Why All Bikes Are Awesome, Arguments Be Damned – RideApart Rants

HFL -

By

20100628_European_Motorcyclists_Forum_066

You know what gets a rise out of me and makes me madder than a mad thing that’s very mad? Intolerance and stupidity. I’m not talking politics or global peace here. I’m simply not well qualified to offer you a well informed opinion based on my scant knowledge and expertise of those things.

I am pretty sure where I stand in the motorcycle world however. At best, I am an ignorant enthusiast that tries to learn something new about motorcycles every day. If it has two-wheels, an engine and handlebars it has my attention. I often hope my love of bikes doesn’t come across as obsessive compulsive to people. Yet I know I cannot walk past any random motorcycle in a parking lot without taking a moment to look at it, to try and work out what it is and then decide if I’d ever consider owning one like it.

I’m attached to my bike. It’s mine. It’s flawed. It annoys the hell out of me some days and I have added things to it that make me smile and my friends shake their heads. It means a lot to me for a whole host of reasons, and I will never, ever sell it.

I am more than willing to get up at the crack of dawn just to get out on quiet roads and ride. I don’t need to explain to anyone why I do it. If you ride, you get it.

My problem though is this. I don’t give a damn what anybody rides or try to categorize them for the type of bike they have chosen. I have no idea why they bought that bike but if they are happy with it and are out there riding then that is absolutely fine by me.

The other day I was running errands on my bike and pulled into a parking lot where there was a group of guys with sportbikes. They were drinking coffee and had seen me pull in. I nodded across to them and, as I passed, one of them said to me: “When are you going to get yourself a proper bike instead of that thing?” I told him, “I like my thing” and walked past.

This is the issue about the motorcycle world that makes me mad. You can blame it on human nature and say it’s all just a joke, but there is always an element of seriousness in these jibes. I just don’t get it.

I like all motorcycles. There are some that are pretty awful and there are others that make me marvel at the technology and astonishing design and engineering that has gone into them.

I particularly like cruisers, which no doubt will make some of you run for the hills. But that doesn’t mean I hate Suzuki GSR1000’s or Ducati Paginales, or cannot appreciate what they are capable of, or the skill that is needed to ride them. I also really like some of the big Japanese tourers and have wrestled long and hard with my bank manager, who for reasons he thinks are logical and financially astute and has prevented me from going out and buying a Triumph or a Moto Guzzi.

However, recently I did emphatically and candidly tell RideApart editor Wes Siler that I’ll never, ever ride a sportbike. He looked at me and then said: “Wouldn’t or couldn’t?”

I had to think for a moment and then agree it was probably a combination of both. But just because I don’t want to ride a sportbike, or because Wes thinks I can’t ride a sportbike, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them.

In the enthusiast car world there is an element of friendly rivalry between owners and they seem happy to go about joking with each other about their car choices. But it’s all done in a far friendlier way than in the motorcycle community and there is a common understanding, regardless of what type of car you have, that what’s really important is you’re out there driving it.

I am not for one moment suggesting a brotherhood of jovial, backslapping motorcyclists. That at best would be considered pretty damned odd. Sportbike riders don’t want to wave at me and I for one don’t want to try and sell them on the virtues of riding with ape hanger handlebars and a raked out front end on a bike that can trace it’s origins back to the turn of the 20th Century.

I guess what I am trying to get at is that there is stupidity in all walks of life. But as a motorcyclist we’ve spent a lot of time, effort and money getting on to two wheels. We are all well aware of the risks of riding a motorcycle in today’s chaotic and frankly dangerous world.

For me it’s an astonishing experience each and every time I get on my motorcycle. I simply don’t care what you ride as long as you can appreciate just how lucky we are to be able to do this. Or to put all of this another way – all bikes are awesome. Period.

  • Mr.Paynter

    Yes. All bikes are in fact awesome.
    I too get rather ired by everyone’s this is better than that attitude.

    Why do guys I see on my commute refuse to wave when I am on my SR 250 but then say hi when I am on my Ninja 650? How do they not recognise my jacket/helmet? What is the real difference? Why do guys care what it is I am riding? I am riding? Scooter riders are riding?

    People and labelling suck.

    • sospeedy

      Scooters!? Now you’ve gone too far! ;)

    • Kevin Boggs

      I’ve actually waved at scooter riders, admittedly by mistake usually, but they never seem to wave back. Not sure that they know what it means.

  • Kr Tong

    Okay so you’re upset that you own a motorcycle yet you’re still treated like an outsider, by sport bike riders posing outside of starbucks… but then you make yourself an outsider by refusing to even try riding a sport bike…

    Forget the rest of this goddamn article. What kind of motorcyclist refuses to ride a motorcycle? Ride a goddamn sport bike.

    • Brian

      “….you make yourself an outsider by refusing to even try riding a sport bike— What kind of motorcyclist refuses to ride a motorcycle? Even If what you’re saying is, “all bikes are amazing.” How could you know that if there’s an entire class of scoot you’ve avoided riding? It completely invalidates anything you could say. For at least the sake of journalism, ride a fucking sport bike. ”

      I agree with this sentiment…speaking from a POV of experience carries more weight and emotion.

      Wes, take him to a track school like CSS or STAR or CLASS so that Tim can experience a sport oriented machine in an environment closer to which is was derived and designed for. He can then write an article about that experience alone, but I also would like to hear his follow up to this article on his viewpoint on Sporty bikes. He doesn’t have to get his knee on the deck or anything, just ride it and experience it.

      • Kr Tong

        Why not be a competent knee dragger? It’s not a very hard skill to acquire if you’re already a competent rider. Plus if all the contributors are in LA they’ve got fun roads like the snake which are more difficult to NOT drag a knee on.

        • Piglet2010

          If you go to Star, Jason Pridmore will tell you *not* to hang off the bike excessively, as it compromises control – hey, it works for that Lorenzo dude.

          Your knee should only drag because you have the bike leaned way over while cornering hard, not because you are contorting yourself to get it down.

          • Kr Tong

            I think anyone with a modicum of experience on the subject can read what I wrote and know that’s exactly not what I’m talking about.

      • Piglet2010

        Take the Ninja 300 or a CBR250R to your first track class – too much power only distracts from learning.

    • Tim Watson

      Never said I haven’t ridden sport bikes before and know what they’re about – just made the point that I no longer want to ride them. My choice.

      • Brian

        Just for my own edification, how long ago and what kind of sport bike(s) was it you rode? I ask not to be antagonistic in anyway, but more to understand your POV for comparison. This is especially a key thing when comparing apples to apples. If you rode an 87 ZX900 for example, that is a wholly different animal than a CBR600RR of the latest variety.

      • Kr Tong

        Well you said “I’ll never, ever ride a sportbike.” Which i interpreted to mean you will never ever ride a sportbike.

    • Kevin Boggs

      Man, sounds like you might have some issues, Dude.

      • Kr Tong

        I think you should rephrase, if your goal isnt to come off as a douche.

        • Kevin Boggs

          Thanks but you’re doing an admirable job of that all by yourself.

  • tbowdre

    What? Really a group of sport bikes gave you a hard time about riding a cruiser? In my world the typical situation would be completely the opposite where there herds of cruiser type bikers are looking down on sportbikers or actually anyone riding anything but a giant, loud, chrome land yacht of a machine .
    Cruiser to sportbike ratio has to be at least 20:1 in USA.

    I ride a sport bike, a cafe racer and a super moto. Pretty much everybody waves, or says hello if they have the chance, smiles from everyone on 2 wheels… except cruiser riders. They usually look really pissed off, cruiser face I suppose. I think that’s part of the deal though for cruiser riders. Looking cool, feeling cold due to lack of a jacket, bugs hitting you in the face, uncomfortable riding position, lack of proper fenders, major vibrations, loud exhaust. All annoying. I know, I get cruiser face when I ride a friends harley or rent one when out of town! So I can not and do not blame I just shrug and wish them well. I still wave, smile and say hello.

