Oct 9, 2011

Your Take?

My most recent Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly rant, titled "Motorcycle Bigot,"  drew a bit of fire from a couple of cruiser fans. One of the funnier replies of outrage said, "I love ya man, although I do believe that your tearing down of the rides of a good  percentage of the motorcycling world based solely on you narrow opinions is unwarranted.  I love them all, from the Amazonas to the Zero, from 50cc mopeds to the 2000cc sled, and though you would never catch me owning a Gold Wing, I'd never deride in public (other than as the subjective subject of a road test) any person's choice of ride.  I know that every rider has reasons for riding what they do and I may never understand those reasons, but it is not my business to understand, and it certainly not my place to call a whole group of motorcyclists' choice of rides 'hippobike' and liken them to Falstaff.  I'm almost positive that most of the 'cruiser' owners reading that article will think that you are describing them, not the bike, and I'm confident that they will take this very personal."

I don't have much faith in human capacity, but I'm interested to see how this plays out. So far, I have two flames and six attaboys and the magazine just came out this weekend. Of course, what he calls "tearing down of the rides" I call criticizing mediocre engineering. For a guy who often derides political correctness, he appears to be sort of wimpy when it comes to motorcycles. As I said in the article, "In respect to motorcycles, my first thought is, 'Get over yourselves.' Nothing about disliking a particular type of machine is anywhere near as despicable as racial hatred or intolerance." When it comes to cruisers, they are barely past toys and I really can't take a toy seriously. That would be as silly as considering banjos serious musical instruments.


  1. What a lightweight. Who is this guy?

  2. You were pretty hard on the bikes, but the suggestion that cruiser owners would mistake your characterization of the motorcycles as a slam on the riders probably indicates he thinks they are more foolish than you have implied.

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  4. Apparently, in this politically-correct world, having an opinion is taken as being evidence that I want everyone to think like me. I'm too old for that shit. Not only do I not care if the cruiser crowd thinks like me, I don't care what they think at all. Hell, at least 50% of the time, I'm not all that concerned what my wife thinks about any given issue, why would I concern myself with strangers?

  5. This is the context that the humerous label of "bike bigot" was intended. I never heard of the BB term until you introduced it to me, a couple of years ago, when you told me about an old friend of yours, that called you a bike bigot. I thought that was pretty funny. Now you write in MMM completely slanting this askew from how it was intended. You never mentioned in your article that you put this term in my head. I never thought of it on my own. This was completely brought on by the issue you had, with the Korean cruiser motorcycle review. I personally don't care if you prefere to ride your motorcycle standing on your hands, backwards, wearing a scuba diver's suit. Your intolerence of the "Gynocology seating style" fits right in to this definition. Too bad your friend (that obviously created this term), and I, can never have our say in MMM. You have used your journalistic advantage to swing a sword against this obvious sore spot of yours, we have touched, in a simular manner of the right wing nut radio talk shows.


  6. Dude,

    You just have to write to MMM to have your say. Hang that big bold opinion out in public and see what the rest of the world thinks about your bright idea. It's what I do.

    Unfortunately for your PC-types, I'm still going to have my opinions and they will be different than yours. One difference between us is that I get paid for my mindless ranting.


  7. Well, your column IS called "Geezer with a Grudge". How else are you supposed to write, anyway? Someone's got to take a hit.

    I have actually tried very hard to like cruisers, but they look more ridiculous every time I see them. I bought a little Buell Blast which is sort of on the edge of cruiserdom, and it's a strange bike but the pretention to cuiserdom (which itself is pretention) is laughable. Weird seating position too. I have had a thing for a Guzzi California for a while though, because I have heard they can at least handle and stop.

    My latest toy is an '82 Kawasaki GPz550. It's been neglected so it is a project, but I can already tell I like the simplicity of a standard bike like this, and the seating position is great. Can even change plugs without taking the tank off, or torque the head without taking the cam covers off. More power than I need though.

  8. I an relate to simple. Andy Goldfine has a motorcycle formula that reads something like "simple + small = fun." Can't disagree.

    Sev Pearman has a Guzzi California and he loves it. He's a serious sort of guy, so love doesn't come easily.

    When I'm working on either of my 3 bikes, I really miss the simplicity of my first street bike; the Honda CX500. Didn't have to take anything off to work on most of the maintenance issues.


Disagree? Bring it on. Have more to add? Feel free to set me straight. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't do a great job of figuring out which Anonymous commenters are actually real people, not Russians or Chinese bots. I'm pretty ruthless about spam-labeling anonymous posts. If you have something worth saying, you shouldn't be afraid of using your ID.