Photo by Genghis
MY ENTIRE BIKER WORLD: It consists of my Harley.
I live in the Incredible Shrinking Biker World. My Biker World has shrunken amazingly over the years. Man, that’s a good thing. It occurred to me, that I know nothing about the new Harleys. Not that I want to. But I did find it strange, that I have zero knowledge about The Firm’s latest offerings. I believe that time stood still for me, after the Evo came along.
Including the Evo might even be too magnanimous. No, I believe that my Biker World shut it’s trap tight, airtight, hermetically sealed for all eternity—after the last shovelhead rolled off of the assembly line.
It ain’t just knowledge about Harley motor specifications that I’m rappin’ about here, when I say that my Biker World has contracted. It’s the whole biker scene, that I seemed to have seceded from. I feel like South Carolina on December 20th, 1860!
It’s like when the south raised the Stars ‘n Bars, and tried to secede from The Union. “Lemme outta here, man! I ain’t uh gonna pay yaw federal taxes and tariffs!” I never see other bikers in my life. Long-time readers know that I’m a loner anyway, so I stay to myself, and that’s it.
As far as motorcycle magazines are concerned, the last time I can remember buying a biker magazine could be counted in years, not months. I’ve found that reading motorcycle magazines, particularly those of the chopper persuasion, are a futile exercise in the wallowing in others’ neuroses, narcissistic tendencies and navel-gazing.
Some writers of these chopper rags pontificate on their prescription for how to live the Perfect Chopper Life (whatever that is), in their formulaic way. I call this type of writer, “The Professor.” You know the drill:
“I’m gonna do this bike. Then I’m gonna do that project. Then after I rest on the Seventh Day, I’m gonna invent the new internet in my spare time….”
God forbid that this type of writer just take some simple pleasure in riding his bike, and share that with readers. Calm down, and just tell us how much you enjoy riding your bike, Tell us how much you love your bike.
A biker who doesn’t feel that his bike is everything to him, is just a technician. To technicians, process supercedes The Bike.
Tell us how much your motorcycle means to you–don’t just make the (current) bike just another stepping stone to….what? What’s the destination, man? I’ll tell ya what: My Harley is my destination.
The calling card for this type of writer, is that he is cocksure that he’s found all the answers. He’s got it all figured out, man, and you’re lucky that he’s divulging all these valuable life lessons to ya. Class is in session, baby, and the professor is in da house! Hey man, he can show ya how to be the Perfect Biker! Hey, give Teach an apple!
There’s another type of chopper rag writer, who I call the “Head Case.” His shtick is to tell ya what’s wrong with his life, and how his messed up life is interfering with his being a righteous bike. Every month’s column is a plea for sympathy. Yeccchhh. Gimme a break, man!
Hey man, put the barrel of yer gun into yer mouth, and put us all out of our misery, okay? Do ya notice that this type of chopper writer’s bike, is never running, let alone right? I got a tip for ya: Stop whining and deal, man. We’ve all got problems and nobody wants ta hear it.
Then there’s the type of writer who drops names like those names are goin’ outta style. I call this type of writer, “Shrunken Ego.”
“Yeah, I got together with this master builder, but I hadda tip ’cause another master builder—and wotta artist he is, was waitin’ for me. Then after that I split for Europe….
Don’t you wonder what David Snow thinks about these writers? Snow’s thoroughly engrossed in his XLCH Sportster, who’s named Animal Mother.” Who woulda thought that he would end up with a hardcore Sportster like Animal Mother, considering all he’s thought and written in the past about rigid chops? Life is strange, indeed.
Photo by Snow
ANIMAL MOTHER: Snow’s fierce XLCH!
Do ya get why I stopped buying these magazines? It was fun making fun of these people, but that gets old, man. It’s even tedious as hell while I’m doin’ it right now. There’s no profound satisfaction, in pointing out the mental pathology in their chronic whining, maniacal efforts to be “the best,” artificial ego-boosting legend-building, and papal complexes.
I’ve got some advice for these types: Relax. Go take a ride. It’s supposed to be fun, remember? It is amazing how needy for approval these writers are.
I suppose out of morbid curiosity, that I’ll take a ride over the 59th Street Bridge to Harley of New York, to scope out what the new Harleys are about. Then again, I probably won’t, unless I have to go there to buy something. Actually, the last thing I bought there, was a new helmet in ’94. That was after I had my wreck, and my old helmet got lost in the melee.
I am stuck in time, and my Biker World has drawn inward. Yes, my Biker World has shrunken. It’s shrunken to this: An 86 inch shovel stroker motor, a righteous four-speed swingarm frame, a rear 16 and front 21, a short wide glide fork and drag bars on 8 inch glide risers. Her name is Mabel
Hey man, Mabel’s all the Biker World I need. All I need in my Biker World, are what ya see in the accompanying photo—Mabel’s drag bars, a handful of throttle and a highway. A bonus, is the sweet music flowing from my shovel’s straight pipes. Man, there’s no sound more moving, than a hopped-up shovel blasting down the highway. It’s enough to give ya goose bumps. All else is superfluous.
I created a Facebook Group called, Jackson Heights, Astoria & Woodside Nostalgia It’s fun group, and there are a few Iron Horse magazine readers who are members there. Come check it out.
So, tell me—is the new Harley still a v-twin? What’s its nickname again? Is it the FTF-Head? Later.