Control. Adrenaline. Belonging. Freedom. It can be argued that these four things are what human desire can be boiled down to. For the case of war veterans, these sensations only become heightened in their experiences through hell and back. From the handling of machinery to the commanding of fellow brethren, order and accountability are what keeps these soldiers grounded in the chaos of a greater conflict beyond their control — in these times, control can draw the line between life and death. Adrenaline is the lifeblood of a soldier in combat: a force of miraculous strength, a veil for unbearable pain, a rush of survivor’s euphoria. Just as unit cohesion is vital to an effective military force, bonds of friendship are vital to a soldier far from home — comradery formed on battlefronts speak to the deepest sense of belonging there is. And freedom — this is what they fight for, and what they live to return to after their sacrifices.
At the innermost depths of what it means to be human, even those who have not served can understand these four grounding principles of control, adrenaline, belonging, and freedom.
Following World War II, it was a veteran movement that bolstered the preservation of motorcycle culture. Chasing after these desires after returning home wasn’t easy, but they’ve built a home out of biker culture ever since.
Two-wheel therapy was never meant to compete with the four-wheel commute. Riding provided an alternative lifestyle for those who had departed from the mainstream. And most importantly, riding fulfilled the void of humanity’s four core desires.
Control. The feeling of being connected to a machine is incomparable — danger looms, but the mastery of a machine is within your hands. Adrenaline. Heart-bursting speed mingles with that overhanging dread of death and transforms it into a completely new form of indescribable energy — a drug that feeds the soul. Belonging. Wolves run in packs and so do bikers — fellow riders are the hands that pull you up and the feet that kick you into gear, and they’ll be down for you no matter what. Freedom. Ask anyone about riding, and they’ll tell you about the sheer liberation of running wild and unstoppable through cars, rubble, and dirt.
In his book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, veteran Robert Pirsig captured the essence of it perfectly: “On a cycle, the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”
At En Masse, we proudly salute those who have sacrificed and served for our country, and we are grateful for their crucial role in the history of motorcycling. We pay tribute to their brotherhood by integrating traditional designs into our products that carry on the legacy of the men who came before us.
Born on the back of chopper and bred with a love for adventure, En Masse hopes to strike the heart of what veterans have laid out: A respect for control, a hunger for adrenaline, a sense of belonging, and a state of freedom. We honor this by encouraging adventure and comradery without restraints, bearing military-inspired designs that carry forth this legacy of courage and strength.