A talented philosopher I know was asked a few years ago, by a cool philosophy-undergraduate at a party, who his favourite philosopher was. He answered Aristotle (whom he had regained an interest in via some postmodern philosophical re-readings). She replied "Aristotle is so passe!" We thought that was an 'interesting' criterion for judging philosophical wisdom. With time to kill before work today, I was flicking through one of my favourite books, The Bikeriders, by Danny Lyon. I bought it a few years ago when I was getting sick of the whole cafe racer obsession. Sick of it, because I couldn't mention my SR500 without hearing that phrase in the next sentence. And every functional if wobbly 30yo old bike was being hacked into an ugly ridiculous attempt at a cafe racer. The Bikeriders instantly replaced my formerly favourite book, Johnny Stuart's Rockers!. I love the bikes of those 1960s outlaw clubs so much - take a nice BSA and chuck some high bars on it. Simple, but radically cool! Anyway, a lot of people were and are getting into cafe racers because they want some sort of thing which the Harley wannabe crowd want, while defining themselves as alternative to the weekday-IT weekend-pirates. But they're adults playing dress-ups no less than the pirates. Better taste, I grant, and I'm not criticising them - indeed I love bringing imagination into the motorcycling experience. What I don't like about it is that to bag high bars among so many of the cafe crowd is somehow an expression of possessing an alternative cool. At the time I was playing with high bars on the GR650 and SR and loving the effect - there's something just so...'acid trip'...about them - but I was in consequence copping this attitude that there was something profoundly faux pas about that. I noted, and was saying to friends in the light of those criticisms, that this whole dogmatism reflected that alternative wannabe status, and that in a year's time suddenly it will be something different that is orthodox among the old-bike custom crowd. I noted the increase in interest in flat/grass/dirt/street trackers and said that that would be it, and so it is. It just makes me laugh to think that there is somehow something so wrong with high bars right now, and in some arbitrary time period from now, it will be the coolest thing to do. Maybe it will go through a similar lifespan as it went originally: high bars with little else done to the bike; then the stripped-back chopping; then teh '70s gothic and the backyard scene; then the 80s and the horridness from there to beyond. Then we'll go back to cafe racers. Maybe. Or maybe it will be a retro scene focussed on the glory days of plastic street fighters. There'll be photos posted on blogs of Thursday Night Mystery Rides, with young guys on their street-fighters and the writer waxing about the retro-coolness and glory of it all. Which, after all, would be the same as what has happened regarding the cafe racer culture. I'm not trying to make some particular point, rather these are the thoughts that struck me as I read flicked through Lyon's photos and loved the bikes. I still love cafe racers - my best riding mate has a wonderfully caffed bike - but I reserve the right to reach for the stars, and love it!