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I stopped in a local motorcycle shop (I won't mention the brand, but it they didn't measure engines in CC's) to pick up some windshield cleaner, and when I walked in (Full Hi-Vis jacket, pants, helmet), I was asked if I was there for the "rookie class". I asked why they asked, and was told "only a rookie would wear that".

I'm wondering if that's the attitude I can expect?

I'm sorry, I'm not risking my life and limb to 'fit in' to someone else's opinion of what a 'real biker' should look like.
 

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I know! I freaked out my local HD shop a few years ago, when I walked in wearing my Kawasaki riding pants (made by Heine/Gerich). But to be fair, I also used to get looks at my Gold Wing groups, when I wore leather chaps! Just depends on the group!
 

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Listen you wear whatever you want, all these people have stigmas about HD's that they should be the only gear/ motorcycle to have. Where whatever makes you feel comfortable riding in. I wear a full face on my 900 classic and i get looks all the time but you know what IDGAF at all thats what makes me feel as safe as possible
 

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Some people just can't handle the fact that not everybody has the same opinions as they do. I also own a FJR1300 and most fjr owners are atgatt guys and gals. I've been in both camps during my 40 years of riding and I understand both sides of the issue. And as long as I get to decide what I ride and what I wear I'll be a happy biker.
From what I've read and heard more times than not it's the atgatt crowd that does the smack talk about riding gear. Sometimes I dress like a Pirate and other times like a Power Ranger but I don't give a flyin fuc# what other people think. Do what makes YOU happy.
 

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In such an event, I'd recommend politely asking for the person's name and then requesting to speak to the manager on duty; mebbe followed by a little letter to the owner of the dealership stating the reason why you'll likely never return there.
I'd hazard a guess that the offending salesjerk would likely not be there if you did choose to return in the future.
 

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Absolutely: screw other peep's opinions. So many in HD world are so similar to racists: full of themselves, think their s**t doesn't stink. Oh yeah, it stinks. They are eager to share foolish opinions. Ignore them. My 2 cents.

The Motor Company has fostered and encouraged this smug, know-it-all culture. I wonder if they realize how off-putting it is and how many MC sales it costs them, just because so many people are repelled by the culture, and because of that, the brand.
 

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I stopped in a local motorcycle shop (I won't mention the brand, but it they didn't measure engines in CC's) to pick up some windshield cleaner, and when I walked in (Full Hi-Vis jacket, pants, helmet), I was asked if I was there for the "rookie class". I asked why they asked, and was told "only a rookie would wear that".

I'm wondering if that's the attitude I can expect?

I'm sorry, I'm not risking my life and limb to 'fit in' to someone else's opinion of what a 'real biker' should look like.
Some people can only feel better about themselves when they put other people down. Ride your ride Dude.
 

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Enforcer201 said it well, wear whatever YOU feel comfortable wearing.
 

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I am a missionary for high viz and reflective material. It is an absolute life saver. Dark and esp. neutral colors blend you in with the road, and at night it is extreme.

So many bad crashes are left turners, pull outs, lane mergers. These drivers are not trying to kill you. They don't see you. You can blame them all the way to the ER if you choose, but you can do things to reduce the instances of that way way down and high viz bike colors and gear are as powerful as handling lane position and other factors to keep you out of cagers' blind spots.

The jury is in on this. It is up to us to put it to use.
 

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I went to an event at a local American brand dealer.

I got all kinds of comments about my "Metric Bike", why do you have training wheels on it?"; don't you want a real mans bike?; what kind of sissy helmet is that?; etc., etc.

I looked at them and said, "Ive been riding, off and on, for 60 years. I ride what I feel like riding, It gets me to and from, just as fast as yours does, and cost about a third of what yours does." I worked in emergency rooms for several years, while getting through college, after 10 years in the Army. I'm old enough to not worry about my choices in riding gear or equipment."

That shut them up pretty damn quickly!

Don't worry about what everyone else thinks, you ride what you want to ride, and you use any and all safety gear that you want,. I wear all that stuff, and I expect to be riding for at least another 10-15 years. It's saved me from a lot of injuries over the years.
 

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i occasionally wear leather, but i ride most of the time in an orange & blue kevlar mesh suit w/ a full or modular helmet. imagine a technicolor michelin man, or pillsberry doughboy (i ain't small, and the suit definitely ain't slimming!).

i've had some pretty rude things said to me. one guy actually got mad because he could not convince me that riding w/ only a tee, jeans, and a skid lid is the only way to ride (helmets required in GA or he would not wear a helmet at all). funny thing is that i have gotten more respect from hells angels (a nod in response to my nod, or returning a "good morning" at a gas station) than from wannabes that are offended for some reason by my choice of riding gear.
 

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It's usually the weekend riders that think their bad asses and make the comments. Just do what I do and look them straight in the eye and in a raised stern voice say F Off!(censored) It always shuts them up.
 

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Wow, not sure where you guys are meeting all these a-holes but, all the years I rode my hd I never told anyone shame on you for wearing any gear they chose! I wore jeans and T-shirt my choice, and the looks I got from the all the gear guys was wth are you thinking? But again, they weren’t jerks either just didn’t agree with what I wore. The point is wear what you want. Personally I quit caring about what other people think about me a long time ago.
 

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Ignore them, while they're busy getting skin grafts from laying it down you can already be riding your new bike paid for by the offender's insurance (along with your new gear). My brother had a person turn left in front of him and despite being shaken up and sore, he was fine. He was on his cheap bike (DT175) and the cost to replace his gear was almost as much as they gave him for the bike.

The one thing I'd like to see is variable deductibles based on what you're wearing at the time of the at fault accident. Someone who cares about them self enough to be in the hospital for a month should be completely financially responsible for their actions instead of having everyone else who is being responsible pumping money into their repair fund via inflated insurance rates. Then again I feel the same way about health care; cheap insurance for those who put forth effort, high rates for the slobs that smoke regularly.
 

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Dude, that sucks! I would've made a smart-assed comment, for sure!

The HD dealerships around here are pretty cool, they don't get offended by what you ride or what you wear. Sure, they'd like to see you a bike or some gear, but most of 'em just care that you ride, period.

My Vaquero is a rare beast around here, and I've had more than one HD rider comment how nice it looks. Not that they'd trade theirs in, but they thought it looked nice. I'll take that.

I used to not wear a jacket on my ride home... then I got a tiny bit of road rash in an accident. Wife said we have extra money, not extra skin - go buy a jacket that you'll wear EVERY ride EVERY where. So I did... got a Joe Rocket green/black/white mesh jacket. It breathes better and still provides protection/armor in case I fall again. Bonus - it matches my white w/black & green pinstripe bike.

Moral of the story, like others have said - F em if they can't take a joke, and don't let someone else dictate what you ride or wear - it's YOUR ride, YOUR safety.

-John
 

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In such an event, I'd recommend politely asking for the person's name and then requesting to speak to the manager on duty; mebbe followed by a little letter to the owner of the dealership stating the reason why you'll likely never return there.
I'd hazard a guess that the offending salesjerk would likely not be there if you did choose to return in the future.
We're a little more direct around here. "Son, I don't have all day. Are you going to sell me what I'm after, or are you going to stand there and keep sh**ting all over my riding gear that's none of your business? Just let me know, so I can go somewhere else and get on with my day."

Now, I'd probably just say something like "that's fine, you dress how you want when you ride. And when some moron staring at a cell phone cuts you off, merges into you or turns right in front of you and your body is sliding down the pavement at 40 MPH, I hope those jeans, running shoes, Tee shirt and that tiny little skid lid give you the protection you'll wish you had when you wake up- that is, if you wake up. You don't dress for the ride, you dress for the slide."

I alway laugh when guys hop on a bike in shorts, flip flops and no helmet because "I'm just running down to the store." Statistically,they have a far better chance of getting in an accident in town at 25 MPH than they do on the freeway or open road, yet for some reason we like to think the open road is more dangerous because of the speeds. Speed on motorcycles causes accidents, to be sure, but far more accidents are due to inattentive drivers. I never leave my driveway before I run down a mental checklist, the last item of which goes something like "remember: you are in visible. No one can see you. Never assume they can."
 

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Dude, that sucks! I would've made a smart-assed comment, for sure!

The HD dealerships around here are pretty cool, they don't get offended by what you ride or what you wear. Sure, they'd like to see you a bike or some gear, but most of 'em just care that you ride, period.

