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

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 … Continue reading

A Curious Case of Anglo-Japanese Collaboration: How the World’s Most Successful Motorcycle Maker Borrowed Design Ideas from a Small, Venerable, and Extinct British Bike Factory [1]

James J. Ward

I first laid eyes on one in 1996 or 1997 in an unlikely setting, at the AMA-sanctioned Freemansburg Hill Climb which takes place twice each year near Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tired of watching nitro-fueled hanger-framed machines trying to hurdle their way up a 500-foot incline, gouged with ruts and gulleys and lined by rocks and trees, I wandered into one of the fields used for spectators’ parking. A thousand or two bikes, most of them Harleys … Continue reading

Introduction

Sheila A. Malone

2016_6th_ijms_conference_placeholder2016 has brought multiple changes to the journal. I would like to thank Christian Pierce for leading the way by taking the baton from Suzanne Ferris and Steven Alford. Christian was at the helm of the journal for the past two years, steering the ship forward through sometimes familiar waters, and other times, new and unchartered territory. The ship analogy is being employed here, because, unlike a motorcycle–and the solo journey… Continue reading

2016: 6th IJMS Conference, London

Conference Summary

The International Journal of Motorcycle Studies returned to London, England in July of 2016 to hold its 6th conference. Held at the Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London the event drew motorcycle enthusiasts and scholars from around the world. Covering a full array of interdisciplinary fields, this conference and the accompanying art exhibit proved as lively as … Continue reading

Introduction

2016_6th_ijms_conference_placeholderOn a long ride challenges often arise that impact the schedule and/or route. Factors ranging from inclement weather to mechanical failures may deter us, but as motorcyclists we know that the journey usually proves more interesting than the destination. The International Journal of Motorcycle Studies has recently experienced one such challenge and as a result we failed to publish a Fall 2015 issue … Continue reading

Close Encounters of a Deadly Kind… Freedom, Riders, Road Racing and Risk

David Walton

“The brain is such a wonderful instrument (until God sinks his teeth into it). Some people hear Tiny Tim singing when they go under, and some others hear the song of the Sausage Creature.” (Hunter S. Thompson, 1995) The above epigraph was Hunter S. Thompson’s way of describing the fate of those of us who are attracted to what he called “the curse of speed.” Hunter S. Thompson’s “curse” is related to his love of riding fast motorcycles … Continue reading

BSA Motorcycles – The Final Evolution

Book Review By Steve Koerner

When this reviewer was an undergraduate at the University of Victoria during the early 1970s, a friend purchased a brand-new 1972 BSA B50SS Gold Star motorcycle. It was one of those ill-fated machines, the twenty-one new or redesigned existing models, which were part of the so-called “Power Set” the company built for sale between 1971 and 1972. Those bikes are the subject of Brad Jones’ book BSA Motorcycles — The Final Evolution … Continue reading