Danger: BABi on Board

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Babies

WARNING! There is a menace on the streets, Mr. and Mrs. America! A two-wheeled peril prowling your very neighborhoods. These marauders of menace bring a new meaning to TERROR ON THE TARMAC.

What is this new threat? Young hooligans and their high-spirited hijinks? Pistol-packing gangs with a devil-may-care attitude? No, these are the new horror of the highway. These are the BABis: the Born-Again Bikers.

Photo: Not-a-Yamaha

It’s mid-life crisis time, and Mr. BABi has always wanted a “bike.” No, he has always wanted to “be” a “biker.” Maybe his cool uncle had a bike, maybe he saw “Easy Rider” 15 times, maybe he even briefly had a small bike in his garage. It doesn’t matter why. What matters is that he has spent the last thirty years suppressing every human desire in the name of acceptability, and now that the kids are off to school, this would-be warrior schlepps his credit cards down to the dealership and takes home 900 pounds of chrome.

Have you ever been at the dealership and noticed a 19-foot-long cruiser up on a pedestal? A bike that looks like the Star Destroyer from the opening scene of Star Wars and has the turning radius of the USS Nimitz? Did you ever wonder who buys that? Mr. BABi.

Now he is on the road next to you, riding with all the skill and finesse of a panda driving a Panzer after a bamboo binge. And with the ultra-plush suspension of his dreadnought, he could ride right over your grandmother’s Impala and never feel it. To the BABi, the motorcycle isn’t a machine; it isn’t a vehicle; it isn’t even a toy. It is a fantasy; it is instant, made-to-wear lifestyle; it is Letters to Penthouse; it is total Walter Mitty material.

Avoid this Rolling Chunder at all costs. But how can you identify them when you only have a few seconds on the road? There are plenty of older guys on cruisers who have chops and scars, who have been riding since you were nothing more than a broken condom, son. So how can you quickly tell a BABi from an old motorcycle vet on his venerated rig? To answer this question, I put a pillow under my shirt, borrowed some assless chaps, and went deep into suburbia to go undercover with the BABies. I even learned their lingo — “annuity,” “prostate,” “weekend” — to blend in. I parked a rented Land Leviathan at a Starbucks, sipped a grande caramel latte, and waited. My research cost me my innocence, but it uncovered these valuable warning signs.

1: Three headlights. All their bikes have three headlights, for some reason. Also floorboards.

2: Factory customs. For BABies, premium chrome packages, especially “limited editions” are like fresh brains for the zombies. Just as importantly, the only modifications to the bike will be branded bolt-on accessories mounted by the dealer.

3: Branded clothing. From the tip of their boots to the top of their do-rags, every stitch of clothing will prominently display the gen-u-ine logo of their chosen brand.

4: Cleanliness. Their bike will be spotlessly clean. Even though some of them put in up to three or four hundred miles of riding each year, they manage to find time every week to clean and polish their ride.

5: No leaning. Their body is on a motorcycle, but their brain is still in an SUV, so they drive it like a truck. They never lean, but turn that handlebar until the bike points somewhere in the general direction they want to go. Maybe this makes sense since the massive girth of their bikes leaves little ground clearance. Of course, this leads to:

6: Wide turns. You’ll see them go a little bit left before the go right. After all, you gotta get lined up to land a 747.

7: Using the whole lane. Most riders, when they see another bike come up behind them, move to one side of the lane so they can ride echelon-style. BABies cannot do this, because it would require A: placing the bike in the lane with enough precision to select a side, and B: knowing what is happening behind them.

8: Trikes. The walker-with-tennis-ball-on-its-legs of the highway.

If you observe four or more of these traits, do whatever you have to to get away. Jump the curb, make an illegal turn, whatever it takes. After all, you wouldn’t want someone to think you’re with that dude.

This has been a public service message.

*I am indebted to Eryl Price-Davies for introducing me to the term BABi.

Carter Edman is an architect, writer, and rider in Cleveland, Ohio. He teaches “Motorcycles and American Culture” and other courses at Case Western Reserve University.

  • slowtire

    Yawn, again. Talk about beating a dead horse.

    • protomech

      ^^ must be time for the circle jerk again.

    • http://www.racetrackstyle.com Racetrack Style

      Right. There is a lot of other moto material to cover than rehashing a distaste of a type of riding and motorcycle over and over and over and…zzzzzz

    • runrun

      i’m about as interested in slagging babi’s as i am in skinny jeans and open-face helmets.

      come on guys, slow news day? just find more tt stuff.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

    The more the merrier?

