One Percenter by Dave Nichols – book review

One Percenter by Dave Nichols

One Percenter: The Legend of The Outlaw Biker by Dave Nichols is both boring and interesting. I guess it depends on how you feel about history books. At first I couldn’t get into it, then I couldn’t put it down.

Dave Nichols is the editor in chief of Easyriders and V-Twin magazines.  He has authored two other motorcycle books published by Motorbooks as well as this piece (Riding on the Edge by John Hall is also published by Motorbooks). Given his background as editor of Easyriders he is obviously qualified to create a professional, well written account of the history behind Outlaw Bikers… which is what he has done here.

This is a history book covering the birth of the 1%er and motorcycle clubs from the beginning of time to the publication date of 2007.  If you find history boring, don’t pick this up. But if you’re like me and fascinated by all things motorcycle, then you need to read this. If you desire to be a walking talking encyclopedia of biker knowledge then this book is an absolute must read!

Who is the 1%er? Ninety-nine percent of us conform to the dictates of society, the rest are outlaws! Rebels living outside the confines of society are One Percenters! The motorcycle community offers sanctuary to the 1%er. This book is an education on who, what, when, where and why of the One Percenter. It’s the history of men who attack life head on no holds barred! Those who do what they want when they want! Those who have No Fear! Starting with the barbarian hordes of Huns, Mongols and Vikings this book takes you back to the beginning. The history lesson continues with tyranical pirates, wild west gunslingers, courageous frontiersmen and cunning mountaineers. Of course the book finally makes its way to the time that we recognize as the birth of the American outlaw biker: the post World War II days of the Boozefighters and Hollister. Dave Nichols writes about the impact of Hollywood; especially the influence of such movies as The Wild One and Easy Rider. He also covers the impact of modern day reality TV like Motorcycle Mania, American Chopper and Chopper Build Off which fanned the fire of the Rich Urban Biker.  Nichols also documents the historical developments within the motorcycle industry and it’s impact on biker culture. For example: Harley Davidson’s development of the Evo engine which ushered in the era of the Rich Urban Biker. To sum it up: Dave Nichols does an outstanding job of covering everything you should know about motorcycylists and the evolution from clean cut respectable American citizens and members of the AMA to greasy dangerous outlaws to modern day doctors and lawyers who dress up biker style on the weekend and parade around on expensive Harleys and factory made customs. If you thirst for this type of knowledge, buy this book now!

Points of interest worth mentioning are:

1) a list of one dozen top motorcycle movies

2) a list of nine other 1%er books

Two of the nine books listed are Sonny Barger’s books which I previously reviewed here at Road Captain USA. I will review two more books on this hit list in the near future: Hell’s Angels by Hunter Thompson and Running with the Devil by Kerrie Droban. I hope my book reviews help you with your Christmas shopping.