Taking A Trip On Your Motorcycle To Wherever You Land

This clip from the 1969-1970 NBC adventure/drama “Then Came Bronson” is about a nomadic vagabond (Bronson played by Michael Parks) searching for the meaning of life and helping hand when he can. During his travels on a 1969 XLH Harley-Davidson Sportster he shares his values with the people he meets along the way. This TV series preceded the movie Easy Rider and shares with it the same theme and values. In this clip, Bronson rides to nowhere in particular…Where would you ride if you had no family or work obligations?

17 Responses to “Taking A Trip On Your Motorcycle To Wherever You Land”

  1. 1 P. Sherrer Oct 20th, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Makes me want to jump on my bike and not return to work…

  2. 2 burnout Oct 20th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I can’t imagine my life without family or work obligations but I would try to ride around the world. My best trips on this piece of earth have started by flipping a coin at the last stop sign in my town. Heads go left, tails go right!! peace

  3. 3 bigitch Oct 20th, 2010 at 11:32 am

    aw the 60’s
    as a lad i would watch this tv show and i enjoyed it.

    bought the dvd’s and somewhere it lost it’s mystique.
    where before bronson looked like an adventurer he now looks like a dog that has been beatened with his head down all the time.

    i guess it’s true as don henley says:

    “don’t look back, you can never look back”

    but it’s still fun to watch

  4. 4 Lightnin'Larry Oct 20th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Used to watch this show all the time back in 69 & 70. Didn’t have a bike at that particular time, had an old bread van that I converted to live in and was touring California. Tie dye and BIG bells were the order of the day. I remember the first time crossing the Bixby Creek Bridge on Hwy 1 which was part of the opener for “Then Came Bronson”. I live not too far from there now and it’s still as cool now as it was back then!
    I have always wanted to tour Europe on my bike and I have that on my bucket list!


  5. 5 loony Oct 20th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    “Then Came Bronson” WOW what can I say,, Loved the memorizes I have of that show.
    Wear a cap just like that when I rode the very first Harley, I rode myself. It was 1977
    and it was my buddies 51 Pan Chopper/ true jockey shift/ suicide clutch. I borrowed it for a week as he drove my car. I sent many years wanting to build that bike. Till 4 year back, I found it on E-Bay for sale
    by my Buddy I have not seen in 10 years. I bought my childhood back. FYI the first Harley I rode was my Dad’s 49 Pan when my Mom was pregnant with me. I have been riding since before I was born.

  6. 6 hpierce Oct 20th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    i would love to make a lap of america. trying to touch every state. and live on as few dollars as possible. camping, baloney sandwiches. and try to schedule the tour to meet up with the rallies in the area. like getting to FL during Daytona, SD during Sturgis, etc…

    ah, to dream….

  7. 7 mike de Oct 20th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Never had a street bike I’m sorry to say -but did ride dirt bikes for years. Loved Then Came Bronson. Who didn’t want to be that guy… Check out http://www.michaelparks4u.com. There’s clips of several episodes and more to come they say. Also clips from other Michael Parks TV appearances and movies.

  8. 8 old redneck biker Oct 21st, 2010 at 7:52 am

    What was that ingignia (triangle) on the gas tank? I may be way off but it almost looks like the letterhead for a clean and sober organization known as AA/NA.

    I remember the show vaguely, but wasn’t really into it at the time (kinda lame and too hippyish) but can relate to it now as the whole concept of being a “biker” has changed from what it used to be.

    Now a days owning a Harley or “custom” is a statis symbol and sadly, people who go out and buy their $30,000+ bikes and form THEIR clicks are slowly choking out the guys (and gals) who spend the winter building and/or customizing THEIR bikes and are for the most part only too happy to sit down and talk to the average joe and exchange stories of their relationship with their sleds, both past and present.

    It’s a SAD day when a guy who just dropped $30K+ on a ride that I could have bought on craigslist for $15K- sits and talks with a straight face how he customized his scooter by having the dealer intstall “new pipes” “new shifter linkage” “new foot pegs” “new mirrors” etc….

    When in reality……

    The ONLY thing custom he did was to put a (“imitation bullet hole sticker to hide a dent”) sticker on his gas tank to hide the dent he made while he was being a ABSOLUTE RETARD DRESSED HEAD TO TOE IN BLACK LEATHER trying to impress one of his weekend cronies who has put a whopping 2000 miles a year on his 2005 road king!

    Bikers now-a-days make me sick to my stomach…..

    EXCLUDING those of us who know who we are and don’t need to advertise our wealth or lack of having a small apendage between their legs!

    I am just waiting for this “chopper and custom bling” fad to peter out so I can buy “parts” to build a “REAL” motor-sickle with!

