Not as unencumbered as this lithe, nicely restored old Harley.
Tis bike was built to ride with thick paint, modern electrics ad all parts properly mated together.
The carburetor and huge air filter box used to interfere with the rider's legs on these older bikes.
I am no fan of tiny peanut fuel tanks and high arching ape hanger handlebars, but this is a machine put together with care and it shows.
I have no idea, not being a Harley aficionado, what is right and proper and what has been adapted. To me authenticity doesn't matter much and the owner of this thing cares because he's stuck a padlock on it to keep it his.
The Harley mystique makes people crazy and even onlookers want a part of these machines that define motorcycling USA.
The old Triumph thing is part of a different tradition and the modernization of the Bonneville makes the nerdy Triumph disciples of decades past crazy with contempt.
I like how my bike looks, how easily it rides, how adaptable it is for practical uses and how it connects me to my motorcycling past however tenuous that connection may be.
Harleys do the same for other people. And I don't mind saying there are a couple of Harleys in the contemporary line up I wouldn't mind riding if I could afford them. They are practical dependable and hard working. They ride further than their owners are capable of taking them as is the case with most modern machines.
In Key West it's bicycles that get the workstation out and even these rides out perform their owners in terms of longevity.
I wish it were time for motorcycles to be treated as dependable transportation, not toys. I'm guessing the economy will have to regress a long way for that to happen.
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