Table of contents:
- Post-war motorization of the USSR
- American roots of biker culture
- Iron dreams of Soviet motorcyclists
- Why motorcyclists became rockers
In the USSR, where for a long time personal cars were not available or were only available to a few owners, the popularity of motorcycles reached large-scale proportions. Motorcycle transport has positively established itself during the Great Patriotic War and in the post-war period, motorcyclists only increased.
Over time, the motorcycle environment gave rise to the first interest clubs in the Soviet Union. Not without Western influence, they poured into a massive rocker movement that swept the entire country.
Post-war motorization of the USSR
After the Great Patriotic War, the "motorization" of the Soviet Union moved at an accelerated pace. The only thing is that now the modernization has gone in peaceful directions. Affordable motorcycles were rapidly becoming a common means of transportation for citizens of all ages and communities.
Motor vehicles were used to transport all kinds of goods, in particular, country-house and garden building materials; Soviet citizens traveled on it. By the mid-60s, motorcycles, scooters and mopeds were produced by several factories at once. IZH, produced in that period with annual volumes of up to 350,000, were slightly inferior in quality to their foreign counterparts.
In the 1970s, buying a car became more affordable and easier, so the adult generation for the most part switched to them. Now the place for motorcycles as an everyday means of transport remains in the villages. Among the urban population, only young people were mainly interested in two-wheeled vehicles. The boys were familiar with motorcycles from adolescence, helping their fathers to maintain and repair them. Then it was a common thing for the boys to collect spare parts from junkyards.
The technique was improved and sorted out with their own hands, many visited the karting and motocross sections, perfectly managing the mechanisms. Growing up, young guys already bought the first light motorcycles themselves, relatively inexpensive. So, for example, the domestic "Voskhod" in the 70s cost customers 450 rubles, which was equal to 3-4 average salaries. Approximately within the same limits, plus or minus 200 rubles, cost "Minsk", "IZH Planeta", "IZH Planeta Sport". If we compare it with the cheapest vehicles, then for the same "Zaporozhets" it was necessary to pay more than 3000 rubles.
American roots of biker culture
In the 50s of the last century, the biker movement grew stronger in the United States. Bikers initiated themselves as representatives of the protest environment. These people opposed themselves to the state foundations common to all, aiming at new opportunities and the widest possible freedoms. As already noted, it was during this period that the motorcycle became most popular in the USSR. And when respectable Soviet citizens moved to cars, young people remained in the motorcycle environment.
And where there is youth, there is also a free rebellious spirit. When this wave hit our country, bikers transformed into rockers. In the USSR, fans of fast motorcycling began to be called that way. This new trend was an excuse for young people to get together, discuss their iron horses, jointly participate in motorcycle races and associate themselves with a certain freedom. Motorcyclists often attended special training courses, where they received the skills of virtuoso handling of their motorcycle.
Soviet rockers gathered for motorcycle parties, as a rule, in the evenings. First, there were long detailed conversations, and then the company would sit on their motorcycles and set off in an extended column towards the adventure.There were also occasional conflicts between motorcyclists and the Soviet militia. It happened that the most zealous racers even ran into the gun barriers of the traffic police. After all, many drove around elementary without a driver's license.
Iron dreams of Soviet motorcyclists
By the 80s, the Soviet Union could offer the buyer a decent motorcycle line. Most often, of course, the guys drove inexpensive models (Minsk and Voskhod), the more prestigious were IZH Planeta and Jupiter. But the most cherished dream of the rocker of that period were "Java" and "Chezet". "Java" was supplied to the Soviet Union since the 50s, and by the 70s over a million representatives of the Czechoslovak motorcycle industry were traveling around the country.
For a long time Java-638 was considered a fashionable model, the release of which began in 1984. The motorcycle was distinguished by a decent power of 26 hp. S. and developed a speed of up to 120 km / h. If a passionate person did not have a motorcycle, he made every effort to acquire it, for a long time denying himself in many ways. Motorcycles were much cheaper than cars, but the required sums were still significant.
Why motorcyclists became rockers
In the USSR, rockers who never became bikers were initially associated in the 80s with Soviet rock music fans. Representatives of this informal youth association tried to copy the style of cowboys, and then American bikers. As a rule, fans of the hard rock genre have already ridden motorcycles in large cities.
And it just so happened that the term "rocker" confidently spread to all young motorcyclists, regardless of their musical preferences. Rockers strove to get pleasure from speed, bringing, in their opinion, free chaos into the well-worn everyday life of Soviet reality.
Similar sections of motocross and go-kart were generally available, at least within the city limits. The trainings were of high quality and free of charge. Official motorcycle traffic was regulated by a special state committee and regulations for motorcycle tourism. Rockers' associations often traveled the farthest distances within their country. Fortunately, the country was huge. The Soviet Union included absolutely all climatic zones with the exception of the tropics, so the routes of motorcyclists could not be repeated for years.