Article By: Chad Lemme
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Originally Published In The May 2012 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Motorcycles are like a drug; an addiction that has run rampant coursing through the systems of anti-social American Motherf@#kers since the dawn of internally combusted horsepower strapped on to a shitty old bicycle. How could this not appeal to the average adrenaline junky? Riding on top of a hundred horse death machine at mind-bending speeds; no chance of survival up here if things go wrong; the wind in your face; the sweet, greasy smell of burnt oil, fuel, and freedom… But it seems that people who call themselves “bikers” have traded in their freedom for vanity, and this is nothing new. It happened before I was even a six-pack. But it has spiraled out of control as of recent, hidden behind a façade of really actually cool bikes. It’s these Hipsters that appear as though they are from the late sixties through the late seventies.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on these people because they are a very real part of the culture today, and it is far, far better than their OCC, jackass, poser predecessors. I loathe and despise those people. They have no business dealing with motorbikes. They are an embarrassment to everybody involved. But I digress… Let me explain. I see a lot of “garage builders” or these people who build one or two bikes and make a shop name. Every once in a blue moon, you come across one of these that can really build something nice; something that just blows your hair back. But these are very few and far in between. In most cases, these people spend a lot of their time looking at magazines and professional builds and Internet pictures of other misguided builds and so-forth, and wind up with something gaudy. The reason for this is that these people don’t really know what they are trying to accomplish. They don’t really know what they like. They try way too hard to put together eight different things they’ve seen on one bike but with their own little twist to it, and it fails miserably. And despite a professional opinion, the builder is proud and continues building. Which is fine, but it’s like the blind leading the deaf. Nothing against these guys, ‘cause they are really doing what they enjoy and I hope they keep doing it for the right reasons. It’s just the nature of the beast.
But these Hipsters seem to be something like a bike built with form in mind before function, despite their bikes being built with function in mind before form. Gotta give ‘em credit for having some rad f@#kin’ bikes, but besides this, they spend most of their time trying to look alike. You’ve seen them: the worn blue-jean jackets with tons of witty and offensive patches on them; hair farms all tucked under a trucker cap of some type promoting death and Satan with the bill flipped up; seventies style prison sunglasses; barely serviceable blue jeans colored in 80-90; and a pair of boots that have far exceeded their recommended life span. Every single one of them exactly the same: form before function. An extremely articulate image of not giving a hot shit about what they look like. Define “irony.” See, it has always seemed to me that a bike built with function-only in mind winds up with a very nice form naturally following suit, but fails miserably in the opposite order. I have this pair of OD Green knee-high socks that the United States A R M Y issued me in Iraq, and they are far and above the best pair of socks I have ever owned. I wear the shit out of them. I am rarely found without them on. And when I wear shorts, it appears as though I’m headed off to participate in a baseball game. I catch hell about my socks, but I couldn’t care any less, because I love them, and I will never, not wear them. They function nicely.
But the clothes you wear should be literally the very last thing on your mind, especially when concerning motorbikes. The whole point to this powerfully entertaining subculture is the freedom, the complete lack of worry, cast care to the wind and never hear from that shit again. So why would anyone care about looking like the next guy? Who gives a shit what you wear? Either way, these guys really know what to look for when building a scooter, but it seems like a hassle to find specific clothing when that time would be much better spent rackin’ up some dangerously high-speed miles on their fine bikes. But, we all need to enjoy what we’re doing and if your clothing is what cocks your trigger, then fire away, man. I’d just rather hang out with my apparently moody, female Shovelhead than pick out clothes. The attire that the ARMY and friends from weapons’ manufacturers and shops have given me work just fine. Keep ‘er pointed down the road and weld naked