  • ike6116

    I feel like this has been posted before

  • wwalkersd

    I’d agree with (3) and (5) as possible indications of newbies. But whenever I’ve taken a couple-thousand-mile ride around the American West, do you know what bikes I see the most? Harleys and BMWs. And last month in Utah, I had a whole line of Harleys all move to the right side of the lane to let me pass (though I’ll grant you that’s the one and only time that’s happened). There are good and bad riders on all kinds of bikes. I have a friend who had a Honda CBR929RR. He couldn’t keep up with slowly-ridden Harleys in the twisties, because of (5).

    Enough with the hate.

  • mchale2020

    What’s worse is the BABi that exists at track days. You know the kind, taking stupid risks, unused knee pucks, overpowered exotic bikes, usually causing red flags. They’re becoming so common it almost made me give up riding entirely. Good thing I went to a Keith Code school. The price of admission filters out a lot of riff raff and the structured classes make the events a lot more constructive than your usual circus maximus track day.

    • slowtire

      So get the guys ear and set him straight. He’d probably appreciate it. Everyone has a first time trying something new.

      • mchale2020

        From what I’ve seen its usually not brand new first time rookies. It’s usually the guys who keep pushing and pushing each track day until they wad their bikes for no good reason.

        First timers hardly ever cause any real trouble because they’re too timid to do anything stupid. It’s the ones that think ‘okay, i didn’t high side that time, let’s see how much more faster I can go’ I don’t know how you get your point across to those kinds of people.

        • slowtire

          It’s a fact that some people will never learn and it’s also true that some people don’t take good intentioned advice very well.
          You can lead a horse to water…….

    • smoke4ndmears

      Most amazing example of this I’ve ever heard of this came my way this weekend at Summit Point. A story was relayed to me wherein some extraordinarily well heeled gentleman showed up in a three axle trailer with two second hand AMA Yoshimura GSXR’s and zero, I mean zero track day experience. His intention was to get his license that day and race the next.

      W.T.F.

      • slowtire

        Sounds like a lot of trailer for two bikes.

      • Scott-jay

        Wool, did he get his license & race?

    • Roman

      Do enough track days, you usually figure out what orgs they ride with (cough, Team Promotion, cough). No need to drop $650 to do a track day, just find the guys who don’t put-up with that kind of shenanigans.

      • mchale2020

        Yea I’ve done enough to watch an organization go from decent to dumpy in a couple of years. I used to ride with STT a lot but their control riders kept letting more and more dangerous stuff slide so instead of chancing three bad days at the track per year its better to just spend the money on one good organization. Besides I like renting a bike more than I do thrashing my own.

        • Roman

          Cool, seriously considering trying out California Superbike. Worth the cheddar?

          • mchale2020

            Go for it. They take a really serious approach to helping you. A control rider is in charge of maybe two riders per class and has helpful input at the end of each session. Each session reinforces one skill and you build upon each lesson throughout the day. By the end of the day you will be flying! Also they paint markers at each turn to indicate turnin for the corner. Sooo helpful in being consistent. Also the beamers are freaking wicked, hands down. Its changed my approach to riding entirely

        • randry

          I was at a STT trackday in the expert class and had some azzhole check up on me for no reason in the middle of a corner with a hundred mile per hour entry speed. I made it around him and road the white line with the gravel inches away. The same dude had been talking crap all day. I will say this, after I chewed his ass, they came up to him and made him pack up all his sh!t and go home. You can find idiots anywhere at any time.
          As far as the bagger stereo type on this thread, it’s getting real old. I ride both worlds, sport bike and touring. My floor boards and foot pegs are ground to stubs. I’ll hang with most sport bike riders on my bagger so thats not saying much about the other world. There is always someone better and faster than you, be humble. Just walk around and look at their chicken strips, you’ll find the posers. I can see diss’n idiots,why alienate a whole group of people and customers, I would assume your in this for the money.

  • HammSammich

    Just need to add “Male Enhancement” to the lingo. ;)

  • coredump

    I think part of the reason cruisers are so popular in the US is because of how closely their ergonomics mimic that of a car. You’re legs follow a similar path from the seat of a cruiser to the pegs as they do from the drivers seat of a car to the pedals. Same thing with the reach to the bars vs the reach to the steering wheel.

