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Thread: Too old to be cool?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    903

    Default Too old to be cool?

    This week I did a trip including an overnight to Maine with a friend on his Ď63 BMW R50/2. Hereís what I noticed; since I stop for gas every 100 miles or so Iím stopped with the Chief where people are around....this trip (and Iíve noticed it before, too) at almost every stop someone would come over and fawn over the BMW and completely ignore the Chief. Iím not really offended (actually easier to do my business without someone asking lots of questions or telling me about the Shovelhead they owned 30 years ago...so there's that) but I have a theory and I wonder if anyone else has noticed this!

    My theory goes like this, when my bike was new anyone who was a buyer for a new 1946 is now in their nineties...theyíre likely not out and about as much as they used to be. However, the guys who had bikes in the 60ís and 70ís remember bikes like this Ď63 BMW...and seeing one takes them back to their youth a little bit....they weren't even born for a decade or two after bikes like mine were new! Itís kind of evident in the sales a muscle cars, too.

    Just thinking out loud here!

    63E3F473-D878-42F8-9033-B17D7F925732.jpg
    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,400

    Default

    I think you're right, Harry; although I think BMW is still easily recognized by casual observers, and acknowledging an older BMW makes some people feel sophisticated. The Indian is a different story and I was always surprised at how few people knew what an Indian was when I rode my '40. I can't tell you how many people thought my Hendersons were German. Our problem is; we think everyone loves, and knows as much about old bikes as we do It's the same with music.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    58

    Default

    Harry,
    Maybe it is better to go unnoticed than to have to deal with what I have more than a few times with my '48 Chief, when someone who
    thinks he recognizes what it is approaches and says "Hey, now tell me, just when did Harley quit makin' those???"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    518

    Default

    I have a different theory. You are not too old to be cool, today's people under 50 are just not cool at all. They were raised with imports and no nothing of American industry or old American iron.
    You are way cooler than they will ever be. I would walk by many import motorcycle to look at an old Schwinn bicycle, as they are even way cooler than most imports.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    156

    Default

    Agree with Eric. There are exceptions, but it's generally my problem and has more to do with me (and specifically my pride/ego) than it has to do with anyone or anything else. Think cool (like beauty and art and music) is, and always has been, very subjective and relative (eye of beholder). Arguably pretty human to sometimes feel a pang when it comes to our possessions and we notice that someone else may not value or appreciate or look at them the same way we do. The pang is even sharper when it comes to ourselves and we notice that we may not be viewed the same now as we were viewed in the past (or maybe as we thought we were viewed in the past). Pride/ego. For me anyway. Certainly not suggesting that any of you aren't now, or weren't always, universally admired and acknowledged as cool.
    Fletcher Clark Johnston
    AMCA #282

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    591

    Default

    I think to the average uninformed person the BMW looks older and more unusual,and that attracts people.
    With a lot of new Indians with similar styling our skirted chiefs just dont stand out that much.
    Lately I put much more miles on my 59 TR3 which gets lots of attention.The funny thing is when some young kids call their parents attention to it mostly I think because it looks cartoonish to them.
    Tom

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Saltsburg PA
    Posts
    405

    Default

    Seems like it depends on the area. Most often bystanders around here are slobbering over the skirted Chiefs. But then there are times when it becomes invisible. Often it is dependent on the specific area as far as even noticing an antique bike and that can be just a few miles apart. Its always an interesting experiment for us. One day we happened through a town not far from us. I'll call it yuppieville....high income high tax community. We stopped at a restaurant and there was a space right up front we parked in. When we were seated we could see the bike and not a SINGLE person even gave it a second glance. It may as well have been another Mercedes. Go 10 miles down the road to a blue collar town and its a different scenario.
    Jason Z
    AMCA #21594
    Near Pittsburgh PA (Farm Country)
    Allegheny Mountain Chapter http://amcaamc.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,778

    Default

    I rolled into a Harley dealership a few years back on an old 45 flathead and the young men outside say to me...."Nice Indian".

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,400

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    We had a family get-together-BBQ at our house earlier this year. I had 9 motorcycles to look at (5 are pre 1920) and the most popular bike was the 1966 Honda 450
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico
    Posts
    3,115

    Default

    What's not to like? And this is a '55, not long after Indian gave up an rolled over.



    Last edited by Rubone; 08-18-2020 at 02:24 PM.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

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