"Cars started rolling just about the same time that movie cameras did. More than a century on, the movies are still in love with smell of burnt rubber. Every bit as much as their human occupants, bikes and cars are "
Sex Savages on Wheels!
Now that we’ve got your attention, I would just like to say that I never really understood why bikers had a culture until I owned a real bike. Until I scored it, my RD350 LC, in 1986, I had messed about on a variety of rides that never really warranted the name ‘motorcycle’.
Until then, it seemed that the hard core of the biker community, dressed in a range of leather and denim that ranged from the toothpaste striped to the gothically monochromed, were never really my kith and kin.
I am aware, as I write, that there is a massive community of people out there that will sneer disparagingly at my naming my feisty little water cooled Yamaha a real motorcycle.
Because from hard core hog heads to the campest café stylist; from the Ténéré toting Dakar acolyte to the most colourful of Rossi wannabes – member of each and every biker sub cult believe that it is they who represent the purest, the most dedicated – the most full blooded representative of the biker creed.
Until I had experienced buck and wallow and scream of the LC’s power band, I thought that that Biker extremism was a load of bull. But ever since, I believe I have understood it intimately.
And the reason is relatively simple. No other form of mechanised transportation is as physically engaging as the motorcycle. And if the body is engaged in your automotive experience, then the mind naturally follows. And where the mind follows, the passion will soon shadow.
Motorcycles, in other words, get closest to the human heart more quickly, more viscerally and more easily than planes, trains or automobiles.
It was that little Jap screamer that tuned me into this reality. I have never since looked back.
We humans (especially the male of the species) are a simple bunch, really. We engage with things that give us pleasure. Be it food, sex, speed or laughter, the things that make life worth living are the things over which we obsess.
So, that’s why you get few people out there with a genuine passion for Excel Spreadsheets and the minutiae of tax returns, and why the people who do get a quantum of quiescence from the bread and butter realities of getting by tend not to be the more socially skilled of our fellow man.
But does that fully explain the extremes to which bikers infuse themselves with the objects of their passion? With many other worlds, the music business, for example, or even the car industry, marketing plays a huge part in the process of dragging us into buying into a lifestyle as represented by a product.
But if there are any adverts out there for a hairy lifestyle and a ridiculously noisy Harley, then I haven’t seen any lately.
What is it about a burly V-Twin, anyway, that creates such cultural devotion? What equated that particular mechanical setup with outlaw status, the fragrance of leather and long, flowing beards?
Images via http://www.sexsavagesonwheels.com
CLICK TO ENLARGE