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Updated on January 8, 2011

A good use for old motorcycles and bicycles

There are probably thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of old motorcycles stored away in garages all over America. Big bikes, little bikes, dirt bikes, street bikes, touring bikes, all kinds of bikes just sitting there collecting dust and taking up space. Chances are, nobody is going to buy them. We live in a consumer society. Everybody wants the newest, trickest thing. With a few notable exceptions - motorcycles that are considered “classics” - the rest will go unsold. And probably never again even started up, let alone ridden.

At the same time, people in third world countries, where they may not have anything more than their two feet to get around, would probably highly value these old bikes.

So, the federal government could start a drive to collect these old bikes. Put them on a big cargo ship - or ships - and take them to Haiti, Mexico, Honduras, and many more countries in Latin America, Africa, India, Indonesia - any place where they would be appreciated and used.

A friend pointed out to me that many of these countries don’t have the infrastructure to use these bikes - no gasoline stations, roads, etc. That’s a reasonable concern. But I bet there are also thousands of old bicycles sitting around collecting rust that will never be ridden again. The same idea could apply to them.

Or to furniture. Or clothes. I don’t want to take away stuff that The Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries or other worthy charities can use right here at home, but I have to believe we have plenty of stuff even they don’t want that would be welcomed in some of the world’s poorest countries.


If you enjoy nostagia, and if you like motorcycles, you would probaby enjoy my book, OVER THE HANDLEBARS, First published in 1975, then updated and enlarged in 2006, it is a collection of short stories and articles about all aspects of motorcycling. It is available from I also have written two other books about motorcycling availalbe from  You can read all 3 of them on your computer for just $2.99 each. Go to


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