“My Bike is Better Than Yours”

Best MotorcycleMOTORCYCLE RIDERS ARE A UNIQUE BUNCH.  Over the decades I’ve managed to ride all over North America, including coast-to-coast, multi-week tours a number of times. As much as I love riding, I also love to shoot the breeze with motorcycle riders of all ages and experience levels, wherever we may encounter each other and I consider it a privilege to converse with such a diverse variety of individuals.

Regardless of whether speaking with a somber biker the size of large refrigerator with every tattoo imaginable; or a petite and mature woman well versed in the practice of professional safe-riding techniques; or hot-shot kids; easy going middle-agers; dirt bikers; cruisers; sport-bike riders; retro bikers; sport-tourers; adventure tourers; Gold Wing riders; European riders; custom riders; highly experienced tourers; brand-new riders; vintage aficionados; and every other rider imaginable, I have found one thing in common: the love of motorcycle riding.

Secondarily, I have found that “most” (but not all) riders that I have encountered are genuinely friendly. That might seem odd to note. At least I consider it so, because my experience in the real world of meeting motorcyclists is different than what may be found in some online motorcycle forums. I have found it remarkable over the years to observe that in spite of their universal passion for riding, a certain number of online motorcyclists are so ready and willing to express vitriol to other riders over divergent sub-categories of passion or motorbike preferences.

You know the tired old arguments: individuals who assert that certain continents produce better motorcycles and/or that certain owners of certain brands are superior to others and all others are valueless.

Of course, at any given time any specific brand may boast a particular motorcycle that reflects the current state-of-the-art performance engineering. However, even though such a bike may be deemed “best” based upon certain qualitative parameters, there will likely be a much larger percentage of riders who will vote for their “best” motorcycle by purchasing a different one. What is a “best” motorcycle for any rider is as variable as what any specific individual considers is the “best” music, the “best” movie, the “best” ice cream or the “best” beer.

I consider those riders who espouse “My bike is better than yours” are simply not experienced enough to appreciate what motorcycle riding is all about: enjoyment of the ride. And that can be realized on any motorbike.

The good news is that such a malady can be resolved by more riding….

What attitude do you like (or dislike) most among riders?

140 thoughts on ““My Bike is Better Than Yours”

  • Ride, who cares what you ride as long as you do ride!!! I’ve ridden many different makes…it’s the ride I enjoy most!! I love the breeze in my face, the smells an the sites!!The ride seems to awake all my senses an feelings!! I LOVE to ride!! I’ve only been doing it for 42 years….
    Ride Safe & Free!!

    Jr

  • I have three at the present time, a KLR650,900 Vulcan classic LT, and a kawasaki Voyager X11…I,ve had ,hondas,BSA,harleys, and I like the metrics the best…I think they give the best bang for the Buck!!there is no “best” and to think there is,just shows how little one knows or rides….the Best in my world is one that is the most fun to ride, and gets me there and back without breaking down…….and i’m an old duffer 0f 68yrs, and been riding over 40 of them!!

  • I guess I’m just a motorcycle whore – I like having anything with two wheels between my legs. I have also been known to straddle some aberrations with three wheels. When I was 14 years old, I first learned to appreciate the value of a good marketing campaign when my dad said “Son, I’m not going to let you buy a motorcycle. But I will let you get a Honda”. (after all, you meet the nicest people on one of those … !!!). The only thing he would go for was a nifty fifty (no up front gas tank) but it was two wheels and a motor!!! Good enough. I still think so.

  • Well I want to thank the “My bike is better than yours” loud crowd for being so kind as to be very loud and proud of it. It gives those of us with more experience the heads up to steer clear until time and experience give them the maturity and skill to join us for a ride. Any bike can fall or slide, ride safe learn your bike and you will fall in love too. I currently have too mistresses a 1700 Roadstar and a 500 Buell. Ride safe and long.

  • I’ve been riding since 1981. My first bike was a Yamaha 850 Special. I’ve been riding Harley Softails ever since. My bike is better than your bike? Nah…I just enjoy the time I spend with my ‘knees in the breeze’ and the sun on my face on a nice day. As far as waving… I’ll wave, and if I get a wave back that’s fine, and if I don’t that’s OK too. I’m still out there enjoying the ride.

  • Dan,

    Take you handle bars to a tubing bender and have him bend them up together in the center of the bike. They would form a joy stick and you would be back in the cockpit again. Just move the stick in the desired direction of turn and the bike should lean right into the turn and you would have the enhanced fighter jet feeling..

