"The eighties in bike culture was a story of Japanese dominance and technical innovation. European brands suffered greatly from the explosion in popularity of fast, reliable and colourful machines coming out of the far east, which were rooted in high "
Hodaka: Dirt Squirt
motorbikes should be all about fun
Humour is missing from ‘the industry’.
In fact, while we’re talking about the motorbike industry, you could just as well substitute any of them. Capitalism, by its very nature, lacks the propensity to take the mickey out of itself. But it was not always so.
Take American bike brand Hodaka. Calling your bikes things like ‘Dirt Squirt’ ‘Road Toad’ and ‘Super Rat’ made you look twice at their machines. And the belly laughs, by the look of them, were fully encoded in the engineering of the bikes too.
Apparently the company was joint Japanese and American owned and put out a series of LOLLish funbikes between ’64 and ’78. The company fell victim, as was a familiar story in the seventies, of the rise and rise of the mainstream Japanese industry and the American economy’s manufacturing slump.
This lack of a sense of fun is really clear if you’ve thought about buying a new motorcyle recently. The showrooms are full of the kind of over-thought tech trickery cookie-cutter design standards that has created the new wave of custom culture out there.
Take note huge corporations. Call your bike stupid names!
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