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


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

Stories of Bike

Film Review by Christian Pierce

From the “actualities” of the Lumière Brothers to the magical Melies’ narratives, the short film served as a foundation for what soon became a full-fledged film industry. Even as features rose in popularity and eventually took over the entertainment landscape, short films served as introductory cartoons and informative newsreels. Over time the short film faded from theatrical exhibition … Continue reading

‘Ixion’ of The Motor Cycle. The Fiery Wheel. (The First Motor Cycle Dairist). The Life and Times of Canon Basil H. Davies B.A.

Book Review By Chris Potter

For almost six decades, an Anglican priest provided inspiration and advice to generations of British and colonial motorcyclists. In his weekly articles, Ixion’s “Occasional Comments,” appearing in The Motor Cycle (one of the foremost motorcycling periodicals), he provided an insight into the movement; his rather secretive persona belying an in-depth knowledge gained by dealings at grass-roots levels … Continue reading


2016_6th_ijms_conference_placeholderFew designs in the motorcycle world enjoy a 10 year history without change, but our website did just that. The original layout conceived by Alice Sexton has served us well, but with the ever changing online landscape and the recent shift in leadership the editorial staff at IJMS felt it was time for an update … Continue reading

“Here’s Hoping the ‘Hound’ and His Friends had a Good Time”: The Hollister Gypsy Tour of 1947 and the rise of the “Outlaw” Motorcyclist

Randy McBee

On the Fourth of July weekend in 1947 motorcyclists assembled in the small town of Hollister, California, for an American Motorcycle Association (AMA) sponsored “Gypsy Tour” or rally. Like other AMA rallies, the one at Hollister included races, a hill climbing competition, and various social events. But before it had ended, and during its immediate aftermath, the press used words like “terror” to describe the weekend’s events … Continue reading

Deleuzian Motorcycle: Towards a Theory of Motorcycles and the Other

Esperanza Miyake

A car driver once complained to me about how bikers are a nuisance on the road, casually saying that “all you bikers are the same anyway.” I think he meant to sting me, a supposed obnoxious comment designed to irritate. On the contrary, as a Japanese female biker, I found it liberating simply because I felt it to be true. When I am riding—particularly at certain speeds—my body loses feminine shape … Continue reading

If I had a (Victory) Hammer: Mining the Vein of Male Discontent

John Sumser

It is no longer necessary, I think, to make the argument that meaning is conventional or that objects in the world—guns, human bodies, or, of course, motorcycles—can be made to mean almost anything. It is also generally accepted that meaning is tied to symbolic communities so that there can be multiple meanings for any given thing and those meanings will be braided into networks of meaning within particular ways of life … Continue reading