OK, editorial time here.
I am a believer of that it really is that you ride and not what you ride. You may be riding a motorcycle that I would never ride but you’re a brother or a sister because you ride. And, I can fully understand brand loyalty.
As readers of this blog know, we ride a BMW K1200LT. Why? Because it appealed to us and we bought it. No one else bought and paid for it, we did. I get this a lot from strangers “Why didn’t you buy a Harley?” or “You should’ve bought a Harley.” Excuse me? It would be a bit more understanding if they asked “Why did you buy a BMW?” I can take the joking from friends, but strangers? A few years ago I was at the Fall Southern Regional Conference for the Blue Knights when I was at the hotel wearing a t-shirt with the BMW roundel on it. A member from another Chapter asked a question and here’s how the exchange went.
Him: “You ride a BMW?”
Me: “I sure do.”
Him: “You should’ve bought a Harley. We’re American Police Officers and it would look cool if we were all on Harleys.”
Did you notice that he didn’t even ask what model of BMW I rode? It could well be that he didn’t know that BMW makes more than one model or style of motorcycle just like Harley Davidson does. I also noticed the “look cool” part. I want to ride what I want to ride, not what people think looks cool. Now please don’t get me wrong here as Harley Davidson makes excellent motorcycles. And they are an American icon and deserve to be. If I were shopping for a luxury touring motorcycle at the moment I’d probably look at the Harley Davidson Road Glide Ultra with its beautiful, frame mounted “shark nose” fairing with twin headlights in the nose. It stands apart from the usual Harley Davidson with its appearance. Honestly, I’d look at it before I’d even consider some of the BMW models. There I go again, not following the crowd in my motorcycle choice.
It’s all about choosing your motorcycle for you and nobody else. Different motorcycles have different abilities and appeal is what it boils down to. This going to sound weird but as I grow older the sportier touring bikes appeal to me. The K1200LT is a luxury touring motorcycle that when ridden properly on a twisty road thinks it’s an 870 pound sport bike. The Harley touring bikes on the other hand, strive for comfort and pull it off very well. The Harley with its naturally low center of gravity is an excellent lower speed maneuvering motorcycle that instills confidence in the rider.
You should see the looks on faces when I say how much the BMW retailed for as opposed to other touring motorcycles and had ABS brakes, heated seats, heated handgrips, reverse gear and an electrically adjustable windshield (just to name a few) as standard equipment. The next thing I might hear is “Well I can get some of those but have to pay extra.” You choose your motorcycle and proudly ride it.
Brag all you want to about your motorcycle too. Be proud of it. I want to here about it. Mine is no better than yours and yours is no better than mine, they’re just different. Just let me brag about mine too.
I love what someone on an online BMW forum said once. He owns both a BMW and Harley. Usually when he sees a vehicle emblazoned with Harley Davidson stickers and he’s on his own Harley, he’ll ask “So what kind of Harley do you ride?” He said you’d be amazed at the answers. He now even asks it when on his BMW, especially when someone says “Why didn’t you buy a Harley?”
Remember it really is that you ride and not what you ride as the wind is all the same.
Ride safe on whatever your choice is!