Friday, August 2, 2013

Placing Expectations on Bikers

Much is made about the sexuality of motorcycles and leather, where two-wheeled v-twin rebellion clad in black-dyed cowhide sweeps up a young nubile nymph and carries her away at 100mph to a hill far away where her naked body is laid down on a blanket under the stars and held down under a welcomed restraint as he brands her with his iron and claims her as his own.

But you never hear about the sexuality of motorcycles and textile jackets.

It's as if somehow the romanticism is all ruined if he's wearing a polyester, mesh paneled, riding jacket with a giant white Alpine Stars logo on the back.

And should a young nubile nymph agree to ride on the back of such a rider's motorcycle, what would her fantasy be? Is it still the same unbridled passion represented ad nauseum on the covers on trashy romance novels? Or is it more like, "Slow this god damned thing down before you get us both killed!"

I like to think that whatever jacket I'm wearing on my sport touring bike still looks awfully handsome and sexy to Sash.  At least I hope so.  I mean, I don't want to be purely a riding geek.  I still want to know that I'm bad ass in her book (and maybe the books of a few other girls too).

It didn't help me that Visor Down published a recent article describing my beloved Honda ST1300 as a bike primarily ridden by middle-aged guys.

But then again wait a minute... I'm 47 years old!

Originally, I thought I trading in my 2005 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Couch for a sport touring bike was making a move towards getting younger. I always thought Harleys were the bikes of old fat guys whose cerebellums had slowed down and therefore couldn't react as quickly as they used to.

I mean, generally, the life cycle of a motorcyclist usually starts with getting a dirt bike when you were a kid, then getting some kind Universal Japanese Motorcycle, moving on to a speed demon sport bike.  And after so many crashes and broken ribs, they retired themselves to a Milwaukee-assembled V-Twin.

But there are those few riders who started out like most others, except decided that cruisers just aren't their thing.

Is it because we like quieter engines?

It is because a textile jacket with a large white Alpine Stars logo looks stupid on a Harley?

Is it because we don't see ourselves as the male-end of a trashy romance novel?

But on the other side of the coin, I don't want the general public to think that they meet the nicest people on a Honda.  I didn't buy my Honda because I'm a nice guy, and I didn't even buy it because it's a Honda.  I bought it because it offered me the performance, handling, and amenities I wanted at a reasonable price.  If Harley could offer the same thing, I would have considered it.

I'm still the same 19 year old who kick started that Kawasaki KZ400 many years ago.  I'm still the same college guy who used that old bike as a strategy towards putting girls on their backs.  Just because it's now a sport touring bike favored by many middle-aged guys, doesn't somehow change the trashy romance novel to a self-help book on low-carb dieting.

And just because I'm married doesn't mean I won't ride your wife out to the hills.  :-)

Of course, I'm no outlaw either.  I'm only looking to be the guy I am on the inside which is a complicated balance of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, and Tickle Me Elmo.  How that is reflected in the motorcycle I ride and the gear I wear is all there, Honda and all.

But eyes are deceiving.

Eyes are too easily tricked by icons and brands.  We see what's on the surface and fill in the blanks for what lies underneath, and there's far too many fish in the sea to spend any amount of time filleting each one by hand.

But it always fun to fantasize.

It's just always a disappointment when we place expectations on others.

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)