Monday, 11 April 2011
All a matter of size
It is often said that American riders like their big, heavy Harleys because of all the straight roads in the States, whereas we like our sportsbikes because we have all the curves. But it's a matter of distance, too. On our crowded little island, we have no idea of how immense the USA really is.
Browsing the Triumph Rat forum, I came across this website: a map of the UK overlaid on a map of the USA. You can click and drag the UK map around, just for fun. I found it interesting and enlightening, and maybe you will too.
I live in the bottom left-hand corner of Wales (that's the bit sticking out to the left of the mainland, to those unfamiliar with British geography), and a good day's ride for me would be to cover perhaps half of that promontory. That would be perhaps the corner of just one state in the US. Riding 'coast to coast' takes on a whole new meaning. I did about 350 miles on the Bonneville last weekend, and it was about enough. It's not a bike built for big distances (the bike is capable of it, but the rider isn't so sure). Looking at the map overlay, you can see why a big heavy cruiser, with long wheelbase and laid-back, feet-forward armchair comfort, is the popular choice for American riders.
The place is huge. I need to go there, hire a Harley, and ride.