Given the fact that corporate HD has courted financial favor from the professional segment, the 'joke' was funnier 30 years ago when a true biker built and fixed his own scooter, earned his rode-worn leathers... didn't buy 'em that way, would fight for his bike before his ol' lady, refused to wear helmets, hated the man and the AMA and thought the HOG Club had to be a corporate joke, had no idea what 'old school' meant 'cause he was living it and 'live to ride, ride to live' was his credo, not just some $2.00 sticker on the back of a shiny new DOT approved brain bucket.
Around the block meant a 200 mile round trip for just a pack of cigs (as any excuse) rode in the snow, sleet, rain and whatever else nature threw at him and regardless of destination or urgency to get there, stopped to assist another bro' broke down on the side of the road... even if it meant making a u-turn at the next exit and going back.
That was a real biker, not the candy-coated, weekend warrior wannabees who buy their brand new, so-called Hardley custom stamp out from one of the 28 different designs at their authorized HD dealer, have him service it even for filter and oil changes and whip out their butt plastic for dealer added bling and 'real biker' riding gear .. all desperately wanting to look the part.
A real biker shares his scooter's soul in a life or death struggle against all conformity not just to be different but to ride on his own terms, in his own time and wherever and for how ever long the road takes him.
Even 'custom' choppers have become so commonplace as to be almost laughable, the only thing separating most of them and their off-the-shelf kit parts is a paint scheme.
It sickens me but that's the 'biker' world we live in today. Got enough plastic in your wallet? You too can be a 'real' biker... at least on weekends anyway.
Far as I'm concerned, Harley Davidson Corporate got a lot of comin' up to do to the real bikers...the one's who saved their ass from the brink of bankruptcy only to have the corporate door slam shut on them in favor of yuppie marketing and the almighty dollar.
I understand why they went after the money but will never forgive them for not staying as loyal to the real bikers as we were to them.