My wife hasn't rode since her MSF class back in May, and is too scared to ride my R1100S solo, so we went to one of the local Harley dealerships and rented her a bike. I was going to rent her a sportster 1200, but when we got there we decided to rent her a Buell lightning (almost 1000cc) instead, due to the size. The guy actually gave us a good rate, $75.00 for 24 hours including insurance on the bike.
I usually ride with guys on crotch rockets, so a Buell would fit in a little better than a sportster. I call some of my friends to go riding and hit a spot on the beach for dinner. One of my pals with a Honda CBR600RR shows up, and we head off to a big parking lot so that wife can practice. She tools around the parking lot for about 30 minutes, when she exclaims "Hey, where are we going now?" I take it that meant she's ready. So the three of us jump on our bikes and head out on our cruise. I wanted to keep us away from sharp turns and high traffic, which was good that we rented the bike on a Sunday afternoon. We ate dinner, and rode for about 8 hours total before we went home that night.
It was pretty funny, because after dinner when we headed out to the bikes, there was these 3 older guys looking at our bikes. They didn't care for the 2004 CBR, but went right to that Buell, and exclaimed..."Now that's what I call a crotch rocket!" I obviously laughed, quietly. "I don't care for all these foreign bikes...I like American cars, and American bikes!" as he said looking through his offically licensed H-D sunglasses. "I bet this beauty could give that German thing a run for it's money!" He said confidently. I replyed..."Well, I can tell you this, I can sustain speeds of 140mph for atleast 30 minutes and not break a sweat, or become saddle sore, or shaken to death. I have never had more confidence in any man made machine that I have in this bike." That shut him up quick.
The next day, we rode around a little more, then brought the bike back to the H-D dealership. The dude that rented it out to us was really nice, and didn't appear to be the sterotypical H-D owner, but surrounding the shop and the whole inside was the typical barfight looking H-D riders. After he checked the bike out for possible mistreatment/damage he prepared the final bill. As he was preparing the bill, he asked..."So how did it compare to the BMW?" Kind of like implying the BMW is some freakin slow GoldWing Ripoff (no insult to Gold Wing intended). So given that I was deep inside enemy territory, I handled it the way any true diplomat would handle it...I said..."Well I am not going to get in a debate over BMW vs. H-D here, but I will tell you this...H-D is to Ford as BMW is to...well BMW. A Mustang may be fun to drive, but doesn't stack up to a vehicle made in Berlin. And may I remind you that H-D was not the one that made the first operational Jet engine." Some of the old salts at the dealership looked at me kind of perplexed, while the dude that rented the bike to us said..."I see, let's go have a look at it." So I took him out and cranked up the boxer (with laser exhaust/no cat) and his expression changed. Some of the other dudes standing around looking at all the chrome enhanced bikes had to stop and look for the Messerschmitt 190 that would surely be back to buzz them a second time.
All in all it was a fun ride, and although the Buell was a fun bike to ride (and we will probably rent it again), it can't compare to the BMW.