Classic Bike Cult Feature: The Rockers v the Mods


With their aura of spirited romanticism and devil-may-care attitude, the Rockers essentially took the sport of motorcycle racing and turned it into a street-based lifestyle statement, and, in the process, they ended up creating a motorcycle riding culture that has endured the test of time over the decades. Currently, the world over there is an increasing interest in this sub-culture from half-a-century ago. The reason? A desire to indulge in what these modern-day Rockers claim to be ‘real motorcycling’. Most Rocker aficionados claim that bikes today have become far too clinical and technologically advanced to be really enjoyable. They, therefore, prefer riding classic originals whenever they can get their hands on one. Today the groups are also peppered with enthusiasts who like the riding stance and feel of the classic café racers of old but with the reliability that is endemic to modern machines. As a result, their bikes may look old, but are actually spanking new machines, some featuring such contemporary technology as monoshocks, electronic fuel injection and disc brakes.

Classic Bike Cult Feature The Rockers v the Mods (5)

Classic Bike Cult Feature The Rockers v the Mods (9) But don’t let any of this mislead you, for they are just as loyal to the Rocker cause as any of the rest. It’s a deep sense of brotherhood that ties these modern-day Rockers to others of their kind. The espousal of this brotherhood, in fact, ran right down to the way this bunch of two-wheeler enthusiasts kit themselves up, mirroring the look of the original gangs from the 1950s and ’60s. A pair of jeans, strong black boots and a black leather jacket (preferably with a variety of bike-related badges and patches) combined with an open face helmet and goggles complete the Rocker look even today, just as it did 50 years ago. The difference being that the original Rockers took to this particular form of clothing out of necessity. This was the best kind of protection money could buy for café and jukebox racing. The fact that this look was made immortal by Hollywood celebrity Marlon Brando in the epic 1953 film, ‘The Wild One’, made it a cool lifestyle statement as well. Today they are a lifestyle statement more than anything else; yet another way to re-live the glorious past and delve deep into the world of nostalgia.

 

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Aninda Sardar – who has written posts on Bike India.



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