    If someone were to design a motorcycle that more closely mimics the ergonomics of a typical car while still providing good cornering clearance, while breaking away from the traditional styling of US cruisers. They would make bank. Also, it can’t be a scooter, because they have image problems here in the US. Although an auto transmission would help sales too.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      You pretty much just described a Honda DN-01.

      • coredump

        I never said, “and make it look like a bag of ass.”

        • coredump

          Although, if Honda had not gone with such a weird looking bikini fairing on that bike, it would have sold much better. Imagine a DN-01 with a single headlight and mini fairing.

        • AJ

          I hate how everyone hates the DN-01.
          Even the Honda dealer looked at me like I was a weirdo for looking at their demo.

          • coredump

            I don’t hate it. I really liked the idea of it. Its just the top fairing on it makes it look weird as fuck.

    • John2

      Dan Gurney did:
      http://www.allamericanracers.com/alligator/alligator_home.html

      I haven’t heard of them being big sellers, though…

      • HammSammich

        Eek, that looks menacingly uncomfortable to me…

        • rohorn
          • Sean Smith
            • John2

              Maybe HFL could borrow one from some SoCal owner, like Perry King, for a test, then…?

              • doublet

                Makes me think of Akira

          • HammSammich

            Hmmm…still looks uncomfortable to me (appears to place increased pressure on tailbone as well as increasing nerve tension through the legs and lower spine) but I’m no expert and without having ever ridden one, I’ll withold my judgement…

            • coredump

              Coming from the world of recumbents I can tell you that the trick is to have some back support. The more weight you can distribute across your back, the less goes into your tailbone.

              • HammSammich

                Hmmm…Thanks for the tip. I’m actually looking for a new bicycle, and I was specifically avoiding recumbents because I was concerned that they’d hurt my feeble lower spine. Maybe I’ll go check one out, before I write them off entirely.

                • coredump

                  If that’s the case I can’t recommend recumbents enough as they are easier on your back then regular bikes. The more you lean back on a recumbent the better, but its also takes more time to get used to the lean angel.

                  Maybe check out an elliptigo or Rans Semi-Recumbent regular bike.

              • rohorn

                Agree completely.

        • randry

          Looks like if you got in a wreck on one it would be hard to get out/off of it.

  • Core

    A few of those made me chuckle.

  • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

    “Trikes. The walker-with-tennis-ball-on-its-legs of the highway.” My brother owns a trike. I’m saving this one for the next time he insults my Enertia.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

      Just call it a tricycle and that’ll do the trick much more efficiently.

    • Bronson

      Can someone explain the draw or selling features of a trike to me? Please enlighten me because I see them only as expensive ass wannabe motorcycles with training wheels and the riders on them (unless paraplegic/amputee) as bitches.

      • Bronson

        Wes/Grant: perhaps this could be the topic of another article?

      • JMcMahon

        Its just like having a convertible, but without any of the utility or fun to drive character…does that help?

      • NewOldSchool

        Have you seen the Can-Am Spyder commercial where they pull up to a western looking bar and a stereotypical goatee’d leather pirate nods in approval…

        I lol’d

      • runrun

        i can’t: all the risk, none of the fun. wtf.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        Old people sometimes lose full or partial use of their legs.

        • Ax

          Young people, too.

  • Gavin

    The thing I always notice is that they feel the need to walk their bike trough the entire intersection. I came up behind a guy this morning, going 10 under the speed limit right down the middle of the lane, brand new BMW. I wish I could get MSF cards to hand out at stop lights.

    • HammSammich

      Not sure if this is what you mean, but nothing screams BABi like someone using their feet as outriggers through intersections and in parking lots. Drives me crazy!

      • Gavin

        kinda, they power walk the bike through the intersection until they get some speed going. they look like a flinstones character getting a running start. in a couple years of 1 weekend a month riding they’ll upgrade to the outriggers.

      • ~RUSH~

        I’ve seen local SQUIDs do the same thing, but they like to do it while they’re riding down the sidewalk avoiding traffic, too.

  • Gene

    Ugh. I used to work with 3 or 4 of these guys, until each one either dropped his bike, or wifey made him sell it. (Oh hell, I don’t care. I see enough of these losers at Bike Week wobbling away from the lights. I don’t care if there’s a tropical storm out there today, I need to go ride.)

