It’s A Cruel, Cruel World Wide Web

Steve Lita American Iron Magazine Editor

Steve Lita, American Iron Magazine Editor

…the ultimate tool for negative mob mentality and juvenile rants

I hate the haters! There, I said it.

It’s amazing how many online haters came out of the woodwork immediately upon Harley-Davidson announcing its new lineup, and are equating the new Softail to the former Softail model. And they think that just because the name of the bike is the same, it’s the same old Softail. Or, even as ridiculous as that, making assumptions based on a photograph. One of the more moronic comments I read: “I can tell from the picture, that thing aint gonna handle right.” You can tell that from a photograph? Really? Amazing! Maybe not equally as amazing is the fact that I can tell from his post this guy didn’t pay much attention in grammar school English class. Well, as you read in the story starting on page 36 of this issue, we could not find much about this new Softail that isn’t superior to the old version. In my opinion, this new family of bikes deserved a new name.

Some are saying the company should have left things alone. I’ve read, “I like the old way, it looked better,” and they prefer the nostalgic look of the old generation of motorcycles. They think this new generation of Softail looks too futuristic. Yet others think they’re not high tech enough, asking why Harley doesn’t make something more advanced to attract the next generation of riders. Well, this is the start. But it appeared to be a no-win situation for The Motor Company.
To put a spin on things, I feel it’s a win-win situation for riders. Think about it; there will be many people who trade in or sell their old-generation bikes (both Softail and Dyna) to step up to the new 2018s. So, for all of you who are not comfortable with change, there will be plenty of used bikes on the market. And for those who embrace improvement, we have the new family of bikes to enjoy.

And let’s not forget the people lamenting on the Internet about the demise of the V-Rod (and don’t get me started on the Dyna lovers). I think it’s amazing that people hated on the V-Rod for so long and ultimately it didn’t sell well. Yet everyone is crying boo-hoo now that it’s gone. The same could be said of Buell. It’s a classic case of you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.

The Internet has only created more division. While it’s great that I can keep in touch with old friends, it is also the ultimate tool for negative mob mentality and juvenile rants; hooray for my side, boo for your side. I stayed up pretty late on the night of August 22nd (when these new models were announced), posting replies to shoot-from-the-hip comments and knee-jerk reaction bonehead posts.

With that said about the Internet and the future of motorcycling, we here at AIM utilize the web, too. We must. It is a necessary evil in doing business today. Every company, and magazine, needs to have a web and social media presence. To some extent American
Iron Magazine can be blamed for creating division in the motorcycle world by featuring only American-made motorcycles. We’d rather think of it as celebrating and specializing in one popular faction. There’s more than enough material. I propose that we are also helping get more people interested in motorcycles overall and all forms of motorcycling.

I feel sorry for the hardworking designers, engineers, and technicians at Harley-Davidson who put their time, blood, sweat, and tears into these new models and then are subjected to rude, snide comments online. Imagine doing your job as best you can, producing an advanced product, starting from scratch, as per the direction of your company, just to get slammed in the court of public opinion by Internet trolls who have never even seen or touched the product, and have not even read the reviews. To work in the motorcycle industry you have to have pretty thick skin. I don’t know anyone who would be proud to call himself an Internet troll. Maybe all the keyboard commados should think first before posting snide comments online. This has nothing to do with hurting anyone’s feelings. This has to do with respect.