More and more I am hearing disturbing stories of riders being shunned by other riders based on the brand they ride. I am talking about out right discrimination here folks. I am not talking about the good natured type of brand banter here, I am talking hurtful, nasty and in my humble opinion, uncalled for cruelty.

Are you a brand snob? If so, I would be very curious as to why.
It is a concept that I just can not wrap my head around.

I can understand good natured ribbing but some of the stories I hear go far beyond that.

There is one brand of motorcycle, more than any other that seems to be accused of generating brand snobs.

That brand is Harley-Davidson. This brand generates a fierce loyalty. Now "Loyalty" is one thing but when that loyalty turns to virtual hatred towards people who have for whatever reason chosen to ride another brand of machine - well, that's where my understanding goes right out the window.

Maybe I am just the odd man out here, but to me, the bugs hurt and taste the same on my Harley as they did when I rode a Victory or a Suzuki.

The sunshine feels exactly the same, the smells are the same, the dangers are the same and so is the exhilaration. Do I enjoy my H-D Street Glide. Yes, I do. But I also enjoyed my Suzuki and it will always hold a special place in my heart. It was a great bike for the money. It ran well, it looked good and I enjoyed it. Conversely I hated my Sportster. It was not the right bike for me at all.

I enjoyed the engineering and handling of the Victory King Pin I rode, but it lacked the conveniences that I needed like a tour pack that could hold my lap top and I found it expensive when pitted against the Street Glide I now own & the Street Glide has far more standard features than the King Pin. (I am comparing an 05/06 King Pin to an 07 H-D Street Glide here and the pricing and options that were available when I was looking for my next bike)

I ride what I ride because of the job I do. I need to have a rolling office when I go to events. None of the other brands offered a woman my size the kinds of accessories and necessities that the Harley did, at least not in something I could get off the kickstand or handle at low speed.

I would look at any other brand that did if the prices and amenities were comparable.
To me, it's not about what I am riding. It's about the ride. The sights, the smells, the majesty of mother nature and the unfettered view of that majesty offered by my motorcycle.

It is also about the way I am treated when I go to the dealership or shop.
Customer service is what's going to make my happiness with my machine complete.

I just don't get what it is it about a brand name that can make some people down right rude in the way the interact with others. This does not just happen in the motorcycle world. It happens with automobiles too. Chevy lovers can be awful bad. So can Dodge and Ford lovers..I am sure there are many other communities where this is so, but since I am not a part of them I am not privy to the discrimination that could take place with regards to say one brand of hockey stick over another or one brand of ski over another.

I just don't understand how a product that you pay for can generate such hatred. After all, most of the things we purchase are just that - things. How can the ownership of a thing define who you are...

Obviously I am missing something.
Perhaps someone out there would care to enlighten me....

If you are riding today, please ride like everyone around you is blind and can not see you.

Belt Drive Betty
National VP AIM-Can
Alliance for Injured Motorcyclists

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