No individual or organization works harder to perpetuate the mythology of "the biker lifestyle" than Paisano Publications. This juggernaut's arsenal includes apparel, events-management, magazines and internet resources all working in synch to bring chrome-plated pomp to the masses.
The shimmering jewel in Paisano's crown of thorns is Easyriders magazine. This once revered rag was founded by wily entrepreneurs in the 1960's to help grow their fortunes in the burgeoning biker business, and it worked like a charm. They say nothing succeeds like excess, and Easyriders' four decades of decadence proves it. Unfortunately for anyone who prefers the low road to high style, Easyriders' spin on two-wheeled living can be a little hard to swallow.
When they told this master builder to give the devil his due, he thought Satan wanted a citrus soda pop
While the rest of the big twin universe cooled its jets in a blanket of snow this January, Paisano kicked off their Easyriders Road Show under sunny skies at the LA County Fairgrounds in Pomona, CA. The ravaging effect of last year's rocky economy were evident at this event, but did nothing to temper Paisano's agenda. For proof, consider the nine-dollar fee for motorcycle parking, 12 duccats for cars and 18 dollars per person at the gate. Two Diet Cokes, one chili fries and a sack of sweet and salty nuts later and the five Andy Jacksons in my pocket were but a distant memory.
Despite it all, I stood behind a hundred people at the ticket counter, and watched what looked like a grey-haired Rose Bowl parade of Screamin' Eagle t-shirts, 'do rags and HOG vests wander past the Limpnickie booth for five hours. If billet barges and quadraphonic stereo baggers are gay, Los Angelino motorcyclists are the least homophobic people on earth.
"Hey bro, get me another beer—I'm gonna check out this Harley Knightster"
Of course, one upside in the down market has been the rise of the blue-collar builder. For every skeleton-clad concept bike at this year's ERS, I saw at least one Sportster-powered street tracker, flaked-out chopper or '70s-inspired digger. I didn't spend another 40 bucks to hear how these machines fared in the eyes of Easyrider judges on Sunday, but if the ghosts of Billy the Kid and Captain America are smiling, at least one Raiders fan with a Mexican blanket strapped to his 24-inch apes went home without a trophy.
"'Scuse me sir—do these chaps make my ass look gay?"
As drag queens go, this one is tits
Another Foundry Moto creation, this one built on a Spartan frame with square down tube
Green: the color of money, but not always the color of envy
Jason Wilson at Sacred Steel built this tasty shovelhead to share the pleasure of motorcycling with his lovely lady friend
My personal favorite throwback chopper was this tidy and tastefully adorned Ironhead. Unfortunately, I was too enthralled by the hijinx of the militant lesbians from Dykes on Bykes MC to remember the builder's name
If Geico can save 15 percent on car insurance, you'd think they could spend 15 dollars on real grips
The Douche LaRouche posse was in full force
Riverside Slim has been moonlighting on four-strokes. Square pipes are a trademark of this enthusiastic fabricator's Mad Max aesthetic
Conversation overhead between two braided beards in matching cuts: "My old lady used to have one of these Hondas. They're mean little bikes."
Take a little trip, take a little trip, take a little trip and see
Click here and here to learn more about Easyriders events and the roots of modern biker fashion