Biker Icons of Pop Culture

Characters Who Made Bikers Even Cooler

Motorbikes have a reputation for being somewhat more cool than other forms of transport. Whether this comes from the much higher risk of injury associated with the vehicle or the wardrobe of black leather that usually accompanies those who ride, something about bikers is tough, dangerous and bursting with street cred. Much of this likely comes from the way that popular culture has put a spin on the movement. From Fonzie being the icon of cool back in the 70’s, it seems that those who rode on two wheels were always superior to those in four. Here are another bunch of well-loved icons that no doubt helped perpetuate the idea that bikers were way more rad than the rest of society.

Kaneda

You may have heard his name shouted out loud many, many times before but if you don’t know who Shōtarō Kaneda is than you may want to put a couple hours aside and check out the ground-breaking anime Akira. Here Kaneda is constantly seen cruising the highways of Neo-Tokyo on his unforgettable futuristic and slick red streamlined motorbike. Dressed in all red leather that matches his ride, Kaneda is the height of cool and the protagonist in this post-apocalyptic tale that inspired millions.

Biker Mice from Mars

This was a children’s cartoon from the 90’s that saw a trio of giant, musclebound, alien-cyborg anthropomorphic mice ride motorcycles, what’s not to love? These ruff and ready bros would ride at full speed down city streets performing crazy stunts and leaving a trail of smoke in their wake often. Accompanied by the soundtrack of face melting guitar solos and constantly beating up greasy mechanics and corporate big-wigs, this triple threat to society were a token example of biker rebellion.

Jax Teller
Jax Teller

Jax Teller

From California comes the son of John Teller a good man mixed up in a group of bad people, Jax now takes on the burden of his father as he works his way up in the infamous biker gang The Sons of Anarchy. At the table of the head charter and in line to take over the spot from his stepfather, Jax’s long and painful story is told through 7 seasons as actor Charlie Hunnam embodies the role masterfully. Jax has heart but is no stranger to extortion and excessive violence, as is the day in the life of a ‘motorcycle enthusiast’. SOA as it is shortened to is now a well-loved series that has no doubt inspired people more recently to get on two wheels.

The Terminator
The Terminator

The Terminator

Few people depict the term badass more than Arnold Schwarzenegger as his most memorable role in the Terminator films. Appearing from an electrified portal into the past, this killing machine from the future enters a bar full of bikers and walks out with someone else’s clothes, boots and motorcycle. From here on in this stone-faced stalker rides like a pro leaving nothing but carnage behind him. In the sequel he returns to more bike stunts, more machine guns and becomes even more likeable as he becomes the protector of a young boy. The leather and sunglasses combo that Arnie has here remains the timeless look of the cool biker you don’t want to mess with.