  • I’ve been riding bikes for 49 years, starting with a used Cushman motor scooter. I’ve owned several Hondas, a CanAm, and a Husky….I loved then all, and was delighted with each one when I bought it and rode it.

    Last year I bought my first Harley Davidson…it’s a 2003 Night Train soft tail….

    I’ve had quicker, and faster bikes, for sure…but, at this point, I can honestly say, I think I like this motorcycle more than any bike I’ve ever had….I sit “IN” this motorcycle….it feels like I’m back in the cockpit of my Air Force machines….I LOVE riding this motorcycle! LOL

    I’ve talked with bikers, on all brands, all over the world…and, honestly, I personally have never had one “bad mouth” other bikes…if anything, they might bring up recurring “characteristics” of a previous bike, but it was always done with almost loving fondness.

    My son rides a CBR 600RR….that pretty little thing is a ROCKET!…but, I’ve ridden it, and while it is nice and tight…and sounds like an oversized sewing machine….and I can tell it is lightning quick, still….I love my Night Train…the “heavenly” beat of that big vertical twin…that smooth, throbbing torque as I roll on the throttle…and the stretched out position of my forward foot controls….

    There is no such thing as a “best bike”…to each his own….and my Night Train is definitely “my own”…

    Ride safe…wave if you can…and just keep enjoying one of the finer things in life….motorcycling with friends…..or alone….all day….or maybe night…or…well, you get my point! LOL

  • I would think that what is worn by the rider is the most important thing item to spend money on. He with the best protection lives to ride another day.

  • I detest bike snobs , they are tackle tarts , all the gear no idea . because your (my) bike is not the latest money spinner and has seen better days ( done the miles ) they look down thier noses at you . So my kit is weather worn and my faithfull steed has a few miles on it , ——-get a life—— .

  • I like different bikes. Current ride is an R1200RT. Somewhat spoiled by excellent wind protection (have a larger after-market windshield), heated hand grips and 7+ gallon gas tank that gives me a range of 300 miles if needed (usually fill up between 200-250). However, traveling back east to tour upstate NY and NE PA in June and will likely be renting a Harley. Looking forward to the experience. If had the $$$, would add a 600-800 cc UJM, aka “naked bike” (but with a windshield) to my stable. Doesn’t necessarily have to be Japanese either, for commuting and short trips. Kind of like the idea of a big V-twin bagger (Victory, anyone?). Don’t like loud exhausts (loud horn is better) and despise showoffs who like to do tricks while hauling down the freeway at 80 mph. Oh, and I usually wave…

  • thats because they got their arse kicked in the wild one , m.b. [ johnny ] on a triumph wiped the h.d. rider head honco [ lee marvin ] .. so the pain goes back a long time and they still try to make up for it…

  • There are no ‘good “bikes, or ‘Bad bikes’ – Only good bikers and bad bikers. What is a particular bugbear with me is the attitude of some HD riders who consider themselves ‘mean, bad bikers with attitude. They spoil it for the rest of us.

  • I remember being pissed off when the 1000 cc bikes wouldn’t race my 500 beast (a basic moderate commuter) from every traffic light. I laugh about it now, understanding, why would they race it when the fun is kept more for Mercedes sports, Porches etc, which even my humble GS1100 Bmer will blow away (for a reasonable distance) at a fraction of the cost. So i like to acknowledge all riders regardless of bike or engine capacity because we are all vulnerable to the metal boxes and events around us. Wave or nod is up to you, but welcoming other motorcyclists into the fold has to be healthy for us all. who knows… maybe the cars will pay attention and look out for us?

  • I love riding my bike…I also used to love ‘the wave’, but there have been times when I shouldn’t have taken my hands off my handle bar.

    I agree with the comment someone on this site made that there are bikes all over the place and it’s just not practical nor safe to always wave. I have taken to just nodding…a quick tilt up of the head.

    I prefer to keep my hands on my bike since I am not a long time motorcyclist and just don’t always feel comfortable letting go! I sure don’t wish to offend anyone, but neither do I wish to veer off into a ditch! If I feel comfortable with a low wave, I’ll do it but I have to get over watching for a wave back when I should be watching the road. You long-time riders can do it. I finally broke up with my b.f. of 5 years ’cause he wanted me to go faster and take corners faster, etc. Have only been riding for a year which cannot compare to his 45 years! I just thought I don’t want to be with a man who doesn’t care about my safety.

