By : Robert “Ghost” Hawkins
This is more of a random comparison between the old and the new.We see guy’s compare the “new” guy’s, their lack of knowledge or understanding of the “old” ways and we tend to look back and view the rear-view mirror fondly.
We as old fuckers think we have this vast amount of knowledge that we can instill in the new up coming generation of bikers. It really doesn’t matter club or not; I have been both independent and clubber at different times in my life so I see the same set of differences.
The problem is this.Both generations are right, we are both ignorant and we both think we are smarter. This is because one has experience and one has a better education.
Let’s start with the bikes. When I was young every “biker” wanted a Harley, Indian or possibly a Triumph. No “Jap Crap”.
Those of us that had Kawasaki‘s, Honda’s or Suzuki‘s really only had them because we didn’t have the money to buy a Harley or the mechanical ability to keep an old Harley on the road.
I had Suzuki’s and Yamaha‘s in between Harleys. Back then the “clubbers” wanted nothing to do with the guy’s riding imports. That was just a fact. It wasn’t based on anything except our feeling that real “bikers” supported “American Made” bikes period. Well, let me tell you. I had a couple Shovelheads and they were basically a labor of love because they sure weren’t reliable transportation.
Insane Throttle Facebook question of the day – Is it the newer generation of bikers that have it all right ? Is the Old ways of doing things wrong? Should we be learning from them instead?
I remember riding with a large group on a “club sponsored” ride back in 79. I think I was on a Suzuki 100L at the time and one of my best friends had a 750L. The ride was like 200 miles to go camping and partying for the weekend. He and I left the whole group 50 miles in when the 3rd break down of a Shovel happened. Our Suzuki’s didn’t need mechanics.
Now some of the old-time guy’s will tell you some bullshit about that time frame and how flawless their old Shovel was blah blah blah. Until Harley built the Evo,they never built dependable anything.
Back then the “young” guy’s saw the real world as it had to do with bikes.Being a biker had nothing to do with the type of bike you had and the truth was having one that ran was way more enjoyable than having one that sat on the side of the road all the time waiting for the chase truck.
The old fuckers just looked back with cloudy vision and selective memory. A lot like nowadays. Back then us young guy’s thought the old guy’s sitting on the side of the road didn’t know shit about being a biker.They were just decent mechanics that rode bikes.
A lot of young guys probably view us now in the same way.
Nowadays the old guys sit around talking about how much better the world was and how much tighter we were as a group because we all had to ride to an event to see each other. We talk about how in our day you rode around from bar to bar to put up posters for a poker ride and we really knew the area. We look at these “young” guys and think they don’t know shit about brotherhood and being a biker.
The young guy’s now probably look at us old fucks and say ” Boy you OGs sure waste a lot of time doing shit I can do on FB in 15 minutes”. They are right.
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While they are picking up the hot hard body broads to ride on the back of their bikes we are sitting around in the bar drinking PBR and pretending we could ride as well as they can at that age. I never in my life seen a dude on Harley going 95 mph on the back wheel down 294 splitting lanes while his old lady was on back in a thong. An ass you could bounce a goddamn quarter off of. I think I have seen about 50 young guys doing it and every time I shake my head and think “what an ASS” and I am envious.
While we are coming up with shit we have to teach them about being a biker, they are out riding 150 miles an hour on their way to do shit we never even thought about.
I remember bikes with points, condensers, and carbs. Tires with inner tubes and spoke wheels. I remember sealed beam headlights and fucking AM radios and when no one ever had to choose the type of gas at the pump. We only had one kind. I remember chains on your bikes and oiling them.
I could go on and on. But what I remember most, was all the times the OGs told us young guy’s how much better it used to be. Well let me tell you, they were nuts. Fuel injection, electronic ignition, mag wheels and LED headlights are way fucking better than the shit they had ; I don’t even mind having to choose which type of gas I use while sitting at the station listening to the Allman Brothers Station on Pandora.
In the club world. We keep talking about how we used to make a guy hang around for a year and probate for another year before we patched them in. We talk about how much more solid guys were back in the day and how we never had the same amount of problems with CIs and Rats. Some of us should start to remember a lot of the guys rolling over and talking to get out of shit now days were brought into club life by OGs. We created the monster by never listening or learning to the young guy’s and their opinions.
We believe the old ways are the only ways. Just like the OGs before told me about how an S&S carb was always going to be a better choice than FI, they were wrong. Maybe us telling young guys how to make a biker, who is solid and how to make sure you do the proper research and background checking are antiquated.
Maybe technology is not all bad. We live with the drama in the club world now and it makes me wonder why I don’t see any of these Sport Bike clubs caught up in the dirty shit. Why they are not shooting each other over patches and who is riding what.
Perhaps the answer is they are way more technologically adept and they are way ahead of OGs in how to stay under the radar. Maybe they learn more about the background of their brothers to be in 20 minutes on a computer than us old fucks learned in 20 months of old-school research.The other option? Perhaps many of the bikers today figured out the one part of the club life and the mc world as a whole that many of us OGs seem to have forgotten.
Being a biker is about riding a bike. Living for the freedom and experience it is not about the type or age of the bike you ride or justifying your views about how to be one, or what qualifies you as one.
I have been independent, and in clubs in my life, I have ridden a lot of miles and been on both sides of the line many times. Through all of that the one constant has been, it is about the ride.
My oldest daughter told me when she was about 12. “Dad you are a Biker like I am a Christian, It is not what you do it is who you are”.
I have never heard a better description.
Spring is here in the north country. Let’s ride.
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