Mechanized Cavalry: Twenty Years on the Road

Book Review By John Sumser

Mr. O’Connor’s examination of a subculture of American motorcycling is particularly timely in the aftermath of the August demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia and the more general controversy over monuments to the Confederacy. The book consists primarily of transcripts of interviews with members of the motorcycle club called the Mechanized Cavalry … Continue reading

Emotional Management on Two Wheels

Kimonas Konstantelos & Nicolas Christakis

Motorcycle driving is usually understood in terms of practicality, specific abilities/skills, and symbolism – associated with individualism, challenge and risk. This paper aims to explore this topic under the scope of emotions and feelings invested in the ownership of the motorcycle and in the driving experience in the context of the “real world” … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading