Volume 18 | 2022

Remembering Geoff Crowther

Steven Alford, Suzanne Ferriss, Christian Pierce & IJMS Friends

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Geoff Crowther, one of the founding board members of The International Journal of Motorcycle Studies and the driving force behind our first international conference, held on the Isle of Man in 2007 to celebrate the centenary anniversary of the TT races ...

“The Constant is that Governments Regard Motorcyclists as a Problem”: Riders’ Rights Activists in the United Kingdom on Threats, Political Mobilization, and Freedom

Mathew Humphrey & Jessica Andersson-Hudson

In terms of transport choice, it is quite exceptional to be a motorcyclist. Around 0.8% of United Kingdom (UK) road journeys in 2019 were by powered-two-wheeler (PTW) (UK Department of Transport, n.d.).  The 3.0 billion vehicle miles (bvm) covered by motorcycles in that year in the UK is less than the total mileage of pedal cycles at 3.5bvm. Like pedal cyclists, motorcyclists are classed as “vulnerable” road users ...

Chrome and Black and Dusty: Robert Pirsig’s Motorcycle Heritage

Paul F. Johnston

Many people know Robert Maynard Pirsig (1928-2017) as author of the iconic 1974 volume Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (William Morrow, NY). Dedicated reader-riders may even remember that he rode a motorcycle across the Midwest to California and back with his son back in the 1960s. But virtually no one outside of his immediate family members know ...

The Unbearable Lightness of Crashing to make international debut in Italy

James J. Butler & Charles Austin Muir

James J. Butler and Charles Austin Muir grew up watching stuntman Evel Knievel. Years passed, and they forgot what it was like to follow Knievel's death-defying motorcycle jumps on television. Then James dusted off his 1990s replica of the 1973 Evel Knievel toy stunt cycle and had Charles capture one of the toy jumps on video. Watching the initial footage, they found something so joyous and ridiculously suspenseful ...

The Second Life of the Big British Twin? Some Conflicting Signals from the Current Market

James J. Ward

It has been a half century since the death of the large-displacement British parallel twin was proclaimed by a not entirely sympathetic motorcycling press, as one venerable factory after another closed its gates and the industry ceded the future to the seemingly all-conquering multiples coming from the East. Like many obituaries, this one was somewhat inaccurate and somewhat premature ...

REPLAY: Film documenting the 3rd IJMS Conference and Exhibition, London 2013

Tim Fransen

In 2013, I arranged for a recent Creative Media Production graduate, Alex Thraves, to implement his newly acquired skills by documenting the 3rd IJMS Conference and Exhibition held 4–7 July at the Chelsea College of Art and Design – here's the excellent film to replay and reminisce ...

IJMS: A History

Steven Alford & Suzanne Ferriss

In 2000, a PhD candidate in Borderland studies at the University of Texas at El Paso had an idea. Gary Kieffner created the Motorcycling Myth and Culture area for the regional Southwest/Texas branch of the American Culture/Popular Culture conference and posted a call for papers for their 2001 meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A handful of motorcycling scholars ...

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the IJMS, the Voice inside my helmet remembers …

Lisa Garber

“You should have known,” mumbles the Voice. It was a fair comment. Sitting in the simmering San Antonio heat, waiting for the shuttle to take me to my hotel, I thought of the man who had referred me to this place and this conference. The smooth talking Texan was my dissertation chair: a professor, poet, Jungian psychologist and a motorcycle rider. I guess I should have known ...