A friend sent me a link to this article, “Why is Harley-Davidson not popular with Millennials?” The article, itself, is just ok. Mostly a lot of twenty-something whining and pontificating about stuff that has been said and written zillions of times before. The cool part of the link I almost missed (Because I am vacationing in the Caribbean and the cruise boat’s wifi is terrible and expensive, so fuck you very much record-cold-setting Minnesota winter.) For a change, the comments section is where the gold is. From Hardly defenders to realists and rational people, the comments are often funny, fun, occasionally enlightening, mind-bogglingly stupid, and entertaining as hell. Occasionally, they are even well-written. Here is a sample, but I recommend you read a few and entertain yourself:
“Harleys rarely are disposable, you’ll find old Harleys still being ridden that are over a half century old. Now that longevity.” My all-time favorite bullshit Harley argument. Put 3,000 miles on a bike in 20 years and act amazed that it still gets ridden 5 miles to the local bar twice a year. Or actually ride it and put a half-dozen engines and a zillion dollars in factory-authorized-repairs into the hulk and pretend that is in some way similar to how real motorcycles work and real motorcyclists live.
“I customize bikes on a part time basis, and while I do not focus on repairs, a lot of my calls ARE repairs, and most of those repairs ARE Harleys. And the things that go wrong just plain don't go wrong on other bikes; throttle cables snapping in random places, ignition switches burning out while driving, kickstands getting stuck or falling off, a myriad of electrical issues…”
“Harley owners HATE blacks, hispanics, and middle-eastern ragheads. Harley owners HATE fags, queers, homos, bisexuals, and transgendered. Harley owners HATE Muslims. Want to see a Harley owner completely lose his shit? Just put on your innocent face and ask: ‘No, really, why can’t somebody use the restroom they want to use?’ Then stand back.”
“Harley-Davidson’s brand is defined by racism, xenophobia and sexism and its riders are older, white and male. Not doing that well so far.”
“I keep seeing posts on this question that say Harley is ‘Toxic’ to millenials, or that the brand represents ‘Misogyny.’ those are total bullshit arguments. We all see tons of diversity on the road. We see Black men on tricked out Harley’s as often as we see white men. We have several female riding groups that predominantly ride Harleys. We even have mixed race black/white and White/Hispanic 1% MC’s here. So no, we don’t think the brand itself is ‘Hostile’. Sure, a few old white pricks ride them around, but we don’t associate the bikes with the people who ride them.” Look in the mirror much, kiddo? All you have proven with your micro-analysis of the rare non-white, non-male Harley rarity is that you can always fool some of the people all of the time; no matter what you are selling, regardless of race, sex, creed, or even amount of education.
“. . . the bikes themselves. They are terrible in every way, and I mean that in an objective way. Power, speed, handling, comfort, reliability, price… it is really hard to come up with any category in which Harleys excel. The only thing they excel at is ‘Being American’ which really doesn’t mean anything at all. If the best thing you can say about a brand is where it is based, you are grasping at straws.”
“If the commenters would pull themselves away from Sons of Anarchy reruns long enough to view reality they would see that very few who ride motorcycles belong to a gang, want to look like they belong to a gang, or have any interest whatsoever in that group. Instead, they would likely see the numerous toy runs and other charity and community betterment events that motorcycle riders participate in - and the fact that the vast majority of the participants are riding Harleys. Yes, there are 3–4% riding Japanese and European bikes, but the motorcycles with the most or biggest toys strapped to them are usually Harleys.” Yep, that’s all it takes to tell yourself that you aren’t an asshole; big toys strapped to a motorcycle while you terrorize and disturb the peace of every town your pack of gangbangers “visit.”
You should read ‘em all. It’s pretty funny stuff and I didn’t even have to think about writing any of it.