History of ABATE
How it all started
Street Legal Chopper
CLICK TO ENLARGE
in the October 1971 issue of Easyriders Magazine
You, as an
individual, can stand on your roof-top shouting to the world
about how unjust, how stupid, and how unconstitutional some
of the recently passed, or pending, bike laws are - but all
you will accomplish is to get yourself arrested for
disturbing the peace.
clubs can go before city councils, state legislatures, and
congressional committees, but as single clubs, and
unprofessional at the game of politics, their efforts are
unorganized, individual efforts have little if any effect
against the power structure - it's like hunting big game
with a bolt-action .22 rifle.
It takes numbers to
command respect, to be heard over the din created by the
anti-bikers, and worse, the anti-chopper forces.
The major problem
is not any particular anti-bike movement or organization -
the problem is that the people who make the laws are people
who know nothing about bikes. The little old lady writes her
congressman and complains. There is no one offering
rebuttal-intelligent, professional rebuttal-to her unfair
charges. The congressman, who doesn't hear any arguments
against what the old lady said, but does want to please
everybody and does want to get elected again, introduces a
bill to ban whatever was bugging the old lady. The bikers in
the area don't see the small item, buried in the back of the
newspaper along with the hemorrhoid cures, announcing the
proposed law for all bikes to have roll bars. Since no one
sees it, no rebuttal is offered, and the law is passed. Or
if it is seen, and a club or two protest, it isn't a loud
enough protest, or it is a disorganized protest, or an
unprofessional protest, and as a result the law is passed.
oversimplification, yes. But that basically is the problem
broken down into its simplest terms.
We need a national
organization of bikers. An organization united together in a
common endeavor, and in sufficient numbers to be heard in
Washington, D.C., in the state legislatures, and even down
to the city councils.
We must offer
strong, organized rebuttal to all unfair legislation, no
matter what the level. To stop or modify an unfair law in
one state is to stop or impede it in another. If it's wrong,
it's wrong, and only constant, relentless pressure will stop
the trend against bikes. Today it might be Arizona, but
tomorrow it might be your state. We must start now to put a
stop to bad laws. We must educate the people who make the
laws. We must present our side of the story, and we must
present it from a position of strength, and in a
professional, dignified manner.
Government has indicated they are going to press for
national custom bike laws ("Safety Standards") for, you
guessed it, our safety. The Department of Transportation has
already issued printed warnings against the "danger" of
extended front ends, lack of front-wheel brakes, "and other
hazardous features of customized motorcycles."
We're not saying
they are all wrong-nobody is all wrong. But what we are
saying is that we, us, you and I, bike riders. Chopper
builders, chopper manufacturers, everyone with an interest
in the future of bikes, must present our side, we must see
to it that any laws that are passed are just. We must
present our case and defend it vigorously.
What can you do?
Join the National Custom Cycle Association (NCCA). Let's get
together in a mass, so that our voice means something, has
the weight and strength of numbers.
The NCCA is a
non-profit organization, sponsored by Easyriders magazine.
It's not a scam. If what has been said above doesn't get you
off your ass, if you don't see the pending arbitrary laws,
if you don't see that an organized protest is much more
effective than a shotgun approach, then what else can we
When you join the
NCCA, you'll receive a decal, membership card, and NCCA's
monthly bulletin bringing you up to date on all bike laws,
pending bike laws, and reports on NCCA's progress and
Send $3.00 for a
year's charter membership, to the National Custom Cycle
Association . . .
Do it now, for as
Satchel Paige said, "Don't look back, sump'n may be gaining
© Copyright 1971
Easyriders Magazine (October)
ABATE Membership in 44 States
Have Started Working Toward Our Freedom of the Road
in the February 1972 issue of Easyriders Magazine
We are off and
running, after a slight delay caused by having to change the
name of our organization. It was discovered at the last
moment that the NCCA name was not available for use as a
non-profit corporate name-the initials being too similar to
those of another corporate name.
So, as long as we
had to create a new name for the organization, it was
decided to create a name with letters that spelled a word
describing the organization's purpose. It was a bitch to do,
let me tell you -try it some time.
After much hassle,
we came up with ABATE (which means to put an end to; to
reduce in degree or intensity; to beat down; to decrease in
force or intensity).
The letters stand
for A Brotherhood
(i.e., strict control by coercive measures; completely
regulated by the state)
(i.e. to make (as a bill) into law).
A mouthful, to be
sure, but it lays it all out in front of God and everybody,
exactly why the brotherhood was formed-to protect individual
freedom of the road.
Our mission is
positive. We want to educate the lawmakers, to give them our
side of the story, before laws are enacted, and we are
devoted to working aggressively toward the abatement of all
unfair, unjustified, arbitrary anti-bike laws everywhere.
Our insignia is a
no-nonsense, uptight eagle (see above) that represents our
firm, no-bullshit, resolved to get the job done. Now, not
We all know what
our problems are, so let's get it on, rather than merely
sitting around on our asses complaining about them.
Project No. 1
As members of ABATE
already know, our immediate project to get all existing bike
laws, state by state, county by county, city by city, into a
computer. To do this, we are asking everyone, ABATE members
or not, to go to your State capitals, libraries, police
departments, and send us documented evidence of every bike
law in your area and state. We want facts, not rumors.
We also want to
know what bike laws are pending, what bike laws almost
passed and may be back during the next legislative session.
We want names and
addresses of all anti-bike and pro-bike legislators. We want
to know where the speed traps are, and where the especially
anti-chopper police departments are.
We want to get the
national problem down on paper in order to intelligently
plan our campaigns. ABATE members are already working on
this project, and all bikers, everywhere, are urged to help
us. There may be some duplicated efforts initially, but it
is better that ABATE be oversupplied with information,
rather than not having all of it.
Project No. 2
As reported in the
last issue, ABATE and NCCSl (the chopper manufacturers
association) are presently preparing a chopper to send to
Washington, D.C. for the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration to test. We know choppers are safe, but the
only way the government is really going to know it is to
test them, rather than taking some anti-biker's word for it.
Rest assured that the choppers we supply the government with
will be good, strong, safe choppers. (Complete photo feature
in next issue.)
Project No. 3
members. Only in numbers is there sufficient strength to get
the job done. To enter a fight without enough members is
like hunting bear with a BB gun. It takes numbers to command
respect, to be heard over the din created by the anti-bike
forces, and worse, the anti-chopper forces.
But we don't want
just members, we want doers. We know there are only some of
you who will get off your ass and do something and we want
that group as members. The battle is in 50 different states.
The only way ABATE can be effective end effective fast
enough is to have doers in every state. Not a doer, but
thousands of doers,
ABATE has members in 44
As we go to press,
we still need doers in Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota,
Utah, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C.
What can you do?
Join ABATE. Let's get together in a mass, so that our voice
means something, has the weight and strength of numbers.
ABATE is a
non-profit organization, sponsored by Easyrider magazine. If
what has been said above doesn't get you off your ass, If
you don't see the pending arbitrary laws, If you don't see
that an organized protest Is much more effective than a
shotgun approach, then what else can we say?
When you join
ABATE, you'll receive a decal (full color as at beginning of
this article), membership card, and ABATE's monthly bulletin
bringing you up to date on all bike laws, pending bike laws,
and reports on ABATE's progress end activities.
Send $3.00 for a
year's charter membership, to ABATE . . .
Do it now, keeping
in mind that tomorrow, today will be yesterday and we're
already short of time.
© Copyright 1972
Easyriders Magazine (February)