What Defines a ‘Biker’?


What’s the difference between a biker and someone who rides bikes?

I recently commented on a Tweet by a guy who rides a 125cc bike.

He posted;

Why do people with big bikes hate us 125cc bike Riders? We aint different, we are normal Riders Just Like You, we do everything the Same. I get in my pants the Same You you do. So What the heck?’

I replied with;

‘Do you get attitude from big bikes? I’m always polite to anyone on 2 wheels. I guess there’s an element of 125cc riders who are kids and some that are commuters, neither are ‘bikers’ so wouldn’t know any different. We all start somewhere, everyone is welcome!!’

A lady replied with; ‘What defines a ‘biker’?’ and she’s got a point.

Her question got me thinking. Now, i’ve got a theory about this and it is that there’s a big difference.

I’ll give you an example; A lad who is 16 or maybe 17 who wants his freedom. He buys a cheap scooter and he rides it in a hoodie and trainers after taking the bare minimum of training. The scooter gets him around, tearing around with panels hanging off from previous crashes, no signals, no road sense, no manners or concern for other road users and when he’s got enough money he dumps it and buys a car. He’s not a biker.

How about the guy who buys a bike to get to work because it’s really cheap to run and maybe because it gets him through the traffic. To him it’s just a tool. He rides a bike but he’s not a biker.

What about the girl who buys a bike to ride to work, save herself a bit of money and get through the traffic. The difference is, she loves it. She is inspired by the experience, nods at other bikers and even takes the long way home from time to time.

It seems to me there’s a clear difference. One group use a bike like they use a car, a cheap way to get from A to B. They have no real interest in it, it’s nothing more than transport, a way to get where they need to go. The other group ride bikes because it’s awesome. They share a bond with other bikers on the road and sometimes ride just because they want to.

To be a biker you don’t need to wear a sleeveless denim jacket or black leather jacket with your name written in studs on the back. You don’t need to be adorned in skull tattoos, riding some kind of crazy stretched chopper. You don’t need to have a ponytail or a long unkempt beard. We’re not talking about some kind of shady gang or secret club, we’re talking about people with a common bond, a shared love. It’s like a fantastic secret that we all share but other normal people don’t know about.

It doesn’t matter what you ride, where you ride it, how long you’ve been riding, how old you are. Being a biker transcends race, gender, religion and even disability. All that matter is that you do ride.

It’s good for the environment, it has a huge impact on reducing congestion on our roads, it has a positive effect on your mental state and it’s just great fun.

“Riding a motorcycle is a kind of prophetic enlightenment. It’s a kind of beautiful, hedonistic, extreme, illumination of the soul that is a pure moment.” M. Turner