I love all the responses so far. But to be honest, I expected no less on this forum. What does that mean? It means that we are the type of biker that, IMHO, is a purist. We love the ride. It comes down to the love of the bike and the thrill of riding! A Kawasaki rider isn't interested in some niche lifestyle.
The clothing suggestion is probably the best option we can employ to detract from that bad boy biker image. It doesn't mean we have to give up leather. I dress in full leathers when I ride, but I don't portray the bad biker look.
I've always worn a full face helmet. Not just because of the protection it provides, but because they look cool! There is a guy here in my small town that rides a HD. He wears a Nazi helmet. Not kidding.
As for the 'ride a Sport bike' advice...nope. Don't get me wrong. I love Sport bikes. But they just aren't designed for long comfort rides like a Cruiser. Besides, it's the rider that can be a total ass, not the bike. People aren't turned off by the bike. It's the rider that sends all of the message. It's sorta like a gun. Guns don't shoot people, people shoot people.
I have tried the different bike clubs for the rides. But they all have an underlying common theme; bar hopping. Which is a real image tarnishing practice. Bikes parked in front of a bar. No matter what the good cause is that the ride is supporting, it still comes down to promoting drinking and riding. Most of these folks are HD enthusiasts. And there are a lot of them in my area. Unfortunately, the closest Kawasaki Vulcan club is hours away.
I love bikes. All bikes. I've owned many of them during my lifetime (even a few HD's). I feel that riding is wonderful therapy. And although I love riding with others, I cherish the solo ride most of all.
I start my mornings early with a cup of coffee browsing the internet for current news and events. I didn't much care for that 3/4 page pic of those Waco bikers. I just get so tired of that image being portrayed as the 'typical' biker. But it's like
said, "We're not going to flip 70 years of stereotype."