Sunday 11 January 2015

Do Harley-Davidson Riders Secretly Admire Sportsbikes?

To many who ride chrome-laden and heavy Harley-Davidson motorcycles, mixing with the sportsbike crowd doesn’t often happen. Sportsbikes are too fast, too dangerous and ridden by young guys dressed up like Power-Rangers. Similarly, sportsbike riders think Harley’s are slow and ridden by old men (and women too) who want to look like weekend warriors in lots of black leather.

Brothers, or distant cousins?

The two groups don’t have a lot in common. Or do they?

Both groups love the open road, riding with friends, seeking out new places and hanging about in biker-friendly establishments. Take the Ace Café, in north London, where one day the distinctive rumble of Harley-Davidson V-twins can be heard and the next, the high-revving exhaust note of sportsbikes dominate. The personal lives of individuals of both groups are often defined by the machines they ride and their like-minded friends. Most important, both groups love doing the same thing, riding their motorcycles.

Personally, I’d love to have a go at riding a sportsbike. I would like to appreciate the power, the handling and being able to take corners at a higher speed than I am used to. I don’t want to own a sportsbike as my middle-aged spread would look ridiculous in tight leather and I enjoy being able to tour comfortably while carrying lots of stuff on my bike, but still, I would like to try it. I don’t want to have gone through life without never having ridden a fast sportsbike. I don’t want to feel any prejudice I might have has stopped me from trying and understanding something.

I suspect I am not the only Harley-Davidson rider that feels the need to try a sportsbike at least once. I know many that love to watch motorcycle racing, especially the sheer power and speed of MotoGP.

How can any type of rider, not matter what they ride, not appreciate the sheer excitement of this…. (you have to click to watch it on YouTube).....

Many years ago, I regularly went to watch motorcycle racing, but a more recent visit showed me that things have changed considerably. I will be going again……

Thursday 8 January 2015

Is Tour Route Planning As Good As The Real Thing?

So the motorbikes are put away, and many of us are sitting here in the depths of winter.  In some places it is cold outside and in others it is very wet.  People from more southerly areas are still able to ride, but for most, winter is a time for staying off the bike.

So, what to do?  If we cannot ride, we need to fill our time with doing other things.  Some fettle their bikes, some find other things to do inside.  I like to plan next summers bike trips and I am just coming to the end of that right now.

Maps are covering the floor and my desk.....

My laptop is on overload with routes.  Choosing the best roads to fit together into one great tour is the key....

But, the best thing is, I really enjoy doing this as it increases the excitement level and makes me feel that the tour is nearer.  So, for me, route planning really is nearly as good as actually riding the routes later.