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Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Biker or Motorcyclist? DEBATE!

There's an interesting question, are you a biker or a motorcyclist, or maybe even a motorbiker? Leave a comment and let me know, I need to know how to address my audience.

18 comments:

The Chief Bodger said...

Ah, mental gymnastics...or giving the little gray cells a work out.

"Motorcyclist" conjures up images of some old boy on a Bantam wearing an old storm coat, wellies, goggles, gauntlet gloves and an old bottle top helmet whereas "biker" to most is someone on a chopper, leather jacket or a cut-off vest, greasy jeans, beard, etc. "Motorbiker" brings up the image of someone out for a jaunt on an old Brough or Vincent wearing all the Biggles gear such as flying helemt and scarf with goggles.

To me, they're all pretty much the same thing really. I consider myself a biker no matter what I'm riding, 'cept for mopeds and scoo...hairdryers, and what I'm wearing.

The terms are all pretty much interchangeable I think.

Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

A very thoughtful answer, Bodger. I too, tend to think of myself as a biker, maybe I have a more modern image of a biker than non-biking people. To me, a biker is someone who rides a bike.

Simple.

But I suspect it's like the whole old bike club scene - the perception is that its full of grumpy old men locked in dark sheds polishing the likes of Vincents and Broughs that will never turn a wheel on the road - that image needs to be abolished, along with that old fashioned idea that a biker is as you described.

My head hurts after all that.

Anonymous said...

I think I've resembled, and or been called all of the above. ( Never been able to afford a Harley, Vincent or Brough...or been lucky enough to find a lucky deal on one.) I used to prefer motorcyclist to biker, because of the rude behavior of some out here in the wild west. Maybe too because I'd been through the sixties/seventies biker-chopper scene as a teen and later working in a "biker" oriented shop....hmmm interesting. Most of my friends probably think I'm just a "motorcycle nut". Maybe these days "biker" is cool. Maybe as soon
as you own more than one, and start restoring them you become a "motorcyclist"....or worse yet a "collector"...just don't become a rivet counting anorak eh Kawa? ha ha ha ! Hairy Larry

Anonymous said...

Just looked in today, first time in months. Interesting topic as someone I know pretty well does not like being called a "biker" yet portrays that image frequently but also can be a "Motorbiker" sometimes.
Also (on different subject) wondered how your follow button works as was toying with doing a similar thing on my website.Not sure how to set it up though. Kathy.

U N said...

Anyone else have a problem with typing a message, clicking on 'preview' and the screen going blank and the message disappearing?
Ho hum, try again.

'Motorcyclist' makes me think of a humourless, Barbour jacket wearing, BMW riding, pipe smoker who thinks that riding a bike is to be endured rather than enjoyed.
'Biker' I really dislike as when I was young, a 'biker' was a member of a teenage fashion group defined by style of music and clothes worn, rather than mode of transport. 'Bikers' were young, grubby, poorly educated Heavy Metal fans who had lank greasy hair, cheap leather jackets, and dirty jeans. (Severe acne and dandruff were major fashion pluses). There were 'biker pubs' and 'biker bands', but rarely, if ever, was a bike seen. The nearest most 'bikers' got to a bike was seeing a Heavy Metal singer sitting on a chopper on an album cover.
'Biker' was also used as an insult when I was a teenager, inferring that a person was of low intelligence and had severe personal hygiene problems! As this was true of most 'bikers', none had girlfriends, so there were no 'Biker Chicks', gorgeous or otherwise!
I prefer to say 'I ride a bike' rather than 'I am a ...', but if I was forced to have a label then 'Gentleman Motorbicyclist' would do!

U N

Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

OOooh, that's another one....a 'Gentleman Motorbicyclist', never even thought of that. Well, being a girl, I wouldn't!

Kathy, I'm sure 100% how the 'followers' thing works, people just pop up on my screen as my 'followers'. Shrug, shrug? Good to see you here again. Think you should get this 'biker' person to pop in and put his (or her) own thoughts into the mix!

PS, UN, Mrs BC had the same problem with the blank screen, and now it's resulted in her not being able to post comments on here at all, dats why she being so quiet! We suspect it is to do with cookies. Not enough choc chips in them probably.

Anonymous said...

Very good question to ask ...

UN got there before me - "Gentleman Motorcyclist" is how I'd like to be thought of for all the same reasons he and above have described. But not so sure now after Bodger's post, can see his point that "Motorcyclist" suggests someone kinda staid, which isn't me (least I hope not lol). "Biker" has a lot of stigma attached to it - it would be fun to be known as a biker if it weren't for the stereotyped image.

Interesting that it might be an age thing, maybe the younger generation aren't worried by/ aware of the stigma?

Graham B

Darrell said...

This is an interesting question, since I work in a Harley dealership and a good number of our customers are what could be considered "real bikers:" tattoos, greasy hair, ponytails on middle aged men, etc..
I don't refer to myself as a "biker" since my mental image of a biker is as described above.
I am not sure "motorcyclist" is semantically correct either, the image there being the proper fellow with the cap, goggles, long coat, etc.. (T.E. Lawrence comes to mind).
Its more clumsy but I prefer to say (when pressed) that I am a motorcycle rider. Generic.

