Don’t get me wrong: I have nothing against Harleys. I know the brand is iconic American and deserves a spot in our cultural history. They’re nice, clean-looking bikes that any person should be proud to ride.
They’re just not for me.
Now, I’ve seen every type of person under the sun riding a Harley: scrawny, accountant-types with thick glasses; guys in business attire on their way to work; women who are soccer moms in their everyday lives but like the thrill of hopping on a steel horse. But the stereotypical image of the kind of person who rides a Harley looks something like this: big, beefy, tattooed man with a handlebar mustache wearing a black leather vest, jeans, and a shiny black skull-helmet.
I do not look like this. I do not want to look like this.
I ride a 2010 Triumph Bonneville T100 in all black.
I never even considered riding a motorcycle until my buddy, fresh off of a tough break-up, insisted that we get motorcycles. I kept blowing him off until he showed me a picture of a Bonneville. I reconsidered. And then I saw Brad Pitt riding a Triumph in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and it was all over. He just looked so damned cool cruising around those curves, one hand on the throttle and the other resting on his thigh.
Call me a no-good Anglophile, but I love Triumphs. They speak sophistication to me. I see plenty of Harleys while I’m riding around, and I always throw them a wave. Hell, I even wave at sportbikes: we’re all a part of a larger clan. But rare are the moments when I see a fellow Triumph-rider on the street. When I do, I give a nod because I know that he knows what I know:
That we’re riding in style.