I guess I am lucky. In SW Michigan it seems no one really cares what you ride. If you ride on 2 wheels, regardless of how you got there, you are considered a fellow motorcyclist. It has been my experience that your own personality and comfort with yourself is more important than what you ride. Old friends will hang out with each other regardless if it is a boat club, golf club, church club or any other group setting...just human nature. Takes a little effort to meet new folks but feeling self conscious about your bike will only make you less likely to succeed....take it from the old guys....just go, look at all the other bikes and strike up a conversation when the opportunity presents itself....ps...the older guys have been around the block and are not enamored with themselves and their bikes and can be easier to start a conversation with......
I agree Sawbonz. I never had a problem at any biker gathering, regardless of what bike I rode in on, or even if I showed up in a cage. It is usually more about you than it is about them.
I have attended bike rallies from Sturgis to Daytona and everywhere in between, HOG nights, HOG State Rallies, HOG Tours, Christian motorcycle rallies and bike nights, Harley dealership bike nights, Honda dealership bike nights, weekly bike nights at local restaurants, bar crawl bike nights, toy runs, poker runs, charity rides, bike races, dirt bike races, motocross, trail rides, and a bunch that I can't even remember in 40 years of riding. Each was an adventure, and people of all walks responded to me according to how I responded to and treated them. I have made friends at every event that I have attended, and made enemies at quite a few of them.
I have ridden to most events, on all different kinds of bikes. I have trailered my, and my wife's bike to some long distance events when weather or time was a factor. I have shipped my bike to Sturgis and flew in. I have flew to distant locations both domestic and International, and rented bikes for rallies, rides, and tours. Regardless of how I arrived, I was treated how people perceived me personally, not how they perceived my ride. People are people, regardless of what bike they ride, or whether they ride a bike at all.
The only place that I ever felt unwelcome was on Kyle Petty's Charity Ride Across America for his foundation. I was unwelcome because I was a biker, and they were all wannabees. They were all corporate CEOs, and other rich people wanting to rub shoulders with the NASCAR Royalty. I never saw so many brand new Ultra Glides and Goldwings in one ride, either loaned by a dealership, rented, or bought just for the ride, or so many bad riders who looked like they were about to wreck at any moment. How you were treated was dependent on your position in NASCAR, or the value of your portfolio, and how big a check you intended to sign, depending on which side of the aisle you were on. Since I was a nobody with no money, I was ignored, until I began to have fun with them by playing their game. I had some interesting conversations after I made up a persona that fit the crowd, and had fun laughing at them rather than with them. They didn't seem to know the difference. Only place that I've ever been where the police escorts were used to keep local bikers away from the celebrity riders, and out of the ride.
If you are extroverted and can talk to anyone, like myself, you will find a way to fit in, make new friends, and be a part of the event. If you are introverted, shy, and tend to be a wallflower, like my wife, grandson, and best friend, you will have more difficulty. I have to introduce them, and get them involved in the conversation, and then they fit in fine. If not, they stand off to the side, and wait on some extrovert to come to them. Sometimes it happens, and sometimes not. Their level of fun or enjoyment of an event usually depends on how well I, or some other extrovert, got them involved, not really dependent on the event itself. This is true whether at a biker event or any other function, and obviously has nothing to do with a bike.
Sorry for the novella, but my experience is that your personality is way more important than the bike you rode in on. The bike, whether yours or theirs, is just a conversation starter or topic of conversation. Where you go from there is up to you, not the bike. Just have fun.