Generally taken to be foul-mouthed, tattooed, mean, tough, redneck outlaw who lives for his motorcycle and/or motorcycle gang. May abuse amphetamines, be into organised crime and pack rape, and swing a mean bat. Also may limp and be missing teeth.

Some publications try to reinvent this image as some hippy escapist thing, don't buy this, reality is cooler. Also contrast boy racer.

Bikers can indeed be compared to other people who use motorcycles. Such (not necessarily disjoint) subsets could include motorcyclist or rider.

The biker image certainly includes elements of the garb, rowdyness and attitude. However very few of those who strike this pose actually fit the reality of the one percenter or outlaw biker.

Today's average purchaser of a cruiser is well off materially (and needs to be given the $12-20k US price range). While these riders often affect the look sometimes associated with outlaw bikers, they are not the same. The modern (ca 1990's) prominence of 'biker look' partly hinges on the resurgence of Harley-Davidson as a viable maker of working motorcycles (even US police forces stopped buying Harleys in the 1980's due to quality problems encountered in the 1970's).

The renewed popularity of Harley's machines with a more affluent demographic market has given rise to the term RUB or "Rich Urban Biker". Of course these include riders who do not affect the 'biker look', and probably many RUB's succeed in motorcycle society because they look and act the part.

The one percenters or members of outlaw clubs uniformly eschewed use of protective gear, wearing helmets only in locales which require them and affecting a stance that riding skill is better protection than wearing leather. Members of outlaw clubs also wear "colors", - a patch on the back of a riding vest. Wearing colors, however greatly increases the interest of police in a rider, as generally the wearing of colors is associated gang activity, hence they are not always displayed.

Both the outlaws and some other groups of motorcyclists may make extensive customizations to their machines. What characterizes the bike of the one percenter is the removal of extraneous gear. The classic outlaw bike is hand-built, and may consist of not much more than an engine, (loud) exhaust pipes, and wheels. Seats are often little more than a thin pad of leather, and these bikes are generally older vintage. Even to the eyes of people who don't much appreciate Harleys, these tend to be unique and beautiful bikes.

Except for the display of colors, "bikers" adopt "tough looking" (but non-protective) clothing, like what the "outlaws" have affected for decades.

It is in the bikes themselves that "bikers" are readily distinguished from the "outlaws" they choose to emulate. While the RUB's motorcycle may be customized, this is done with parts bought from (and likely installed by) after market vendors and shops. Harley-Davidson does a good business itself in selling name brand custom parts.

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