Hell’s Angels

Barger’s transformation from wild one to mild one was complete when he abandoned his allegiance to the Angels’ most sacred icon of freedom and individuality. “Personally, I don’t like Harleys,” he confessed. “I ride them because I’m in the club and that’s the image, but if I could I would seriously consider riding a Honda . . . we really missed the boat not switching over to those Japanese models.”

22 thoughts on “Hell’s Angels”

  1. Harleys are shite; unreliable, uncomfortable and lacking in performance; even a modern British bike is far superior, and Brit bikes have always ridden better TBH.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    A Hells Angels club came past us when we were in Northumberland recently. They were all 60s plus and riding very sedately and courteously.

    Anyway, like soldiers: There are wild angels, there are mild angels, but there are no old wild angels.

  3. I rode a Honda. Nice machine and very reliable. Alas all I have now is a Honda mower – always starts first time at the press of a button. Much like the bike.

  4. Harley-Davidson – a machine for turning gasoline into noise without any of that unnecessary power or torque.

    Harleys are so expensive now that when we see a group of them go by, mrs llamas and me smile and say “There they go – Hell’s Optometrists”.



  5. I almost bought one of those Kawasaki W650’s but then built a wood-fired sauna in my back garden instead, proper stove with rocks and everything. Also bought a Fiskars axe for chopping kiln-dried logs sourced locally, just because I care about the environment, I would never use green wood.

  6. Didn’t Yamaha start as a music company, I was once told that’s the reason for the tuning fork logo

  7. My granddad bought me a Yamaha classical guitar in the 70’s for 650 FMK. Nice quality guitar. All the other cousins including my brother opted for a piano to learn – 10,000 each. I felt cheated.

  8. Yamaha made reed organs too. I always thought that it would have made a great story if one of the motorcycle engineers had gone into the organ bit of the factory and seen one of the reeds and thought, “You know what, I could solve the problem of symmetrical port timing with this”.

  9. Harley-Davidson make 2-wheel articulated lorries, I suspect they’re driven around in packs because if you drop one it needs at least 3 people to pick it up again. TBF if you live in a big empty state with a lowish speed limit and where bends in the road come along every 25 miles or so, it’s probably quite cool pretending you’re Dennis Hopper.

  10. Barger was scum. He and his buds made riding into a less safe thing for the millions who weren’t his fellow scum but who looked like they were simply because they were on bikes. I imagine we’ll see countless paeans to him next month at the Sturgis rally as all the wannabe dentists and brokers don their Hell’s Angels attire and quit shaving for a week to show off their $38,000 bikes and their outlaw cred.

  11. The opinion about the Hog from a Yank biker I heard was they’re popular because you can fix pretty well anything on the with a handful spanners in a field. Not a factor one’s needs to worry about in a weekend ride out of the suburbs but different if you live on the bike out in Americas great open spaces. Same as cars isn’t it? The modern ones are OK if you live where there’s technical back up. If you’re hundreds of miles from it you want something basic you can keep running. If I was trying to fill that requirement I’d probably be doing it with something from before the eighties. Not nearly as reliable as modern cars but when they go wrong you can get ’em back running with baling wire & empty beer cans.

  12. Having ridden bikes since I was 13 (around the fields) I have had the pleasure of cocking a leg over many of them. Barger was right, the Harleys didn’t go, didn’t handle and more importantly didn’t stop. Awful things. I’d totally agree with Dr. K.A. Rodgers, my CBR1100XX Blackbird is still the best bike I ever owned. Over 50,000 miles in 5 years, never missed a beat. BiS’s yank friend is sort of 1/2 right. You needed to keep a bag of tools with you on a harley for when you broke down. The defining thing with the Jap bikes was a tiny vestigal tool kit, that you never needed, because they never let you down.

  13. I still have the same paper driving licence (laminated now, so frail around the edges) I got when I was 17. Valid until 2036. Good for everything except the biggest lorries. One driving licence for life.

  14. Harley-Davidson road bikes:

    They go forwards well, but don’t like corners or braking – ie built for sedate US cruising

  15. Jussi: I had the same green UK paper licence for 35 years until I was 70. It was in several pieces at the end. I now have the crappy plastic one with a 3 year lifetime and I can no longer drive trucks bigger than 3.5 tonnes. I could have kept the C1 category with a doctor’s certificate but since I only ever used the privilege once before, it didn’t seem worth the bother.

  16. One of my friends recently sold his Harley after hearing his (Kawasaki-riding) sons discussing “dad’s mobility-scooter”.. 🙂

  17. @Jussi
    I still have the same paper driving licence

    I too still have the same GB paper driving licence plus an NI driving licence

    If I was ever banned, I wasn’t banned

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