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You Are What You Ride
Yahoo Financial News ^ | 30MAR05 | Progressive Insurance

Posted on 03/30/2005 3:01:07 AM PST by Melas

You Are What You Ride: Progressive Survey Finds Differences Between Harley and Sport Bike Riders Go Beyond Bike Type

Wednesday March 9, 1:33 pm ET

Both Dig Body Art But Harley Riders More Likely to Wear What They Ride, Says America's Top Motorcycle Insurer

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 9, 2005-- What can you tell about a person by the kind of motorcycle they ride? Plenty, according to a recent countrywide online survey conducted by The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, the number one seller of motorcycle insurance in the U.S. The survey finds interesting differences - and similarities - between Harley-Davidson riders and those who ride sport bikes.

For example, everyone knows that Harley riders wear their passion for biking on their sleeve... literally. The survey finds Harley riders are three times more likely than those who ride sport bikes to own clothing or artwork that displays the brand of motorcycle they ride (93 percent versus 30 percent, respectively). Harley riders are also more likely to have body art such as tattoos and piercings (52 percent versus 40 percent).

The survey also finds that Harley riders are more likely than those who ride sport bikes to plan rides around where they'll eat (32 percent versus 23 percent).

Sport bike riders are three times more likely to eat at fast-food restaurants (18 percent versus six percent), while riders of Harleys are nearly four times more likely to pick restaurants with the nicest looking waiters/waitresses (11 percent versus three percent).

The survey confirms that both rider groups have much in common, too. For example, both say "freedom" is the number one reason they ride. And though sport bikes are commonly known as "crotch-rockets" or "road-rippers," only six percent of those who ride them say they do so for "speed" while fewer than one percent of Harley riders say the same. Both groups listed the same top excuses for justifying a quick ride: running errands, testing the engine and visiting friends.

Progressive's survey also finds that ninety-five (95) percent of all riders acknowledge their fellow bikers while riding. Waving is the preferred method of acknowledgement (37 percent), although Harley riders are nearly twice as likely to acknowledge other riders by pointing two fingers down (29 percent versus 16 percent).

Harley riders are six times more likely to only acknowledge those riding the same style bike (18 percent versus three percent).

Additional survey results include:

An overwhelming majority of riders (88 percent) donate time or money to charities. Two-thirds of Harley riders (67 percent) and one-third of those who ride sport bikes (33 percent) participate in at least one charity ride each year.

Sixty-nine (69) percent of all riders daydream at work each day about riding their bike.

Eighteen (18) percent of all riders call in sick to work at least once a year to go riding.

Women prefer to ride with their significant other (58 percent), while men choose to ride with their friends (63 percent).

Adding custom parts that enhance the look of their bikes was the number one choice for Harley riders (73 percent), while adding performance equipment was the top choice for those who ride sport bikes (44 percent).


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: biker; harley; motorcycle; rider; sportbike; squid
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To: timtoews5292004
You should have seen the Triumph Bonny I rode back in my college days (late '70's). I had it sprayed all over RAF flat blue, with the numberplate on the front mudguard, and I used to ride wearing a leather helmet.

God what a twit I was..... surprisingly the girls liked it, I guess it didn't look as gay in those days as it would now.

301 posted on 03/31/2005 6:17:25 AM PST by Uncle Fud
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To: Uncle Fud

I'm sure you looked very happy riding that bike. Oh wait, you meant that "other" kind of gay.


302 posted on 03/31/2005 6:23:43 AM PST by timtoews5292004
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To: JarheadFromFlorida

That Bonnie is a beautiful bike. Congrats . . .

Back in 1968 the Bonneville was considered a big bike, for serious enthusiasts only. Now it is a veritable lightweight by today's standards!


303 posted on 03/31/2005 6:24:39 AM PST by BraveMan
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To: Melas
Think might be as bad as asking 'what kind of handgun should I buy,' but here goes...what kind of bike should I buy?

I commute (currently by car) to work each day in a large, eastern seaboard city. It's 20 miles -- one mile of neighborhood streets, two miles of divided six lane, 17 miles of interstate WITH HOV access for motorcycles. There is ample motorcycle parking at my workplace.

I'm 6'1", 250 lbs, 31" inseam.

What I want is a Gold Wing ABS; I've considered the BMW K1200LT and a HD Electra Glide Ultra Classic; reason would dictate that I could get by with a Honda Shadow Aero.

