As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, habits and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off the sidecar.
You should never be afraid to pick up a passenger or two.
So much as we admire the solitary drive of the motorcycle, we have to admit, it’s missing something. A place for a navigator, or a passenger who doesn’t have to cling to your back all the way through Nebraska. Room for company—otherwise known as a sidecar.
You don’t hear much about biker culture as an influence on modern day designers, partly because the references are hard to name. John Varvatos usually gets a few references to The Wild One, but that’s like tracking British suiting back to James Bond. The look had to come from somewhere…
Rin Tanaka’s Harley-Davidson Book of Fashions gives a pretty good explanation of where. Covering the 1910-1950, Tanaka tracks the evolution of the bike from a useful novelty to a badge of outsider status, along with 40 years worth of bike helmets, any one of which would be enough to get a fledgling designer noticed.
With gas prices showing no signs of slowing, we may be on the cusp of a scooter renaissance, so the book couldn’t have come at a better time. It may not have our favorite biker jacket, but it’s got more inspiration than anything we’ve seen on the racks lately.