Obviously, the concept of "distance" is hard to defend with the peanut tank on my 48. However, the overall idea of being an iron butt has another facet.
For example, I take my Sportster commuting to the gym. Two of my friends have geezer-glides, and I have seen each one use it just once. Yesterday I had the only bike there. I even go grocery shopping on mine.
More to the point, this week has been our longest spate of sunny weather all summer. That still doesn't add much mileage for these guys.
However, they sure like the idea of "the lifestyle." They always tell me about 'bike night' at Quaker Steak & Lube. That's a Wednesday night event where you sit in a parking lot and 'talk' about motorcycling.
Sometimes in Wisconsin we only get about five months of chances to ride. I stress the word 'chances.' Several weeks ago our evenings were cursed with mosquitos from the intense humidity. My wife couldn't even garden. Just because autumn might be viewed as cooler, here it might also be saddled with frost.
June, July and August are the core of our riding season where you really could pile up the miles if you wanted. But I'm not sure it's even a Sportster vs. Glide debate sometimes. I think many of these guys just like the idea of owning a Harley--any Harley. It would never get ridden, anyway.