What Is A Real Biker
Author Unknown

This is a question that will invariably engender great debate, argument, rhetoric, verbosity, emotion, and will produce more questions. Herein, I stipulate that the term "biker" is not a term within itself, but rather invokes a degree of state-of-being. A more appropriate question should be, "How much of a biker is a real biker?."

  • Here listed are qualifiers. These attributes, of a real biker, are rated by the term "spokes". I use this simply as a grading system. The more "spokes" a person has, the more of a biker he is. In other words, a biker with 15-spokes can comfortably feel more righteous than a biker with only 2- spokes.

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  • Traditionally, the biker is male. We can never get away from that fact, but I discuss gender later.

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  • This is not presented as a merit badge system or as a goal. These "spokes" would be normally gathered by a person simply by existing and living the lifestyle.

  • Each item listed rates 1-spoke (unless stated). Other than the first item, spokes are gathered in any order.

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  • SECTION ONE, THE MOTORCYCLE

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  • FIRST ITEM - To have a motorcycle. Any mode of transportation, capable of carrying a person, that fits the description: "n. A two-wheeled motor vehicle resembling a heavy bicycle, sometimes having two saddles and a sidecar with a third wheel." - American Heritage Dictionary, and loves the rapport with nature, and the wind in his face. This item by itself will give you a spoke.

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  • ITEM - To have a righteous motorcycle. This is a motorcycle that is accepted as a "kool ride" by those that consider themselves bikers also. This is an automatic Spoke for a Harley-Davidson. It does include a highly customized foreign bike that has one or more of these listed customizations: hard-tailed, with high c.c., extended front end, customized paint job, bobbed, lowered, or engine tuned for performance. You get another Spoke if you did the customizing yourself, or if you customize the other makes of stock "kool ride". Other stock motorcycles that rate a Spoke are the older English bikes, i.e., Triumph, Norton, Aerial, et.al. (The new Triumph is a foreign bike.) Also, any of the older American bikes, i.e., Indian, Henderson, et.al. This Item offers two spokes, or more, if you have more than one righteous motorcycle. (Any reference to motorcycle forthwith, meets the description in this Item.)

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  • ITEM - If your only source of transportation is your motorcycle, you get a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - You get a Spoke (each time), if you have ridden your motorcycle more than 600 miles to any of the National Meets, i.e., Daytona, Sturgis, Laconia, et.al. You get one-half point for any distance less than 600 miles. You only get one-half Spoke if you trailered or packed your motorcycle. You rate another Spoke if you did an Iron-Butt trip of more than 2 days and more than 1,000 miles for any reason (each time).

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  • ITEM - If you have ridden your motorcycle in local Meets, of less than 600 miles, 2 or more times a year. This includes Toy Runs, charity runs, hell-of-it runs, or any planned event. You get one Spoke for each year. (The standard of 600 miles was chosen as explained in EZ Riders magazine as the distance of a single day good-ride.)

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  • ITEM - Broken Wings. A Spoke earned for each set earned. (You lose a Spoke if you don't understand.)

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  • ITEM - Give yourself a Spoke for every time you ever pushed your bike more than half-a-mile, rather than leave it.

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  • ITEM - If you've owned a motorcycle of any type for more than half your life from age 10, you get a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If you've ever moved your bike into any room of your house (or motel room) for any reason, you earn a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If you've ever ridden in inclement weather, that a kager wouldn't try, you earn a Spoke. If you've ever put on a full-face helmet simply to protect your face from snow, sleet, or rain, you lose a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If you've ever slept next to your bike at a freeway rest-stop, you earn a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If you've ever "pegged" another biker (you know, pushed him and his bike with your foot) for any distance, take a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - Motorcycle Mechanical Aptitude. You rate a Spoke if you do your own Tune-ups, and minor repairs. This includes repairing flats (dismounting, repairing tube, re-mounting), ignition timing, points/condenser/coil replacement, carburetor maintenance, or chain/belt maintenance or replacement. You get another Spoke if you do your own major overhaul top-end (less machine work). This includes break-down, replacement of wrist-pins, pistons, piston rings, jugs, rocker boxes, push rods, etc. You get another Spoke if you can do a lower-end overhaul (break cases). Another Spoke is available if you do your own gear-box (transmission) overhaul. If you've taken the extra effort to get appropriate tools/equipment to do all the related machine work, give yourself another Spoke. A Spoke is available to you, if you do your own major customizing, i.e. replacing/extending front-end (triple T maintenance), lowering, and painting. Give yourself, yet another, Spoke if you have the talent for pin-striping, custom-painting, leather-work, etching, or molding.