    You so correctly stated anything with 2 wheels and a motor is awesome

    • Chris Cope

      I know what you mean by ‘cruiser face.’ I have always assumed that is just a natural facial state rather than an emotional expression. They’re having to hold on against terrible wind blast and trying to keep their mouth closed so bugs and objects don’t fly in.

      • Kevin Boggs

        It’s constipation from all the cheeseburgers and chili fries. I’m joking, I ride a Sportster but I’m the first to admit that there’s a lot of wannabe tough guys on HDs and other cruisers. Of course there’s also the wannabe Rossi’s out there too. Can’t we all just get along?! :P

    • Brian

      some of those cruiser riders look like they are just scared to take their hand off the bar to wave. body language wise anyway, so they maintain a scowl on their face for to uphold a “look” to coincide with a belonging.

    • Kevin Boggs

      I ride a Harley, not for the image but because I like it. I’d wave at you Bro.

  • Rowan

    It’s my first tour, on my first bike which is a baby Honda CBR500R on the outskirts of some giant city and I’m lost. I pull over the side of the road and my phone is dead including the maps function. I’m pissed off after being on the bike for 7 hrs and have no idea how to proceed. A big hairy biker on his Harley pulls up and asks me if I’m alright? Wide eyed I told him the situation, and he then lead me for 40 minutes into the city and to the destination I was heading too. Tony, if you’re reading this man, big thanks. Harley guys, Sportbike guys, whatever… you taught me it’s all bullshit. I owe you one.

  • Send Margaritas

    Good stuff Tim. On the road, we’re all brothers. Except Wes ;)

    • Piglet2010

      Like the drunk H-D dude that wanted to “kick my a$$” for riding a “rice rocket”?

      For some reason he did not want to hear that rice is not a staple in Catalonia (I was stopping for gas on my Honda NT700V).

      • Eric

        yep for rice u have to go so Valencia and their paellas..

  • Moritz

    Our group always makes fun of a friends Moto Guzzy 1100 Sport. It’s old, unreliable and the tank is full of rust which clogges the fuel filter. But you know what: his bike has the most stories to tell, has travelled the most miles and if you look at it it just has this “badass-attitude”. That is when he looks in our eyes and sees that we are just a bit jealous. I have a Bonneville and regularly ride with Ninja’s, Harley’s or Supermotos – don’t care about the bike – it’s the people that are awesome because “all bikes are awesome!”

    • mustangGT90210

      As of 6 months ago, I would have been “your friend.” I had an old GS500 I brought back to life, that all my buddies (even the ones that don’t ride) made fun of. Kind of expected when you buy a bike that’s barney the dinosaur colored purple with tonka truck yellow wheels… Anyways, did that up, sold it, bought a ’94 gixxer 750 and it’s lacking character in my eyes :( just doesn’t feel the same to ride a reliable bike I don’t have to take apart every week to fix haha

      • John S

        My Buell Thunderbolt is purple but they call the color “Parkway Blue”. Took a bit of getting used to, but I always get positive comments on the bikes looks.

  • it_weenie

    I ride a Triumph Sprint. If I leave the hard bags on, everyone will wave, including Harleys. If I take them off, only the sport bike guys will wave. I just don’t get it. Never have. I’ll wave at a scooter.

    • jonoabq

      While on my old Triumph Tiger with the bags on I”d get waves/nods from motor-cops, or generally left alone. On my Speed Triple I get profiled/followed by cops (they run the plates, follow for a mile or so and then turn around) at least once a month…I don’t get it either.

    • MichaelEhrgott

      I wave at anything with 2 wheels. Sorry Sypder Roadsters.

      • http://stellarplum.tumblr.com/ Marie Delgado

        I wave at the kiddos on pedal tricycles

        • Daniel

          Pedobear is that you?

          • http://stellarplum.tumblr.com/ Marie Delgado

            -____- but you ALWAYS wave hi to kids!

            • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

              Always.

              Also; make wheelies for kids, if it is safe to do so. Those smiles are legendary.

      • jgroszko

        I really want to get a bell to ring when I pass bicycles…

  • Axel

    Even the worst piece of crap makes my head turn if it has two wheels and an engine. It’s still way better than anything on four wheels.

  • Brian

    “…there was a group of guys with sportbikes. They were drinking coffee and had seen me pull in. I nodded across to them and, as I passed, one of them said to me: “When are you going to get yourself a proper bike instead of that thing?” I told him, “I like my thing” and walked past.”

    I have been on the same end of that conversation as you, but with cruiser riders sitting at the table( more often than not the RUB-”Rich Urban Bikers” that bought into the whole Harley lifestyle with Sons of Anarchy angle to their biker persona that is probably not expressed at any other time in their daily life) who don’t know what to think of my bike. I have had this with a customized like a sort of Motard -Ducati Monster 900, my Cagiva Gran Canyon, and my current KTM 990SM-T, all get perplexed looks. The looks and comments are often bred from an ignorance, which I know, but it still amazes me at times. That doesn’t excuse it, because 2 wheels is still 2 wheels. The guys that ride the liter sport bikes in this area are moreso the type that want to go into the high triple digits on open roadways and freeways, all while they have chicken strips the size of Rhode Island, but they aren’t as judgemental as the table sitters. They still think you are somewhat inferior if you have equipment not able to do what they do, but don’t carry the attitude of disdain. I often like to be there with those guys though when on a curvy patch of tarmac. I make the point of my riding ability and my machine’s prowess very quickly, and usually the respect level changes and they openly acknowledge it.

    • devillock

      Know what you mean about the SMT, I have a Speed Triple and SMT and have done my fair share of spanking said sport bike riders. I don’t even bother trying to explain to them what it is, theirlevel of ignorance to too high. Could not be bothered with the weekend warrior cruiser guys either. Posers, if they were actually about riding, they’d have a bike that was rideable. No. Not all bikes are awesome, most of them suck actually and I’d rather give up riding before getting on one.

  • John

    Most bikes are NOT awesome, it’s just that people shouldn’t be rude about it.

    • grb

      I would rephrase that; Most bikes ARE awesome, and there is no need to be rude about the few that are not… something like that. Although I dont know if it applies to the land of Harleys/cruisers/choppers, USA, in which case yes, maybe most bikes are NOT awesome, but there is still no need to be rude to anyone

      • Kevin Boggs

        Awesome is in the eye of the beholder, my friend. What ever floats your boat, Brother.

  • Randy S

    +1 on this opinion.

    If you are like me, though, the problem with this attitude is that you will NEVER feel satisfied with the moto(s) you own. I feel like I should be able to have one of each. Almost everything but my feelings disagrees.

  • thumpthump

    yes, there’s something awesome about just about any bike, something that makes me look up as soon as i hear it. unless it’s pulling a trailer, which is antiawesome. and trikes are incomprehensible, except for sidecars.

  • Guillaume Béliveau

    Cruisers make a lot of sens for today’s world legislations. Cops everywhere, it’s not like you can speed anymore. That glorious time is over, dead, finished. I love speed bikes but fuck, I just feel stressed all the time on these because I know I can lose my licence with a small twist of the wrist.

    Personnaly, I like twisties and a lightweight machine, so I could never have a cruiser. I like naked bikes and standards. But no, cruisers don’t annoy me at all. It’s the “cruiser attitude” that annoys me, just like the “sportbike attitude” annoys me.

    We’re too few on the road to bitch each other.

    • Piglet2010

      Agree for the most part – one reason I traded down from a F4i to a pre-gen Ninjette is that I can run the Ninja hard and mostly stay out of trouble, but a red-line 1-2 up-shift on the F4i put me in speeding ticket territory, even on the freeway.

      If I trade back up, it will likely be for a Duke 690 – fast at street legal speeds due to the light weight, high torque, and reasonable gearing, but not something that will tempt me to ride over the ton.

