“All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.”
That’s Dennis Hopper’s freewheeling highway biker Billy sounding off on the struggle of finding a motel that’ll take him and his friend Wyatt (Peter Fonda) in for a night in counterculture classic Easy Rider .
Billy’s corrected by George Hanson (Jack Nicholson), who replies, “Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.”
Hanson’s talking about the darkness that surrounds freedom — the lengths people who can’t seem to get their hands on it will go to shutter the lifestyles of those like Billy and Wyatt. But for the less nihilistic, this film (and its bikes) also inspires a different brand of freedom: the freedom of the road.
That wind-in-the-face, bat-out-of-hell type freedom. It’s one you can experience, and with a special connection to Hopper, as the late actor’s 1970 Husqvarna 250 Cross is now Lot 174 on Bonhams, listed at $20-25,000.
husky (3 images)
Husqvarna, party factoid, started as an arsenal for the Swedish Army in the 17th century. It pivoted quite a few times over the centuries (even dabbling in sewing machines and chainsaws) before crafting its legacy in the 1960s and 1970s as the gold standard of motorcross.
This bike flaunts the famous 250cc red tank and was one of just over 5,000 made. It’s a four-speed, and was purchased by Hopper in the early '70s. He was the only person to ride it until the bike made its way to Husky Restorations in Upstate New York. Expect replacements across the board — from pistons and bearings to the seat cushion — but that same late-century swagger that Husky brought to the dirt bike world … and Hopper brought to the screen.
Find more information on the bike listing here.