Lawlessness, rampant sexual promiscuity, theft, gambling, drugs and being a general menace to society are the stripes motorcycle riders wear… 40 years ago! No doubt the image of motorcycling in the U.S. hit a low spot starting in 1947 with the infamous, and allegedly staged, photo of a Boozefighter motorcycle club member surrounded by empty beer bottles in the gutter, lying next to his bike. There’s more detail to that story, but this incident eventually became the premise for the Marlon Brando classic, “The Wild Ones.”
A couple decades later, during the ‘60s and ‘70s, the Hell’s Angels became the face of all that was wrong with motorcycling in the public’s mind. Since then it’s only been in the past 15 or 20 years that motorcycling seems to have largely made a full public image recovery. Though there’s still a faction or two that seem to keep biking with one foot in the grave. Regardless, in the U.S. the image of motorcycles and riding them has come light years from where it once was for a very long time.
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