      • Guillaume Béliveau

        Great choice ! Or if you’re on a budget, you could give a try to the CB500 range ;)

        • Piglet2010

          Not so much on a budget, but I hate throwing out new parts, so I am hoping that KTM imports the Duke 690R with upgraded, fully adjustable suspension. A CB500F would cost as much as the KTM by the time one upgraded the suspension to be equal.

    • Send Margaritas

      You nailed it Guillaume

  • carbon

    I hear ya, Tim. I own a sporty, and I even notice the snubbing within the Harley, uh, community. If you wear a helmet, often the non-helmet wearing Harley riders won’t wave, but will wave if you are sans helment. I know, because I vacillate between the two states.

    Right now, I am probably trading in the sporty for a KTM 990 Adventure, or an Aprilia Tuono. I have nothing against any bike. Except those extended wheelbase sportbikes. Damnit those suck.

    I guess everybody has their hates. I gotta work on that one.

    • Patrick Kiley

      They aren’t waving because they are squinting and can barely see the road in front of them.

    • enzomedici

      I have a Harley Nightster 1200 and noticed the same thing. Love my Nightster though and its old school looks. It is a great bike to cruise around town and commute on for me. Harley guys will say “get a real Harley” and I have to remind them that the Sporty is the only “real” Harley since it has been around since 1957 and is faster than Dynas and Softails and Geezer Glides. Then they typically shut up. But the whole pirate culture and sheer ignorance of safety gear is like a religion that I will never understand. The whole motorcycle culture is ingrained so deeply that even dressing ATGATT on a cruiser just doesn’t look right. Why fight it? I will be selling my Sporty next year to upgrade to a streetfighter like an Aprilia Tuono, Z1000, CB1000R or KTM Super Duke which will no doubt anger both the Harley crowd and the sportbike crowd. hehe.

  • Rameses the 2nd

    Simple rule of life (motorcycling or not) – Don’t be a dick.

  • appliance5000

    Nice article. i’d go a step further – when I hear bikers trashing bicyclists i say – we’re all on 2 wheels and cars can kill us.

    Now about this retro thing…..

    • gregory

      Use your motorcycle in the bicycle lanes in Portland, OR, and you _will_ get mouthed off at by a properly attired & helmeted bicycle commuter. :-)

      -g

      • appliance5000

        Fortunately with a full face helmet i_would_not hear a word they’re saying.

  • grb

    I think your right that there is some rivalry between riders of different styles of bikes that is more pronounced then in automobiles (like adventure bikes (bmw usually) and sportbikes), I also think its meaningless. But I also think its a bigger deal for you because you ride a cruiser, bare with me ok.

    You see if what you really like is riding then you buy a bike that offers the best ride for the terrain you’ll be riding in, then each model has its qualities and characteristics, some models emphasizes some things more then others and vise versa, their suspensions are tuned to offer the best handling and ride for different scenarios, the riding position, etc. There is a bike for each style and taste. But what doesnt make sense is saying you like riding and then make your decision of bike solely because of looks and not think about the riding characteristics, then its like buying a Panigale because you love the looks but you ride it off road, it would be ridiculous right?, it wouldnt work well, suspension would be useless, it’ll be uncomfortable and all the motocross/enduro riders will inevitably be making fun of you.

    Well something similar happens with cruisers, people who buy them are not thinking about the ride qualities they want on their ride, they are thinking on the look, and only on the look, and that is why their bikes ride horribly, yet they still come out and say they love riding… Unfortunately riding a cruiser is like telling everyone you dont care about handling, balance, performance, nor any of the things why riders love riding, you only care about looks, at least thats what the sign on your back reads, and this is pretty obvious to every motorcycle rider who enjoys riding and can immediately tell what determined your riding choice. And some might be more educated/polite then others but deep down everybody is going to laugh at the guy riding the Panigale at the dirt track. I think this is why this issue is a bigger deal for you then most other riders

    I also appreciate all kinds of riding/bikes, motocross, enduro, superbikes, street bikes, naked, faired, every bike thats purposeful. I love how they look, how they are designed, how their elements and style are determined by their purpose. I love riding my enduro bikes as much as my street bike, they are so different and the technique is so different but they are equally awesome and rewarding, because they do what they are design to do very well.

    • Brian

      “…Unfortunately riding a cruiser is like telling everyone you dont care about handling, balance, performance, nor any of the things why riders love riding, ….”

      I am going to disagree with you. the 1 thing everyone loves about riding is the feeling of independence paired with the open air exposure that you get when surrounded with your environment without a pictureframe feeling of a car/cage/truck, regardless of what machine it is. Also, there are many cruisers out there that are better balanced and have decent handling qualities and power. They for the most part ( depending on usage, but mostly in terms of actually cruising for the argument at hand ) are not Harley’s, so therefore don’t get the credit they deserve. Examples including but not exclusive to – Ducati Diavel, Suzuki M109R, Honda VTX series, and the Triumph Rocket III to name a few, and even somewhat including the Harley V-Rod.

      • grb

        I canot say why do you like and enjoy riding, but the feeling of independence and open air comes with every single bike so that can not be a factor on deciding which bike you ride/buy. You choose depending on where your going to ride and how, but invariable the experience is qualified by balance, tuning, handling, sensations transmitted, comfort, performance, quality, etc. all in all, how the bike rides. Non of which the cruiser people have in mind when buying a bike..
        Its funny that what you are describing and what motorcycling is for you is actually the “No Cages” Harley Davison commercial.. they cant sell you anything else.

        • Jonny Langston

          “balance, tuning, handling, sensations transmitted, comfort, performance, quality, etc. all in all, how the bike rides. Non of which the cruiser people have in mind when buying a bike.. ”
          Moron.

          • grb

            why insult me? you dont like the truth? or you actually think that what youre quoting is not true? in which case, do really believe cruisers handle better or the same then any other type of bikes? Obviously not, you would have to be very ignorant to believe that, and so, why insult me if you know its not my fault if you fell for that cruiser/revel/biker look they sold you

            • Send Margaritas

              “balance, tuning, handling, sensations transmitted, comfort, performance, quality, etc. all in all, how the bike rides. Non of which the cruiser people have in mind when buying a bike.. ”

              His comment was pretty much deserved for that Troll grb. It is clearly a biased statement without merit. You missed the key valid point about cruisers ‘weight’. ‘Tuning’ is false, most cruisers are well tuned. ‘Comfort’ is false, especially in comparison to a sportsbike. Throw a fairing on most cruisers and they’re pretty much the touring bike in many product lines. Many will argue quality, preferring chromed steel to plastic. I have no love for plastic. Even the most biased writers here note HD’s Fit and Finish is stellar. ‘Sensations transmitted’, a unique comment, could easily be argued as in a V-Twin’s favor. Performance also includes torque, which v-twin’s cruisers have in spades, and although you can see more HP in inline 4′s etc., most cruisers have more than enough HP to ‘Cruise’ well at legal speeds, even at the lower end of the HP range.
              So face it. It was a faceless troll statement, saying those 80% of motorcyclists are ignorant. Alas, I’ve fed the troll.

              Was Steve McQueen ignorant to ride Harleys? Including this ancient one? http://www.cycleworld.com/2013/06/06/steve-mcqueen-1931-harley-davidson-to-hit-auction-block/

              • grb

                I think you didnt understand me or you didnt read all my comments. Im not talking only about sportbikes & cruisers, Im talking about all bikes, all kinds of bikes, and Im sorry if you didnt know this or this destroys your image of what you thought a biker was, but there is a bike that can perform ten times better then a cruiser in every aspect you and I mentions in past comments, and if youre actually interest in true riding then you should know that you choose your bike depending on where and how you want to ride. If you want to ride along in comfort? there are infinitely better bikes at that, if you want performance? there are infinitely better bikes at that too, if you want transportation? there are infinitely better bikes at it, travel? handling? you guessed it, there are much better bikes at practically everything, even if all you want is to look like a biker there are better bikes at that also, like this: http://rideapart.com/2013/09/best-retro-motorcycles/
                I guess the only thing cruisers are useful for is if your a poser and you want to pretend you’re like Steve McQueen, or a hell’s angel. (no offense)
                I think its all summed up in this fact “you cant learn nor perfect any actual riding skills on a bike that doesn’t do anything good” cornering, trail braking, body position, balance, etc. etc. etc.

