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August 31, 2020 - Was it the War?

I've often wondered why many American motorcycle owners (read Harley owners) disparage all foreign made two-wheelers with British bikes being the primary exception.


What is it about British-made bikes that evade your typical Harley rider's wrath, while the bikes constantly sit in their cross-hairs? They do have class, panache and even some "style," but don't some other bikes have these as well?


Over a Mexican Coke and breakfast taco, this topic came up about a year ago before a group ride with some local Triumph owners. One fellow there seemed to have a plausible answer to the riddle.


He contends that American bikers' attitudes toward other motorcycles are a result of World War II. British bikes, being made my an ally, and ridden by many US servicemen in Europe at that time, have been viewed favorably ever since. Japanese, German, and Italian bikes, being made by the Axis powers, have since been viewed with some disdain. American patriotism (which Harley riders seem to have no lack of) at it's finest.


His theory is logical and makes perfect sense. But as we all know, there is usually more than one side to every story. What have you heard? I'm curious as to whether the WWII explanation is in fact the driving force behind this phenomenon, or is there another plausible cause?


Please hit us with a comment if you have any idea.






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