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Dirt, heat, and danger

We time warp back to the age of excess to see how motorbike culture influenced a generation.

Some people mark the death of the 1960s by the stabbing at the Rolling Stones’ Altamont concert. Others the Manson Family murders. Still others by the late-1969 television debut of Sesame Street. Whatever, man. With Nixon in the White House and the word ‘hippy’ being increasingly suffixed with ‘casualty’, the global cuddle factory was self-evidently closing down.

As the decade closed out, the Western world had begun to retreat from the public sphere. Out: trust in the collective. In: trust only yourself. Believe in yourself. The self-exploration of the 60s had begun to feedback into the self-obsession of the 70s, and modern motor culture was one of the things stepping into that cultural vacuum.

While biking had been long associated with celluloid rebel culture – Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen or Easy Rider – a few twists of fate were about to make the bike and motorsport a hand-in-glove fit with this new age. In a more gritty era, the idea of the dirt, heat and danger chimed with what was to come… read more >

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