                • Send Margaritas

                  grb, I offer no argument that some of the middle-ground- standard bikes are nice. In the referenced article, I do like the CB1100 and the Bonneville, and could easily see them in my garage. But the points you made sound as much like ‘Sportsbike poseur’ image seeking, similar to that in which you accuse others, based merely on their choices. The things you state as ‘fact’, are not facts, they’re overstated. In no way is a Sportsbike as comfortable as a cruiser. Cruisers essentially have the same riders triangle as do touring bikes. (Some identical, like an F6B being the cruiser form of the Goldwing. Like most cruisers, change or add a fairing and perhaps a trunk, and you have the touring class, i.e. Goldwing.) You see few complaints about handling and performance from the cruiser crowd, for those machines are built to eat miles on highways at legal speeds. Cruisers aren’t trying to be track-capable bikes to sell to sportsbike posers who seek three digit speeds and want to imagine that average potholed, tar snaked, gravel-piled streets are some sort of racetrack to compensate for a tiny pen1s.
                  Cruisers excel at eating up the miles, in comfort, with your girl on the back, better than other bikes. That’s why 80% of American bikes are cruisers. They’ve got the best selection of aftermarket parts for customization as well.

                • grb

                  “In no way is a Sportsbike as comfortable as a cruiser” Again with the sportbikes? whats happening? All your arguments are absurd, sorry, Sportbikes are not made to be comfortable, and I said very clearly Im talking about all bikes in general, yet your stuck in some argument that gas nothing to do with my point. Not only that but you find the inadequate short travel suspension, forward foot pegs, high handlebars, prehistoric engine, terrible handling, ridiculous geometry, noisy, etc, etc, cruisers more comfortable then any standard and touring bike… I find it impossible to have a dissent argument with you… But I think there is one thing we can agree on, always respect others, even if you dont agree with them, bikers and non bikers, there is never a need to disrespect anybody, whatever you do, everyone should get along well.

            • Send Margaritas

              Here is one of those ignorant cruiser guys that cares not about performance. Steve McQueen. Check out all the HDs and Indians this ignorant guy that didn’t care about performance had: http://www.mcqueenonline.com/mcqueensmotorbikes.htm

              grb, you should have set Mr. McQueen straight!

        • wood

          do you drive a porsche? ferrari? or some POS passenger car like the rest of us that has no “balance, tuning, handling, sensations transmitted, comfort, performance, quality, etc.”? some people ride cruisers everyday to work and back and on weekends, some of them don’t even own cars. I would call them “bikers” or “real riders” or whatever fits. I know guys who have put hundreds of thousands of miles on harleys, i also know guys who put lots of miles on sportbikes. I know guys who have big cruisers that almost never ride them. To each their own, man. If you are out riding, then you are a “biker”, “rider” or whatever. If not, then you aren’t. It would be like saying that you aren’t a real “driver” if you have a minivan.

          • grb

            Thats not a good comparison… First of all, your obviously not a “driver” if you prefer driving(not have to) a minivan over other options in the same price range… I think everybody would understand that one… And I do drive a “POS” passenger car like everybody else, but I did go out of my way to make sure a chose a car within my budget that offers me the purest driving experience possible and that I would enjoy driving more then the other options, its the best I could afford as my daily driver… But again, your comparison is absurd, if a Ferrari costed the same as my car I would have chosen the Ferrari, duh, maybe you didnt know this but Ferraris are very expensive and if enthusiast dont buy them its because they cant afford one, not because they are not interested or cant appreciate, but its not the case with bikes, Harleys are the expensive bikes out there, they cost allot more then so many bikes that are 10 times better, specially if you drive it daily like you suggest…
            It doesnt matter if your ride your cruiser every day, only on weekends or you sleep on it, its still a ridiculous bike designed and bought for looks and pose, and there are so many superior options that dont involve paying more (some times paying less) if you’re actually interested in riding

            P.S. Like I said, Im not saying its ok what happened to Tim with the other riders, I would never do that to anybody, but its still pretty obvious to me why somebody buys a cruiser, its just a fact

            • Kevin Boggs

              Did you even read the article? I love how you can read minds and determine people’s motives based on their choices. Incredible talent! I ride a Sportster every day. I used to be into sport bikes back when they were called Café Racers. (CB400F, Benelli 250, Suzuki 450ST, etc.) I’m getting older now and I like the way my bike feels & sounds. It rides and corners fine for my current tolerance levels and I don’t know why I should apologize for choosing to ride it. Trust me Brother, your “fact” is an opinion.

              • grb

                Hmmm, I think it’s you who didnt read the whole conversation… And I can determine people’s motives based on their choices, because its very obvious and pretty easy, for example If you buy a motocross a bike built with high performance long travel suspension, proper ergonomics, high fenders for the mud and tires that have huge knobs I can determine without effort where and how you intend to ride. If you buy a bike in which every inch, the frame, rake angle, lights, suspension, every piece was determined because of how it looks not how it performs and rides, and many times at the cost of making the ride horrible. Then without stressing my brain I can obviously determine your buying it because of the looks, you don’t have to be very intelligent to see this, much less read people’s minds.. But still, you dont need to apologize, I post comments here just for argument sake, even if I disagree with you and your motorcycle choice, I respect everyone who respects me too, biker or not.

    • Send Margaritas

      “…Unfortunately riding a cruiser is like telling everyone you dont care about handling, balance, performance, nor any of the things why riders love riding, ….”
      Actually, what happens when Cruiser riders happen to actually spot sport bike riders out for those short cruises their marginal comfort level afford, in sit-up-and-beg-position, with all their weight on their wrists, on the real road wishing they were on a track, suffering through the whine of their engine needing 3-4 times the RPMs that a vtwin has to put out to do the same speed, struggling for enjoyment at legal speed limits, and compensating for the tiny Johnson that compelled them to sportsbike-race-poseur images, is that that we feel for them.
      We feel pity.

      • grb

        Again with the sportbikes? I made it very clear Im talking about all bikes in general, and I also said “you choose your bike depending on where and how you want to ride” it turns out sportbikes are the best at what they do, and they do it exceptionally well, weather on track or twisty roads, they are a supreme example of excellent and top level engineering.. I also said its not a good idea to use a bike out of its element, and I used the example of a panigale on a dirt track… So your reply and arguments are beyond ridiculous and have nothing to do with what Im talking about.. i dont know why your having such a hard time figuring this out… did you actually read my comment?

        • Kevin Boggs

          Yeah, nice flame bait, Dude.

  • msay

    Scooters too? My feelings towards scooters come from the fact that 9/10 times I see them, they’re on a college campus and being used to get to class instead of walking or a bicycle. So I tend to see scooters as better off college kids being lazy, which is fine. So far in 4 years of riding I’ve had 2 negative comments about my bike(s). 1st was when I had a ninja 250 and was promptly told “you gotta get a real bike bro, 600cc or nothing” by another kid at a party who owned a GS500 for one year before letting it sit all winter and not be bothered to figure out how to get it running again. 2nd was some old man saying to my friend that I needed a real bike, the old dude being a Harley guy. Other than that, I’ve talked with cruiser and sport bike people and have had only good things to say about it.

    It doesn’t matter what you ride so long as you ride and in terms of what you ride, to each their own.

    but scooters are still kinda lame.