  • Coreyvwc

    Mostly true and hilarious, but we all have to start somewhere. In the long run most of these guys either quit or end up really enjoying motorcycling. As long as they’re having fun I’m ok with it (but I will laugh still).

  • Campisi

    Eh, I’d rather they do this crap on a Harley than in their car.

  • jp182

    For those that just think this is just cruiser hate, mchale2020 has a comment about BABi’s at the track on sport bikes. While some of the characteristics are very similar to guys who ride cruisers; some of these are universal. You could also replace “chrome package” with “carbon fiber package” and you would end up with some of the same people.

    Now with that being said, I can also remember a time when sport bike riders would get stereotyped OFTEN and very few people got up in arms and wanted to defend those of that ilk. The disgusted would just move on to a different forum or talk about how they were personally trying to change that image. Time ended up filtering out the bad seeds in the bunch anyway.

    • NewOldSchool

      I stay far away from anyone in a back protector and/or helmet mohawk.

  • Steve

    The Terror On The Tarmac? Really, now. I know it’s written with tongue in cheek, but these guys are far more terror to themselves (and each other, when in groups) than to any serious, experienced rider. They are so easy to ID, and even easier to avoid. I see a helluva alot more truly dangerous (and annoying) behavior from the squidly/stunter crowd on their stretched and slammed ‘Busas than I ever have from ‘BABi’s’. And, the BABi’s aren’t really giving the rest of us more bad press with the cops and general public… BABi’s are just plain amusing, really- and as Coreyvwc said, some may actually end up as good, longtime riders. I will give ‘em credit for at least having the balls to give it a try. Maybe we could do a better job of helping them get on the right track?

    • Ax

      I agree with everything you said except for one thing: BABi’s DO get us bad press, since they’re generally part of the “loud pipes save lives” crowd. Think that doesn’t hurt all of us? National Parks are currently considering limiting where motorcycles are allowed to ride and how many are allowed in a group.

  • Andres Freire

    A motorcycle rider is still a motorcycle rider. Even if he’s on a Harley or any type of cruiser, where is the love? I ride a Buell 1125CR and respect all riders the more the better.

  • Tim N.

    I didn’t read many of the comments because I didn’t want to waste any more of my time. Because of this, I might be repeating something said elsewhere… If so, I apologize.

    Defining different “types” of riders seems to be a trend regardless of your riding style. I can understand drawing attention to errors in judgement in an attempt to steer people away from certain trends. Presented in this condescending format, however, it just rings of insecurity.

    I get it. Witty quips add a sense of the fuck all attitude that we all appreciate. They add interest to writing, but this article only makes me think one thing: I never want to take the “Motorcycles and American Culture” course.

    It seems to me that people who are interested in this sort of dialogue are simply insecure about the validity of their own status as a “biker.” Why else would one need to define what it means to be a poser?

    There are idiots in all corners of the world. Just ride for yourself and stop worrying about other people’s motives.

    • Tim N.

      I should add that I did enjoy “An open letter to every person I meet who finds out I ride a motorcycle.”

      I hadn’t meant for my comment to be a personal attack. Upon proofreading, I suspect it might come off like that. Hopefully, it won’t be taken that way. I simply intended to share that I think it’s curious how interested some riders are in what other riders are doing.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Well, I’ve got to spend literally minutes explaining to every person I meet that finds out I ride a motorcycle that no, I don’t ride a Harley and that what I do is actually pretty neat…blah blah blah.

      In addition to squids, these are the guys killing themselves, being loud, obnoxious and making what we do look bad/giving us a bad name.

      Plus, chaps on anyone but a beautiful woman, who also happens to be wearing a cowboy hat, are never a good look.

      • HammSammich

        As I explained to a co-worker today, assless chaps are fetish wear, not motorcycle gear. ;)

        • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

          “All chaps are assss-lessss,
          Or else they’d be paaaants.”

          // sung to the tune of “Give Peace a Chance

          • HammSammich

            Well, of course they are, but I believe Wes said it best when he surmised, “I just think saying it really drives home the homoerotic nature of said garment.”

      • Tim N.

        I suppose I can see your point and I would say I’m in agreeance on some details. I just don’t understand the need to be a pretentious windbag about it. Sharing the opinion here with such visceral condescension isn’t going to change the state of our culture. For that reason, I can understand the previous circle jerk comment. Most of your readers seem to be in the know, anyhow. Shit, sharing the opinion anywhere with visceral condescension seems counterproductive. Maybe I haven’t been annoyed enough to get off on this sort of thing?

