Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Midlife Decline Measured in Harleys

This is my 2006 Harley Davidson Street Bob the day I paid for it. When I first saw this motorcycle for sale, I knew it was a Harley but I did not recognize it as a Street Bob. No self-respecting Street Bob should be loaded down with all that fake leather and conchos and fringe! As soon as my brother and I got it home, we immediately removed all this foolishness. The former owner would be pained to know that those plastic saddlebags went directly to the landfill.

The photo below is the 2006 Harley Davidson FXDBI as it was conceived in the minds of the Harley Davidson engineers and designers. Not much chrome. Nothing fancy. A modern iteration of the old street bobs those west coast wild boys built with panhead engines, stripping them down for street riding.

Now, I know it is just a Superglide with less chrome and a clever marketing scheme. I am not a total dolt. As soon as I can get digital photos of my former bike, the Superglide, in all her different paint jobs, I will post them. You will be able to see right away that this is the look I had been after. I had the frame lowered on the Superglide in order to get the fender down over the rear tire. Once that was accomplished, I put a solo seat on the 'Glide after my daughter had discovered boys and did not ride behind me any more. I could go strictly for aesthetics. Even then, back in the day, more than one hopeful man rode behind me on the bare fender.

Aaaahhhh, those were the good old days. I must pause for a moment in respectful silence in honor of that time of my life. Now I am just an aging baby boomer, overweight and gray haired, and tired. There might still be a man willing to ride behind me on the fender, but he too would be a faded remnant of his former hard bodied and handsome self. If he just had any of his hair left to blow in the wind, that would be a major bonus.

I hate to admit that I have been riding the 'Bob with that same seat, conchos and all. That is how pathetic my life has become. I am willing to ride with a frayed and ugly seat on my Harley Davidson rather than take the time to either get this one recovered or spend the money for a new one. Poor Bob. He deserves better but once the decline sets in, it all goes to hell in a hurry.


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