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"THE CINCINNATI-NEWPORT-LAWRENCEBURG DIVIDE"
In Kentucky, there are lots of Sportsters. Mini Apes and lowered rear shocks seem to be the standard trend. In Cincinnati there are more Dressers, (Street Glides are everywhere in Cincinnati; recently when I was at Harley of Cincinnati and I thought that there must be a Street Glides reunion because there were at least 25 Street Glides in the parking lot. There allegedly is a huge Trike club in the city but I hardly/never ever see them.
There is a strong European/British bike presence in the area due to the availability of parts provided quickly or in stock from Domi Racer. My co-worker Mike rides a mid-seventies Moto Guzzi Ambassador daily and doesn't sweat getting parts at all.
On the Eastside of Cincinnati the older club guys (and there are many clubs on the Eastside) never followed the trends in the seventies of Masterbuilder styled bikes. At the field meets/dirt drags, old school rigid stripped down FLH styled bikes and FX styled bikes ruled the field.
Also on the eastside is a huge KZ1000 presence. It stems from the dirt drags. A knobby on the back of a strutted KZ is an unbeatable combination. When I lived on the Eastside, I lived between two exits on 1-275 which had biker bars off of each exit and I loved hearing the bikes run exit to exit wide open. There as many KZ's as Harley four speeds.
On the westside was Don's Custom Cycle, (which became Sucker punch Sally's and then back to Don's Custom again,) Donnie Loos had always built customs so I always saw high
end customs on the westside. If I saw one aqua and orange lowered FXR, I'd see ten with Ness chin fairings. Chromed out Softails and Sportsters with foward controls. When the Ming and I would show up at Donnies on our Shovelheads we would be looked at like we were riding Chinese scooters. (Ironically the Ming bought a King of the Road AMF era Electra Glide Dresser which Donnie built for Ming's neighbor...full on Garbage wagon complete with the two up pogo seat...absolutely beautiful bike!) Pete went against the grain by building his hardcore flatblack Evo chopper...but the Pete lives in Indiana...
In Indiana which the Greater Cincinnati area forgets exist except on Sunday afternoons when they remember we have great riding roads; the roads are littered with locals riding CB750's and Dyna Glides...The rodeo kid on the road behind my farm owns a strutted CB750 that has a drag bike motor on it with an open header...he rides it non-stop, you can hear it for miles away. His buddies all have lowered and chopped Jap bikes. I suspect they all have bad paying jobs and chop what they can and ride the hell out of them. Most work out here in the sticks is farm work and general construction labor. Not great jobs to buy a Harley, even with all the great deals that are out there. There is a trend out here where people build shacks on cheap land and live like that forever. I love that these guys are chopping Jap bikes instead of not riding at all..or buying Nightsters on the payment plan and changing their lifestyle forever.
I still don't get the Dyna Glide thing, but I see them everywhere here in Indiana, and in the last few years Nightsters. (My old neighbor had a real nice Dyna Police bike.) I haven't really noticed mnay SOA styled Dyna's in the area, but maybe there are at the poker runs which I don't attend, just like I don't party on New years eve.
My buddy Kurt has tried every kind of bike because he uses his bike as a work truck for his business. He loves Sportsters because he lives in the city and they make it easy to get in and out of trafic, but he loves Dressers for the hauling ability...(his driveway is extrememly steep, as in 6th street specials steep...it is wild to see him manuver his Electra Glise down his driveway into his garage. My FXRP looks downright timy next to his new bike.)
In Central Kentucky, it is and has always been full blown rigid choppers. Madog probably helped, but it existed before Maddog. At the World Party in Georgetown this year there were as many Choppers in the yard as there are in SoCal on any given day.
In Lousiville there are many black bike clubs. They range from full blown customized garbage wagons to Stretched swingarmed Hyabusa's...KZ's...
For years I tried every kind of bike. I like perspective..and my roads to work suck and I needed a bike that did it all. It was only a few years ago that they paved the first five miles of my main road out. Before that it was tar and chipped in the fall and re-graveled in the spring. I felt for years that I should just get a dual sport motorcycle and deal with it...except for the fog....riding along the Ohio river every morning is a chore in wiping your visor/glasses. The first time I rode a bike with a windshield I realized what I was missing for years. (the windshield on my FXRP was taller before I hit the deer, I cut it down because I had to. I am shopping for another 18" one but at $200. I may be living with the broke cut down for a while.) Everyone who rides along the river has a windshield. (not to mention the gravel pits on Rt.42 that supply the line of dump trucks slowly climbing the rt.42 hills with paint and soul killing #2's making the commute nothing short of Dick Cheney's next interrogation technique.)
I have had a couple SR500's that were great and fun bikes, but it wasn't so much fun when you were a hundred miles from home and you would flood it trying to start it...Ironhead Sportsters have nothing on trying to start a SR500. It's like trying to kickstart a concrete block. (I swear my arch in my right foot is permently damaged from the SR's.)
I had a couple CB350 twins that were a lot of fun but they had no power compared to the SR500's who were all power. Both the CB350's and SR500 did great on the rutted and pot hole filled roads here. Gravel roads were easy to deal with, but a jump on the Interstate made both bikes seem like riding a 50cc scooter in critical traffic.
I had a hellluva time finding a bike that did it all, (and as my son got older and I wanted to take him on motorcycle riding adventures, dual sports and classic jap bikes were out of the question. The whole time Tom Rose kept screaming at me, FXR dumbass. Light, dependable, great handling and versatile...does it all with a smile...did I mention light? (dragging my FXRP out of the mud filled ditch a the bottom of the hill by my house because we had an freezing rain one night last year while I worked nightshift reminds me why I don't get a Dresser, which would make touring the family easier, or a heavier Harley. And Tom Rose was/is right. I wish I'd listened to him 17 years ago, but sometime we need to learn things the hard way.
I am sure if I livced in NYC everyday, or Detroit, (or Lincoln Nebraska) my experiences would differ.