WhyBike Motorcycle Blog

Are you a biker?

By James - 8/8/2005

Wikipedia defines a biker as:

A biker is someone who rides a motorcycle (motorbike). Bikers are sometimes members of a motorcycle club or motorcycle gang. . . Bikers tend to associate with others that share their enthusiasm, and congregate at biker events such as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally or the Daytona Beach Rally.

As I rode away from lunch at Alice’s Restaurant, a popular biker hangout up in Woodside CA, I wondered if you could quantify the neccessary components to becoming a biker. Waving to sportbikes, cruisers and everything in between I tried to figure out which of them were bikers and which were motorcyclists.

There is a Geico motorcycle insurance commercial running on the radio that starts out,
“Hi, I’m Blade and I’m a hardcore biker . . .”
The voice is gruff, as if he smoked too many cigarettes or inhaled too much exhaust. The tone is deep. I get the impression that he weighs 225-250 lbs. From that I immediately picture the guy in leather chaps and a vest, black denim jeans underneath and a black long-sleave HD shirt, black engineer boots, and a bandana. His shades and half-helmet hanging off the throttle on his Harley parked in the alley. He is definately no sissy, objecting to the soothing harp background music. The voice talent that they hired for this spot is probably nothing like this image but playing into the biker stereotype is too easy in our culture.

So what is the difference between a biker and a motorcyclist?
First things first. A motorcycle is needed to be a biker. Now I know that just because you own a motorcycle, that alone does not make you a biker, but a biker is not a biker without a motorcycle. Motorcyclists also own motorcycles but here is where attitude comes in. A motorcyclist rides his bike because of the thrill, rush, relaxation, etc. A biker will ride for the same reasons, but will do so even when it is inconvienent, illogical, or frowned upon. The biker places the ride above all else; even society’s conventions, personal stigmas, and prejudice.

This is my view of what makes a biker but this view varies between people and is most different between poeple who ride. Whenever this topic comes up in the forums I frequent it can be a heated debate. Feel free to list your criteria of what makes a biker below. . .

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