Yeah, one day I want to tour the great US West on a bike, with or without the wife. (She's resisting that inner demon to be like her Mom (dead 40 years ago) and Dad (who at 70 still rides a cruiser).) I don't have to buy anything at all, except the b.s. traffic and the HOV lane restrictions mean I come to work at least an hour before I have to, and I can't get home in less than 50 minutes if I'm stuck in the non-HOV lanes.

And it's been 25 years since I last rode. I'm taking the Basic Motorcycle Riders course this weekend.

I'm thinking of getting the Shadow Aero, ride a year or two, give it to one of my kids, and then getting the Wing and give the wife the chance to ride two-up with an experienced rider.

Advice appreciated!

304 posted on 03/31/2005 6:58:08 AM PST by ReaganCowboy (History books are written by winners.)
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To: ReaganCowboy

Follow up: wife's Mom and Dad met in a biker bar in Tampa, 1947. We have a great picture of her sitting on an Indian. Man, was she good-looking!


305 posted on 03/31/2005 7:00:51 AM PST by ReaganCowboy (History books are written by winners.)
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To: R. Scott

What a great story! Riding has sure changed since I was in high school in the early 70's. Back then, there was somewhat of social stigma to owning a motorcycle. No more.
If you go to Carrows coffee shop in Santa Barbara on a Sunday morning, you are as likely to meet a CEO biker, as an auto mechanic one. And, yes, we all get along just fine.


306 posted on 03/31/2005 7:46:22 AM PST by international american (Tagline now fireproof....purchased from "Conspiracy Guy Custom Taglines"LLC)
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To: biblewonk
I keep telling myself that I'll get a Harley when I've worn the engine out on this. At 2000 miles a year, that may be a long time.

Unless Congress shuts off your Child Tax Credit revenue stream, I predict you'll have a Harley within 5 years.

307 posted on 03/31/2005 8:03:23 AM PST by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary.)
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To: ReaganCowboy

You can rent just about anything, so if it's been that many years, do some homework by renting. You will find your nitch.

PS- We're about the same size. I ride an Electraglide Classic with the tour pack hung up in the garage for when i need it. My advice is nonpartisan, but my preference is HD. :-)

Oink


308 posted on 03/31/2005 8:15:17 AM PST by JoeSixPack1
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To: Melas
Harley riders are six times more likely to only acknowledge those riding the same style bike (18 percent versus three percent).

This statistic doesn't bear your contention out.

It says 1 out of 5 Harley riders won't acknowledge another rider 'cuz they are not on a Harley.

New Mexico is Ground Zero for dentists and accountants dressing up and acting like dicks on their Harleys on the weekend....

309 posted on 03/31/2005 8:17:22 AM PST by Cogadh na Sith (Steel Bonnets Over the Border)
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To: Cogadh na Sith

I'll call your New Mexico accountants and dentists, and raise you Florida lawyers, Rabbis, Judges and boat Captains with a side order of Real Estate agents wearing chaps in August!

<|:-)~~


310 posted on 03/31/2005 8:24:17 AM PST by JoeSixPack1
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To: BraveMan
reliable, economical and bland as white tofu.

LOL! Yeah... doing 100mph in 10th gear with the engine barely turning over hearing nothing but the wind and a ride like glass is pretty dull.

For extra dullness, my next bike is going to be a BMW K1200GT.

Perhaps vibration, wallowing around in the corners and parts falling off is exciting.

I did ride a friends Road King once. I almost killed myself trying to merge--I was coming down the ramp and twisted the throttle for the horses I'm used to and all it did was get louder and the rear view mirrors got all fuzzy. I had to scramble for a new space to merge because I simply didn't have the power....

I'll cut him some slack; he's probably never ridden anything that has soul, and thus feels compelled to denigrate and criticize what he can't understand . . .

I dunno, I had wanted a CB1000 Custom since they first came out when I was 13. They only made them one year--In Marysville Ohio. It's a very weird bike.

I like it, and I'll wave at you on a Harley, but based on statistics, you won't wave back....

311 posted on 03/31/2005 8:33:12 AM PST by Cogadh na Sith (Steel Bonnets Over the Border)
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To: JoeSixPack1
You win! I was down in Florida and I didn't see anyone under 60 on a motorcycle. My pal said "they're for old men...."
312 posted on 03/31/2005 8:42:43 AM PST by Cogadh na Sith (Steel Bonnets Over the Border)
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To: Cogadh na Sith
. . . but based on statistics, you won't wave back....

