When I was a kid I was mesmerized by Harleys. Every once in a while during the summer I’d see this black hardtail chopper drive down my little street in the little town I lived in wishing that was me. I wanted to be that guy. So I would take pieces of tubular aluminum from cheap broken lawn furniture and pound them onto the front forks of my Schwinn and turn my bike into a chopper. It already had ape-hangers and a banana seat.
Though most of my friends had mini bikes and dirt bikes my overprotective parents never let me get one. As soon as I got out of their house and into my own place I bought my first motorcycle a Yamaha 650 special. It was the best I could afford. Still even on that rice burner the 1%ers let me hang out with them. I guess they saw something they liked in me.
It was only a couple of years later I bought my first Harley back in the day when it meant something and not every accountant and book keeper had one stuffed in their garage for the sunny weekends when they didn’t feel like playing golf. Those were outlaw times when owning a Harley actually meant something. And yes I hung out with the worst of the breed Outlaws, Pagans, Los Vagabundos, Angles, etc. The whole life was about hanging out at the local bike shop owned by a former VP of the Outlaws, getting as high and drunk as we could, and tearing up the road. The girls we “dated” were hookers and strippers mostly and the occasional young thing who wanted to run on the wild side for a while. I went through women like most guys go through socks. Why buy the cow when everywhere I went women threw themselves at me?
I didn’t just ride my bike I learned how to fix it. I had to. My mechanic was slow as molasses and it was the only transportation I had. In fact for 4 years I never even owned a car driving through tropical rainstorms that were so bad cars and trucks would pull off to the side of the road. In fact when I finally got a car it was a gift from my mother who had come into a windfall of money and gave me her old POS. I let the girl I was seeing drive it at the time because I really had no use for it. When I felt like working I worked construction and when I didn’t I hung out at the bike shop or dropped some acid looking for tractor trailers to white line on the interstate.
Those were the glory days.One of my neighbors recently asked me why I was so hard but he’ll never understand that life I lead. I was so intoxicated during those 15 years I can’t remember most of it but I wouldn’t trade any of it good and bad for another 100 years of life. I could roll right back into that life in a New York second but unfortunately it just doesn’t exist anymore. And I put much of the blame for that on Harley Davidson.
I will never sit my ass on a bike with an evolution motor anymore than I would sit my ass on a garbage barge (bagger). What Harley did with the Evolution motor (they didn’t even design) and the phony hardtail is present the look without the substance. Now any panty waste can ride around on some computer run POS that might as well be a Honda. Harleys have become the motorcycle of the rich covered in trinkets. Disgusting gaudy eyesores. I’d take a hardtail with apes dropping parts in the street from the vibrations any day over the crap that passes for a motorcycle these days. Some of these bikes look so gay I just wanna grab a Louisville slugger and give those riders an attitude adjustment.
But I was a lucky one. I’ve outlived just about everyone I ever rode with and I was alive when owning a Harley meant something and even the cops gave us a wide birth. The whole time I rode I only got pulled over and given a ticket once for forgetting to turn on my headlight leaving a funeral for a friend who left this world the right way with his face in the wind. Which is funny because I never even rode close to the speed limit. In retrospect I think the cops were afraid of me. Easier to bust some kid for weed.
So here I am some 50 something year old geezer with memories few will ever be able to understand. I feel sorry for the young bucks who hear the call to black but will never be able to roll the same way we did back in the day. For me it was the only life ever worth living. So fuck Harley Davidson executives for killing that life. Your bikes look, run and sound like Hondas and every time I hear that tinny background sound when an Evolution rolls by I want to puke.