Are you over 60? Has your home business finally started paying out some cash? Do you feel like you’re getting old and thus need a bit of a spark in your life? Maybe you want to attract some younger women? Well, buy some overpriced branded leather and leave the helmet at home because welcome to the club.
(Disclaimer: This is a poor attempt at satire using obvious stereotypes. I actually really really really want to ride a Harley.)
Your subculture: Harley-Davidson Owners
Your Background: Back in your day, all the bad guys wore leathers, rode motorcycles, beat people up, and got so much tail. They demanded respect and made people fear them. Their steel horse? A Harley.
You played your life by the book. You joined the military as soon as you turned 18, opened up a small computer shop, married a woman like God intended, had 2.5 children, are an American patriot, and have sailed through half of your life with not much to write home about. You’ve long dreamed of the day you could be just like those bad guys you adored years ago and now you can actually afford it.
But what to get, what to get.. A Japanese bike? You’re kidding, right? This is AMERICA and we buy AMERICAN! Ain’t no rebel going to be seen riding a Jap bike. Besides, everyone knows HD is THE motorcycle brand.
The Bikes: Rocking iconic names like Electra Glide, Road King, Sportster, Street, Tri Glide,
or VRSC (V-Rod), Harley-Davidson offers various ways to ever so slightly raise your heart rate. These bikes look basically the same as they were decades ago and their performance isn’t much better. Resale value is pretty great and the ownership base is massive.
Now that you finally have some cash in the bank and your nest is empty, it’s time to hit the open road. Maybe your wife will sleep with you again, too.
What’s new that sucks: Harley is in trouble...again. Well, can we really be surprised? The bikes haven’t changed all that much over the years, the competition is hot, and the used market is saturated with practically brand new bikes. As it turns out, trailering your bike to Sturgis and otherwise only riding a mile to the bar and back doesn’t really add up. Why buy a new Harley when you can get a used one with 500 miles for less cash?
They’re also throwing things at a wall and seeing what sticks instead of...you know, building bikes people outside of their typical demographic wants to ride. The Livewire is far too expensive and has far worse range than the far cheaper competition. Their new bikes look promising, but we’ll see if they’re another gem like the V-Rod or further failures.
What has always sucked: When it comes to performance for the price you pay, just about any other bike from any other brand will be better. These bikes are better put together, don’t shake so much that their mirrors are useless, and even decades old examples can beat your bike in both a straight line and in the twisties. Harley also has a problem with killing brands, like beloved Buell.
Even if you can get around how poorly these bikes can perform, maybe the owner groups are fun? Maybe, if you like to see an alarming Confederate flag to USA flag ratio. Like car groups, motorcycle clubs are historically a “fantastic” place to be if you’re a woman or heaven forbid, LGBTQ.
HEAR IT FROM HARLEY OWNERS!
“Our club is super tolerant. If those snowflakes can’t take racial jokes they shouldn’t be riding anyway. We’re not racist, see, there is even a black guy in the club!”
“Harley’s supporting the gays? BOYCOTT! GOD HATES THE GAYS, Harley is a TRAITOR. Looks like they’re also making stupid little scooters and an electric bike for those darn tree huggers. HARLEY should not be giving in to the DEMONCRAT agenda!”
“Can-Ams aren’t real bikes” (rides a Tri Glide)
“I’m a real biker. I ride my bike everywhere” (bike in the garage gets taken out once a week just to ride a mile to the bar)