LOL! I'll probably mistake the wave for you flipping me off as you blast by, leaving me in the dust. All that vibration blurs the vision, you know. Be mindful to dodge the parts I'm shedding as you're closing in on me . . .
313 posted on 03/31/2005 9:43:58 AM PST by BraveMan
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To: international american

Yep! Bikers and Credit Card Commandos, setting down together and drinking latte.
Who would have thunk it!


314 posted on 03/31/2005 10:48:59 AM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: ReaganCowboy
Advice appreciated!

Get something with long legs, good suspension and brakes and a healthy dose of character. (click the pic.)

315 posted on 03/31/2005 11:13:06 AM PST by uglybiker (A woman's most powerful weapon is a guy's imagination.)
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To: Melas

We have a Suzuki TL1000R (The wife's bike) and a very much modified XLH. My current "Company car" is a VRSCR. Virtually everyone we know is either an active or former motorcyclist. Except for grocery shopping, everywhere we go, we go on two wheels. (8^)


316 posted on 03/31/2005 12:51:30 PM PST by Chuckster ("Silence is not golden. It is yellow" Senator Zell Miller)
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To: ReaganCowboy

The shadow Aero is a fine bike. Go for it.


317 posted on 03/31/2005 1:18:02 PM PST by Melas
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To: Cogadh na Sith
Perhaps vibration, wallowing around in the corners and parts falling off is exciting

Why are you repeatedly and intentionally trying to be offensive and pick a fight? I'm not sure I understand the reason behind your belligerance. Do you truly hate us so much because we ride Harley's?

318 posted on 03/31/2005 1:22:06 PM PST by Melas
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To: Melas
Just barking back....

Besides, I really, really do dislike RUBs (Rich Urban Bikers).

Baby boomer dentists who wear logo gear and pretend they are '1 percenters'.

319 posted on 03/31/2005 1:30:22 PM PST by Cogadh na Sith (Steel Bonnets Over the Border)
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To: JarheadFromFlorida
I loved Turnips back in the day. Bonnies are as classic as a Harley Panhead to me. I would love to ride one of the new ones.

I rode a BSA 650 Lighting when I was young and good looking. Leaked oil like a sieve and the Lucas electronics were a joke.

To start it cold you had to tickle both carbs and kick her about 4 or five times. If it was warmed up by riding she would start on first kick and leave a little pool of oil as a calling card! (c:

Wish I still had it...

That Rocket 3 lives up to its name I bet! (c;

320 posted on 03/31/2005 1:34:01 PM PST by Walkin Man
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To: biblewonk

Well we're talking about something that happened in the earlie eighties, and it was old and used, used, so I'd guess it was late 60's to early 70's maybe? I'm sure it would be pretty sweet to have today.


321 posted on 03/31/2005 1:35:04 PM PST by Slump Tester (John Kerry - When even your best still isn't good enough)
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To: Slump Tester

There's no comparison between a 70's Sportie and an Evo Sportie.


322 posted on 03/31/2005 2:03:37 PM PST by biblewonk (I wouldn't want to live like that.)
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To: JarheadFromFlorida
Triumph Rockett III.

Is that a new bike? The Rocket III was a Beezer. Triumph bought them out when they went bust and kept making them as Tridents.

323 posted on 03/31/2005 2:09:02 PM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic

[[Is that a new bike? The Rocket III was a Beezer. Triumph bought them out when they went bust and kept making them as Tridents.}}

Yes, the Rocket III is a brand new bike from Triumph. It is a monster. It has a whopping 140hp and is the biggest cruiser on the road. But to a classic Triumph Bonneville guy like me, I don't really even consider it a Triumph :)


324 posted on 03/31/2005 2:23:06 PM PST by JarheadFromFlorida (Ooorahhhh........Get Some! Semper Fi')
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To: biblewonk

92 is the magic year for Sportsters. 6 years into the UC-Evo engine, the engine was finally mated to a 5 speed transmissiont that truly gave the Sporty long legs.


325 posted on 03/31/2005 4:41:16 PM PST by Melas
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To: JarheadFromFlorida; tacticalogic

Check out the "Speedmaster" - Is that engine laid out like a Moto Guzzi, or is it a vertical twin?


326 posted on 03/31/2005 8:06:36 PM PST by Slump Tester (John Kerry - When even your best still isn't good enough)
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To: Slump Tester

Vertical. Guzzi's the only one using a transverse V-twin.


327 posted on 03/31/2005 11:24:00 PM PST by uglybiker (A woman's most powerful weapon is a guy's imagination.)
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To: uglybiker
Thanks, I couldn't really tell from that one picture. Don't see why they would have vertical twins's firing 270 degress apart though.