  9. 9 Bigalyts@aol.com Oct 21st, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Old Red Neck Biker Bronson was in Recovery, didn’t you know that? And who is the Putz, that said He was on a Sportster? Looks like he was riding a XL350 on the Beach! The Sportster wouldn’t have gone 30′ on that Beach! That’s the kind of Beaches that is in another Country. Old Redneck biker, don’t wait too much longer for your Build! My Aunt waited and She still aien’t Married! Then again My Aunt never looked on Craig’s List for a Partner!

  10. 10 E.H-57 Oct 21st, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Bronson (i.e Michael Parks and for the stunts, Bud Ekins) actually rides an XLH through most scenes of the Pilot Movie.
    But on this particular “Beach Scene” the Sporty is indeed replaced by a much lighter bike: AERMACCHI HARLEY-DAVIDSON ML 125 RAPIDO
    For another scene, the Hill Climb, a CZ 250 or 360 is being used.

  11. 11 thelma Oct 21st, 2010 at 11:55 am

    My father, who controlled the TV, did not like his little girl to watch ” Then Came Bronson”and was quick to point out Bronson often fixed his bike with rocks and sticks and disreputabale persons came to his aid.I loved the show and Bronson.Some years later at The Iron Horse Saloon in Daytona,David Allen Coe played all afternoon as he often did and said he had some special guests this afternoon. They were Hoyt Axton and Bronson! Singing and playing with DAC! Made my whole Bikeweek. I’m happy to hear he is still around and doing well.

  12. 12 Olive Oil Oct 21st, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    There is a bridge mention earlier in this posting by Lighnin’ Larry called the Bixby Creek Bridge on Hwy 1. Is that the high span bridge that is in this Video????

  13. 13 nicker Oct 22nd, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Motorcycle History 101:

    “…What was that ingignia (triangle) on the gas tank? I may be way off but it almost looks like the letterhead for a clean and sober organization known as AA/NA…”

    Actually, that may not be too far off base.
    One of the AA founders was an original Motorcycle Gypsy.
    Not the MC Gypsy club but the real deal, an original Depression era motorcycle hobo.

    Historic home of Bill and Lois Wilson, co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon. Bedford Hills part of Katonah, New York. Tour the grounds and museum …
    http://www.steppingstones.org – Cached

    Diary of Two Motorcycle Hobos
    a-1associates.com/aa/LINKS/Lois%20diary.htm – Cached


  14. 14 cooldaddy51 Oct 22nd, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Brings back memories.Remember watching this show and in the summer of 72 traveled to London with one of my friends. Bought two brand new “tear the clear plastic off the seat” Norton Commandos at Taylor Mattersen in London and went on to tour Europe for 3 Months.Trip of a lifetime! Warm up trip to Scotland ,back to london for service ,Dover ,across the channel to Calais,Paris ,across spain to the Riviera ,Milan up through Switzerland ,Joe Cocker concert in the rain and mud in Wurzburg Germany, To Berlin ,Broke a clutch cable at checkpoint charlie. Quite the feeling you get when a gun tower points a point five at you! Continued taking in Sweden and denmark. Talking about the trip still gets me worked to do it again but after remembering the boots full of rain the bikes being dropped due to too much alcohol and etc. etc, staying in hostels “sleeping with one eye open”I think at this point in my life I would rather do it in a nice rental ,hot shower every night ,dinner and drink. But man ,those memories.I wonder if the women I met still look the same? Well at least in my mind they still do!

  15. 15 Curt! Oct 22nd, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Thanks!, I needed that.

  16. 16 Wiz Oct 25th, 2010 at 6:13 am

    People, People, People, In response to the triangle on the tank, ever look at a dollar bill? It’s called the “Seeing Eye of Knowledge”. Some say it’s a Mason thing and being one myself I agree. I had a stained glass window done of it, got tattoos of it in my skin, and a ring made out of my grandfathers gold teeth that I have been wearing for over thirty years. Yeah, you could say I’m kinda familiar with it. And yes, I’m proud to be a member of AA which has basiclly the same symbol with the pins adorning my bikes from front to rear. The triangle is the strongest geometric shape. FYI Wiz

  17. 17 Paul d'Orleans Oct 25th, 2010 at 9:51 am

    My brothers and I used to get a hoot out of the magical ‘Bronson bike’ which altered shape according to the terrain…first one to identify the changeling wins! As the youngest, I always lost, but learned a lot about TV, motorcycles, and fiction.
    The show really stuck in my head, and was part of the reason I drew choppers in the margins of my math textbook at grammar school. Plus, the title sequence was shot in San Francisco! How cool was that – just like Bullitt.
    Regarding the tank logo on Bronson’s bikes (not that you get to see the Aermacchi or CZ up close…), Wiz is correct, it’s the Great Seal of the United States, found on the back of your dollar bills. Masonic imagery yes, as the Founding Fathers were generally masons and into mystic symbolism.

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Cyril Huze