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Challenging 10 Outdated Biker Stereotypes

A lot of the people who visit our Dallas Harley®  shop look and dress a certain way as a matter of pride. What unites us is our love for riding, and our passion for the brand we believe is superior. However, just like our bikes are unique, we're each individual. That's why stereotypes will never fit. Here are some of the most common ones that have us shaking our heads.

Bikers are Violent

How many movies have you seen with the grisly, leather-clad biker guy and his group of buddies hanging out in the bar just waiting for someone to come along and piss them off? You know the ones. They’re shooting pool or harassing the waitress or nursing what you can tell isn’t their first drink (or second, or third) at the bar. 

The hero walks in on his way to save the world or find his lady love or solve the mystery. Something goes down and the biker flies off the handle and challenges him in a menacing, low voice made gravely by too many cigarettes and too much whiskey. His friends chalk their pool cues in a way that communicates the mayhem to come.

It’s fiction, but it has made its way into the American psyche and it might be lodged there permanently. It’s reinforced by the fact that some bikers are big, muscular, leather-clad and menacing. But if you ride you already know it isn’t true that all bikers are violent.

We’re All Gang Members

This one is similar to the above, and it’s fading from prevalence, but there are still people around who think all bikers are part of a gang. They’re dangerous hoodlums who don’t just disregard the law, they’d rather break and enter than knock politely, drive dangerously than follow traffic laws and break teeth than shake hands. 

This stereotype might be reinforced by the fact many of us are members of organizations. As inconceivable as it may seem, not everyone knows Dallas H.O.G. or Panther Creek are Harley Owner’s Group chapters. There are also organizations that ride for charity or nonprofit fundraising, or groups that create an official identity because they have things in common. Bold lettering on the back of a jacket or vest doesn’t automatically mean gang membership, but some people make that assumption.

Bikers are Dirty

Nervous Nellies and abrasive Karens yank their children away from “dirty bikers” in reaction to this stereotype that also comes more from the media than from most of the Harley® riders we’ve encountered. 

While we’ve never taken a poll, pretty much everyone who walks into our Dallas Harley® dealership seems to shower regularly. Since the start of the pandemic, everyone we know has been extra considerate about safeguarding their health and the health of other people. We might get a little fragrant on long road trips, but that’s just part of it.

Harley® Riders are Elitist

The idea that all Harley® riders are rich white guys who don’t care about the environment or society, they just want to show off their cash by riding a $30,000 motorcycle is inaccurate. The same people spreading that line also tend to assume Harley riders are fair-weather weekend warriors who drink and beat women. It’s as accurate as saying everybody in one ethnic group, age group or religious organization thinks and behaves the same. It’s a sign the person making the judgment is narrow-minded and hasn’t taken the time to get to know many people from that group or they would know better. 

Every day at our Dallas motorcycle dealership we see Harley® riders from a diverse range of backgrounds. Some ride bikes they bought for less than four figures. Others have worked hard for a lifetime, and they want to buy top of the line. But as a group, they’re an inclusive, welcoming bunch. It doesn’t matter so much what you look like or who you voted for as long as you treat others with respect, take care of your ride and love the freedom of the open road.

Bikers Wear Gear to Look Cool (And Tough)

We definitely sell some great looking gear at our Dallas Harley® shop. But riders don’t wear leathers, riding boots, riding jeans, armored clothing or any other gear to look cool, they wear it because the very first time you throw your leg over you come face to face with how hard pavement is and how thin is your skin.

Bikers wear gear so they can stay safe while doing what they love. It does sometimes make them look tough, fearsome and almost indestructible. If you tell one of us we look like a dark avenger we probably won’t be offended. Punisher comparisons are also welcome. Definitely, a rider in full motorcycle gear looks more prepared than the idiot who jumps on a bike in shorts and flip flops.

Motorcycle Riders are Reckless

All bikers don’t spend their time doing wheelies or screaming down the highway at 200 mph. We don’t all have a death wish, and we don’t seethe with road rage every time we start the motor. We might look like dark super heroes or warriors from the future, but most of us do (usually) follow traffic regulations.

More Biker Stereotypes

Here are a few more. 

  • All bikers have (long, unkempt) beards
  • Motorcycle riders are uneducated rednecks
  • If your daughter brings home a biker it’s all over
  • All young riders prefer sportbikes

Click over to our Facebook feed and tell us which ones we’ve missed! And we look forward to seeing you at our Garland TX Harley®  dealership soon.