We are Moto Sapiens

Dailies -



Welcome. We are Moto sapiens. A creature separate and entire, midway between the worm and the angel. We make sacrifices to the Gods of Speed. We venerate a pantheon of elders, which includes Cannonball Baker, Burt Munro, T. E. Lawrence, Bessie Stringfield, Rollie Free, and Bud Ekins. What others see as dirty or obnoxious, we see as a higher calling. Whatever other compromises we make in life, we are true to this calling.

Photo: Clay Enos

There are many tribes within our race. In this new series of regular columns, I will explore these tribes and our relationship to other (lesser) non-moto hominids. This is an incisive look at the constant evolution of motorcycle culture, from the fine art of bar-hopping to the drone of the long highway. We make no distinction between high-brow and low-brow; everything gets equal respect, but nothing gets a free pass.

Here is what I hope these columns will be:

Honest. All our products are unvarnished 100 percent American hardwood. I can’t promise to always make a clear distinction between opinion and fact, but it will be honest opinions.

Intelligent. These are artisanal, hand-crafted essays. I will always be looking for interesting connections and enlightening examples, whether it’s from physics, art, Norse mythology, or Pink lyrics. Our religion is as mechanical as it is mystical, and my essays will be as analytical as they are passionate.

Entertaining. Nothing is above a little humor. I enjoy writing, so it would be churlish to write something that isn’t fun to read. Most of what people do is pretty hilarious when viewed from the right angle.

Unique. Just like HFL is not like other motorcycle rags, Moto Sapiens has a voice of its own. There are plenty of motorcycle columns out there, so there’s no point in just having one more. I’ll always strive to find a fresh angle, a new catfish to noodle.

Who is Carter Edman? An architect and writer in Cleveland. He teaches “Motorcycles and American Culture” at Case Western Reserve University. He is also an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church and can perform marriages in the State of Ohio and at sea. Carter rides a modified 2008 Triumph Bonneville.

You can follow the Moto Sapiens twitter feed.
Carter also tweets Things that I know to be True.
And writes as Richard Parker.

  • Sohl

    That is one hairy ugly logo. But I’m excited for all this anyway!

  • KeithB

    Looking forward to reading your work Carter.
    Will you be posting here regularly?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Carter’s column will be appearing on HFL on a regular basis. We’re working out what the actual frequency will be, but we’re thinking either monthly or bi-weekly.

      • TP

        bi-weekly bi-weekly!

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          If I had my way, Carter would write for us every single damn day, but he’s got a day job and a family and fun stuff like that.

  • http://twitter.com/KeyserBroze JB

    Rider in photo checking his phone, promises of unvarnished American hardwood and artisanal essays… glad we’ll all be learning something new while reminded not to take this whole “motorcycling” thing too seriously.

    • nick2ny

      Rider in photo taking the photo*

      • http://twitter.com/KeyserBroze JB

        Clearly, but taking instagram selfies isn’t a worthwhile excuse for breaking the “No Cell Phone Use While Riding Rule”.

  • Heatsoak

    Greetings from one fellow minister of the ULC to another. You perform any weddings yet?

  • Gregory Eaves

    Where can I get a “Moto Sapiens” sticker for my windshield?

  • Filly-fuzz

    The best news from HFL for quite a while

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.joshua.silverman Daniel Silverman

    Looking forward to read more of his stuff, his last article was great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/edward.b.ford Edward B Ford

    I’m with George! I want a “Moto-Sapien” sitcker! Can’t wait for more. FYI, there’s already a Facebook page from Norway using the name so you’d better get legal quick before some one else grabs the name here in the US of A. I’m just sayin’.