Volume 14 | 2018

An Alternative History of Bicycles and Motorcycles: Two-wheeled Transportation and Material Culture

Book Review By David Walton

Steven Alford and Suzanne Ferriss have been highly instrumental in promoting and establishing what is now looking like a consolidated academic area in the shape of motorcycle studies, and their previous book, Motorcycle (2007), set the bar very high indeed in terms of a wide-ranging study that shows how the motorcycle is permeated with cultural significance ...

Call For Papers

Chaffey College and the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art
26–28 July, 2018

2017: 7th IJMS Conference, Colorado Springs

Conference Summary

The 7th International Journal of Motorcycle Studies Conference 2017 in Colorado Springs took place on June 23rd, 24th, and 25th. Like past conferences, the 2017 conference marked attendance and presentations by motorcycle scholars, artists, and craftspeople. The conference continues to grow with renewed associations locally, nationally, and internationally. It's no surprise to the motorcycling community ...

Mixed Gender-Cross Country Research: Personal Reflections and Experiences of Long-Term Ethnographic Researchers in a Community of Touring Motorcyclists

Mark Austin & Patricia Gagné

Long-term ethnographic research is commonly conducted by a single investigator, a same-gender team, or a mixed-gender team of married or partnered individuals. The impact of gender in conducting qualitative research has been examined in the literature but little, if any, analysis of the experiences of a mixed gender, non-coupled, unrelated research team exists. Our goal in this article is to consider some of the benefits and pitfalls ...

You Gotta Be Dirty: The Outlaws Motorcycle Club In & Around Wisconsin

Book Review By David Walton

Michael Grogan's book, You Gotta Be Dirty: The Outlaws Motorcycle Club In & Around Wisconsin (2016) landed on my desk a few weeks back—and I'm glad it did. As the title suggests, it focuses on the Outlaws Motorcycle Club (MC) and adds another chapter to our historical understanding of the 1%er outlaw motorcycle clubs. In this review I'll offer some brief contextualization, give an outline of its aims and contents ...

Harley Culture from the Outside: Cowboys, Guns and Patriotism

Misao Dean

Who wouldn't want a Harley? The brand is so ubiquitous in popular culture that the word "Harley" has become for many a loose synonym for any cruiser-style motorcycle. And the history of Harley-Davidson riders seems, in North America at least, identical with the history of motorcycle as a cultural icon: its success as a Second World War vehicle, promoted through war propaganda films …

Talking Back: Bikers’ Mediated Self-Representation

Unn Conradi Andersen & Arne H. Krumsvik

In this article, we analyze the mediated self-representation of Norwegian bikers in contrast to how they are represented through mainstream-media. Based on analysis of MC coverage in local, regional, and national Norwegian newspapers and postings and comments on the Facebook page of PayBack Norway, we compare an online counterpublic with coverage in mainstream media ...

The Motorcyclist

Book Review By James B. Gould

Carl, a young black man, a motorcyclist, artist and womanizer, is caught between the expectations of his times and the possibilities of life. He is trapped in a railway worker’s pedestrian existence—a life from which his motorcycle (a BMW R69 named ‘Liz II’ in honor of Queen Elizabeth II), the open road and, most notably, his sexual exploits with numerous women, both black and white, provide freedom and happiness ...

Bikies and Civil Rights: Legal Activism, Police States and Liberties in Australia

Binoy Kampmark

“Every criminologist I know agrees that legislation is not the way to go. The answer is for the police to do their job and seize members of clubs threatening war and do not allow the clubs to reform until they can prove that they have purged the criminal elements and found effective measures for conflict resolution–apart from war.” The words of American motorbike enthusiast Arthur Veno, a student and specialist of motorbike culture …