Hereabouts, a proper pilgrimage will take you north along the west shore of Lake Winnipesaukee to Meredith, NH where you’ll find the local temple of motorcycling, Laconia Harley Davidson.
It’s open to the uninitiated public, a venue for neophytes to entertain the high ministers of all things Harley Davisdson.
“How much is this belt buckle?” “Hundred Dollars.”
“What about this T-shirt?” “Hundred Dollars.”
“Okay, how much is this quart of oil?” “Hundred Dollars, installed.”
As you might expect, the overpriced trivia are monumentally eclipsed by the 2016 Harley Davidson CVO Road Glide Ultra, listing for $40,299. Okay, it’s the most expensive production bike I could find on their site, a luxury touring cruiser. Most of their big motorcycles are in the 16K-28K range. Still second mortgage territory, though. I’d have to conjure up some special mental magic to make that work.
So it’s pretty amazing that 8 out of 10 bikes I encounter on the road seem to be big HD cruisers. The 9th will be a Japanese version of a big HD cruiser or a big Victory or Indian cruiser. The 10th will be something else, ridden by a lost soul or just a normal motorcycle rider, depending on your point of view.
If you currently search cycletrader.com nationwide, upwards of 50,000 Harleys will be listed compared to about 7000 BMWs. Well, it’s some indication of the ownership and market in the HD brand. The big Japanese manufacturers are only a bit less popular by this measure, but I don’t see many of them on the road here for some reason.
No, Harley Davidson is definitely the one true motorcycle up in Laconia Bike Week country. Probably in the entire USA.
Now here’s something interesting, a fellow 10-per-center waving at me:
That’s right. No wave. Not from a big cruiser to me on my F650. But if there’s a big cruiser in front of me, there would likely be a wave for him/her.
I’ll initiate a wave to another dual sport or standard, and I’ll be ready to respond to any sport bike, but I have no desire to disturb the nirvana surrounding an oncoming big cruiser.
Hold on! New development.
It’s now dipping into the thirties (Farenheit) here and the bikes have thinned out dramatically. I’m a die-hard cold weather rider, yet to embrace a single watt of electric heat. And I use the F650 for transportation. So I’m out there. After last winter I know what I can handle comfortably and it’s now routine. What’s the temperature and sun like and how long a ride is it? The answers point to a specific configuration of cold weather layers and gear. Routine.
In this cold, I’ll rarely encounter another motorcycle, but the other day I met one. A big one. A Harley Davidson cruiser. And what was that extending down towards the road with the traditional two finger salute to the fallen brethren and sisters? A genuine true believer motorcycle wave! Catching me unprepared, my only reply was a feeble nod of the helmet.
It could be that at 35 degrees we are all just hard-core disciples of the open road, happy to see someone else under way. Maybe I should try initiating a wave on the next big Harley cruising the cold two-lane. See what happens.