Welcome to IconicBikes.net, where we explore the history behind some of the most legendary motorcycles of the 20th and 21st centuries, along with the cultural epoch in which each model attained the status of timeless icon. We’ll also delve into some fun and interesting trivia about all sorts of other topics related to motorcycles, and the culture that developed around and alongside them.
Why motorcycles? If you’re reading this, chances are you already know the answer to that question. I mean, there’s something uniquely captivating, even exhilarating, about motorcycles, isn’t there? And that’s not just an empty platitude formed from the building blocks of nearly a century of marketing campaigns and sales pitches – it’s an obvious truth. Well, a truth to anyone who has ever straddled a steel stallion, at least, from the humblest little moped to the most vicious, barely-controllable racing machine; when you crack that throttle open and the forces unleashed by the combustion of petroleum vapors propel you forward, a part of your heart and soul is roused from its state of hibernation, and, crackling with new energy, it sings with unbridled joy.
Okay, so why iconic motorcycles? And what makes a motorcycle “iconic” anyway? Well, to answer the first question, there are already about a million blogs out there bringing you news on and reviews of the newest, shiniest, most technologically advanced models, and the latest, greatest, fastest, lightest, most stylish, most expensive bikes on the market. That sort of stuff has been the bread and butter of bike magazines for decades now, and blogs like that are a dime a dozen. This blog is not one of those. This page is for those who appreciate the spread of history, who are quietly amazed at how ideas have evolved at such a blistering pace in our recent past, who like to look at what has been and imagine what will come, and who love the bittersweet, never-tangible taste of nostalgia on their lips, like the kiss of a long-lost lover.
To answer the second question, about what makes any particular bike “iconic”, well I guess it’s a pretty subjective thing. However, we can list a few criteria for elevating any particular machine to icon status: one would be how innovative or impressive it was in its time, another the degree of influence it had on motorcycling culture, one more would be whether it managed in some or another way to stand head and shoulders above its peers, and yet another, whether it greatly changed the way bikes that came after it were designed, built, sold and ridden.
In addition to talking about iconic motorcycles, this is also a page for those who enjoy studying recent history and the cultural trends of recent decades too. Motorcycles did not develop in a vacuum, and while cultural forces and movements changed the way bikes were designed, sold and ridden, motorcycles themselves, in an Ouroboros-style feedback loop, influenced many aspects of global culture. Movements and subcultures sprang up, centered around the cult of the motorcycle, from the Hell’s Angels in the US to the mods in Britain to the bōsōzoku in Japan, and these movements in turn influenced everything from movies, TV shows, music and comic books to action figures, toys and, hell, even fashion. The greatest truth in Nature and the universe is that everything is connected – and at Iconic Bikes we’re just exploring a few tiny links.
So go on, find a bike on the site that speaks to your soul and read up on it. No, actually, go find a ton of bikes on the site that make your heart sing, because as any red-blooded biker knows, motorcycles are just like Pringles and tattoos – once you pop, you just can’t stop. And if you’re not in the mood for reading, well then what are you doing looking at a screen? Go hop on your bike – iconic machine or not – and get that motor rippin’! As much of a cliché as it is, there’s nothing like the wind in your hair, the roar of motorcycle tailpipes in your ear and the landscape rushing by beneath you at speed to make you feel like you’re wonderfully, completely alive.