|A CNC engine cover on a Harley. |
Porsche Engineering designed the V-Rod engine for Harley.
© = ?
To be more objective about it, not all Harley riders fit the illustration I mentioned above. Nevertheless, that type of cliché exists because so many of them actually do fit it. I'll let you judge that, because there are hackneyed notions out there that describe Porsche drivers, too. The worn out joke about the difference between a Porsche and a porcupine exists for a reason. . . When a friend recently told someone that he was a member of a Porsche club, that someone asked, "The Porsche Club? Aren't they a bunch of snobs?" My friend said, "My response was almost immediate. 'No, Ron, the people who buy Porsches and don't join PCA are the snobs!'" That's an old truism, also - too often both parts of it.
|This guy doesn't get the Harley mystique at all.|
This loyalty to one marque of machine, bike or car, makes little sense. There are too many interesting vehicles out there to be so narrow. But, it isn't fully about the Porsches, or the Harleys.
Both of them have baggage, by which I mean there is no way that H-D can easily get rid of it's V-twins and general styling, and Porsche isn't about to dump the 'iconic' shape of the 911 or rear engines, either. Porsches keep getting faster and more gadget laden, while Harleys keep getting blacker, and/or just the same, having a challenge to expand their personality. For Harley, the state of affairs is already dire, and Porsches can't keep going preposterously faster forever - there are rational limits, even on the Autobahn.
|Porsche, or Harley? © Swedzi Wojownika (?)|
When I recently listened to a German auto commentator, who's remarks were recorded while he drove a Porsche at 300 kph on the Autobahn, he pointed out that the Germans cannot understand why people who do not live in Germany buy 400+ horsepower Porsches - or other cars - because they can never legally (or sanely) drive 300 kph in them anywhere, other than on the Autobahn. That's true, so what is the point of ever more powerful, and faster cars, that have to be festooned with nanny devices to prevent those fast (in their minds) drivers from killing themselves, or others, due to their exuberant incompetence? In fairness, naturally, this can also be said of other drivers of fast vehicles, but the Porsche Club of America is the world's largest single-marque automobile club, after all. Anyway, I drove a Porsche for eight years and I often drove too fast, too.
Then there is Harley. I rode a Harley for a number of years, also. However, I never joined the club, so to speak. No all-black clothing, no loud pipes, no 'colors', no $5 helmet for a $5 head, never went helmetless, either. But, I came to understand the loyalties, by association and osmosis. Many of those dedicated guys torture themselves. They go deaf, ride in extreme discomfort, get killed by various means, and often butcher their pricey bikes with goofy, but rigidly observed, modifications. Why? Tribalism. They like to belong, and they like to convince themselves that they are having an ultimate experience in the process. Just like the Porsche guys.
|Analogue racing. This I can appreciate. © = ?|
Obviously, this is not a totally exhaustive list of people who do silly things in the name of wanting to feel accepted and 'special'. I have also ignored those Porsche types who race, or who collect interesting ($$) Porsches - but never drive them, and the like. They have their unique worlds to live in. I'm writing about my own experiences.
This is an aside: For mysterious reasons, people also like fake stuff. 'Turbo Look' Porsches were offered for sale by Porsche. 'Spoilers' on ordinary cars, put there mostly to give the illusion that they are capable of tremendous speed; but mainly spoil the looks of the car. The lists could be endless and involve almost anything. It's a wonderful world.
In the end, I am in favour of genuine, analogue Porsches. Old ones that make you do the driving. Porsches that are (relatively) slow; that you have to shift for yourself; that have no power operated gadgetry of any kind, at all. I like them raw, and I have no interest in the latest digital whatever. Possibly my tribe isn't fully fledged yet, but I don't care about that.
Just drive, or ride; that's all you need, and don't worry about your image. Never be a snob just because you have a Porsche, please. But, if you are reading this, you are likely not one of those, anyway. Good.