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  • SECTION TWO - ATTITUDE

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  • ITEM - You rate a Spoke if you've ever broken your hand (or any other bone) in a bar fight.

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  • ITEM - You rate a Spoke if you've broken a cue-stick, for any reason.

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  • ITEM - You rate a Spoke, if you believe a person should take care of his own business.

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  • ITEM - If you refuse to get a motorcycle endorsement on your driver's license as a matter of principle, and would rather pay the fine, you get a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If you refuse to silence your motorcycle, as a matter of principle, and would rather pay the fine, you get a Spoke. (In other words if you comply with societies rules, simply because you are afraid of the consequences, you don't get any Spokes.)

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  • ITEM - If you've ever stopped to help an unknown fellow biker on the road, you get a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If you've ever been asked to leave (or not permitted to enter) a restaurant or other public place, grab a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If you have been given a "biker name" from your peers, and insist that this is your "real" name, you get a Spoke. If a bank honors a check written to your biker-name, you get another Spoke. If your signature is (or includes) your biker name, you get a Spoke. If you've convinced your associates, or neighbors to call you by your biker-name you earn a Spoke. If one or more of your marriage ceremonies includes your biker-name, you get a Spoke.

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  • SECTION THREE - RELATIONSHIPS

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  • ITEM - If you've ever bonded your bike to get a brother out of jail (or yourself), you get a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If you've ever picked your motorcycle over a woman's wishes, you get a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If any of your ol' ladies ever worked in a topless bar for you, you get a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If any of your ol' ladies ever "flashed" a policeman, you get a Spoke. If she just flashes anyone 2 or 3 times a month, you also get a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If your lady supports and believes in your lifestyle, over any situation, you earn a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If you've traveled any distance to help a brother (this term used to define a friend of like mind, his property or his family), add a Spoke.

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  • ITEM - If you've stood and supported your brother in any public altercation or event, you earn a Spoke.

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  • SECTION FOUR - SILENT PROTEST
  • (The silent protest is a term used for the personal appearance or presentation to the world indicating a despisement of a society that has become too cumbersome, too nosey, over-regulated and restrictive.)

  • ITEM - Recognizing and accepting that tattoos are an excellent representation of the Silent Protest, one Spoke. Having a tattoo gives you another Spoke. Having tattoos of more than 20 % of your body gives another Spoke. Having tattoos in normally socially offensive areas, such as hands, face, genitals, or buttocks is also another Spoke. The same Spokes can be given for piercing's.
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  • ITEM - Having a hair style that is not normally socially acceptable, such as Mohawk, shaved (especially with tattoos), or unusually long, is a Spoke.
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  • ITEM - Dressing in a matter of comfort and personal preference and ignoring social norms of pretense; especially in public events, earns a Spoke.
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  • ITEM - If your legs are pale (untanned), grab a Spoke.
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  • ITEM - If you've ever farted in an elevator or other unacceptable place, grab a Spoke.
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  • ITEM - If you shave your beard as a personal preference for comfort and not because it is socially acceptable or expected, take a Spoke.
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  • ITEM - If you've ever worn a T-shirt that has a totally disgusting or anti-social message written on it (especially in a public place), take a Spoke.
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  • ITEM - If you got a bell hanging on your bike somewhere, you get a Spoke. (Don't have to know why, just have one.)
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  • ITEM FROM READER - Membership in a club: 1% = 5 spokes - A.M.A.= Minus 5 spokes.
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  • SPECIAL ITEM - If you find yourself without a bike (for any reason), you lose 34 (thirty-four) Spokes. It is possible to be a biker-less biker. You may be at a minus Spoke level, but what the heck...get a bike.
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  • This is the last of the items, but I don't pretend there are no more. The term "biker" is a matter of extreme heart and is basically a matter of keeping your ideals in spite of anything. These items are presented only as one man's view, and is subject to debate; but can be a standard of traditions.
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  • As far as the ladies, in this day and age, I find that the female has become a part of the traditional male role of the biker life, and I'm willing to admit that these items can apply to them too. Just reverse the gender.
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  • So, using this standard, one can say, "I'm a biker with 15 Spokes," or "5", or whatever. Pretty silly, huh? But, something like this is necessary whenever the question comes up now-a-days, "What is a real biker?"

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