I know you’re joking and it’s a running gag but I’m really not sure where it came from. The beater bike (1200 Sporty) I used to commute round London for a few years was left out uncovered in snow, rain, ice. It didn’t look pretty but it never missed a beat, not once! Even the ’94 Lowrider I had ran like a new bike and again, I didn’t exactly baby it.
I can only assume it’s fallout from the AMF years 73-81 when Harley sold the co and the bikes weren’t great.
Meanwhile… whilst I don’t miss the Harleys, the 2020 Triumph has been back in the workshop three times since I got it!
Then again, it’s probably a reflection on older vehicles in general. Hard to imagine EFI and ECU’s are going to be holding up in 40 years time whereas carbs will run forever.
Circling back to the machines, it’s another reason I like how primitive the LM is. Granted an LCD isn’t exactly high-tech but even the temp control is an analogue wheel, one less thing to go wrong!