Stop me if you've heard this one before: A motorcycle enthusiast rides his bike to the bank one day...

No, wait --- this always works better in the first person narrative.

"Behold: it's 20/20 Dudeman!"

I rode my red dragger to the bank today, and a storefront security guard hanging around outside starts making small talk with me.

"Nice bike, man!" (there's half of the dudeman title from the start ) Before I can even say "thanks", he rattles on. "I used to have one just like it."

Interesting, since I haven't left much stock VLX on this particular bike. Pretty sure if there was another one in town "just like it", I'd have seen it by now --- or worse yet, attempted to stick my key into its ignition.

Again, before I can even get a word in edgewise --- "My old lady made me stop riding it after that fight in Laughlin, but we used to ride down on that bike every year for that event." (referring to the infamous Hells Angels/Mongols melee at Harrahs that the media just won't let go of, I mean sheesh --- that happened almost nine years ago. Yes, NINE years ago. Like I said, pretty sure I would have seen a bike just like it in that time frame, my first River Run was in 2000)

Now wait a minute --- did he just say that "he rode together with his old lady on a bike just like mine"? Does this guy need an optometrist? Can he not see my bike has a solo seat? For that matter, it only has about five or six inches worth of rear fender behind said seat --- so even one of those suction cup pillions wouldn't even work. See, suction cup pillions don't adhere very well to a fully exposed rotating tire...

Again, as I'm searching for just the right answer...he continues: "Yeah, I really miss my Sportster."

Yep, he definitely needs an optometrist. Those inch-high letters stamped on the lower case covers on both sides of the motor spell out "H-O-N-D-A", as does the emblem on each side of the tank (the latter of which coincidentally also spells out the word "S-H-A-D-O-W").

Not to mention that a Sportster sits considerably higher off the ground with a much shorter wheelbase and steeper fork angle. Beyond a unit engine and count 'em: TWO wheels, I honestly can't fathom where someone could confuse a Shadow VLX (stock or customized) for a Sportster (stock or customized). Air cooled versus liquid cooled and a radiator. Exposed dual shocks mated to a single tube swingarm versus a hidden monoshock mated to a triangulated swingarm. Peanut tank versus wide tank (the C model Sporties also had peanut tanks prior to the '02 River Run-in). Belt drive on the right versus chain on the left. Rear disc brake versus rear drum. Oval air cleaner versus triangular air cleaner. Sportster/Shadow --- okay, they both start with the letter "S"...beyond that you'll probably have to explain it to me, because I don't understand.

But here's where this tale really goes full-tilt dudeman.

About this time last month, I was exposed to the same exact drivel from the same exact guy while pulling in on my wineberry/white chopper. Line for line, word for word. On his behalf, one guy couldn't possibly own two custom bikes...right?

Two completely different bikes at that: one with a solo seat versus one with a pillion and sissy bar. One with drag bars versus one with ape hangers. One with mild rake/4" over forks and one with extreme rake/10" over forks. One bright red the other dark wineberry (as in somewhere between reddish purple and black). One with a color matched frame versus one with painted tin on a black frame. Neither of which share much in common with a Sportster.

Yet dudeman's former Sportster that he used to ride to the Laughlin River Run prior to the 2002 biker brawl looks just like both of them.

I really wonder how he pulled that off.