Biker Lifestyle

Is brotherhood dead? GBNF brotherhood

By James Macecari

The Creed of brotherhood that we all dream to accomplish. A lifestyle of brothers, riding down the highway with no care in the world. But the question that rises, We’re we all duked? Did the wool get pulled over all our eyes? Did the goods we bought all those years a load of crap? Did we actually fall for some big marketing campaign passed on decades after decades about a Lifestyle only too find out that it wasn’t worth a load of manure?

Some good questions indeed. What if after all those years on the road you realized that you were sold a bill of crap? What if we fell for a marketing campaign that started in the early days just to sell a bunch of bikes? What if being a biker was a Cloak for Harley Davidson to use to mind control the masses?

Most bikers, both men and women, dreamed at a very young age of riding down a long stretch of highway in a pack of bikes without a care in the world. They dreamed of open roads, freedom, parties that lasted days on end. Most important, they dreamed of an unbreakable bond to share with others. Something that was called brotherhood!

Fast forward to 2017. That dream of brotherhood has come too a screaming halt. The new Creed of biker is anything but what it truly was suppose too be about. Being a biker is no longer defined by brotherhood. It’s more defined by just picking up a bike and going out there acting the part.

Motorcycle clubs in particular have experienced the rash of so called fake brotherhood. Many of the true old timers are growing old and leaving the scene. They now leave clubs too the new generation, that generation is the ME generation, no care for the collective good of all. It’s all about what they can gain, not what the club as a whole can gain.

It’s not only clubs that are seeing a lack of true brotherhood. With the popularity of Harley in the 1990s, the biking world seen a influx of posers that would destroy the biking world forever. Never before in the history of biking did the lifestyle see a copycat form. Now what does that mean? Being a biker was a blue collar worker. The blood , sweat and tears of going to work everyday just to put food on the table. It was the one true get away from the enormous amount of pressure to make it in this world. With that getaway people were able to form tight bonds with others just like them. Back then brotherhood did have meaning. It was a way everyone got away from the bitch of what’s called life.

Then in the mid 90s things started to change a little. Harley Davidson started up the marketing campaigns and shifted it’s focus too higher earners. The Lifestyle started seeing more and more of the weekend warriors. The dealerships started to change as well. They went from humble setups too multi-million facilities. The marketing of a fake brotherhood began which continued full steam that led to reality shows like American Chopper and others.

Those two examples of change to the lifestyle brought a influx of people.into the Lifestyle that has forever changed it. Now I’m not only talking about the money, yea the big money from white collar hiked prices of the bikes out of reach to most blue collar (something Harley Davidson is paying for now, it’s sales are going down the drain.) But what also happened was a mix of lifestyle that wasn’t suppose to mix, therefore brotherhood was the one that suffered.

You have totally different peoples . One who really lives the lifestyle, then another who wants to play dress up. The one that wants to play dress up goes out, buys a bike and all the pretty leathers, then runs around calling everyone on a bike a brother. This reminds me of a time when I went into a bar. Dude comes up to bar orders a beer, looks at me and says “what’s up brother”. I looked at him and said “Didn’t know you came out of my mother’s vagina”. The stunned look on his face was priceless. Turns out idiot just bought a 25000 street glide the week before and was some idiot CPA .

Brother don’t hold any meaning for me anymore. Shit brotherhood at that don’t hold much meaning anymore. The words have been used so much without any backing from most, I ignore it now. I’ve see so called brotherhood first hand in clubs go down the drain. First sign of conflict it goes from brother to stab a brother in the back.

A lot of people are now seeing what I started seeing a long time ago. Bikers are falling into the mainstream, something that was against all our purpose . We were about freedom, now it has become a politically correct way of life. No longer is the lifestyle a brotherhood among like minded individuals. It’s just a catch phrase to look cool.

What’s your thoughts? Let’s see some comments and personal experiences .

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4 comments

  1. My father was a mechanic and his hobby was buying used vehicles, mostly cars, fixing them up and selling for a small profit. In 1961 through a trade for a station wagon he acquired for an army surplus Liberator WLA 45 cubic inch flathead motorcycle. He attached an ammo can on each side of the rear fender for saddlebags and I do not remember if he put it on or it came with it, but it had a police style windshield. He sat me , his 4 year old son in front of him on the tank and took me for my first motorcycle ride. I remember it like it was yesterday as I burned my foot and every day since that one I have gone to bed thinking of motorcycling and woke up thinking of motorcycling. Thank you Dad. I still have my father’s last motorcycle in my shop and it is going to my grandson upon my demise. I have to say even though my dad owned motorcycles all his life, he was a car guy. I introduced my sons and grandsons, along with my nephews, to motorcycles but it did not stick with them like it did with me. So I can’t explain the brotherhood thing or lack of it either. It is not generational. It is not a white color, blue color thing. Not sure what makes a motorcycle enthusiast become a biker. I am not even sure who is and who us not a biker, but I am sure most of the people on Harley Davidson motorcycles today are not like my old brothers. The guys I rode with in the 70’s and 80’s were my brothers. They were mechanics and fabricators, body men and painters. We all shared our expertise. That is how we were able to afford to ride our motorcycles, because our jobs were secondary to riding and brotherhood. Perhaps that is the difference between a motorcycle enthusiast and a biker?

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  2. I have been calling people I have respect for , and that includes most before they prove otherwise , “Bro.” from the 60s. It is the brotherhood of man to me. Respect until proven otherwise is my creed I have lived by. I have been inside the club life as an official (welcomed by the board of Club officers and introduced by members where I decided not to prospect but was welcomed to Hang around) hang around and really enjoy it but realistically waited too long to become a member, and not willing to put my family life after the Club.
    What you said : ” Being a biker was a blue collar worker. The blood , sweat and tears of going to work everyday just to put food on the table. It was the one true get away from the enormous amount of pressure to make it in this world. ” is completely true to me with very rare exceptions. This is the way it was in Nam with with combat troops; no officer’s club BS, guess I picked up the “Bro. ” thing there 🙂

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  3. Brotherhood is not gone. You know who’s your Brother and who’s a poser after a few words if not by first site. I rode since I was 14 and was in my mid 20s when people started calling me a biker. After that came a education at the school of hard knocks and eventually found true brotherhood

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  4. Well done. If you can count your true brothers on one hand your a lucky man. It pisses me off when someone i don’t know calls me brother just because he pulls up on his obviously first Harley. Brotherhood is not dead it’s left to the few that know what the word respect means
    Reddawg

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