The strangest thing happened last week. I was chatting to a fellow bike nut on social media about past bikes and the like and I realised I missed owning a Harley Davidson.
Idon’t miss my Dyna specifically (at all actually). After 85k it was burning oil and showing the use and abuse of hard miles. But when I have a brand new GSA with all the bells and whistles that does the miles I ride so well and is probably the epitome of all my riding to this date it surprises me to be wanting a v-twin.
The big question is why? (Especially because the beemer does everything). I managed to find 10 aspects of that bike that my Harley didn’t have and on top of that it goes, stops, handles, and does so much more.
Why would I want another Harley?
The key word here is ‘want’. I’m finding myself ‘wanting’ another Harley. And that’s what is different this time. I have no intention to commute 1000km per week. If the opportunity arises to ride across Australia I have the beemer for that. What I want is something to pine over, to polish and clean and sit in the garage and stare at.
It took me a while (13,000km) but I realised that I missed the customisation that comes with Harley ownership. Making something your own through personalisation. Ape hangers, chrome, black out, exhaust, air ride ,pin striping and much more. All these changes represent customising aspects I’m passionate about but none of them are really applicable to a BMW GSA.
But the customisation and making something “my own’ could easily be applied to any project. So the Harley wanting i’ve been experiencing must also be about the ride. But Harleys are antiquated. They don’t stop, they don’t really go, they scrape, they offer little in the way of creature comforts & they certainly don’t represent the forefront in technology, however if I could be on a motorcycle right now I’d pick a Harley. Maybe it’s brand loyalty. I mean, I don’t own a BMW t-shirt and highly doubt I ever will, but I have an extensive collection of Harley branded gear.
Why is that? Is it because as far as motorcycles go the MOCO delivers on something that you can’t read on a spec sheet? Is it because the marque represents a history? Maybe but BMW has been around a long time too. Maybe it’s just that Harley Davidsons have more soul.
This leaves me with one question. Build or buy?