  • While I love some of the large machines and would like to own them, at 75 I have to be practical and realistic about this. I enjoy my Honda Deauville bought new in 2008 and yet some of the snobs decry them and ‘prattle’ on about their own machines. i also hate showoffs

  • Waving to other motorcycle riders. This used to be cool in the late 50s, 60s and early 70s when there wasn’t a motorcycle going the other way every two minutes. It is no longer appealing and I don’t normally wave back anymore any more. I keep my hands where they belong. Everybody has a motorcycle now, motorcycling isn’t the same now, everybody’s got one, usually in their garage 360 days a year.

  • My current ride is a 2008 Goldwing. I’ve owned and loved Hondas since I was 14. However, I love all motorcycles and can appreciate loyal owners of all makes.

  • Bike snobbery is so boring! I have been riding since I was 8 (46) now. My favorite bike is generally the one I am on. They are like shoes, each has a different purpose. I have owned: 71 Honda 90 (1st bike, little Fonzi looking bike I learned to ride on), 500 Honda magna, Honda VLX Delux, HD Street Bob, HD Street Glide, Honda and Yamaha dirt bikes, Suzuki GSXR 600 and 750, Honda Ruckus moped (FuN little toy), various 3 wheelers back in the day and now my present baby, BMW f650 GS. I loved them all, my least favorite was prolly the VLX Delux…too stiff, sluggish, and slow.

  • Like the man said: “whatever I choose to ride is just that…my choice”. I ride with a variety of ages and bikes and never (at least in our group) have heard anyone bashing a bike brand, except in good harmless jibbing. I think if they did it seriously they would no longer be invited to ride with us.

    My pet biking peeve? Well, number one would be drinking alcohol and riding. Poker runs are always very dangerous when they include bar stops Here in FL, two beers puts the average weight driver over the legal limit (0.8) and yet most Poker runs encourage just that. Me?, I wait until the bike is away for the nite and then tip a few. After 60 years of riding I am still not talented enough to handle traffic and booze.

    As to brands and types…whatever can keep up legal speeds on paved roads is welcome.

  • What bugs me the most in some riders is the “Hey, wanna go for a drink in [insert other city/countryside/mountain resort here]?” then “racing” towards the destination. I don’t understand that; i accepted coming with you to enjoy the ride, more than enjoying the soda and/or grub. It’s not a race, it never should be a race, if you want to “make time” you should leave earlier, instead of riding with no regards for safety.

    There for, i am very cautious with who i ride for a drink in other cities.

  • Yeah I think that my bike is better than yours, That’s because I made it that way! If I find a flaw or something I don’t like, I fix it. I customize my bike to be the best I can make it and afford. I’m not the type that’ll get a bike and sell it 5 yrs later cause I think something is better. I had my CBR1000F for 22 yrs cause I didn’t see the need to get something else. My Roadie is now the best bike, And I’ll keep improving it so it can last another 15 yrs. The ONLY time I’ll slam some one about their choice of motorcycles is if they try to put me down cause I’m not riding what “they” think I should be riding…and you all know “who” I’m talking about!

  • I’ve had Indian, Harley, Honda, BMW and Yamaha. Current ride is a Yam FJR1300 and is the best of the lot. One repair in 61K miles. Easy to work on–oil, plugs, etc. Drive splines are like new, check them with tire change. Even started at 31* while on a trip. Rode Honda ST1100 for nine years and was a bullet proof bike, which has proven to be the case with the Yam.
    Rode RT concurrently with FJR and got rid of it in favor of the FJR. Why buy a bike like a Harley with an obsolete engine design when there are so many bikes available with excellent engines.
    In all my cross country trips only had one issue–front wheel bearings on the ST1100. Harley has plenty of dealers throughout the country—but they are needed. The so-called reliability of BMW is a myth. BMW riders brag about how long they’ve had their ride, but they don’t tell you about the maintenance and repair costs ti took to make it last.

  • I guess the main thing that gets under my skin is bigoted people who feel the need to trash someone else’s choice of ride or riding style.
    I think that if you really enjoyed what you were riding, or truthfully felt it was the best ride in the world that you would not worry about convincing everone else.
    Making other people look small really doesn’t make you any bigger actually.

  • Everyone shoulld listen to the song OPEN ROAD,, by joey good sone and we ride different bikes for different reason..

  • not for me to judge anyone else’s ride. For myself, I follow the Biblical example of Joshua 25:1.
    “Choose for yourself this day what brand ye shall ride. But as for me and my household, we shall ride Harleys.”

