Tough Biker Image


The world has so many stereotypes, it’s an unfortunate human practice of generalities.  I am not big fan of generalizations but the reality is that stereotypes exist and there are some people who believe that these stereotypes are more fact then fiction.  One such stereotype is the negative perception that some people have towards motorcyclist.  It is funny because I work in Corporate America and people will ask how my weekend was and I say, “Awesome, I rode my cycle all weekend.  It was great”.  These same people will often look at me like I have the plague.  The first thing they will often say is, “Do you dress up in a Black Leather Jacket and Chaps and ride to the bar and get into bar fights?”  Well the only thing leather I own is an old pair of military issued leather gloves and don’t remember the last time I drove my motorcycle to a bar.  There are a ton of different motorcyclist out there; all of us our individuals with different attributes, ambitions and dreams.  We do all share a passion for riding but we all don’t fit the stereotype of the Sons of Anarchy (great show by the way and if you do fit the Sons of Anarchy Stereotype then good for you for fighting against the man).  I will say this about bikers, I have never met a group of people who proactively endeavor to be helpful and charitable to those around them.  This can be seen by bikers assisting other bikers with mechanical issues on the roadways and the hundreds of charity runs that occur every weekend for thousands of different causes.  In many ways my previous sentence was kind of a generalization but it was positive and well intentioned so I am sticking to it.  I am proud to be a biker!


About twotiretirade

Keeping the faith of fanatics who feel fired up for anything motorcycles. It’s all about the journey and the philosophy of riding on two wheels. Let’s bring alive the truly unique culture of motorcycling and never let the ride leave the fibers of our being. View all posts by twotiretirade

17 responses to “Tough Biker Image

  • maddog5

    I totally agree with you. There are too many stereotypes about bikers. I am a biker and I’m an assistant manager at Pizza Hut. I’m also a member of the Patriot Guard Riders. I do wear leather when I ride, not because I want to look like baddass biker, but because when I ride it is usually a long trip and safety is important to me. I am tired of the biker stereotype. It’s old. It’s time people realize that not everyone who loves to ride the highway is out there looking for a fight. Most bikers I know want to help others rather than give them a beat down. Ok my rant is over, thanks for allowing the comment. Rubber Down Bro!

    • twotiretirade

      As a Vet, I so much appreciate your service as a Patriot Guard Rider. I think it comes down to the fact that we should focus on the individual and not the perception. Its sad b/c I society teaches us differently. Come back anytime and hopefully I’ll see you on the road.

  • Jude

    Well said! There’s no doubt that bikers, whatever country you’re in, look after one another, and the stereo types are so much fiction. Yes there may be some black-leather tough guys among us but quite often they turn out to be the most gentle of giants. The personality of the biker is quite often drawn to freedom, exploration and movement, and most often. I’ve always thought it to be almost a form of meditation! Those who stereo type just don’t have a clue!
    I do wear leathers until it’s too hot, simply for protection and because I feel a bit safer. Added stereotype is the attitude of non-biker guys to girls in leather! They seem to think we’re all Miss Whiplash or something. Too funny! 🙂

    • twotiretirade

      That was a wondrous follow-up and I think you nailed it. You spoke of biking as a meditation. It never ceases to amaze me on how good I feel after a ride. The sound of the motor, combined with the momentum and speed of the ride and those sweet awesome twisting curves just makes one more relaxed and happy. Good stuff across the board. Thanks!

  • 7acesmotolog

    I am an ATGATT guy. The majority of my miles are racked up commuting or on multi-day rides. What I find more disheartening then the external prejudices about bikers is the internal prejudices. I have been to poker runs and charity rides and been shunned by the “bikers” on cruisers and not really made to feel welcome. There seems to be an instant classification that happens when I ride up in my textile suit, day-glow helmet and sport touring bike. It’s ok to poke a little fun at the segments in this already fringe group we cal motorcycle riders, but I just wish that we could all be a little more inclusive when it comes to our own kind.

    • scroungelady

      I agree with your observations. My husband and I dress for safety while riding. You probably ride more in one month than the biker lifestyle types have ridden in a year, yet we’re not considered “serious” bikers. Internal inclusiveness must be achieved before we can present a united front to the non-friendly motorcycle world.

      • twotiretirade

        That is true. Why so much conflict exists between the different classes of motorcycles is a complete mystery to me. Its something I will have to ponder.

      • scroungelady

        Years ago, other bikers would strike up a conversation at gas stations or restaurants. The type of bike you were riding was not important, just that you were on the road. Why this has changed is worth pondering.

    • twotiretirade

      I ride an FJR Sports Tour as well and I feel your pain. We all have a little room to grown in this area.

  • Jude

    I think the ‘group’ thing filters into many areas of life – the ‘us and them’ theory. Groups of sports bikers often scorn the Harley riders and consider them all shiny buckles and noise and no power. Hubby and I are in the BMW touring group who are sniggered at by the flash Japanese sports bike group and referred to as ‘The pipe and slippers brigade’! It seems groups either feel threatened by other groups or else need to prove they’re better. I make it a point to wave to all other bikers. We’re all on two-wheels!

  • cindysowden

    I’ve been discriminated against in Colorado (denied a hotel room in Durango) because of my leathers. Truth is, they’re the best armor you can have. People who make assumptions, well, the first part of that word starts with “ass.” What can I say. My husband and I wear our leathers even when it’s 105 degrees (as it was last summer in Winona, MN). Better to be safe than stupid.

  • RiderGirl Manila

    We got worse stereotypes here in the Philippines. If you are Riding-In-Tandem, people think of you as either killers or robbers. That prompted a major city in the Philippines to launch a citywide law of putting the plate numbers on our rider vests “as a way to thwart crime”.

    We are branded as criminals, the whole of the riding community, when in fact, criminals on motorcycles are just a very small percentage of the 8M riding population here.

    I’d rather have the ‘badboy/girl leather image’ anytime than being stereotyped as a killer. Sadly, media has a lot of fault in this by exaggerating the issues and not sticking to factual reporting.

    • twotiretirade

      That is absolutely crazy. I believe I read about that on your blog a while back. Stereotypes fuel negativity and ugliness and now they are eating away at human logic.

      • RiderGirl Manila

        I have a new one today. It was inspired by this blog of yours. check it out. it’s about specifically the Vest with Plate brouhaha…

      • RiderGirl Manila

        It really does fuel such negativity that it steps on human rights already. Thanks again for reading my new blog entry re vest with plate. it is a tough time for riders here nowadays but we’re not gonna stop the fight against biker discrimination.

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