Back in June of 1971, a new and exciting motorcycle publication was introduced - EASYRIDERS - a motorcycle magazine for the entertainment of adult bikers. This came into existence by the hard work of Lou Kimzey, the Editor, along with the owner of Paisano Publications. Along with Lou were Mil (Hog Expert) Blair, Editor-at-Large, and Joe Teresi, senior Editor. Joe was the one who came up with the needed funding to get things running smoothly. He was owner of D&D Distributor, later known as Jammer.
About the same time that EASYRIDERS got underway, an organization by the name of NCCSI (National Custom Cycle Safety Institute) got going. Joe Teresi was Vice President of this group. This organization was for manufacturers and distributors. Their main function was to come out with their own safety standards for custom parts. They concentrated mainly on custom front ends and frames with raked necks. They are credited for keeping a lot of junk off the market and were able to keep Big Brother at arm’s length.
In Issue No. 3, October 1971, EASYRIDERS started a non-profit organization just for bikers. It was called NCCA (National Custom Cycle Association). At the time, dues were $3 for a one-year membership. One must keep in mind that back in 1971, no other motorcycle magazine except Roger Hall’s “Road Rider” was even giving an inch of space to anti-bike legislation. Yet Lou Kimzey saw fit to take on the extra burden of starting a motorcycle rights organization.
It wasn’t long until Lou changed NCCA to ABATE (A Brotherhood
Against Totalitarian Enactments). Lou came about the Eagle logo in an old
civil war publication. The eagle is one of the largest birds, and a strong
flier. It has long been used as a sign of power, courage, and freedom. The
American Bald Eagle is not only our logo, but is the official emblem of the
In early 1972, Keith Ball arrived on the scene at EASYRIDERS. He became Associate Editor of EASYRIDERS and Director of ABATE. Through the work of Keith and the guidance of Lou, ABATE started area coordinators in different states to help organize bikers so that they could better represent ABATE on the local level. This also helped form a better line of communication. From this mushroomed a sophisticated network of state and county chapters.
It should be noted that the little funds that ABATE had in the early days went to hiring an engineering firm to determine whether a raked front end or an extended front end was safe. This resulted in two lengthy documented reports, complete with engineering drawings that established proof that they were safe. This allowed bikers to fight “unsafe vehicle” tickets in court with scientific facts - not just opinions. EASYRIDERS, on behalf of ABATE, also picked up the tab on a test case concerning an extended front end being unsafe. From 1971 to 1974, most of ABATE’s efforts went into fighting such laws. Had it not been for the efforts of ABATE - EASYRIDERS in the early 1970's, choppers would have been outlawed.
In March 1977, ABATE, through the help of the staff at EASYRIDERS, held a
State Coordinators meeting in
After a lot of in-fighting, the state coordinators were asked to send what
they thought should be changed and to submit their ideas to Lou Kimzey. Lou
had sent around a letter explaining that he was sorry that he had missed the
Out of this mess two national organizations were formed: one in
ABATE formed five regions in the country, each region having about 10 states. Each region has a Regional Coordinator who coordinates information between the state ABATE organizations. Each ABATE state organization is now independent and on its own. Because of all the hassles of trying to form a national organization, the trusts and funds needed, the probability of another attempt at forming a national organization is most unlikely. In the meantime, ABATE people all over the country are taking care of business as always, and no matter what happened, they will be there taking care of business.