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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday was about as perfect a day for riding could be around here. Low 70's, somewhat overcast skies (so no need for squinting regardless of what direction I was riding in), and being a work day not a lot of traffic on the road. I was out for about 3 hours and 140 miles through the countryside, down along the river, and passing through several towns and small cities. What I noticed was that when passing a bar or tavern in these towns there were always a bunch of bikes parked in front. Why these riders were sitting at a dark bar rather than enjoying this rare perfect day mystifies me, and it seemed pretty obvious that most of these bikes were of a particular brand. When I lived in Milwaukee a number of years ago I had a few neighbors who owned the local motorcycle brand but rarely seemed to ride their bikes. One neighbor admitted that in the 3 years that he had owned his 1200cc Sportster he had never ridden more than a few miles at a time, going to and from a local watering hole. To him, owning the bike was a sort of fashion statement, and most of the clothing that I would see him wear, day in and day out, were with his brand's name and logo prominently displayed. So I think that yesterday I was seeing a lot more of these faux riders. But each to their own, and if someone wants to skip a perfect day for riding by sitting on a barstool it is certainly their right, but it does seem odd that the parked bikes all seemed like one brand, and certainly were all cruisers or cruiser full dressers. I didn't see a single sport bike, or adventure bike, or scooter or another Goldwing (which is what I was riding) parked anywhere but did see many of all of these types out on the roads enjoying the day.
 
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Vito, I think you know that I have owned many bikes and many Goldwing's (3), my last being a new 2012 and actually, I'm thinking seriously about either a new 2019 Goldwing Standard or a----- Get ready for it---Drum roll---- a new 2019 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Standard:grin: It would be my 4th HD.:surprise:

Neither of these bikes will ever be parked at a BAR, since I am a non-drinker:smile_big: You may see one of my bikes parked at an eatery but ones gotta enjoy those biscuits and gravy( S___t on a shingle):kiss:

Now, to rebut your veiled conclusions about Harley rider's: what I see, is Harley riders everywhere enjoying their bikes traversing the roads of this beautiful country and for every Goldwing I see on the road, there are a thousand Harley's:grin:

It's hard to "make a fashion statement," on a Goldwing Vito unless one is in to 'plastic and fake chrome.' Best bike for touring in the world??? No doubt in my mind it is a Goldwing.:smile_big:

Best bike for showing ones pride in American Heritage and Patriotism in my Humble opinion is a Harley Davidson----or maybe that upstart INDIAN:grin::grin::grin:

From the first week in August, find a place to park where you can see Interstate 70, 80, or 90 and enjoy watching literally a million happy Harley owners making their way to the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota:smile_big:

Oh, you may see 4 or 5 Goldwing's mixed in the pack:surprise:

I remember buying a new 1997 Goldwing to ride to the Sturgis Rally and felt bad leaving my bright Candy Apple red Electra Glide in the garage, even though I had ridden 'PORKY' three times before to the Rally!:kiss:

Ride 'em if ya got 'em:smile:

Sam:nerd:
 

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We have three watering holes on my Island. The one down the street burned down. I could walk to that one.
There are rarely any bikes at the two top of the Island pubs.
About two thirds the way up is the golf club. Usually the only bike there on Friday night is one of mine. The side car or the XS400.
Recently tho another bike has been showing up. It is a Harley. Just bought recently by a local. The other bike riders who show up, bring there cages. They drink too much for their riding skills. The ladies at the bar know the fixed number of beer I am allowed, before they cut me off. I can also get a lift from my neighbours. There is usually zero traffic coming home at 2210.
In the darker winter months I take the cage.
In France there is usually a variety of bikes outside the bars.

UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My observations are here in the U.S.'s Midwest. And of course there are untold numbers of Harley's out on the roads. My question is why are the only bikes that I see parked at the bars seem to be the HD's. Is there something about the crowd more interested in having a bike for show, and preferring to spend a beautiful day at the bar instead of out on the roads that has them tend toward HD? Maybe its just too hard to find boots, jackets, shirts and tattoos that say Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki or Honda.
 
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I would say it's because most other bikes aren't status symbols. HD is simultaneously "The Establishment" and "The Rebel" when it comes to bikes. Everyone knows who they are, they have that bad guy image, and I'm 99% sure that it's the first brand that comes to mind when you ask a non-bike person about a motorcycle. People also generally see HD bikes as expensive so owning one must mean you have $$$$$.

Few people are going to go "oooh" and "ahhh" over something like a Yamaha Bolt, but the latest from Milwaukee? Definitely.

I believe there's a definite overlap in the kinds of people who would buy a classic car and only drive it to car shows and guys who buy Harleys only to take them to the bar. Of course, there are people who daily classics just like there are people who daily Harleys, but there are definitely a sizable amount of people who don't actually ride/drive.
 