        The only purpose I can see for phrasing as was done in this context is to define your own views of riding as the more legitimate. It rings of the wrenchers who say that you’re only a “real” biker if you can fix your own bike, just a bunch of insecure wankers trying to make themselves feel superior.

        • Tim N.

          I’m unsure why this topic is intriguing me on such a philosophical level, but I continue to ponder the value of this style of rhetoric.

          I do recall reading a quote of yours, Wes. “My readers pay me, not the manufacturers, so I’m free to tell you the truth: Harley’s blow donkey dick.” It made me laugh and aided in creating interest in subscribing. It even inspired a Facebook status including my own less offensively phrased thoughts on the topic.

          Even the Victory Judge review failed to rub me the wrong way. I think my annoyance may have been in that I can find no other purpose to this article. Framed within commentary of some more tangible purpose, it is perhaps entertaining. Here, it is superficial bullshit.

          At least, that is the best understanding of my own opinion that I can come to at the moment.

          • Tim N.

            Excuse the dissertation… :)

            • The Other Will

              Preach on, good man. You said everything I was thinking. Articles like this actually start to lean my sympathies towards the targets of the piece. The author does more to alienate both fellow riders and non-riders than some guy cruising around on a yacht. This is the elitist, better-than-you attitude that gives motorcycles image problems and raises barriers to entry for new riders.

              And, if I’m being honest (and though I’ve never worn them), even chaps look better than all the power ranger stuff the cool kids wear.

              • Tim N.

                I just remembered something I stated on my Facebook wall a month ago and figured I’d share. I was originally talking about Harley owners, but I think it applies to everyone. “Almost all bikes are cool, in their own way. If you have a little pecker and need to think your bike makes you a bigger man, I understand. If you then need to tell everyone about it, you’re a D-Bag.”

        • Edward

          Agree. The article is trying too hard and becomes a bit shrill at a few points. Perhaps if it were funnier or more original, it’d be a success. Not everyone wants to be Rossi and the fact that they don’t doesn’t delegitimize their hobby.

          Edit: I completely agree that these guys look like idiots on the road. Is that news?

  • CG

    Hey, I know, let’s ostracize the biggest and most politically infuential group of bikers there are in the USA. That way we are sure to get the nanny state politicians to look at us favorably! I frankly find this “look at me with my exquisite taste” kind of articles revolting. Graduate from high school pretty soon, ok?

  • Tim

    I have taken to referring to typical cruiser-type bikes as “parade floats”. They are slow, don’t handle well and their sole purpose is to make you look at them. I just don’t get motorcycles that are designed to go in a straight line. Without turns I would not even ride.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Oh snap, you totally got their goat.

  • dan

    way to go stereotyping folks says this 56-year old who returned to biking a few years ago after the kids grown. 2009 Vespa, 2009 Stella, 1964 Vespa VBB, 2009 Aprilia Mana, 1975 BMW R75/6, 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III. No logo clothing and rotate all bikes for daily commuting into Manhattan where you need balls to ride. thanks for insulting me.

    • slowtire

      +1. Perfect Dan.

  • slowtire
  • tbowdre

    This article offers some balance to my world:

    Everyone that does NOT ride thinks people that DO ride all wish they were on a Hardly Ableson

    MOST that do ride Hardleys think those that do NOT ride Hardlys wish they had a Hardley

    This is what makes articles like this entertaining to me.

    Thanks Hell For Leather… you guys obviously get it

    • JMcMahon

      Random guy at the gas pump: Cool bike, what kind is it?

      Me: Suzuki.

      Random guy at the gas pump: Oh, never seen one like that. One of those rice rockets?

      Me: (Really!? They made like million of these.) Thanks.

      Random guy at the gas pump: Are gunna upgrade to a Harley?

      Me: Huh?

      Random guy at the gas pump: *Stares. Blinks*

      Me:*Lowers visor, hits ignition*

      Random guy at the gas pump: *Stares. Blinks*

  • Glenngineer

    I ride a V strom. I like Harley and Stars/Yamahas.

    I like bikes that turn more, but if I could afford a few more bikes, one of them would be an 800 pound, shiney twin for sure.

    I’ve ridden them, they’re still fun, they’re just different fun.

    I’m 26.

    • runrun

      indeed. ride what you like.

  • Holden and Annette

    Whydja hafta bring “prostate” into it, man?