BTW - I think Honda has a transverse twin, but that doesn't count anyway :)

328 posted on 04/01/2005 3:21:50 AM PST by Slump Tester (John Kerry - When even your best still isn't good enough)
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To: Melas

The Yamaha/Honda dealer where I bought my Shadow had a couple of Sportsters sitting on his sales floor. He said that one of the guys had traded his Sportie on a Yamaha 650 v twin and said that if the Harley dealer had let him test drive it, he never would have bought it. It makes me wonder how eager I should be to step up to a Twin Cam.


329 posted on 04/01/2005 5:29:10 AM PST by biblewonk (I wouldn't want to live like that.)
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To: biblewonk
Sounds like salesman talk to me. One thing that really stands out, is that unlike Japanese bike dealers, Harley allows test rides. I was very interested in a VTX at Dallas Honda, but had to laugh when the salesman told me they didn't offer test rides. I don't for the life of me understand how they sell bikes.

Me, I love the Sportster. I've ridden them cross country on vacation, around town as my daily bike, etc. It's probably the most versitile bike I know.

330 posted on 04/01/2005 12:03:13 PM PST by Melas
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To: Melas
Hi All-

Posted by Melas:
"...I was very interested in a VTX at Dallas Honda, but had to laugh when the salesman told me they didn't offer test rides. I don't for the life of me understand how they sell bikes..."


You're not kidding! One has to wonder if the Japanese manufacturers are all in cahoots with each other on this absurd policy. My sportbike is fourteen years old and in absolutely showroom mint condition as the day I bought it new. People approach me on the street regularly with very nice comments on the beautiful condition of my bike. Why would a dealership want to foolishly deny me a test ride if I'm planning on adding to my stable? Statistically, people in my demographic represent a tiny little threat to what could become their fleet of test bikes...which would be sold later at a discount anyway.

I've ridden my aforementioned motorcycle to the local BMW retailer and they were only too happy to put me on a $16,000 K1200 RS for a lengthy test ride. All I can say is "Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha...Wake up and smell the coffee!" I could understand if they wanted you to arrive at the dealership on a registered and insured bike in decent condition with valid plates and license, but they should then feel comfortable handing over the key.

Perhaps I'll be looking at a German or American motorcycle the next time around after all...I'd be happy to hear viewpoints from FReeper Hooligans who work in motorcycle dealerships for their thoughts.

~ Blue Jays ~

331 posted on 04/01/2005 2:44:31 PM PST by Blue Jays (Rock Hard, Ride Free)
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To: Blue Jays
Hi Everyone-

Oh, and that lefty jerk at Progressive Insurance will never see a dime of premium income from me.

~ Blue Jays ~

332 posted on 04/01/2005 2:46:19 PM PST by Blue Jays (Rock Hard, Ride Free)
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To: Melas
Here is my daily rider


333 posted on 04/01/2005 5:55:44 PM PST by philetus (What goes around comes around)
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To: philetus
Hi philetus-

Looks like there are quite a few modifications from stock on your motorcycle including saddle, pipes, paint/graphics, and windscreen for starters...

I'm more of a sportbike fan myself (see my post to Melas above) but I would also love to have a cruiser of some sort. Your bike looks like it is in great condition.

~ Blue Jays ~

334 posted on 04/03/2005 9:53:38 AM PDT by Blue Jays (Rock Hard, Ride Free)
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To: Blue Jays

It's a 96 Magna,v4,750.
The pipes are stock, with the baffles removed.I also rebuilt the fuel tank from 3.7 max to 5 gal.
It cruises nice and will hang with sport bikes on winding roads.


335 posted on 04/03/2005 11:04:53 AM PDT by philetus (What goes around comes around)
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To: philetus
Hi philetus-

Upsizing the fuel tank on your ride is definitely a sweet modification. That would be especially helpful if one lives in remote areas, out in the desert, or has a long commute. The total range on my bike is probably somewhere around 140 miles. The gas petcock usually needs to be turned to "reserve" when I hit around 125 miles or so. It would be an absolute pleasure if this range could be slightly extended without altering the "exterior lines" of the motorcycle.

~ Blue Jays ~

336 posted on 04/03/2005 1:05:31 PM PDT by Blue Jays (Rock Hard, Ride Free)
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To: Melas
I don't fit in here because back in the 70s when I was on an Air Force base in Germany I rode a 52 BMW 500 with a sidecar. Mainly to work and back. A good bike and stable on snow and ice.
337 posted on 04/03/2005 1:34:01 PM PDT by fella
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