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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Being from the other side of the pond, I note with interest the love of fringes and Tassels that you in the USA seem to love adorning your bikes with. Floorboards, seats, grips and levers. Why, what is the function, I see no practical reason it’s certainly not a good look (in my opinion). We pay taxes and have local councils who sweep the streets for us rather than putting brush like attachments on motorcycles to do the job! But seriously, why, what’s it all about. The only time we see such adornments here is on a lady’s handbag, why make your bike look like a lady’s handbag? Am I missing something, please explain. No offence is intended, but genuinely interested to know what the attraction is?
 

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It is a long time tradition on Indian motorcycles dating back to the 1930s. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder...
 

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The first "original" Indian I seen was all dressed up like she had a hot date that night. Done up in Indian red paint and tan leather. It was love at first sight. I told myself someday I would own something like that. Little did I know how many years it would take. She may not be 80 years old but this one is mine. It all comes down to what you like. If everyone liked the same thing they would only make one. And it would probably be black [depressed]

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Think of it as decorating a Christmas tree with all sorts of unusual and non functional adornments to catch the eye in amazement, like the mobiles that hang over a baby's crib that seem to captivate the little ones.
 

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You must be blind , to say it's not a good look . Either that or you just have bad taste ;)


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I wouldn't jack the guy too hard. After all, his country brought Scotch whisky.
Before owning an Indian, I never considered adding such trinkets to a motorcycle. Now, I have two and both are properly adorned.
 
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Being from the other side of the pond, I note with interest the love of fringes and Tassels that you in the USA seem to love adorning your bikes with. Floorboards, seats, grips and leavers. Why, what is the function, I see no practical reason it’s certainly not a good look (in my opinion). We pay taxes and have local councils who sweep the streets for us rather than putting brush like attachments on motorcycles to do the job! But seriously, why, what’s it all about. The only time we see such adornments here is on a lady’s handbag, why make your bike look like a lady’s handbag? Am I missing something, please explain. No offence is intended, but genuinely interested to know what the attraction is?
Seeing you're from Scotland, let me ask a similar question ... why do the guys wear skirts (kilts)? I see no practical reason and some would say it isn't a good look (others opinion). Why dress like a lady? No offence intended ....
 

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2 things the fringe and tassels do.

1. they move and catch the eye of other motorists, Making you more visible to traffic.
2. In rain, the tassels move the water away and off your leather.
quite true they were originally designed to wick water away... started in the old west and just carried on.. it's a taste... I like them and quite a few Americans do... kinda like our guns... it's just something we gotta have..... just like you guys and that god awful screeching instrument you call bag pipes.. it's a taste that is home grown...
 

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I like bagpipe music too. Kind of makes you want to go beat someone. Which explains a lot of Scottish history.
 

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Being from the other side of the pond, I note with interest the love of fringes and Tassels that you in the USA seem to love adorning your bikes with. Floorboards, seats, grips and leavers. Why, what is the function, I see no practical reason it’s certainly not a good look (in my opinion). We pay taxes and have local councils who sweep the streets for us rather than putting brush like attachments on motorcycles to do the job! But seriously, why, what’s it all about. The only time we see such adornments here is on a lady’s handbag, why make your bike look like a lady’s handbag? Am I missing something, please explain. No offence is intended, but genuinely interested to know what the attraction is?
If you thought the Yanks were weird (using the term Yanks broadly, as we Texans are really likely to get offended by that label) You should just see what the Aussies do to their Indians!.


 

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That's Chris Keble with her bike Calamity Jane. It's the most extraordinary thing to see on the road. I rode from the east coast out to Broken Hill (Mad Max territory) with her in April and everywhere we stopped the bike gathered people snapping photos. Nobody asked her Why? they just stood and admired. I ride a plain black Springfield DH and don't do tassles etc but I love her bike.

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Leather fringe was traditionally used by some Native American tribes on their clothing. It was adopted by others to adorn the leather used on horseback.

“War shirt:

It is a ceremonial tunic worn for ceremonies and rituals. Very seldom such shirts were worn for war purposes. War shirt was always very festive and embellished, decorated with beadwork, pictures on fabric (or leather), fringes, feathers, human scalps and other decorative elements. As war shirts weren't used for battles, though the shirt itself showed the courage of the warrior. The pictures reflected moments of a battle, scalps showed the number of killed enemies etc. Only the bravest warriors were granted the honor of wearing a war shirt for a ceremony. Native American Indians believed that such garments protected their wearer and gave him more strength and bravery.

Usually war shirts were made from a deerskin or a hide of mountain sheep. Every tribe had its own typical symbols and pictures on war shirts (like vertical lines, triangles, horses etc).”

It’s an Old West tradition that’s been carried on...
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Fringe is aesthetically pleasing, (to some) it has a kinetic effect in motion that appealed to Native Americans. Additionally the leather fringe also served a useful function as handy strips of leather available to sew up a busted moccasin, a torn seam, or to tie things together when you were in the field.
So just a nod to that tradition. Like or not as you please.
 
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