MABEL IN HER PARKING LOT: Impressive in bike(per)son.


“My photographs don’t do me justice—they look just like me.”



As was noted in David Snow’s Iron Horse magazine when the “real Horse” was still kickin’, we bikers spend an inordinate amount of time lookin’ at our Harleys after a ride. It ain’t no mystery why. Man, Harleys in all of their configurations, are such righteous lookin’, pieces of art machines.

I have to point out though, that photographs of the same bikes—no matter the quality of the photo—do not do justice to the bikes.

Unlike Phyllis Diller, my bike “Mabel” defo looks more impressive in person, than in photographs. She looks lower and sleeker in person. That is true of many righteous machines. This is true of the C7 Corvette, whose impact is stilted in photos. In person, the lines of the Vette just knock yer eyes out, man.

I believe that true bikers have a greater elevated aesthetic sense, than non-bikers. Why else would we choose righteous lookin’ bikes like Harleys, otherwise? Older Harleys have such a righteous, class, bearing—a true regality—that is hard to describe in words.

I think that is why I, like other true bikers–just cannot get into new Harleys. The new bikes lack that righteous aesthetic, that makes us say when lookin’ at older Harleys…..

“Man, that bike is a good-lookin’ smack in the face!”

Quantitatively, a japbike is worth a few seconds look, then….ahhh..so what? An older Harley though, is worth at least 20 minutes of just staring at her in the garage or parking lot, after a ride—before you reluctantly tear your eyes away from her.

I have almost as much ambivalence if I see a new Harley on the street, as I would with japbikes. They just don’t have that charismatic authentic aura, that Ironheads, Knucks, Pans and Shovels have.

I have zero feelings about new Harleys when I see ’em. I might as well as be lookin’ at a Hamilton Beach blender, ya know what I mean? In fact, it’s not even ambivalence I feel with new Harleys—it is total indifference.



“Beauty is such a difficult concept….these are the concluding words of Hippias Major, the dialogue which Plato devoted to an inquiry into the concept of beauty. Beauty is as relevant now as it was in the time of Plato and Kant simply because it has never ceased to be of interest in everyday life….”


Had such a great ride today. I felt so in tune with every subtle nuance of what Mabel was throwin’ up to me, from the road surface. I think you know what I mean. It’s sumpthin’ that only other bikers would get. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s a total feeling of control, and oneness with the bike.

And what did I do after dismounting from my trusty Shovel? Why, I stood there like a statue, tnansfixed by the looks of my righetous FX–what else? Later.




  1. lloyd Says:

    Scott, there was an issue of Horse back when you were with them that had a feature of two NY HA’s and their bikes. Do you remember which issue it was? I know it’s a long shot.

  2. JB Says:

    I really miss the “real Horse”. On Fridays, on my way home from work, I’d stop at some hole-in-the-wall magazine store to pick up the latest issue. I’d bungee it to my rear fender and off I’d go. When I would get home, I’d pop in an Allman Bros. CASSETTE, have a icy cold beverage or two, sit on a low stool and read IH. Every once in a while I’d look up and stare at my bike while it cooled down from the long ride. I’d even thank it for runing well! Those times relaxing alone with your bike after a ride are times that I will always cherish. I could sit and look at my bike for hours. I knew I wasn’t the only one! Thanks for another meaningful article Scott.


      JB, I hear ya man. Believe it or not, I used to do the same. Score the latest IH, and then sit down and relax, and devour every word of the issue. I’d soak in the flavor of the issue, which would be palpable. And I’d also think about my Harley, as I went through the issue. Thanks for your very thoughtful comments, man. They mean a ,ot to me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: