Thursday, April 20, 2006

Misplaced Patriotism

I got a bit of flack after posting my opinion of Fischer Motors and their new “American Sportbike©” a few weeks ago. It seems I inadvertently ruffled some feathers and stirred-up a few American Patriots in the process... Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa. For those of you who sent-in those lovely emails in which you bestowed upon me the title of Bastard, or even Iddiut (sic.), I can only offer you a heartfelt Bronx Cheer! You guys should go to the library and try to develop your reading comprehension.

Nothing in my previous post was meant to be anti-American, nor did I imply that the new Fischer MRX was a bad bike. For what it’s worth, I think the MRX looks real nice and the specs seem to indicate that it’ll be a fast machine. What I was criticizing was Fischer Motors for using what I consider to be cheap marketing technique. Rather than use the bike itself as a the focus for their marketing campaign, they turn around and use a lame statement like “One more reason to be proud you’re American!”. Oh please, spare me! How can you call this an American Motorcycle when the most important bits (namely the engine and tranny) are Made in KoreaTM?

Some of you are even suffering from severe cases of defeatism. One such bloke asked me “how can you expect us to compete with Japan when they’ve got a bigger marketshare?” Duh – don't mean to surprise you, Sparky, but you are the marketshare! I just wish John Britten was still around; just look at what he accomplished with the V1000 – and imagine what he could’ve done with a few more years’ time.

For what it’s worth, the new Buell XBRR just might be what many have been looking for; but only time will tell. Recent problems at Daytona seem to have delayed the delivery of the V-Twin rocket.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Kindness of (Not Total) Strangers

Although I’m better known for being a cynical bastard than a « Chicken Soup for the Soul » kind of guy, sometimes perfect strangers do things that make me want to re-evaluate my perception of modern society. Case in point is Mike. For now we’ll keep it on a first name basis because a) I’m not sure he’d like to have his full name in print on the net in some guy’s blog, and b) I don’t really know what his full name is.

Mike is from Nova Scotia, but he’s good friends with John – who’s from Ontario. I’m somewhere in the middle here in New Brunswick. Anyhow, to make a long story short, John had a touring windshield for the V-Strom that he was willing to part with and I was willing to take; but how do you ship a windshield without the hassle of packing it and paying exorbitant shipping fees? That’s where Mike comes in!

Mike was in Ontario for other matters, and agreed to take the windshield and meet me in Moncton on his way back home. This was great for me as a) it saves me money, and b) well, reason “a)” should be enough! Mike gave me a call when he was close to Moncton and we found a place to meet-up. He gave me the windshield, we had a coffee and spoke about motorcycles for a bit as he’s been a rider for awhile; not to mention that he had just bought an old Honda dual-sport for his son to learn how to ride (what a great Dad - all I ever got was Lego blocks and bicycles). He tried to convince me that his ST1100 was the ultimate sport-touring bike, and I begged to differ that the V-Strom could hold its own against any bike (i.e. typical biker "my-bike-is-better-than-yours" banter). After a few chuckles, he got back into his truck and drove off.

Now I usually balk at the whole “biker brotherhood” shtick, as it all too often sounds like yet another tried and true Harley-Davidson marketing ploy to get bored accountants and suit-and-tie lawyers out of their office and among the living – but in some instances there is a bit of truth to the stereotype (as there is to most stereotypes). Non-motorcyclists out there probably can’t understand why a good touring windshield would be important – and I don’t blame them; but Mike most likely understood, which is probably why he agreed to make a detour on his way home to drop off this piece of Lexan to a guy he’d never met before.

So here’s a big tip of the helmet to Mike for making the delivery, and to John for parting ways with such a nice piece of plastic. You guys are just another reason why motorcycling is such a great thing.