“Impromptu Fiesta” or “Havoc in Hollister”: A Seventy-Year Retrospective

Sarah L. Hoiland

Hollister: a symbolically loaded three-syllable noun. For today’s youth, Hollister is a clothing company best known for its surfer-inspired apparel. For residents of Hollister, California, and the surrounding areas, a palpable sense of place characterized by breathtaking bucolic fields nestled in the foothills and hometown pride among the generations of farmers and ranchers … Continue reading

Two Industry Selfies, Four Decades Apart: UK Motorcycle Companies Look Back (1975) and US Motorcycle Dealers Look Ahead (2017)

James J. Ward

In 2017, as first and second quarter reports came in, it became apparent that the American motorcycle industry – manufacturers and dealers – was heading toward a second straight year of declining sales and depressed profits. Even before the year ended, industry insiders and market analysts were acknowledging that motorcycling in America faced a clouded, if not altogether dark, future … Continue reading

Born to Be Wild: The Rise of the American Motorcyclist

Book Review By John Sumser

At 3:00 on a Wednesday afternoon, October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, Arizona there was a gunfight involving the Clantons, the Earps, and Doc Holliday. The fight – which took place in under 30 seconds according to contemporary reports – has been used to tell a variety of stories: the coming of law to the West, the imposition of bourgeois or “East Coast” values on the frontier … Continue reading

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