  • My main pet peeve is having to ride in the cage. If I’m on my bike, it’s all good !
    If there was one, it would be a specifically Johannesburg, South Africa problem. That’s having to wait long after the lights have turned green in my favour for all the people who almost made the red light, but decided to go through anyway.

    I just shake my head and go “Tut tut” inside my helmet, and let it go. :~)

  • What good for one person probably is not good for another person. We all have our preference on styled of riding and bikes that fit our style. As long as you ride. Even a scooter is fine with me and I will wave at you and smile. Just cause you’re on 2 wheels.

  • Hey Bob with the PET PEEVE that some of us don’t “wave” back. I’m concentrating on the road and the bike and my safety and my wife. I ain’t your drinking buddy BOB and you don’t sign my paycheck so stick it BOB. I watched a couple high side one day doing what you want them to do. The car in front of then stopped but they were too bust being “friendly”. She died at the scene. I may give you a nod BOB but I sure as hell am not going to throw my hands around wildly just to get attention. Bob G.

  • The motorcycles I ride, are the best…for me that is… I’ve modified them to fit my body, added safety features of my choosing and put on decals of my preference. I ride both a HD dresser and a GoldWing. Both have their merits and I ride for the sheer joy of the open road. I do not care what anyone else rides though I do tire of the anti-HD mind set of many people. I laughed at a colleague of mine who was dead against HD. He modified his ride with a faring and other changes and once announced how it looked just like a Harley. It took him a moment to realize what he had just said. For the buy-American group… my GoldWing was made in America as was my HD…well at least they were assembled there…the parts may well have been made elsewhere. Even some ‘genuine Harley’ parts are made in Japan.

    Bottom line…enjoy what you ride as it is what you have chosen. Don’t judge others for what they have chosen…with two wheels and a twisted back-road, we can all enjoy the thrill of the ride!

  • Ok everyone ! 45 years of riding everything including Americas finest.
    We all share the breeze to-gether. But lets start waving to cars and trucks.
    They may start to think we are friendly sorts and will pull over for us for waving thank you when they do! Wave to the cages that do not make that left turn when they see us.

    Slow down, keep your distance and wear a helmut !
    The worst place 2B is a trauma center on a beautiful day .

  • Hello,

    I ride a “little” big bike, a Honda Varadero 125. Unique, increvable, one of a kind, a virtual cult bike. I drive it at about the same speed that I drive my little car, a Fiat Panda 2007, and I ride about 20,000 kilometers a year on the tens of thousands of wonderful little French country roads, for one and only one reason. Joy and Pleasure, with never, ever, any mechanical problems. And she is lovely to look at. There it is….. Life is good.

    Douglas

  • My pet peeve is when someone in a group does not attempt to keep formation. Oh well. I’m not going to tell them. I’m having too much fun!

  • Better bike is everyone I’ve owned over the past thirty years and the one I ride now. If it starts, stays running wet, dry, hot and cold and I can still balance on it …. its the better-than-your bike for me.

    Pet peeve? Fellow motorcyclist who do NOT at least acknowledge you waved at them, if for no other reason, you are still upside-up, despite the increasing number of cages out there.

    Ride whenever you can, because you still can.

  • so stop the crap all american— learn your bike history— honda showed h.d. how to set up a plant to make $. h.d. copyed bmw to make a milt bike for the hot weather.– check that rear shock it says showa is that a english [ american word ] NO .. hey you gauges are yamaha…. and your co wants to move to mexico for cheap labor –go america– get off it for christ sake….you ride a h.d. for the head rag to cover your bald spot..and black makes your beer fat gut look 20 lbs lighter, and your fat ass wife can’t sit on a sport bike rear seat. and your brain can’t handle 140 hp with out freezeing up…you need a fat slow shit bike to go with your life style….standing around looking at it with a beer in your hands..

  • I think some of us lose site and reason as to why people are such die hard Harley Davidson riders, considering we just celebrated memorial day its a shame.
    Lets remember it was the Japaness and Germans we were at war with and we were riding Harley Davidsons when we were doing it, not HONDA, not YAMAHA, not TRIUMPH. I am not saying any of these motorcycles are bad and the war is long since over and to me every man is equal and worth of respect but so is the American Heritage and pride and Harley Davidson still repersents that, although it has change like many other things in this world is root will always be an American heritage. Therefore, ride what you will but give respect to our past, our history or heritage our way of life.

