If this isn't a picture of some level of Dante's inferno, it has to
be damn close. The sound and smell of those miserably
tuned 14hp girls' bikes would be enough to make Richard
Dawkins pray for salvation.
From a distance (across a four-lane medium, for example), I have little-to-no opinion, one way or another. They are big, slow, and awkward but I don't have an emotional reaction to opposite direction cruisers. Up close, I found I do hate the damn things passionately. As I would approach one of the garage candyasses, the closer I got the more I hated the experience. Sitting behind a blubbering noise generator at a stop light is a miserable experience. I found myself trying to get a few cars between me and any in-town Hardly. On the road, passing one of those hippomobiles is painful. (No, not once in 720 miles did I experience getting passed by a cruiser.) The closer you get to the ass-end of an asshole's bike, the more painful it gets, so I discovered I have an automatic reaction of shifting to 5th and hammering by those derelict machines as fast as my 650 can go. On the little WR, I just have to grit my teeth and get by as quickly as possible, with the 85mph top speed limit putting a cap on how quick that can be. Of course, once I'm ten feet in front of the blubber-machine, the pain is done and they are out of sound and mind.
That sums up my emotional reaction to hippobikes. If they are quiet (not one in hundreds in Wisconsin), I don't notice them and have no more reaction to them than Goldwings hauling trailers, SUVs, or other land yachts. If they are "fags" (as accurately defined by South Park), my reaction to those screwed-up 16-year-old girl machines is exactly the same as "everyone" else. (In case you just arrived here from the fifth planet from Alpha Centauri and had been deluded by HD's marketing into believing Harley's are "cool" and "every body loves 'em," here is your opportunity to re-calibrate.)
For me, the big payoff was discovering that I'm neutral on the "type of bike" you ride and I'm no more a biker hater than 90% of the public. Sitting behind a few cages, with a pile of steaming garage candy in front of us all gave me the opportunity to look at the expressions of the people in those cars. As they rolled up their windows on an otherwise beautiful day, they were glaring at the asshole on the hippobike and hating his existence as if he were that moment's worst person in the world. I, on the other hand, didn't appear to exist for anyone in that line of traffic, for the moment. [I can't decide if that's a good or a bad thing.]
From my informal observations, I know that a huge number of people hate motorcycles, generically. I mean they automatically hate us all. Noise is the reason. We are the loudest thing in the urban environment. Babble all you like about how, if government goes after our noise it should go after other noises sources, but we're an unimportant portion of transportation and contribute nothing of noticeable value to relieving urban congestion. We are at the top of the irritating noise ladder and so easily knocked off that most people will just smile if motorcycles are banned from public roads, altogether. Think that can't happen. You wish.