Thévenet, Jean-Marc: Motorbikes and Counterculture
Riding – an escape from routine, a revolt against the dictates of society, a flight into other worlds, real or imaginary, the road to freedom
As a symbol of liberation and rebellion, the motorcycle has played a starring role in movies since the 1950s and helped to create youth icons such as James Dean and Marlon Brando. In 1969, for example, the heroes of Easy Rider straddled their choppers and crossed an unruly and disaffected America, with its hippie communes and its libertarian and utopian ideals. Not only movies, but also literature, art and fashion rose up against the established order. ”Counterculture” was born, and out of it came moderns knights on shining Honda CB750s, Kawasaki Z1s, and Suzuki T500s.
Forever seeking new ways of life, riders throw off society’s shackles and take off on round-the-world tours or in rally raids such as The Dakar. The latest generation of riders has taken the pursuit of freedom in a new direction, turning counterculture into custom culture. For them, biking means seeking an identity as well as breaking boundaries and exploring worlds beyond the horizon.
It is this passion for revolt, for adventure, for a life on the edge that this book celebrates.