So, I guess it truly is inevitable. Time catches up to all of us eventually. I knew it would catch up to me also. I just thought I’d see it coming, but apparently I did not. Well I guess it’s official. I’m either old, fat or bald. Or all three. No offense to anyone who joins me in either of these categories. Let me explain.
I have never been interested in Harley Davidson motorcycles. Been around them my whole life. Uncles rode them. Cousins rode them. Friends rode them. They never drew my interest. As a matter of fact, as young rider I often said that Harleys were for old, fat and bald guys. But, truth be told, I’ve been late to the party once or twice.
My first love of motorcycles started with dirtbikes. It was 1976. My cousin got a brand new Yamaha Trials 80. It was among the coolest toys I’d ever seen. First bike I ever road. Couple of years later he got a YZ80. Aside from my childhood crush it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. It looked cool. Sounded cool. Just plain fun.
I carried that love of dirtbikes into my teens and young adulthood. Owned a couple of dirtbikes myself. Never had any interest in streetbikes. Friends were buying the new “race bikes”, Kawasaki Ninjas, Suzuki GSX-Rs, Honda Hurricanes. I had no interest. Dirtbikes remained my motorcycle of choice. Until……
Though I cannot recall the exact date I will never forget the day. The day that changed my life. The year was 1992. Summer. I had recently sold my last dirtbike. I was on my way home from a company Appreciation Barbeque. Driving down a road that I traveled hundreds of times I passed the local Honda dealership. As usual I rode right by as my brand of choice was Yamaha. On this day however, something was different. As I rode by I noticed a red reflection in the shop’s glass window. The reflection revealed a shape, a silhouette that seemed to hover above the ground. Hmmm.
So I made a u-turn. Went to the Honda dealership for the very first time. Pulled into the parking lot. Jumped out of my car. Never took my eyes off of the image in the window. I was so focused on that red silhouette that I stumbled up the stairs leading to the door. Upon entering the dealership I was greeted by a salesperson who was obviously amused by my presence. She greeted me but without even making eye contact with her I asked, “What’s that?” “Oh, that’s the new F2”, she said.
1992 Honda CBR600F2. Red with white Honda wings on the fairing. I stared at that bike for ten straight minutes speechless. My salesperson, Vicky, was a faint voice in the background. To my eyes it looked almost as fast as an F16 fighter jet. I came to my senses long enough to hear Vicky say one sentence. “This bike is as fast as some 750s!” I left the dealership and went to my local newsstand (remember those…) and bought a copy of EVERY sportbike magazine they had. Got my license the following year and bought a 1995 Honda CBR600F3 shortly thereafter.
Fast forward to 2021. I had been researching bikes the past few years. CBR650F, MT09, GSX S750, Street Triple, Trident 600, S1000R, settling on an MT03 to sharpen my riding skills after a twenty year absence. So, while following other riders and being visited by friends who ride Harleys, I decided to visit the Harley website. I noticed the Sport Glide. Did a little research. Checked some reviews. Okay, time to go the …….Harley dealership…? Okay hop on my bike. Head down a road I passed a hundred times. Walk into the the door. Greeted by a Service Tech. Asks what I’m looking for. “Sport Glide.” “You ever check out the new Sportster S or Low Rider?” No. “Hey, what is this?” “Oh, that’s a Fat Bob 114” I stared at that bike for ten minutes straight! So…..
Only old, fat, bald guys like Harleys right? Yes, I concede.