A couple of years ago, I considered what the then-current batch of politicians would ride for motorcycles. This year, mostly because of his oversized and ubiquitous personality, it might be intriguing to think about Donald Trump's ride.
Bernie Sanders, we know, would ride something affordable and classic like a rebuilt BSA. He would have to wear an open-faced helmet so that he could roar "huuuuggh" at regular intervals. Hillary Clinton? She needs at least two bikes so she can ride whatever works best in the neighborhood: a Harley in red states and something like a Triumph or BMW in blue states (both motorcycles are made by important international allies, after all). I'm guessing she rides a Victory in purple states: it's also American-made in the "Heartland" and the symbolism is obvious.
But what about Trump?
The first thing to consider is that he would have to have a "perfect 10" along for the ride, either a spouse or a daughter, or both. This means that the rig would have to have ample, comfortable accommodation for one or more perfect backsides (his, at best, is a two). This cuts things down considerably. He can't go with the very popular retro bikes that would resonate with a good fraction of his die-hard constituency. No classic rebuild, either. There's just too little seating back there. But there are a number of motorcycle options that would work, with the joke being that one of them, a Honda, is large enough for its own zip code. Of course custom seats on more ordinary bikes could also provide the necessities.
But what if two perfect passengers are involved? Sidecar. But on what? Branding is key to political aspirations, so in rolls a touring Harley (he did pretty well in the Wisconsin primary) or perhaps a Victory, also made in the Midwest. Victory has a space-age looking thing called a Vision that could easily seat at least one perfect passenger and implies that Trump might actually have one (a vision). There is, however, no chance that Trump would choose the American-made Indian. Even though recent analyses suggest that the average "white" American houses about 0.2 percent Native American DNA, we all recall the scorn Trump heaped on Elizabeth Warren for her comments about being "part" Native American. By the way, his campaign song? "Born to be Wild," by Steppenwolf. I think Trump's "motor" had been runnin', for some time.
This motorcycle is bright red. That way, when he rolls to a stop at a campaign extravaganza, he can quickly pop on his very red, Make-America-Great-Again cap. But this brings us headlong to the crucial issue of hair care. "Helmet-hair" is a real problem for anyone concerned about his or her coif. All the Trumps appear to spend the equivalent of a typical home mortgage on their hair. In the Donald's case, it would be alarming to mash down his orange, mammalian companion. I don't know if it screams, but PETA would be all over that.
Of course, not wearing a helmet would be worse, even though this would play well with his rowdy band. Hair everywhere, and some aide's combing the hundred or so strands back into position and then spraying it would go viral immediately.
And what about the bike's exhaust? The "loud pipes save lives" argument is out there, even though there is no evidence for it. But lack of evidence would not bother Trump at all, so I'm guessing he goes for a lot of noise. Isn't that the best way to roll into a campaign stop? Busses are for "losers." With a bike, you would know he's coming from a good five miles out. It's almost as good as a helicopter, but the chopper's blade turbulence would also do a number on his hair. Nothing is easy on the campaign trail.
Bob Engel lives in Marlboro with his motorcycles, wife, and cat.