an unfortunate byproduct of ill-advised facial hair decisions.
- An involuntary reaction to chap chaffing.
- An involuntary reaction to glare caused by the sun reflecting off an overzealous application of shiny parts.
- An attempt to mask the mantears caused by a lack of eye or face protection.
- An attempt to cover up involuntary urination caused by vibration-induced numbness.
- A complete disconnect from reality.
As you can see, all of those causations are preventable. So what can you do to stop cruiserface? Consultations with a long list of medical experts have resulted in in a shockingly simple answer: ridicule. Four out of five doctors agree, you can help prevent cruiserface simply by ridiculing any and all riders of cruiser motorcycles. Do it as often as possible and we may see an end to this epidemic in our lifetimes.