Whether you are an old grey beard or a rookie, this code applies!
I ride purely, and only, because it is fun and I enjoy the freedom I feel from being exposed to the elements, and the vulnerability to
the danger that is intrinsic to riding. I do not ride because it is fashionable to do so. I ride my machine, not wear it. My machine is not a
symbol of status. It exists simply for me, and me alone. My machine is not a toy. It is an extension of my being, and I will treat it accordingly, with
the same respect as I have for myself. I strive to understand the inner-workings of my machine, from the most basic to the most complex. I
will learn everything I can about my machine, so that I am reliant upon no one but myself for its health and well-being. I strive to constantly better
my skill of control over my machine. I will learn its limits, and use my skill to become one with my machine so that we may keep each other alive. I
am the master, it is the servant. Working together in harmony, we will become an invincible team. I do not fear death. I will, however, do all
possible to avoid death prematurely. Fear is the enemy, not death. