Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another Note on Motorcycles...

While on my way back into town after the recent Street Vibrations event (which I did not, by the way, attend), my attention was once again drawn to all of the trailer ornaments traveling down the Interstate.

What are trailer ornaments, you ask?

A trailer ornament is a tricked out and very clean motorcycle that is currently being towed down the road on a trailer, as opposed to being ridden.

The owners of such trailer ornamentation can usually be easily spotted when they roll into town astride a spotlessly clean motorcycle, after having purportedly traveled several hundred, or sometimes even several THOUSAND miles.

These guys and gals will not readily tell you they have trailered their bike to the outskirts of town, then unloaded it and ridden it the last half mile or so, but to the trained observer it will be readily apparent from the lack of even a single bug splat on the windscreen, and the complete absence of any evidence of road grime.

You may also notice the rider is devoid of any bugs in his or her teeth, which is also an indicator that they do not truly enjoy riding their iron horse. Even for the half mile from the hotel to the event site.

Many of these are the same folks you may have noticed in your neighborhood, who roll their immaculate Hog out of their garage and into their driveway once a month. Not to ride it, but to wash it, wax it and let it sit in the sun for all the world to see, before returning it to the garage to languish. Such Harleys are also often referred to as garage or driveway ornaments.

Most owners of such ornaments will often erroneously refer to themselves as "bikers".

My impression of the definition of biker, generally requires that you RIDE a motorcycle on a regular basis. Simply owning a large shiny motorcycle does not automatically impart the right to call oneself a "biker". In fact, should this type of individual refer to him or herself as a "biker" whilst in the company of ACTUAL bikers, said "biker" is likely to find him or herself in a "bind".

It is for all of these reasons that I must laugh when I see a motorcycle being hauled down the highway on a trailer.

Dirt bikes excluded, of course...


Beat And Release said...

I really miss my bike :) Within a week of purchasing it I realized I had made a huge mistake - all that chrome was a worthless pain in the butt. After the first month, the bike was lucky to get hosed down every six months. I enjoyed riding too much to spend too much time on chrome polishing. And yes, I rode in all kinds of weather, except for snow - we only get that once every decade here. The next bike, when finances allow, will be completely blacked out.

Sabra said...

Reminds me of the trailer queens from my days on the classic car show circuit with my dad. What the heck is the point of owning a car if you don't drive it?

Jon said...

I had a neighbor across the street who used to do just that - spend all of Saturday morning polishing his Harley, then putting it back in the garage.
In the meantime, I'm out riding on Saturday morning on my BMW, enjoying the open road and bugs hitting my face shield (it stings way too much to get hit in the face by a grasshopper at 60 mph).

Sportyridr said...

I still wear my "15 miles and 15 grand doesn't make you a biker"...true so true but they are a dime a dozen

Officer "Smith" said...


My bike has not a single piece of chrome on it.

Beat And Release said...

Officer Smith,

Good for you, sir. :) When I purchased mine I hadn't been on a bike since I sold my 1979 Kawasaki GPZ 750 in 1985. I didn't give the chrome on my 2004 Sportster 1200 much thought. I was just happy to be in the wind again. I loved my Harley and miss it like one would miss a child, but after five back surgeries I think my next bike will be a Honda Gold Wing.

Carteach0 said...

Currently bike-less. Last ride was an antique Goldwing. I spent a few weeks stripping off baggage, chrome, stereo, and 'please don't hit me' lights after putting in a new primary chain. That old bike came to life after the junk was gone. 1200 cc of low slung torque. Loved that beat up old ride. Rode it till first snow fall every year.

Life is simpler for me now than it was then. Maybe it's time to fill that gap.