Motorcycle culture must look pretty funny from an outsider. You have your douchebag sportbike squids riding in groups of 100 smashing side mirrors off cars. Grease-bag wannabe hell’s angels dressed like…. pirates I guess? And don’t forget the dorky BMW riders with $20k “Adventure Bikes”, geared up in 5 grand worth of Touratech accessories for their next big adventure titled the “Short way to Starbucks”. Then along comes the scarf wearing bearded Hipster, who has infiltrated the motorcycle scene for better or for worse.
Hipster subculture is a blessing and a curse. Hipsters have taken the plaid shirts that I have been wearing my whole life and made them trendy. They have also helped provide every city and town with gourmet restaurants, independent coffee shops, local breweries, and food trucks. These are all things I appreciate. Hipsters also piss me off. Because of them, no matter how tight my jeans are, my wife doesn’t think they are skinny enough. They grow fantastic breads, which I am extremely jealous of. Pabst Blue Ribbon sucks. And I now feel shitty about myself when I don’t buy certified-fair-trade-organic-free range-gluten-lactose-free motor oil.
Hipster hating rants are all over the internet, Look no further. Some say Hipsters are ruining the “motorcycle scene”, they are qualified to make these statements because they are “real bikers” (sarcasm). Some think of the hipster riding their neo-retro or café racer as a poser, riding only to maintain their hipster image. Sure they wear stupid retro helmets and dress completely inappropriately for riding. Maybe they do hack apart old bikes in an effort to pass them off as custom, the very same bike you would like to see restored to its original glory. Perhaps they don’t understand what café racers are all about. None of that matters, what matters is that they are buying and riding motorcycles.
“Inventive, youthful and free-spirited, the new Ducati Scrambler is much more than a bike, it’s a land of joy, freedom and self-expression.” – Ducati. While that marketing ploy makes me want to vomit, it hits home with many of its customers. Ducati launched the Scrambler with an obvious target customer, the urban Hipster. Not only did Hipsters inspire Ducati to make a great motorcycle, they have inspired a full line up. Ducati now has the Scrambler Icon, Urban Enduro, Classic and Full Throttle versions. In an interview with Ryan Kluftinger of Canada’s Motorcycle a Ducati Rep said that Ducati wants the Scrambler to be a brand, not a model. Just like the Mini is to BMW. Triumph actually came out with the retro-scrambler first, but Ducati may have perfected it. Now Yamaha has thrown their hat in the ring and released the XSR700, which is getting some early praise in the industry. The bottom line is that Hipsters are keeping manufactures creative.
Whether they are on a bike to be part of a fad, or riding because they truly enjoy it; at least they are riding. The hipster motorcycle sub-culture is thriving and that results in one thing, more riders. More riders equals:
- More motorcycles to choose from
- Better gear selection
- More motorcycle events
- More motorcycle content
- Increased motorcycle awareness
- Helping introduce motorcycles to a new generation of riders
- Helping to improve public perception of bikers. I mean no one ever mistakes a Hipster for a criminal bike gang member.
- And creating a market for bikes that were once considered undesirable
So whether you are riding a hacked up CB, a Bonni, or a brand new scrambler; it doesn’t matter what you’re riding or what you look like when you do it - just get out there and ride.
Words by Ben Reynolds. Read More at The Perfect Line - All Things Motorcycle Blog