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Characters on Two Wheels: Understanding the Many Kinds of Motorcycle Riders

You might think that motorcycle riders and enthusiasts are a similar breed and share a lot of the same personality traits, but while they all share a passion for two-wheeled speed, the riders can be as different as the bikes they ride.

Here’s a look at some of the many kinds of motorcycle riders you can see enjoying their machines on highways everywhere and how to spot your squid from a stunter and plenty of other characters on two wheels.

Love to hate these riders

There are motorcyclists, and then there are motorcyclists, and the simple way you separate one from the other is to love the idea of hating those riders who are classed as squids.

Some of the classic signs that you’re watching a squid cruise past you without a care for themselves or anyone around them will be the lack of protective clothing that no self-respecting biker would be without. Plus, the bike badge is almost certainly going to be Japanese.

Squids are almost universally loathed for their lack of riding technique and their need for speed in the most inappropriate places, so let’s hope you are not someone true motorcyclists love to hate.

Loves the garage as well as the open road

Next up is the class of biker known as the Mechanic.

This is an apt description of a bike enthusiast who loves spending time in the garage working on their bike almost as much as they love riding it when they have put all the bits back together again.

You can normally spot a mechanic biker by the beaming smile they’re wearing that is the result of the pride they take in knowing that their machine is in pristine mechanical condition and is tuned to provide maximum performance.

You might also hear this type of biker being referred to as a DIY Nutcase, which pretty much sums up what they are and is confirmed when you see that they are carrying the coolest and most comprehensive miniature toolkit you will see anywhere.

If a mechanic biker is unfortunate enough to find their bike damaged in an accident, they will likely visit a site like for help, and will just as likely be itching to get to work on any repairs themselves if they can.

There is only one brand of motorcycle

That statement is patently untrue, as there are loads of unique motorcycle brand, but if you’re a biker known as a Brand Loyalist, as far as you’re concerned, there is only one brand that matters.

The strongest and most obvious example of brand loyal motorcycling is the immense sense of community that seems to be felt when you are part of the Harley Davidson family.

There’s no room for negotiation and no point arguing with a brand loyalist. They won’t have a word said against their brand of choice, and frankly, nothing else even comes close to mattering.

You don’t have to look far for evidence of their commitment to the brand, with every item of merchandise carrying the iconic label around their home and on their clothes.

Best of British

Strangely, the attempted renaissance of Triumph and Norton doesn’t seem to have won over the biker identified as a hardcore anglophile.

It’s not that these bikers don’t love the Triumph and Norton badges and what they stand for — far from it — but vintage bikes mean old bikes that offer a brittle, bone-shaking riding experience that is far removed from the smooth, modern machinery you could be riding.

Removing that level of modern comfort and ride experience seems to be what drives the hardcore anglophile to ride what only old-fashioned British hardware like this can deliver.

Some would argue that there’s no accounting for taste, and you might think it strange that a bike enthusiast would want to step back into a time when bikes were less refined but exhilarating rides, which is probably the clue why some bikers are drawn to this generation of motorcycle history.

Maybe you are an adventure rider or an exclusive sports rider instead of the biker personalities already highlighted, but as long as you love your bikes and no one calls you a squid, feel free to share your passion with other like-minded individuals.

Who knew there could be so many different characters on two wheels?

Danielle Kirby discovered her passion for motorcycles threee years ago after a big re-think on her life plans. She writes about road trips she’s taken, the gear she has and a whole host of other motorcycle topics.