The Chief Bodger said...

"A biker is someone who rides a bike."

That's pretty much in a nut shell.

And I've been having the same problem with posting a comment, but neveer losing the comment. It gets there eventually.

Anonymous said...

GBC, maybe you should address us as "My fellow raconteurs and motorcycle enthusiasts" . Interesting the various reactions, seems region ,age and experiences seem to all be part of the discussion. I didn' t like the young "Rockers" thinking that leather was for fashion rather than protection from road rash either...oh well . I've given up editing and previewing on the wee phone here...and going bravely to the publish button. I seem to experience more probs at Chief Bodgers blogspot lately. I always liked the term "Gentleman's Express" in reference to a swift , good handleing, not too loud motor driven device. HL

Shorty said...

I usually get called a silly old bugger that never grew up.

sfb said...

I tend to be in agreement with U N's statement "I prefer to say 'I ride a bike' rather than 'I am a ...' " but then, since I would say that I ride a bike rather than that I ride a motorcycle, I suppose I would have to prefer "biker". Then again, I've noticed that people who ride bicycles are now often referred to as bikers whereas I would always have said "cyclist". How confusing!

To me "motorcyclist" would suggest someone in fully co-ordinated clothing on a touring motorcycle with matching hard-luggage.

Really, I don't much like labels at all - I feel that if I were to say "I'm an accountant" people are more likely to use that label to make a judgement about your personality than if I said "I do accounts for a living". It is clear from this debate that the name "biker" or "motorcyclist" conjures up quite defined images to different people whereas to state "I ride a bike" leaves things a bit more open and perhaps sounds more as if you might have other interests as well.

Or perhaps I'm just talking c*p! It wouldn't be the first time :-)

kawa said...

Just my thoughts on this

Motorcyclist, someone who has a bit of an interest in bikes, mainly their bike gets used for a trip to work or the occasional run out, but not usually to a bike related event / destination

Biker, someone who's life revolves around the motorcycle to one degree or another, be it the public stereo type greasy 'Biker' with club cut off and some large noisy bike, to the person how rides his bike all over the country enjoying the miles, meeting up with like minded folk at various events an runs ( and usually has a few bikes )

I know which one I fit in to ;-)


kawa

Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

Typical, we get all those thoughtful and intelligent comments, and then Shorty appears with his SHORT comment!

The Chief Bodger said...

UN and Kawa's comments about "motorcyclists" have reminded me of something; back in te days of the dinosaurs, 1977 to be exact, I was stationed in Newbury and went to Gus Kuhn's in Cllaham London to order my new Norton 850 Electric Start.

There I was a 20 y/o waiting to be see to while the salesman was dealing with another bloke. Things had to wait while the customer man (in his 40s-50s) got on the phone to his insurance to get a quote and possible coverage.

In his Chauncey Poshness voice (you have to imagine it in you mind) it went something like this:
"hello, I wish to purchase some insurance for my motor bicycle."

"What kind is it, oh yes, it's a Suzuki GS750 and I wish to purchase it from Gus Kuhn's motor bike emporium."

"How many ccs does it have?" I believe it's 750cc."

"This went on for about 5-10 minutes and then more or less ended due to some problem."

When it cae to me, I told the salesmanny exactly what I wanted, an 850 Electric Start in JPN colors. Salesmanny was happy that he had someone who knew exactly what he wanted without any fuss or bother, whereas Chauncey Poshness didn't know much it seems.

It was the words he used and the manner he was talking, with the plum in his mouth, that I distinctly remember and associate with a "motorbiker/motorcyclist" instead of biker.

Anonymous said...

I am a bloke who rides motorbikes.

Erm....

That's it!

MZ Mark

Anonymous said...

Chauncey Poshness, was'nt he a drummer for the "Acoustic Blueberries" ? Bodger you remind me of a time , oh about when the earth was still cooling...1969... Three of us are out on two Honda CL 175 K3''s , and one on a new BSA 441 Victor. We've been out of the county near Jackson Calif. doing some fireroading and cowtrailing, and a little tulewhompin' . We're a few miles out of town heading back to Sacramento and running low on fuel. We pull into Bridgeport which was not more than a gas station and bar out among the hops fields and small farms in those days.To make a story short...we are told "we don't serve your kind here" . Of course we want to know what kind we are, and are surprised that we are "Bikers" and better get a move on...before there is any trouble. Three sixteen year olds on scramblers...just rediculous. Well we drove slow , and figured out you could lean a bike and slosh fuel over the hump to the petcock side...and made it to town on fumes. Yeah, the wild bunch on our original dual-purpose bikes...ah memories. Hairy Larry

Anonymous said...

A correction, it wasn't " Bridgeport"...it was "Sloughhouse"...site of "The Sloughhouse Inn". About 1995-6 I rode my Norton 850 out there to see a friends band play out there. They were'nt kicking anybody out as long as you were paying your tab and being civilized..."Bikers" welcome these days...times have changed. Hairy Larry

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