    • Piglet2010

      So what do you say to the guy wearing a Roadcrafter while riding a scooter?

      Been there, done that, buy the way.

      • msay

        High five him for being the most serious scooter-person I’ve met.

  • gregory

    This article is very North American… very “American” in fact.

    I don’t see this harsh cultural clash existing in East Asia.

    Perhaps Europe is different.

    -g

  • gregory

    Two wheels aren’t some odd sort of transportation.

    You have the neighbourhood-level 90cc or 125cc vehicles. You have the hobbyist/ hipsters at the 400cc level. Then you have the rich kids/ nut cases/ retired doctors at the 1’300cc level.

    The hooligan kids at 1am on the streets, with LED blinky tail lights, generally ride 125cc. That’s enough to kill you. Why would anyone ever snide you about your two-wheeled transport choice?

    What’s this odd cruiser/ sportsbike thing about which you speak? Simply the fact of having two wheels doesn’t place you in a “category”. It’s just transportation, dude.

    I don’t get it.

    -g

  • gregory

    Yank motorcycle culture is weird.

    It’s as if a two-wheeled motorized vehicle is somehow “different” from the rest of humanity’s transportation choices.

    Embrace scooters to get to work. Enjoy a 650cc V-twin for the weekend trips out into the country. Get a 125cc standard for your “classic” looks. What’s more to get?

    -g

    • Justin McClintock

      Seems that you have a very non-American view of bikes. Many small scooters and 125cc bikes wouldn’t even get most Americans to work on their commute, let alone allow for a weekend ride out of town.

      And in the US, two wheels ARE some odd sort of transportation. Around here, you can get run over by somebody not paying attention at a stoplight and the law practically looks at it as the motorcyclist’s fault for not being in a car.

      • Piglet2010

        Hey, I have taken rides several hundred miles in length on a 108cc scooter.

      • Kr Tong

        We all know that’s what we say to ourselves but come on. We’re big fat lazy americans that need big fat lazy american vehicles.

        Meanwhile places like washington state, where its cold, mountainous, and rainy wherever and whenever…. is also a state with a HUGE contingent of avid year-round commuting cyclists.

        The difference between Europe and America is cultural and nothing more.

        • Justin McClintock

          The road outside my neighborhood has a 45 mph speed limit. I have a relatively short 6 mile commute and I have a 55 mph speed limit on a 7 lane road between my home and work. You can try and ride a 125cc bike through there, but I’d prefer to keep myself in one piece. Even on my DT175 its scary. And I know I’m not some kind of anomaly. America was built around the car. Europe wasn’t.

          • http://ericrshelton.com/ Eric R. Shelton

            And yet Europe still manages to do it all better… :(

          • Kr Tong

            Many freeways allow for bicycles, so the fear of being hit by riding lower displacement is completely irrational. Its reverse rationalization for trying to rationalize wanting to go fast.

            • Justin McClintock

              Freeways, perhaps. Interstates? No. None. Nada. Zero. Zilch. There is no interstate in the entire US that allows bicycles. That’s part of the requirements to make it an interstate to begin with. And while we’re at it, none will allow anything below 150cc either. Those aren’t opinions, they’re laws.

              • Kr Tong

                Uhhhh most interstates are open to cyclists.

                • Justin McClintock

                  Look, I don’t know where you got your information from, but only 4 states in the entire country allow bicycles completely unlimited access to the interstate, 8 allow limited access at bridge locations only where other infrastructure isn’t provided, 2 allow access only by permit and the remaining 36 do not allow bicycle access on the interstates whatsoever.

                  As for riding a 200cc Vespa around the world…sure it can be done. That doesn’t make it a good idea. I live in Atlanta. The roads around here have high speed limits and they’re typically ignored by people wanting to go faster anyway. While it would be perfectly legal to ride a 200cc motorcycle or scooter on the interstate, it would be extremely ill advised. There are plenty of things out there that are legal and that you “can” do, that doesn’t mean they’re things you “should” do. Trying to force a European dynamic on US transportation fits the bill.

    • CruisingTroll

      Perhaps this will put it into perspective for you.

      Mods vs Rockers.

      As for embracing scooters to get to work, questionable how practical that is for many Americans… my commute is 37 miles. Each way. Most of which is on a freeway. (No, I’m not going to spend another 15-30 minutes EACH WAY to avoid the freeway. There’s only TWO roads between the valley where I live, and the one where I work. One road is the freeway, the other is the long-time-way.) It’s going to take a good sized scooter (which will lose many of the scooter benefits) to avoid getting run over on a freeway where much of the avg speed is 70+mph (including up a grade that WILL slow anything w/ less than 250cc). The different road dynamics, as well as the much lower congestion in most cities here compared to Europe, makes a scooter much less attractive relative to other forms of transportation. Because the utility value of two wheelers here is lower than it is in Europe (due to congestion, traffic dynamics, and more extreme weather), the recreational value takes precedence. Which means folks get “the toy they want” rather than the “tool they need.” Many want cruisers.

      FYI, there are no 125cc standards for sale in this country, at least not by a non-Chinese maker.

      • Piglet2010

        Does the Grom count as a standard?

      • roma258

        I think you pretty much got it right. Scooters work in Europe because gas prices are much higher, parking cars in cities is next to impossible (while scooters and bikes have plenty of free options), lane splitting is legal and accepted, and in places like Spain and Italy the climate is amenable and people generally have less disposable income. None of these things are in play here, with the exception of some pockets in California. In that sense, our bike choices are just as rational as those in Europe.

      • gregory

        That’s the most intelligent, coherent explanation of North American urban/ demographic geography I’ve ever heard. Humans will make the most rational transportation choice based on their urban/ demographic geographic realities. I get it. Thanks.

    • eviladrian

      Yeah, I dunno. It’s like as soon as a seppo hops on a bike, the power-to-weight gets halved. Can’t imagine why that would happen ;-)

    • LS650

      In North America, maybe one vehicle in 100 has two wheels – and that’s in the summer. By December, for much of the continent riding on the street is pretty much impossible due to snow and ice. If you are lucky enough to live on the West coast, you might get some riding in if you wear heavy rain gear. The ratio then might be one in 1000.

      Yes, here in North America riding is somehow ‘different’.

      • runnermatt

        1 in 1000 is probably a better estimate.

        • LS650

          Indeed. I’m not sure of the number, but it is a very small percentage of the total vehicles.

          In North America, motorcycles are most definitely not routine or common transportation!

    • http://ericrshelton.com/ Eric R. Shelton

      Yank VEHICULAR culture is weird. I grew up here, but after three years in Europe when I was in the military, I’m now convinced everything we do on the roads in America is wrong. It’s a bummer, but it’s the way things are.

      • runnermatt

        I can agree. When I was in the USMC I spent two years in Okinawa Japan and had my drivers license there. Everyone else complained about the Japanese drivers. I LOVED the way they drove. Come up behind a slow car on a two lane road, flash your headlights and they would pull over and let you by. 4 lane divided highway through the city with a bicycle lane on the side where people would stop to go into a store real quick (parking is hard to find) and block 1/3 of the lane. All you had to do to get past the parked car is move over into the next lane a little and all three lanes of traffic would shift to make room. They were the most polite drivers I have ever had the privilege of experiencing.

        • Kevin Boggs

          I’ve never ridden or driven in Japan but I visited last summer. I was surprised that no one seemed to mind when motorcycles parked on the sidewalk or tucked up next to a building. They seem very tolerant so long as you’re not blocking foot traffic.

  • Heather McCoy

    Wow. I think I love you! Amen, bruthah!

  • J. Brandon

    All good. Bikes are cool, and some are cooler than others. But really, why do you care what someone else thinks of your bike?

    • grb

      I think because the number one thing on his mind when choosing it and buying his bike was the looks, if not the only thing…

      • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

        Here’s the thing though, even the biggest motor-poseur loves his bike. Does it really matter why?