  • Once had a die hard Harley guy look over my 81 Yamaha XT 550 and say . “Hey , if it’s got two wheels , a motor , and your going forward, your’e having fun. We all started on older jap bikes” Been riding her for over 20 yrs and hopefully another 20yrs as we grow old together. A bike truly should feel like an extension of your body .

  • True . My bike is better because i ride it ,day in day out, rain or shine, warm or cold, from march 15 to december 15. (We have a law for winter tires in Quebec). Now a Honda ST1300 , the next might be a big GS type for all roads available. It’s the journey not the destination . To borrow some other brand motto “”ride to live , live to ride “”. Enjoy whatever you have, just use it .

  • My bike IS better thanNow that is a interesting ? I never raz on some one on what they ride, But I will Raz on the ones who only ride on the perfect sunny days! Motorcycling is and will always be my first form of transportation, I driver for a living and even after many hours of driving…. I cant wait to mount my BMW R1200RT and hit the pavement! So it can be said, I all ways meat other riders that are friendly and all ways there when you need a hand..
    And for that , I thank you. your bike…

  • Couldn’t agree more. My bike IS better than your bike…for me. I ride what I enjoy. If I liked your bike more than I liked mine, I’d buy a bike similar to yours and ride it. These are purely subjective opinions. I guess what I’m really saying is “my bike is better for me than your bike would be”. I like to make long tours and really don’t enjoy zipping around in city traffic. My first bike was a BMW K1200LT, which is a beast in city traffic (I know, some people regularly commute with them) but great for long road trips. But I prefer long road trips and that’s what I continue to ride. So whatever your passion might be, enjoy it.

  • The best bike I’ve had to date is my 99 Honda ST1100ABS. I wanted one as soon as the first model was released. I’ve had this five years to the month and second only to a Goldwing which I will never be able to Afford. I’ve done 113,000 kilometres in five years, changed oil/filter every 12000 kms, changed plugs plus once, air cleaner and valve clearance check (still in spec) were done three months ago. I put my second set of pads in a year ago. The bike has been essentially trouble free.
    My girl friend has a Lifan 250 cruiser because she like the cruiser style. I’ve ridden it and it’s definetly not my style of bike.

  • What I don’t understand is why so many people are so loyal to a certain manufacturer despite the bike not fitting them. To be honest, many people choose a bike based on price. Many manufacturers have such high priced bikes you see many people on undersized bikes just so they can say they ride a “whatever”.

  • I Love my Victory Kingpin, and I’ve had different kinds of bikes. But there’s just something about a V Twin that I never got from my Gold Wing. I look for any excuse to ride and that was true of a previous Japanese V-Twin as well. I enjoyed riding every bike I’ve had that was not a V-twin, but not nearly as much.

  • I really don’t get the bike & biker bashing that goes on sometimes. Whether we’re on a Japanese sports bike, a big Harley cruiser, or anything in between, we’re all up on 2 wheels, or maybe sometimes 3. But if you really love riding, you find the best about the ride you’re on and try to get the most from it. You don’t wast time busting on the other guy’s bikes. I’ve owned lots of bikes and I’ve had my favorites, but riding any one of them was better than driving any day. Right now I own 5 bikes (well 4 are mine; the other one is a Honda Rebel 250 that I’ve kept for my kids and anyone else to learn on) My bikes currently range from 600 to 1340 cc, all different body styles and one even has a sidecar. If I could afford it , I’d own a dozen. I think that anyone who finds themselves all caught up in proving that their bike is “the best” should try riding some other bikes to see what they have to offer and why other bikers like them. (As for waving, I “wave” to anybody on any bike!)

  • It’s better to enjoy the bike you ride and ride it well. I have my ’08 GTR1400, and soon to be getting an ’84 Ascot 500FT – I expect to have a blast on both of them!

  • In the past 25 years, I can’t remember a single occurrence when I rode a bike and not enjoyed it to the fullest! In other words there’s no “Perfect Bike”, there’s an ideal bike for every rider and for every situation. I currently own a 2009 HD Electra Glide Ultra Classic that I adore!! Needless to say that I would never ride it downtown for obvious reasons, on the other hand I would never consider any other cruiser for long journeys.

    As for the controversial “waving” issue, for good measure all riders are encouraged to keep their hands on the handle bar at all times!! Nonetheless if you’re confident and comfortable enough to lift your left arm for a second or two just to wave back at a fellow rider, then by all means do it!! Courtesy is always appreciated. Ride safe everyone!!

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