Q. Unapologetic-Muffdiver wrote:
Subject: Why cruisers are metro.
Hey Orsm, Long time lurker. Love your
work....well, until you mentioned your unfortunate desire
to ride, and worse yet *purchase* a motorcycle that fits
the description "some fat Harley type of thing"
- commonly known as a "cruiser".
Now, i understand your experience
in the motorcycling world is limited, or more accurately,
non-existant, and so rather than jumping a plane to come beat
some sense into you, i will patiently explain why "Cruisers
are Metro." (NOTE: this might read why "Cruisers
are Gay", but many newcomers to God's Own Pastime often
make the mistake you will later thank me for saving you from.
They know they dare not aspire to the daredevil heights at
which sportbike riders play - which is sensible, as most sportsbike
riders have been riding for a loong, looooong time - or they
dont remain sportsbike riders for long. Knowing that a 170kg
motorcycle with 180 bhp is somewhat beyond thier skills, the
plodding padawan's of motorcycling merriment often, through
simple ignorance, turn to the dark side of the two-wheeled
world - Cruisers; the feet-forward, engine-case-scraping,
fat-bellied, under-powered, handles-like-a-greased-pig-in-a-pool-full-of-jelly
fat chicks of the two-wheeled world.
Much like a fat chick, a cruiser
is fun to ride - until somebody sees you. Then, the laughing
and pointing starts. Why? because, my son, you've come along
30 years too late.
There was a time when cruisers
were hard. Hard as Lenny McLean (for the ignorant, he played
Barry the Bishop in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels",
was *the* hard man of London for more than 20 years, underground
bare-knuckle fighter par excellence). But then they, like
many other manly and highly respectable places, pursuits and
purposes, became gentrified. As ever, the forces of gentrification
are the interior decorators, the hand-bag designers, the throwers
of elegant dinner parties and scatterers of throw cushions.
Now, i'm all for people expanding
their horizons and embracing the zen-like mobile m editation
that is motorcycling, but the following real life experience
might the worlds of motorcysling and metrosexuality should
I was sitting at a cafe with
a riding buddy of mine, after a quiet mountain route ride.
The merry tinkle of our boyish laughter at the simple joys
of shattering the laws of both land a physics on a crotch
rocket was torn asunder by the foul, gutteral, tuned gargling
of barely running v-twin engines. Without a word spoken, we
both grimaced. We knew, without looking, the evil pnuema of
the Harley was about to enter our idyllic surrounds.
No sooner had we both shaken
our heads in disgust when half a dozen harley's rolled around
the corner and pulled up to the curb, much to the dismay of
the english tea weilding matrons and pipe and slippers diggers
frequenting the cafe. The many riders and pillion dismounted
and removed matt-black open face helmets and leather jackets
to reveal......shaggy, dishevelled, blond-tipped $300 designer
haircuts and skin tight, spangly "Kylie" t-shirts.
No sooner had they commandered a couple of tables than the
orders for "skinny latte's" and "ooh, the thigh-threatening
chockie cake, sweetie" were flooding in.
I shot you not. Fkn KYLIE shirts
and skinny lattes. On closer inspection, many of the leather
jackets boasted long leather fringes. The same kind my mum's
leather jacket has. Interestingly enough, my 50-something
mum also rides a cruiser.
This is an appropraite time
to mention an important metric in deciding the desirability
of a motorcycle: The Schoolgirls-Per-Pass (SPP) ratio, which
describes the number of come-hither looks, catcalls, whistles
and panty-flashes on recieves when passing an highschool right
on leaving time. Obviously, a high SPP ratio is desirable.
Scientific tests show that cruisers have on the whole, a zero
or less SPP ratio.
That, sadly or no, is the world
you are seeking entry to. But, if you desire not the brutal
acceleration and mind-bending handling of a sportsbike, what
option do you have, other than the horrific cruiser.
You have what has become the
no-bullshit, straight-shooting non-wannabe-boy-racer's motorcycle
- The Naked Bike.
Naked bikes are de-tuned, less
aggressively chassised versions of modern road going sportsbikes.
Called "Naked" because they eschew the all-surrounding
plastic fairings of modern sportsbikes for a simple, rugged
and manly all-engine look, the torquey performance, often
retro-seventies/eighties looks and ease of use of these wonderful
creatures have made them instant classics.
Any of the naked produced by
the Japanese Big Four - Honda Hornet (600 or 900), Kawasaki
Z1000, Suzuki Bandit (1300) and Yamaha Fazer (FZ6  or
FZ1), would amply meet the needs of a good performance
car enthusiast such as yourself without driaining your masculinity
or draggin you over to the dark side. If you have a few more
bucks to spend, the Aprillia Tuono is quite possibly the god
of nakeds...and all of them rate highly on the SPP scale.
I've attached a few pics that
show the rugged beauty of a few of the naked bikes available.
Sit, take a deep breath, and
ask yourslef.....Do i realy like Kylie, skinny lattes and
throw cushions that much??
Brig. H. Q. Unrepentant-Muffdiver.