        • grb

          Actually, the thing is that the biggest motor-poseurs love their looks, not their bike, thats why their bike rides like crap. You know you cant learn nor perfect your riding skills on a bike that cant even corner properly, its inevitable they’ll be the laughing stock of real actual riders. Not that it matters, Nor that anybody should be rude about it, its just a fact.

          • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

            That’s one perspective. But consider this: the motor-poseur-in-question loves the bike because the bike is what leads to all of the related gratifying experiences. He gets to customize it to look just right. He gets to ride it with dozens or hundreds of like-minded (same-branded?) bike owners. The bike itself is his ticket to social gatherings and events, camaraderie and infamy. Without the moto, he’d just be a poseur. He loves his bike, just for different reasons than you might. And that’s the whole point of this article.

            • grb

              Yes, i get what your saying, he likes posing, and its fine he can do what ever he likes and whatever he enjoys, we have to respect it, I agree. But then we can also agree that you cant and its an oxymoron to tell a poseur “why do you care what someone else thinks of your bike?” because thats the actual activity he likes, its all about the looks, thats where all the effort is putt into his bike, right?

              • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

                We’re arguing semantics here, but generally when someone poses the question “why do you care what someone else thinks about xyz”, what they really mean is “why do you care if someone else doesn’t like xyz”. I’d venture to guess that the poseur doesn’t care at all what “the haters” think, as long as the bike allows him to get the attention he wants.

                • grb

                  yea, you might be right, although you could argue that in trying to be a biker they concentrate only on the looks and they forget about actually learning to ride, thus they are not real riders (they dont have the skill and knowledge, neither will their look oriented bikes will ever allow them to learn and perfect basic riding skills like, cornering, trail braking, body position and other balance and dynamics of normal bikes) they become poseurs instead of real bike riders and people notice that, but they never started wanting to be looked at as a poseur, yet they are getting the attention as a poseur not as a biker. So the argument is that they are trying to be something but they have the wrong approach and end up being something else. If they started by getting a real bike and learning to use it, they would discover the world of riding, it would be much more rewarding and at the end they wouldnt have the need to pretend, they will already be real bikers, and thus people would look at them as bikers. Although I believe that at this point you enjoy so much riding your bike that you no longer care what anybody thinks or how they label you.

                  I think this criticism against cruisers is just people trying to share what they have discovered in riding with fellow mates, but sometimes poseurs are so lost that they see it as an insult when someone tells them “you should get a real bike”, and sometime some bikers dont have allot of finesse in saying this, but deep down they are still trying to share something they love, and thats got to come from good intention.

                • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

                  LOL. I completely agree with everything you said about them actually BEING poseurs. By definition that means they’re not “real riders”! (This goes for ANY genre of bike-poseur, cruiser, sportbiker, whatever). But they’re still humans in possession of a bike that they enjoy being in possession of. Unless they own a bike that they hate to ride AND they hate the looks of just to project a certain image, in which case they’re just silly, and kind of sad.

                • grb

                  yes, I agree. cool insight

        • Kevin Boggs

          Good point. Even the RUBs and Squids are going in the right direction.

  • Brian Kasper

    Ride Apart seems to really like finding ways to dismiss sportbike owners. At first, I thought that the article about “Badass bikes” being Motards was funny but in retrospect it was probably intended to seek an emotional response from Sportbike owners. Which if it was I took the bait…Shame on me. Now this article. I guess I’ll just admit that because I own, do 98% of maintenance on and enjoy riding my 2007 CBR600rr…. I am a scumbag

    • Tim Watson

      Show me precisely on RideApart where we dismiss sport bike owners?

    • Chris McAlevy

      Yeah, I don’t really see where you’re getting that from.

    • CruisingTroll

      No, you’re a scumbag because you take offense where none is offered or found by anybody else.

      Now, if you were on a Kawasaki ZX-6, THEN you would simply be a scumbag. :p

    • Guzzto

      ????, HFL loves sportsbikes. articles on Ducati 1199, Mission R racing, Erik Beull racing, TT coverage even those naughty New Yorks Fastest that caused a comments riot about 4 or 5 years ago. my impression is they love sportbikes but don’t really like squids.

  • Khali

    Im not a sportsbike guy. Will try one some day, but I dream more about travelling around the world on my motorcycle (whatever it is) than about dragging my knee.

    I will someday own a cruiser…it will be some kind of self-customised ratty bobber. And I hope I will make awesome travels riding it.

  • forking

    I have an ’82 Yamaha Virago XV920 and I can relate to the strange looks! The square headlight gives the bike a strange feel that’s off-putting to Harley riders (not to mention the Yamaha badge).

    But it’s a fun bike with a big ol’ V-twin, so I can’t complain!

    • Konstantin Chachanidze

      :))))) bikemate

  • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

    “all bikes are awesome. Period.”

    That just about sums it up. I said something similar a while back when someone on here was dissing “the type of person who’d ride a bike with an automatic transmission”. It comes down to this: You like riding? We’re cool.

    • Daniel

      My old man rides a bike with an automatic transmission and I still think he’s pretty cool!

    • Herzenstube

      I agree. You also made me think about mxpx for the first time in a long time. Now I have to go look them up and remember high school and my automatic Honda 70.

      • contender

        Honda 70 != Chick Magnet. ;)

  • PracticalBatman

    The only bike in my stable that never, ever, ever got my flak from anyone was a KLR 650. Everyone who saw it, from Harley guys dressed like leather pirates to sportbike guys dressed like power rangers… simply said “Sweet bike!”. When on my “cruiser” (1982 Kawasaki KZ1000 LTD) I seemed to be universally despised, except for other fans of 80′s japanese iron… and on any of my sportbikes I’d get sneers from the cruiser guys… but that KLR – the KLR brings *worlds* together, man.

    • Justin McClintock

      I kinda know the feeling, although all my bikes seem to leave at least somebody scratching their heads. The cruiser guys seem to sneer at my SV1000S until the see the V-twin in it…then they just look confused. Then there’s the DRZ400SM, which confuses just about anybody not familiar with motards. Seems people don’t know whether to wave or run away. But my DT175…everybody seems cool with it, once they realize it is not, in fact, going to blow its engine apart at any second, despite what it sounds like.

    • Piglet2010

      I find the same with my TW200 – it is obviously so different from a sport-bike or cruiser, or even most dual-sports that no one takes offense.

    • mulderdog

      You are right, everyone dug my KLR as well. I miss it for lots of reasons.

    • UrbanMoto

      Interesting. Several years ago I went to a festival of mostly Harley riders in the Catskills. I have an 83 Kawasaki KZ750 Spectre, which is similar to the LTD in geometry and looks. I had several hardcore old-school Harley guys come over and check out my bike. I expected to get some crap and got nothing but appreciation or at worst, ignored, which was fine with me.

      Then again, I have found the Catskills area to be one of the best, most biker friendly places to ride. Everyone waves at everyone. Except the BMW riders.

    • runnermatt

      Now I want to buy a KLR if only to ride to Sturgis. LOL.

  • pete bloggs

    Surely it’s just about personal choice and what you find appealing, if we all liked the same thing then you’d only need one type of car and one type of bike

    I see bikes that I don’t particularly like and wouldn’t buy but it’s up to the individual, it’s their money. I don’t see the need to have a go at people and have an attitude just because they have chosen to spend their money on something I wouldn’t

  • LanlordX

    I ride a cbr600r, I wave at everyone, I just like to ride, most wave back some don’t usually cruisers but who cares, its all good.

    • Kevin Boggs

      On behalf of those ignorant cruiser riders I’d like to apologize. I ride a Sportster and I wave at everyone except scooters and mopeds but that’s because the few times I’ve waved at them they never wave back.