    I used to ride my bicycle on weekends (*that* word!) with a crowd of other cyclists, most of them gray-haired men, and I thought it was hilarious and weird that so many conversations ended up involving prostates. Many a condescending thought crossed my mind.

    Then I became a decade older…

  • filly-fuzz

    What it’s cool to shit on young squids, but this well written article warning us of the BABi has gone too far?

    Both demographics have little skill and large egos but the BABi’s also get an unearned sense of wisdom.

    Really guys?

    I think half of you just showed your age….

    • ike6116

      It’s fine, it’s just redundant.

      When was the last article dedicated to shitting on squids never mind 2 articles in a short period of time?

      What about an article dedicated to shitting on hipsters on thruxtons? Oh wait im sorry, not hipsters, “good looking young people looking to have a good time”

      “Well written article warning us of BABi”

      Warning? Please. It’s just the same old snark. I’d rather Carter Edman offer the more insight he’s capable of as seen in his first article rather than just parroting the Wes Siler sarcasm we’ve come to expect and often enjoy.

      Im 27. I think that the average age of the motorcyclist going up is a bad thing. I think selling nostalgia machines that are long on chrome and short on everything else maybe a decent short run business move but doesn’t have much of a future anymore. I also sometimes take these feelings and the sense of nervousness I have for the motorcycle industry and therefore “motorcycle culture” and graph that onto everyone I see not wearing gear, on a cruiser over a certain age or whatever, but that’s also lazy and I shouldn’t indulge that all the time or treat it as as some kind of virtuous thought.

      If “BABi’s” (i hate the term by the way, it sounds stupid) are really a scourge maybe we need to ask a couple of questions like: “How is BABi formed?” and What am I doing that’s so great and helping motorcycling?

      I can tell you one thing, BABi’s buy brand new motorcycles, that’s more than most of you cheapskates will ever do for the industry and therefore the future of motorcycling. (“LOL why bother I can get a used SV650 on craigslist”)

      • Scott-jay

        “…that’s more than most of you will ever do for the industry and therefore the future of motorcycling.”
        IMO, we owe squat toward nurturing the motorcycle industry. Holy consumer crap!
        It’s putting the cart before the horse.

        Never heard of BABI until reading post. Another way to slice the pie.

      • BigRooster

        I agree with you 100%. Lazy article and beneath what I expect from HFL and a professor from Case Western.

        Tired, boring and not very funny. I agree the BABi term is juvenile.

        I thought I would be reading about sociopathic Born Again Christians traveling around on motorcycles and killing people. Sort of the modern day Robert Mitchum from “Night of the Hunter” meets “Natural Born Killers.” Now that would be a cool story! This, on the other hand, is a huge – meh.

        • HammSammich

          HA! From the headline, I thought it was gonna be about Christers on Bikes, too.

          • KLR_Pilot

            Christer Bikers . . . I like it. Reminds of the old Kentucky Fried Chicken spoof of “Renegade Nuns on Wheels.”

  • Jonathan

    HFL pleases my confirmation bias no end. You’ve got at least one happy subscriber. I can read any shitty North American motorcycle mag for inoffensive journalism.

    Most of the criticisms of this article in the comments are logically valid, but the hell with them if they can’t take a joke, which this plainly is. I don’t think anyone confuses the “BABi”‘s described with the veteran riders the article also mentions with irreverent respect.

    Why don’t they mention the mid-lifer who buys a S1000RR as his first bike? Maybe because it’s not really the topic of this (humourous) article, maybe because that’s just not as common, or stereotypical, a sight on the highways. But how about because rider training, safety and street-smart experience gets mentioned in almost every HFL article about sportbike riding?

  • KLR_Pilot

    Not to long ago I was riding in western Virginia and saw a broken down Harley in the opposite lane. I turned around and went back to see if he needed help. The Harley had a broken throttle cable and the owner a broken spirit and no cell service. The guy had no idea what he was doing. After a few minutes figuring out what was wrong, I offered him my cable lock to chain his bike to a tree and a ride to the nearest help. Quite a sight, me on my R12GSA and a “biker” in full regalia riding pillion. As it turned out the Harley guy owned a chain of Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants and had recently purchased said Harley to “get back into biking.” I was glad to help out a fellow rider and for my trouble he gave me a year’s coupon for wings and beer. By far the most profitable roadside assistance I’ve ever given.

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