Our friends over at SouthSiders MC run one of the hands-down, best bike sites going, and were kind enough to feature TSY in their ongoing feature called “Your Favorite Five”, which pretty much speaks for itself. Picking just five bikes is near impossible, so there may be a sequel coming up…
\Via SouthSiders MC–
Blogs have become an incredible tool of communication, bringing over a decade a level of power to the multimedia publishing that print barely reached in a century.
Nevertheless, the rules remain the same : real & exclusive content, real writing, real photography make the difference that provides readers and not zappers. The Selvedge Yard is among the best true web publications. Based on the fascination for “Americana” and the American style, his maker, Jon Patrick is also a fashion contibutor to the Italian men’s fashion ruler GQ. Jon’s roots are plugged into the American Movie History.
Some for beauty, some for brawn – all for their importance. How do you pick five? Should I stick to the classics, so its apples to apples? We’ll see…
Harley Davidson’s dominating, and sexy as all hell, flat track racer. First introduced in 1970, and seriously upgraded in 1972 as the aluminum “Alloy XR”, it not only became an icon on the dirt track, it was also Evel Knievel‘s weapon of choice. With its classic H-D orange/black graphic appeal and clean, uncluttered form – it’s a bike for the ages.
Husqvarna 1970 400 Cross
Husky’s icon that became synonymous with another icon – Steve McQueen. Featured in his 1971 film, “On Any Sunday“, Husqvarnas were the most badass and beautiful motocross bikes of their day, with their 400 Cross becoming a highly coveted classic. The legendary Malcolm Smith tore it up alongside McQueen on an innovative eight-speed Husky 250, which he also used to handily dominate the competitive off-road circuit. Hell yeah, Husky!
In the 1950s, there were more Triumphs sold in the U.S. than any other country. Their top-end Thunderbird 650cc vertical twin, with a little tinkering, could top out at 130 mph. A great bike, but fairly limited in offering. They were available in one color only – blue. So when public demand cried-out for a black Triumph, they finally released the Blackbird in 1953 – and it still slays me every time I lay eyes on her. Another important note – Brando, a motorcyclist himself, rode his own ’50 Thunderbird in the iconic film, “The Wild One”.
This beauty once belonged to none other than, you guessed it – Steve McQueen. Here you see the motorcycle company’s iconic Indian Head logo on the fuel tank. I personally prefer the pared-down Scout over the heavy-looking Chief, but they are beauties too. By the 1940s, Indians began to sport stunning paint jobs with up to 24 colors available, and several two-tone options – making them some of the most beautiful bikes ever produced.
Harley-Davidson Captain America Chopper
Growing up in the ’70s, there were 2 bikes that were emblazoned in my mind – Evel Knievel’s H-D XR-750, and Easy Rider’s Captain America Chopper. The vision of Peter Fonda, it was built by (I love this part…) a Black brother – Ben Hardy from Los Angeles, starting with an old ’52 Panhead Hydra-Glide bought at a Police Auction. It became an instant icon that brought choppers to the forefront of motorcycling, and really raised the bar for custom builds. Two were built for Easy Rider – one survived. Hell yeah, Captain America!
It’s hard to stop at five, I feel a “Part II” coming on…
Nicely done! My favorite of these 5…. The Husqvarna. Reminds me of the current Triumph Scrambler, but with more dirt on it.
I was fifteen when I discovered “Easy rider” , just after Tommy by the Who, this wild world that you never come back with all your faculties.
This is My Generation…
Thanks a lot Jon
No, thank you Vincent. The pleasure and the privilege was mine.
An immaculate selection of lovely machines!
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dude, your taste is impeccable , I have been riding since I was old enough to stand. Wrecked a few. Loved allot, moreover recognized the difference of what was trendy and what will never go out of style. Theses bikes are the epitome of Americana. Thanks for reminding me. I am riding my Indian in VT hate the state, love the roads
You “hate” Vermont? Never heard anyone say that before. Why?
probably because it’s near Connecticut….I hear ya.
Oh man! I watched Roger DeCoster race his Suzuki against Malcom on his Husky! Those were amazing days. That 2 stroke smell is like the smell of victory! (Thank you RD)
I own a restored ’83 Husqvarna 430xc. Basically the same bike with white fenders instead of chrome, and the exhaust is different. Love to look at it, love to ride it for short periods. The 2 stroke Swedish vibration is un-freaking-real, and the power is awesome.
Nice selection. Good lookin’ out for mentioning Ben Hardy from L.A. My father knew him. Very few people know that he built the most recognizeable Harley-Davidson chopper ever. Classic.
that HD 750 was the same one that Mert Lawwill rode for much of On any Sunday? That Triump Blackbird makes my knees weak…. What I wouldn’t do for one of those!!!!!
I’m drooling.Especially over the 1940 Indian Scout (in black thought).
One of my father’s collection is that Husky. Talk about vi vi vibration! Ba ding ga ding ga ding.
i’m having withdrawls JP where oh where art thou !!! I miss your posts.. the desert is drying up .. hurry save Brittany and I!
You are too kind!
I’m here, and ready to jump back in. Had to take a summer hiatus and focus on some important matters.
Was the HD really Evel’s ride by choice? I remember reading that he preferred Triumph because it had better balance, but that HD was throwing money at him to use theirs, so he switched. Perfectly happy to be corrected if I’m wrong.
I actually have essentially that same Triumph in the window of Self Edge San Francisco right now.. it’s a 1950 Triumph Thunderbird, same model/year/color that Brando rode in the Wild One.
Come on! No Bultaco, Montesa, OSSA??? Should I remind you how they won year after year the ISDE, etc? You can even spot them ON ANY SUNDAY…
The 28 Sport Scout Indian was better. Still ridden by Wall of Death riders, I think the leaf spring front end machines on your wall of death post show a few.
Another terrific piece but nothing since May. I’m getting antsy waiting for your next slab or inimitable Americana.
nice choices…my personal favourites, in no particular order, are vincent ‘b’ 1000, xr750, es2 norton 500, britten v1000, vespa 150…but then, they change more often than my girlfriends
1. 1935 Brough Superior SS80
2. 1973 Kawasaki Z900
3. 1954 Norton Manx
4. 1975 Ducati Super Sport 900
5. 1971 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport
I am greatly compelled to tell you how much I connect with SO MANY of the icons and eras you delve into. Of the things I am most acquainted with (many of which I have collected and owned through the years), you have really provided me with an amazing awareness of the depth of the “value” they each have with your comprehensive and informed perspective.
For the few topics that I am not exceptionally familiar with, I thank you for expanding my appreciation for the “fringe cultural gems” that you regularly unearth and expose for us all. Speaking of fringe, I had no idea what selvedge meant…EXCELLENT use of the word.
I have shared your blog with a number of twenty somethings for it is like showing someone a chunk of my life; many of the things in life that influenced me through the years. So much of it takes me to the romantic image I have of the 70’s as a child.
One icon that comes to mind regarding the 70’s is the VW bus, WITH the “pot top” of course. We took a trip from Milwaukee to California in the early to mid 70’s (heard Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot a million times on the road coming over the AM). The thing broke down a few times and my father had to leave my mother, sister and I in some small town in Nevada as he went to go get parts. I LOVED sleeping in the “pop top”!
My dad had a theory about the VW busses. He claimed that the ones with the “pop top” would always have a driver with a full beard, where as the drivers of the solid top would not. I am here to tell you that he was nearly always right…even up into the early 1980’s!
Anyway, thank you very much for all of your work and please know that it does influence my persona as a designer and leader in the world of creativity.
Please keep up the good work!