      • http://ericrshelton.com/ Eric R. Shelton

        LOL. When I was just looking at buying my first new bike, I took a Vespa out for a test ride. Small road, and coming the other direction is a cruiser. I’m suddenly embarrassed to be seen on a “girl’s” set of wheels, but he threw me a low wave all the same. I was so excited and happy, I waved high up in the air ;like Forrest Gump. No kidding, I just lost all self-control and must’ve looked like a lunatic.

        Bet I cured HIM of waving at scooters, too!

  • Andrew Karmy

    In the PNW there seems to be two camps. Those who wave: Sports Bikes of all stripes, triumphs & japanese standards, 100% of BMWs, Goldwings, Most scooters, etc. and Those who don’t: Ignorant Harley Riders (50%) and Squids (Flip-Flops and fancy helmets on 600 SuperSports)

  • 480272

    This is the same in almost everything, with surfing short boarders frown on long boarders who frown on stand up paddle boarders and so on. Or you can learn why each type is enjoyable in it’s own way. I have a 900cc (ish) bike and I would love a wee 125cc as well for darting around on, foot on the ground going around country lanes, everything has it’s own quality. However sometimes one does have a preference for a certain type of quality the majority of the time and economically you can only afford one bike. Note I did not mention what bike I have.

    • Piglet2010

      When it comes to surfing, I root for the sharks.

    • gregory

      Surfing?!?

      Now _that’s_ dangerous.

  • Slartibartfast

    At least everyone seems to agree that trikes are out?

    • Mr. White

      Or those horrible Can-Am abominations.

      • runnermatt

        I’d rather have a Can-Am Spyder than a Harley or Goldwing trike.

        • http://ericrshelton.com/ Eric R. Shelton

          That’s because the Can-Am is at least logical. One drive wheel with a proper suspension and tires positioned so the very act of turning, TURNING, doesn’t invite a high-side by the vehicle’s very design. Harley and Goldwing trikes are literally the stupidest vehicle I can think of.

          • runnermatt

            Except maybe a Reliant Robin, but I guess you are at least protected from the elements in the Robin. I think the whole one front wheel and the weight transfer while braking and turning inherently leads to rollovers. Check youtube and the British Top Gear if you don’t know what the Reliant Robin is. Here is one video:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQh56geU0X8

            • http://ericrshelton.com/ Eric R. Shelton

              I saw a Reliant Robin on the road when I was stationed in the UK, back around 2001. It didn’t make sense to me then, either. I’ve got that same clip from YouTube embedded in my blog post all about how I don’t understand trikes. LOL.

    • Maymar

      Hey, for plenty of trike riders, it was just the next step after they weren’t comfortable handling a bike anymore. If it keeps them riding (or something close to it), why hate?

      Those Can-Ams are even sort of fun in a weird way. No way I could justify the cost, but if you’re not expecting a bike, it’s sort of neat.

      • Kevin Boggs

        I agree, although they don’t appeal to me, I am getting older and it’s not beyond reason that I might one day have trouble with a two wheeler. I’d rather stay in the wind on a trike than bottled up in a cage.

        • Kr Tong

          Ride a bicycle and solve all your problems.

          • Kevin Boggs

            What is the F’n deal with the chip on your shoulder? Not enough money to move out of mom and dad’s basement? Keep on trollin’ Sparky.

            • Kr Tong

              I fail to see how what I said was attacking you but okay.

  • David

    I ride a TU250X. I call it my Tux. It’s a 250 retro standard cross between a bobber and a cafe. I’ve done a few mods to I so it’s hard to tell its a 2012 suzuki. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, stops and asks what it is and how long it took ME to make it. They are shocked to find out what it is. Only a few people have given me flack. Fill ups are sometimes a 30 milnute adventure listening to people’s stories and answering their questions. That bike brings everyone together. And to think Ride Apart panned it and said dont bother with it. Funny thing is, it has better geometry than a Bonneville and I pass liter bikes all the time. The only bikes that suck I. My opinion. Is one that’s way beyond your capabilities. I constantly hear people say they wish they bought a smaller bike.

    And by the way, I love riding In the rain. I get to see who the true year round riders are.

    • roma258

      I’ve always rated TU250X very highly. It seems like the beginner bike/standard that falls through the cracks for some reason. Post some pics, I bet they can look real sharp with a couple small mods.

      • Piglet2010

        I like the TU250X, but it lacks the power for freeway use, and if I just want to ride around on a tiddler, I have the TW200 (which is of course, a much better gravel/dirt/off-road bike). If I lived in a large urban area instead of BFE, I would probably have the little Zook instead.

      • Kevin Boggs

        Yeah, I’d like to see your setup.

    • Kevin Boggs

      I agree with the riding in the rain part. Separates the wannabes from the true bikers. Hate getting rain spots off my chrome though.

      • Michael Howard

        Easiest and most permanent way to keep rain spots off chrome is to get rid of the chrome. ;)

        • Kevin Boggs

          Yeah, you’re very correct. But me like shiny, shiny! it’s kind of like bacon for my eyes.

  • Von

    Well said

  • Stuki

    I’d include pedal bikes in the “brotherhood of 2 wheels” as well.

    • sospeedy

      Riding a mountain bike makes me a better street bike rider, just as mx did. The dynamic of two wheels moving around beneath you, and your weight transfer above those same wheels, is related whether there is a motor or not.

  • Nemosufu Namecheck

    Really good points in your article. I just want to ride and hope you wave to me because in the end we are the oddity on the road and need to stick together.

  • mid40s

    Like momma used to say “If you don’t have anything nice to say…. shut your mouth”. Liked your article man.

  • Kr Tong

    I think you know what I meant. Doing something isnt the same as being competent at something.

  • Piglet2010

    I will disagree that all bikes are awesome – those no-name cheap Chinese bikes sold out of west coast port warehouses with no warranty or parts support are *not* awesome.

  • runnermatt

    I for one can assure you that the enthusiast car world is not all “peaches and creme” as you have been led to believe. It isn’t as bad as it used to be but guys that drive Mustangs, Camaro’s or any American muscle car can look down on anyone who drives a Honda Civic, Subaru WRX, or etc. I can only expect that the reliability of the Hondas, Toyotas, VW, etc. has led to this change in perception amongst car enthusiasts. That said there are still some pockets that exist.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see this environment changing much in the motorcycle world (because you know I’ve only been a motorcyclist for 1.5 years now). The reason I don’t see it changing is because in the US motorcycles are still mostly seen as expensive toys rather than the efficient transportation that they are. Until, people have to rely on their bikes for regular transportation I expect they will deal with whatever “problems” their class of bike presents (i.e. sport bikes can be uncomfortable and cruisers are heavy and don’t handle as well as other classes of motorcycles), not to mention the unreliability of whatever motorcycle they happen to own. The reason they will deal with these “problems” is because they have no reason, nor are forced to consider other alternatives so they personally identify with whatever camp they ride with and hate on the others.

    That said, when on my CBR250R I wave to everyone on two or three wheels. I try to spread good will and improve the view a cruiser rider may have of sport bike riders. And if I wave at a cruiser rider and he gets mad about it, well that makes me happy too.

  • Michael

    I don’t know why there’s a need to be ‘accepted’ into further sub categories of two wheel riders. Wave or no wave, it doesn’t matter. You’ve got a bike? Good. You enjoy riding it? Rock on. Do you have to have others riders see you as ‘cool’ for you to enjoy riding? Not really.
    I use my bike to go anywhere, and commute with it daily. I wear full riding gear whenever I go, no matter what the weather is like. The funny thing is, my commute jacket is HD branded, and I wear a full face Nolan Melandri replica. When I’m off my bike (but carrying my gear), people ask me about my Harley, or what ‘Ninja’ bike I’m riding. I have neither, as I ride a little rs 125 2-stroker. When I tell them this, I get a puzzled look. Maybe because I’m 6’2 225lbs guy riding a ‘kids’ bike (I think I’m heavier than my bike!) but I don’t care. It makes me happy. I can give it the stick anytime I want, and don’t loose my license in the process. Plus, I can do all the maintenance work myself.