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I've got to agree with Vito somewhat. There's only two bars in the immediate area that I go by much. The one in Eureka Springs will have a lot of bikes parked out front, but there will be 10, 15, or 20 Harleys to any one of any other brand. It's a rough estimate as I have never been in there.
At another bar on the access road to Beaver Dam, there's not a lot of bikes there, but when there are some, most are Harleys, although I have seen a Goldwing there and twice, a Yamaha, (mine). (I have relatives that own that bar, and I stopped there twice last year for a beer, one beer.) I haven't been there this year, yet. :)
Also, when I was looking to buy a Harley Davidson, I noticed there were a lot of them that I considered low mileage. Like a mid 90's Electra Glide with less than 30,000 on it. And many Harley's 5 - 10 years old that had less than a 1,000 miles a year on them. I asked a dealer about this, he told me he believes a lot of men in the area were never allowed to have a motorcycle when they were younger. Now, they've grown up, got married, raised the kids and now, they have the money and there is no one to tell them they can't have a motorcycle. They buy a big Harley Davidson Touring bike with every intention of traveling on it. But they have little or no experience. It weights half a ton and it might fall over! So the bike sits in the garage and gets waxed every week with maybe, a short ride around town.
That's around here. I have been to North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana in the summer time. It seems like every motorcycle on the highway is a Harley Davidson. One year we camped with about 10 other couples from California. They were all riding Harley's. We all rode together the next day for a hundred miles or so. My wife and I were last in line riding our Kawasaki Voyager XII. They were nice and it was fun.
 

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I would say it's because most other bikes aren't status symbols. HD is simultaneously "The Establishment" and "The Rebel" when it comes to bikes. Everyone knows who they are, they have that bad guy image, and I'm 99% sure that it's the first brand that comes to mind when you ask a non-bike person about a motorcycle. People also generally see HD bikes as expensive so owning one must mean you have $$$$$.

Few people are going to go "oooh" and "ahhh" over something like a Yamaha Bolt, but the latest from Milwaukee? Definitely.

I believe there's a definite overlap in the kinds of people who would buy a classic car and only drive it to car shows and guys who buy Harleys only to take them to the bar. Of course, there are people who daily classics just like there are people who daily Harleys, but there are definitely a sizable amount of people who don't actually ride/drive.
I'll throw Ducati owners out there as well. Perusing Craigslist will bring up so many low mileage Ducs, it's not funny! I feel bad for the bikes that have to spend all these perfect riding days just sitting in various garages, going to waste.
 

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Vito's story reminds me of the time some of my Harley riding friends asked me to go riding with them one night.
When we got together the discussion turned to which bar we'd ride to first. Well okay, I went along.
After a couple of beers they started talking about what bar we'd ride to next.
I thought they actually wanted to ride the bikes when they go out to ride the bikes, silly me. :confused:
I didn't have the desire to "ride" with them again...
 

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Yep, here too.
I've often ridden by the local bar when heading out for a weekend ride and seen all the bikes lined up outside the bar.

When I come home hours later, the same bikes are still there. Since the bar is a local neighborhood joint, I'm guessing that most of those people didn't have to ride more than a mile or two to get there.
What a waste.
 

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Vito's story reminds me of the time some of my Harley riding friends asked me to go riding with them one night.
When we got together the discussion turned to which bar we'd ride to first. Well okay, I went along.
After a couple of beers they started talking about what bar we'd ride to next.
I thought they actually wanted to ride the bikes when they go out to ride the bikes, silly me. :confused:
I didn't have the desire to "ride" with them again...
If I went riding with someone and they stopped at a bar, I'd keep right on going.
I don't want to ride with drunks.
 
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I couldn't believe bar hopping was real when I was reading motorcycle reviews and the writer would use that word to describe the bike. But I guess it's something people actually do. Seems like a very bad idea. I like to drink a lot but I'd rather do it at home safe and sound. It helps that I don't have any real life friends.
 

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Painting the Harley rider with a broad brush seems to be the popular rant these days. I appreciate this kind of rider. It allows me to stop in my local dealer and find 3, 4 or even 5 year old bikes with almost no mileage on the clock. Makes for a good deal for those buying used. Belly up to the bar dude, keep that mileage down, better for resale.
 

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I did not intend to paint Harley riders with a broad brush. I have a few life long friends that love their HD's and ride them too.
When I ride with those guys we actually ride. (Although I do have to slow down and wait for them occasionally). :wink2: Lol
It's not just Harley riders that "bar hop" and it sure ain't only Harley riders that drink and ride.
We all know every different type of person rides every different type of bike. Me? I just happen to be a rice rocket rider.
 

