Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, October 1, 2015

"You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda," But...

So there I was, 0600, out in my driveway, picking up the newspaper. There's a bit of a wind, 47°F outside, the sky is lighter in the east as sunrise is a little less than an hour away. About 500' or so down the road, there's an intersection.

A motorcycle is there at the cross street. The rider accelerates and turns, going past me. He's riding a Harley with "chopper" handlebars. He goes through three gears at full throttle, blaring the racket from his pipes as he goes.

There were no other vehicles on the road. There was no need for that putz to do that. But he did, down a quiet residential street in the pre-dawn hour.

There once was an advertising slogan: "You meet the nicest people on a Honda." Maybe that was hype.

But it seems clear to me that Assholes Ride Harleys.


Chuck Pergiel said...

When I was a kid, there was nothing I liked better than the roar of a big, unmuffled engine. Didn't understand why all the old people complained about it. In Vail, Arizona, where I've been for the last week, it's dead quiet, except for the occasional roar of giant, jacked-up pickup trucks late at night. Effing assholes. I must be gettin' old.

CenterPuke88 said...

I always idled/coasted in as best I could, and almost never started till I was pointed down the road and away from the nearby houses, in the early and late hours...seemed like common courtesy. Now, at another place I lived, the yahoo down the road likely to blast up and down a residential street at all hours, heedless of the noise...both his Harley and his Yamaha (with opened up mufflers). Some of the guys I rode with were pretty scary, but rarely played that game; others,well...

I suspect, on the whole, the Harley's distinctive lumpy noise gets it more attention than most of the sewing machine cruisers, but the crotch rockets seem to be the offenders more often. It may be age, as Chuck suggests, but maturity is rarely related to age.

3383 said...

All makes have asshole (and unskilled) riders. "Modifying" the exhaust is more noticeable on big V-twins, so many rice/ crotch rocketeers don't bother.

The one who rev the throttle in traffic to demand more room (while splitting lanes in Cali) miss the point- the noise is mostly after the bike passes, and the folks who don't notice already don't understand what is wanted, anyway.

dinthebeast said...

Q: What's the difference between a Hoover and a Harley?

A: The Hoover has the dirt bag on the inside.

The only road going motorcycle I've ever owned (I raced motocross for about a decade when I was younger) was a Yamaha RZ 350, a two stroke, which in order to meet California emissions laws (in 1985) had catalytic converters on it that were a tenth of the production cost of the motorcycle. It was so quiet that I could park it on my friends' walkway ten feet from their front door, and they wouldn't know I was there until I rang the doorbell.
My brother was a biker, I went in a different direction.

-Doug in Oakland

Will said...

Harley riders are dealing with several issues:

The less number of cylinders per engine size, the more noise needs to occur to make similar horsepower. In addition, the mufflers for big cylinders also need a larger internal volume to work, which adds to the problems.

Being aircooled, the engine radiates more noise than a liquid cooled one, so the factory exhaust needs to be correspondingly quieter, since sound meters measure the total amount of sound being produced.

The Harley narrow-V engine design produces the worst sounding exhaust in motorcycling. Even heavily modified, they tend to sound like crap.

A too large percentage of Harley riders are of the "look-at-me, I'm an asshole" type, which drives the installation of the very obnoxious in-your-face sound of straight pipes. Currently, it appears to be a near match with the H-D's that are equipped with "smell me" handlebars, at least in the SF Bay Area. I snigger every time I see those handlebars. They were big back when I first got into bikes, about 1970. I'm unsure if that was the first iteration of the "ape-hangers" style of bars, but this time it seems to be hanging around a bit longer.

Big Sweetie said...

I asked a motorcycle riding friend why Harley riders seemed to glory in annoying the world with their noise. His response: "Ride loud, ride proud." Confirming your asshole theory.

BadTux said...

The Harley people always say to me "loud pipes save lives." The notion being that somehow "cage" drivers in their sound-insulated cocoons of steel with their stereo systems turned up all the way will hear a Harley's loud pipes and pay attention to the motorcyclist rather than running over him. Uhm, yeah. Probably about as effective as deer whistles and rabbits' foots.

As someone who's owned a half dozen motorcycles in my life I get the point that motorcyclists want every advantage they can get given the oblivious drivers on the road, but somehow I suspect that headlight and brake light modulators will do a better job of that. Along with wearing a white helmet and a hi-viz vest over a blue jacket -- motorists suddenly think you're a cop, which makes them pay attention to you a lot more than otherwise.

Note that this guy probably was *not* slamming the throttle all the way open. In fact, I doubt he even hit 2,000 rpm. Harleys with straight pipes are loud even when you're *not* accelerating them hard. Harleys have a lot of low-down torque, so you can chug down the road at 1500 rpm without even noticing it, unlike other motorcycles that can't even idle smoothly at 1500 rpm. It's the straight pipes making the noise, not the rate at which the rider was blipping the throttle. A Harley will go 25mph in first gear so if he was going into 3rd gear within your earshot on a suburban street, he definitely was not revving the engine.