What's the difference
between a Motorcyclist and
a Harley Rider ??

First, Harley Davidson does not make motorcycles. They make Harleys, and at this they are better than all the other manufacturers.
Harleys are not ment to go or stop or handle or be comfortable or anything. They are mobile pieces of art, complete with the embedded compromises.
The main duty is to be looked at, and to make sure they are looked at by as many people as possible, they are portable. Like a circus. Weight is about that same as a circus too.
Harley could make motorcycles if they wanted to, but they do not want to. If they did, there wouldn't be Buells, there would be motorcycles manufactured by Harley.

It is really a cleaver marketing ploy. "Your motorcycle is very slow!"
"Its a Harley, if i have to explain it you wouldn't understand" "Your motorcycle is very heavy!" "Its a Harley, if i have to explain it you wouldn't understand" "Your motorcycle is very expensive!" "Its a Harley, if i have to explain it you wouldn't understand" "Your motorcycle is very uncomfortable!" "Its a Harley, if i have to explain it you wouldn't understand" etc.
Its a built in excuse masquerading as a surly attitude. Once we recognize Harleys for what they are, we can appreciate them for what they are. I will never appreciate a Harley for what it is not. It is not a motorcycle.
Second we have to define the people who ride Harleys. I believe they fall into two families

The two famillies are
1) Motorcyclists who ride Harleys, and
2) Harley Riders. Motorcyclists who ride Harleys recognize Harleys for what they are. Rolling Retro influenced art, not motorcycles.
These people appreciate the admiring glances they get when they ride their bikes, they secretly think of themselves as Lee Marvin, and they like to look at and improve the appearance of their Harley.
It is a work in progress, and this piece of art becomes their canvas upon which to express themselves.

Motorcyclists who ride Harleys have a reasonable motorcycling resume, and may own more utilitarian vehicles (Japanese Motorcycles, Jeep Cherokees etc.) when transportation is required.
These people love motorcycles as much as everyone on this list, but they also like Harleys, and as already mentioned these are two distinct things.

Harley Riders did not read the previous paragrahs, and mistakenly believe that Harleys are motorcycles. Unfortunately, these people tend to mistake Harley ownership for a personality as well, so they are usually way screwed up.
These are non motorcyclists whose whole mental representation of motorcycles equals Harleys 'cause they once saw a Mickey Rourke film. These films also offers explanation for the typical Harley Rider's behavior. Pissed off at the world due to a lagging film career.
As the Harley is used as a personality, and these people lack the self- concept and are so non ego formed as adults, they feel they must behave in this stereotypical manner regardless of situation. Usualy these people have little to no motorcycling experience, and are attracted to flashy thing in the same manner as crows. Sometimes an avid motorcyclist becomes a Harley Rider; friends and family can usually identify the warning signs in hindsight only.
Perhaps the biggest transgression these people make is to "Talk Motorcycles" when they have no experience with them (they ride Harleys remember). When people talk of rpm levels used to settle the suspension for a set of twisties, they fall back on "Jap Crap", "Rice Rocket/Burner" etc. They use anger, insults and surliness to mask their ignorance. They want to interact, but they don't know how (Mickey Rourke never spoke nicely to people in any of his movies), they don't have the vocabulary or social skills. It is really quite tragic. I believe these definitions help explain one of the longest standing questions in modern motorcycling.

Why don't all Harley guys wave back. It is simple really. It is a in-group bias sort of thing. Motorcyclists wave at other Motorcyclists due to the kinship we feel. We see someone riding a motorcycle and immediately recognize them, as being of superior intellect. Since they are so smart, the must be a good person to know, so i will wave and act politely and friendly towards them. Generally, when waved to, motorcyclists will wave back (provided they are not in the middle of a tank slapper or something) for the reasons identified above. Here is the difference.

Harley Riders are not motorcyclists (remember, Harleys are not motorcycles, they are Harley), and therefore do not feel the kinship. They feel the kinship with other Harley riders only. Why do some people on Harleys wave? Because they are from the first group, Motorcyclists who ride Harleys. The Drunk, Blind, Fat, Ugly, Smelly, Chaps-wearin, GPZ-hittin', Bleeding, Brain-damaged, Surly, Church swearing, Wedding Vomitting, Pencil-dicked, Vault-twated, Cell phone riding, Nun melting, Lying bastards with straight pipes tend to come from the second group ...

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