  • Mariofz1

    My ride: FZ1 ’04. Sportbike riders wave back, some cruisers riders do, some don’t and I am ok with it if they want to dicks….On bike nights, cruisers riders label my bike a crotch rocket ( I believe the term was coined by a disgruntled Harley rider ), sportbike guys look at my handlebars….They shut up when I turn the key to show over 117,000 miles and counting….I haven’t owned a car in over 7 years, and don’t miss it…

  • Raph

    thank you!

  • LS650

    Well, except those little chicken chaser scooters. They suck.

    • LS650

      You gave me a thumbs-down, but you know it’s true!

  • Emmet

    from the standpoint of transportation as a whole, motorcyclists are a minority. We can’t hate on each other simply because we’re the same and we’re outnumbered. That said, When I’m at a motorcycle event-a ride, show, swap meet, etc., everyone is a motorcyclist. It’s easy to shit on the monkey bike guys at Mid Ohio, or the UJM guys at a British bike show. My friend runs a British motorcycle shop and jokes about how Norton owners are a bunch of assholes, totally tongue-in-cheek. That’s how I treat it-I acknowledge that we are the same yet different. However, I do notice when people ride motorcycles as a trivial pursuit-the douches at Americade dressed in SAMCRO gear, the go-fast/die young crowd blitzing down straight roads on sportbikes without any serious gear…I try to suspend my judgement on people, but these individuals I have no respect for.

  • Maymar

    Thank you.

    I just got back from Vancouver Island. Great scenery, decent roads, motorcyclists everywhere. Guys riding every variety of bike, and quite a few of them loaded up like they were covering pretty significant distances (a guy in my hotel had ridden out from Manitoba, half way across the country). Didn’t matter what they were riding, I was jealous of all of them out there.

    I mean, I know I’m not about to be able to handle some 700+lbs road crusher, or that I can’t drag knee, or I get a little nervous in a gravel parking lot, and my taste in bikes reflects all of that. That said, I get the appeal of all of that, and I just appreciate that other people are able to get out there and enjoy it.

  • Justin Henry

    we don’t get to see your bike?

  • runnermatt

    My suggestions for best other responses to the guys at the coffee shop (“I like my thing” is pretty good though).

    1). “At least I’m on two wheels.”
    2). “I don’t own a car.”

    The second one may just confuse them to the point of a loss of words.

  • Carly

    I split the difference and bought a naked bike, so by the time they can actually figure out what it is I already received a wave or nod back. However I ride a Ducati and have oft times been asked where my cappuccino maker is, douche bags. That is not prejudice against bike but against brand which is still even more ridiculous. I looked long and hard for a bike to suit me, being a slight female rider I needed something to fit my frame, my skill level and I can pick up on my own. Sadly that eliminated a lot of great bikes, but left me with a monster I love to bits. Moto-racism is like normal racism: small minded ill informed windbags that nobody wants to be friends with except other racist windbags. Personally I’m embarrassed for them, I just wished people would stop picking on me and my bike – I don’t even like coffee.

  • Send Margaritas

    “When I ride alone I prefer to be by myself” ….George Thorogood?

  • Kevin Boggs

    I feel the same way. Unfortunately there’s tons of guys who are more interested in showing off their tats and pirate costumes or looking like a Power Ranger than actually riding their bikes. I’m with you all the way. (And yeah, I dig the George Thorogood reference.)

  • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

    Sorry, but I like Tim too much to kill him.

  • Kevin Boggs

    Count me in the same club. I just like riding my Sporty. No pretense and if the law required me to ride in a pink bunny suit, I’d still ride.

  • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

    Somewhat related: the very first time I took my Ninja 650R into the local hills, I came upon a Harley guy (Sportster with giant ape-hangers) coming my way in the other lane. Being in a great mood from riding all morning, I waved to the guy as he got closer. He intensely gave me the finger while making a ninja-turtle grimace. I had to pull over to avoid crashing from laughing so hard. It must really suck when people are nice to you despite your carefully cultivated image.

  • http://www.bikeexif.com/ Chris Hunter

    I don’t think there’s a general camaraderie amongst motorcyclists, much as we’d like to see one.

    There’s a kinship within niches (e.g. cafe racers, vintage bike owners, asshats who wear Maltese crosses and skull masks) but not in the wider sense of people riding bikes.

    We riders might be a smaller group than people who drive cars, but that isn’t enough to make it ‘tribal’ as a whole. As someone who rides a Guzzi V7, I probably have more in common with someone who drives an old Alfa Romeo than someone who blitzes canyons on a Gixxer.

    I suspect that for most riders, the only instance of a general biking allegiance would be if you saw another bike broken down by the roadside and a rider obviously needing help.

  • Kr Tong

    I’m not going to argue “good idea vs bad idea.” You said bikes aren’t allowed on interstates when lots of times they completely are, especially in circumstances where cyclists have no other option. In areas where cyclists are disallowed, they have access to quieter roads you’d rather be on in ANY vehicle anyway. The safety of it all is up to you.

    • Justin McClintock

      I said bicycles aren’t allowed on the interstate because in over 30 states (including every state I’ve ever lived in), they’re strictly forbidden regardless of the circumstances. And this has nothing to do with anything other than your misguided perception that you can force a European way of doing things on an American society that is operating with a completely different infrastructure in cities that grew in a completely different manner.

  • kcavaliere

    I agree. I prefer something more sports or cafe oriented, something nimble and quick. I also want something with “character”, maybe a little unique. I’ve heard the “comments” too. It’s all nonsense. I ride what I ride because that’s what I ride.

    I like motorcycles. I’m fascinated by the machines that they are, but I have my own preferences. I’m not always interested in the rider, though. Some haven’t got a clue.

  • Al Douglas

    I like all bikes too. I really want a cruiser I currently ride a tiger 885i. But I’ve walked past a couple of the new Ninja’s and just about swooned!

  • Davidabl2

    Learning to ride a sports bike has a certain awesomeness–even if you’re pretty sure than it isn’t going to be your style.
    While I’d be curious to experience an apes’n'forwards ride the ergos just physically don’t work for me..
    Same thing’s obviously,and unfortunately, true for those ADV bikes with the seat heights designed for 6’2″
    riders.
    Part of the awesomeness of sports,motards, and dualies is the primacy of function over form. Which is something that can’t be said of apes’n'forwards bikes. Not even by folks that prefer them, so far as i can tell.

  • sandeep laik

    Well Tim, I really wish to see how u’r bike looks like, but for the most part what you said is a heartfelt truth. I’m a cruiser person, i always have been and will be .. i guess those shiny chrome’s to be blamed for that. but when I bought my 220 cc Bajaja Avanger(read .. cruiser from India) the first comment from my friend who owned a R15 yamaha(again Read THE racing bike of India) was that “does it take the whole country to turn?” speaking of my bike’s turning radius. As u see even between friends the jokes are pretty intense between bikers and only after I pulled off a 1500+ km road trip on that bike, he admitted that my bike suits me. I guess on an average we bike lovers are always a bit young and immature in our heart and this might be a reason that drives the passionate rivalry among us than the car admirers/owners.

  • Tom

    Where do you live? The car enthusiast world is not friendlier about their rivalries than the motorcycle world. They’re as cutthroat as any gangs to people driving the wrong brand.

  • anthony branham

    Great article!!! I often tell myself the same when this happens to me.

  • http://hijosrides.tumblr.com/ Exwai

    You see me rolling on this. Do you wave?

    • PaddingtonPoohBear

      I tried waving at all sorts of scooter riders for a few months but they NEVER waved back. /shrug I get waves from all sorts of bikers though – black, white, cruiser, sport – feelin’ the love haha.