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.

14 Responses to “One Percenter by Dave Nichols – book review”

  1. Thanks again Big Ed… I know you’re lurking.

  2. you are welcome but i thought these were going to get you thru the winter?

  3. Ed,
    They WERE supposed to get him through winter, but you know how obsessive Jay is….if it’s there, he can’t stay away! 😉

  4. Another good read. America is fascinated with the outlaw. Always have been, always will be. Actually, maybe I should change the outlaw to outcast.

  5. Outcast sounds like someone who wanted to be on the inside but was kicked out rather than someone who chose to follow their own path despite what the insiders were doing.

  6. At the rate Jay is reading these books it looks like I gotta get out there and buy Eddie some more, so when he finishes them Jay will have more to read!!! Sorry Di….LOL!! ~K

  7. That’s OK, HairSnipper, Jay will always be reading something! Just get the new books for Ed through Jay’s Amazon Store and he’ll be happy. 😉

  8. Sounds good. I think I’ll give it a try.

  9. It is pretty good, days after reading the book it has more and more meaning to me. Also, it helps to know what they are talking about on Sons of Anarchy when they mention the RICO Act and how the ATF is using it to shut down the Bikers.

  10. Looks like a good book. We’ve read the Hunter Thompson one…it’s interesting.

    I may have to get this 1percenter for Big D for Christmas.

  11. Thanks Ann, I’m reading the Hunter S Thompson book now. Not sure what to make of it yet.

  12. Thanks for the review. Looks like you gave us all some Christmas gift ideas.

  13. I read Hunter’s book when it first came out. Boy that dates me. We had a dozen of us in study hall and we all read it. I was going to grow up and be one. Got married too early and started a family. Thank God I did not become a 1%er. I’d ah done it as they do. I’m glad I did not for a lot of reasons, family, sanity. The guy across the street was at Mali(sp). He ain’t right. Well anyway you’ll enjoy the read of it. That was the first book of it’s kind. Winter may be long so I may get it. Thanks

  14. […] can’t help but try to compare this book to One Percenter by Dave Nichols. Dave is the Editor of Easyriders and Bill has been a columnist for Easyriders. Both authors cover […]

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