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Harley's Marketing Department is one of the best on the planet and deserves a round of applause. I would bet that marketing professors use Harley as model of near "perfect marketing strategy" in college coursework.

Harley convinced an entire generation that if you didn't "own a Harley" then you weren't "successful" or "somebody"...you just had to own one...you didn't have to actually ride it...it just needed to be taking up one of the spaces in your 4 car garage along with your Audi, Escalade and Hummer.

Harley's amazing success didn't come from selling motorcycles to motorcyclists, they made a killing selling status symbols to narcissists...I'll bet Trump owns a 100 Harley's he never rides.

Local "for sale" listings are packed with Harley's in the 3 to 5 year old range with less than 3000 miles on the bike. I found a bike the other day on Craigslist that was 2 years old with only ~400 miles on it.

I bought a Harley, it was ~4 years old with ~1200 miles...they (husband and wife narcissists) had about $21,000 invested in the bike and I picked it up for ~$9,000...beautiful, chromed over machine in show room condition loaded with about $6000 in "upgrades" that took the $15k sticker to $21k...fortunately, nearly all of the "upgrades" were what I was looking for in a bike:grin:

For all those folks at the bar on a nice day, they're "regulars" most likely...alcohol is a powerful drug...when it becomes "all that matters", well, then, it's all that matters.
 

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Harley's Marketing Department is one of the best on the planet and deserves a round of applause. I would bet that marketing professors use Harley as model of near "perfect marketing strategy" in college coursework.

Harley convinced an entire generation that if you didn't "own a Harley" then you weren't "successful" or "somebody"...you just had to own one...you didn't have to actually ride it...it just needed to be taking up one of the spaces in your 4 car garage along with your Audi, Escalade and Hummer.
I've only seen/read/heard this kind of marketing from HD riders. Did the company really push that idea or was it the diehard HD fans?
 

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I've only seen/read/heard this kind of marketing from HD riders. Did the company really push that idea or was it the diehard HD fans?
Chicken or the egg?

Whether it was "the plan", or the situation evolved naturally, we'll never know...but we do know Harley recognized what was happening and boy did they capitalize on it.

I went to a McMansion warming party a while back, the guy had a CVO in one of the spaces in his 1000 sq/ft garage. ~$45,000...doesn't even run...dead battery, had it trailered to the new home...just sits in the garage as a showpiece. He's like 5'4 and has a HUGE snap-on tool box that (i'm sure) he needs a step ladder to look in the top drawers..yet he's not a mechanic nor is he even a backyard mechanic...whole thing probably had a few wrenches, screwdrivers and butter knife in it.

Half a dozen guys in the garage...all bragging about what's parked in their garage and how high their garage doors open and how they could fit any ultimate behemoth vehicle in it.

Brutal...at least the food was good, of course, catered...even the water was brought in even though the $4000 refrigerator had a reverse osmosis system...lifestyle of the rich and famous...no thanks....I don't think anyone spoke of anything of interest to me in the entire 2 hours..just a non stop brag fest...everyone trying to be "more successful" than everyone else...oh god...what a nightmare.
 

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Herrick, that was a whimsical view of Harley's marketing expertise:grin:

It's BS:surprise:

Dealer's sell beautifully crafted bikes, accessories and clothes to people that can or may be able to afford them and with the sales contract comes a 1 year subscription to the Harley Owners Group magazine and HOG dealer's Chapter. Discounts on everything in the store and in the case of my closest dealer, Hideout Harley, in Joplin, Missouri, a FREE lifetime warranty on any new Harley's engine and drive train:grin::grin::grin: A new Sportster can be traded back in on a big twin bike for the same price that the customer paid for it. Monthly free BBQ bashes and fashion shows, free maintenance classes, club rides and lots of charitable rides and a friendly place to relax right in the dealers showroom. What more could a person want!:smile_big:

Is there a 'Harley lifestyle?' You bet your sweet Bippy there is and it is a fun and inclusive, family oriented one:wink2:

No other MFG even comes close:kiss:

I don't currently own a Harley but I have had 3 of them:smile:

Sam:nerd:
 

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I did not intend to paint Harley riders with a broad brush. I have a few life long friends that love their HD's and ride them too.
When I ride with those guys we actually ride. (Although I do have to slow down and wait for them occasionally). :wink2: Lol
It's not just Harley riders that "bar hop" and it sure ain't only Harley riders that drink and ride.
We all know every different type of person rides every different type of bike. Me? I just happen to be a rice rocket rider.
No need to take such quick offense SemiFast, I wasn't referring to you directly, even though you couldn't pass up taking another shot. I don't mind, nor do I care if I'm not the fastest, although my bike is running damn strong right now. Just keep in mind, what bike do the girls most want to ride? All in fun my friend...
 
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