Motorcycle culture is alive but evolving in Southern Indiana

SOUTHERN INDIANA —“I’m a motorcyclist. I’m not a biker,” that was said by  Bernie Bartley, 64, of Louisville. According to him, bikers are those people who run around looking like pirates, making a lot of noise and don’t want to wear their helmets.

Maybe he sounds cranky about today’s motorcycle riders but, maybe that’s a right he’s earned.  He owns 14 motorcycles, of those, three are licensed for the road, while the rest are now museum pieces that he restored.

On the other hand, Derek Korte, the purchasing and preowned inventory manager at CC Powersports in Clarksville, a biker is someone who’s in search of freedom, who enjoys being outside, being outdoors.

“They enjoy being active, but they like being in control of something other than a car. A motorcycle gives you an amount of freedom where you’re kind of open-air, no cockpit around you and you’re just kind of cruising, man” he added.

Korte has seen all types of riders come through his showroom because CC Powersports is the largest motorcycle dealership in the Louisville metro area. Once upon a time, it billed itself as the largest in the Midwest.

The line between “bikers” and “motorcyclists” has blurred over the years.

ROADS OF SOUTHERN INDIANA

Thanks to its hilly terrain and plenitude of backroads, Southern Indiana may just be the best place in the state to ride.

A popular route is Ind. 211, which begins at an intersection near Elizabeth. Scanlan, Wilkey and Bartley all name it as one of the best roads for riding in the area.

“A lot of people say their favorite roads are the roads that have no paint,” Wilkey said. “So any backroad that’s not been striped, that’s a good road because there’s not a lot of traffic, not a lot of people.”

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