Friday, November 04, 2005

General motorcycling rant

I wrote this awhile back and let it steep in the "draft" folder for awhile. After re-reading it, I still feel the same. Enjoy
A motorcycle is a two wheeled vehicle with an internal combustion engine. I love motorcycles. There are some things that I’d like to clear up about motorcycles for the uninitiated.
First, motorcycles have been and are made by many manufacturers all over the globe. No, really. Harley Davidson is not the only manufacturer. No, I’m serious.
There is a contingent of folks, at least where I live, that seem to think The Motor Company is the only company. I have no problem with Harley or their owners. I’ve been to the engine plant in Milwaukee and seen the motors being made by American workers-on Japanese made Mori Seiki machine tools. I’ve seen the big boxes of Japanese carburetors ready to be assembled on the new American Iron. Or is it American Irony?
Hasn’t Willie G. ever heard of Haas? How about an American carb? By the way, Sportsters are cool even if they stopped being sporty about a year after they were introduced. Stop calling them girls bikes. If your penis weren’t so small you wouldn’t need an 80inch RevTech motor in a bike that won’t turn.
Next, stop using the term crotch-rocket. It’s vulgar, but not in any kind of good way.
Come on, I don’t call cruisers “ass baskets” or anything. Why not “butt-missle” or “testicle-projectile”? See, in that context it just sounds stupid. I implore you, stop saying it. This brings me to another point about the misused term “café racer”, or even worse “café bikes”. The term café racer came from people in England, primarily, who modified their stock machines to go faster and raced each other from café to café. The modern sportbike with a fender eliminator kit is not a café racer. Perhaps it’s the evolution of the café racer, but a BSA Goldstar with clubman bars it is not.
This brings me to sportbikes. A Yamaha R6 will get into the 9’s. BONE STOCK. 101 HP and it’s only $8400. A Mclaren F1 has 650+ HP and does the ¼ in about the same time (this is a car) but it’s about 2million dollars. That’s just scary fast. Guess what guys? It will turn corners and stop too. It’s not for everyone, hell it shouldn’t be for most people. My point is most people think they need a big bike or a fast bike. You need a bike you can ride. One that wont get away from you. Most people cant handle a bike that will do 9 sec. 1/4miles. The R6 is very cool, none the less. But then again, it’s not sporty like say, a Sportster. American Irony.
Choppers-what can I say? There really is something cool about a well made chopper. Choppers have their place and I can appreciate anything that someone built with their own hands. I don’t own a chopper and I don’t have one in my foreseeable future, but I’ve seen some that really blew me away. By the way, they didn’t come from Orange County. My opinion is this; you can only ride a chopper if you built it yourself and are willing, no- want to deal with the poor handling and lack of creature comforts. If you have to put a damn deposit on one to get it or be on a waiting list- you’re a pussy and don’t deserve to ride a chopper.
These are things I’ve wanted to get off my chest for a while and I’m glad I did. I love motorcycles and I love making fun of things that need to be made fun of. If any of this gets you all bent out of shape, you should go out and ride. Rock on.


J-BOB said...


Der_General said...

From now on, I shall officially refer to my V Star as an "ass basket" :-)

Der Spookhoffer said...

So, would a 79 Kawi 750 twin with clubmans count as a cafe racer? Or just cafe styled? What if I rode it real fast from Starbucks to Columbus Street bridge and back?

Surly said...

Sure, you could call it a cafe racer if it's built in that style and spirit. My point was a stock GSXR is not a cafe racer.

Der Spookhoffer said...


Spook - Lives near Schaumburg.

Surly said...

Hmmmmm.....Spook, have we met?