A quote from Life, America, and the Road by Jefe Smith:
At the end of WWII the U.S. saw the influx of nearly a half million young, recently discharged and disoriented war vets who were experiencing the aftermath of the horrors of war, well before someone coined the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Simultaneously the Army was cheaply ridding itself of thousands of surplus Harley Davidson motorcycles for which it now had no use. The surplus men and machines formed a bond that began the biker movement, saving the U.S. Military from a pile of therapy expense. There is a saying, “You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist’s office.” That saying is largely true.
Generally we get great feedback. Unfortunately, we get some strange ones sometimes. Michael K. has a website dedicated to bicycle riding. Isn’t that nice? He can’t seem to understand what skulls and wings have to do with motorcycling, and implied that the use of skulls and wings in the YouMotorcycle logo was “for your blog to appear “bad ass” enough to entice the “tattoo crowd”?”
Michael, the truth is about to set you free.
Skulls and wings have as much to do with motorcycling, as squished manhood and one piece spandex unitards have to do with bicycling.
Allow me to explain… but first…
Here’s Michael K.’s email – so you can read it in his own words:
From: Michael K****
Subject: YM logo Message Body: Hello, I find your blog informative. At the same time I wonder about your choice of the logo – winged skulls. Your writing looks reasonable, yet you chose low energy (read: fairly negative) symbols to represent you. Is it perhaps for your blog to appear “bad ass” enough to entice the “tattoo crowd”? I find this seeming incongruence fascinating.
What do skulls and wings have to do with motorcycling?
Thanks for the email. It’s not every day I get one like that, and it seems pretty damn subjective. Winged skulls are low energy, and fairly negative? Incongruent to motorcycling? Really? To who?
Wings and skulls and motorcycles have gone hand in hand for over half a century. Many World War II veterans took up motorcycling after the war. They formed their own clubs and some clubs used insignias from their military divisions. Skulls began to pop up on motorcycles and motorcycle clothing because military divisions discovered that painting daisies on fighters wasn’t the most effective way of intimidating the enemy.
Fast forward to the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Through cutting edge research and development, Japanese motorcycles had pushed the limits and become the dominant breed of motorcycles. Honda was arguably the leader of the pack and Honda’s logo throughout this era was winged.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, many Hondas came from factory with large painted wings incorporated in the design of the motorcycles. Today, over 50 years later, a winged logo still represents Honda’s Powersports division and manufacturers such as Harley-Davidson have invoked the skull as part of their marketing.
If you’re telling me skulls and wings are “incongruent” with motorcycling, and that YouMotorcycle only uses them in the logo to appear “bad ass” so as to appeal to the “tattoo crowd” you must be right. What the hell do I know? I’m just the guy who worked in the motorcycle industry for a few years and gets 80,000 monthly visitors on his motorcycle blogs.
You’re the expert, right? I mean, you’re not just jumping to assumptions or anything… are you?
Because I noticed something a little peculiar in Photoshop today…
See I was playing around with the images used in this post…
When I realized something…
Remember when I said the truth will set you free? Well…
Motorcycles, wings, and skulls, all go hand in hand. They have for the better half a century. That’s not going to change.
This site isn’t about appearing bad ass, or enticing a “tattoo crowd.” This site is dedicated to motorcycling as a way of life. If you don’t like it, pedal yourself out.
— Sara Kae (@TheRealSaraKae) August 26, 2017