My Vaquero is a rare beast around here, and I've had more than one HD rider comment how nice it looks. Not that they'd trade theirs in, but they thought it looked nice. I'll take that.

I used to not wear a jacket on my ride home... then I got a tiny bit of road rash in an accident. Wife said we have extra money, not extra skin - go buy a jacket that you'll wear EVERY ride EVERY where. So I did... got a Joe Rocket green/black/white mesh jacket. It breathes better and still provides protection/armor in case I fall again. Bonus - it matches my white w/black & green pinstripe bike.

Moral of the story, like others have said - F em if they can't take a joke, and don't let someone else dictate what you ride or wear - it's YOUR ride, YOUR safety.

-John
I talked to a Harley salesman a couple years ago and he was praising my Kaw to the skies. I remarked that he was the first HD salesman I ever spoke to that didn't crap on other bikes. He said "we just want people to ride. I already know you like to ride. You already know I prefer HD because I sell them. But that doesn't mean your bike is bad. And honestly, if I wish to sell you a bike, how would insulting the bike you have now make you want to buy one from me down the road?"

A SMART SALESMAN.
 

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Ignore them, while they're busy getting skin grafts from laying it down you can already be riding your new bike paid for by the offender's insurance (along with your new gear). My brother had a person turn left in front of him and despite being shaken up and sore, he was fine. He was on his cheap bike (DT175) and the cost to replace his gear was almost as much as they gave him for the bike.

The one thing I'd like to see is variable deductibles based on what you're wearing at the time of the at fault accident. Someone who cares about them self enough to be in the hospital for a month should be completely financially responsible for their actions instead of having everyone else who is being responsible pumping money into their repair fund via inflated insurance rates. Then again I feel the same way about health care; cheap insurance for those who put forth effort, high rates for the slobs that smoke regularly.
When I first went back to riding in 2001 after several years of child rearing, I thought it was cool to "court death" by riding with no gear. But the internet can be a wonderful tool, and in my searches for motorcycle related sites, I came across more than on set of pictures of motorcycle accidents with some pretty ugly scenes, a good many injuries that could have been prevented with proper gear. I'm not one to tell people how they should live, and if they want to drive fast and take chances, have at it. Just be aware that the one recurring theme from all these survivors of accidents was "it happened before I knew it was happening" and all of them were shocked at how violent it was.
 

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These are good posts pointing out that people are individuals and shouldn't be lumped into groups and judged. I get plenty of waves and pleasant exchanges of conversation from HD riders.

Plus, HD'ers aren't the only ones who look down on other bikes and riders. Sport and supersport riders also tend to, well, to think only they are real riders.

I ride a Versys 1000 as well as my Vulcan 900. Hanging out with the little scene of regulars at my local Kaw shop, some of the crowd that rides ZX14s and the liter Ninjas don't take riders of other bikes very seriously. Say Hey, how ya doin', and the first thing they will do is look at your bike, look at your tires to see if there are chicken strips as if that tells them all they need to know about you, your skills, your legitimacy as a rider. And this isn't even brand partisanship, it's intramural Kawasaki to Kawasaki throwing of shade. It happens. I don't really GAF, it's their problem.

Heck, I have to check myself sometimes, too... here's a wild-eyed guy with a heavily farkled ZX14, he's covered in Kawasaki logo clothing, and he has taken a $280 rear tire down to the cords in a month, smoking the tire in parking lots with the front brake on. Is he a gigantic dumbass? Well, to me, yes. But it ain't up to me to have an opinion. He's good business for the shop... his insurance agent is getting rich off of him... he's a cash cow for the police and traffic courts...

To each his own,
It's all unknown,
When dogs run free.


(Bob Dylan)

:wink2:
 

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I've never had the HD comments like I've seen on the forum over the years. I do notice that a lot of HD riders in my area don't wave back, but I don't know if that's because they recognize my "rice burner" from the front wheel, or if they don't wave to anyone. Interesting thing is that Watkin's Glenn hosts some kind of big BMW hoe down every year and I've been in town several time when there's 80-100 Beemers going down Main Street and in 11 years I've been riding around there, I don't believe I've ever had a BMW rider wave or return a wave.
 
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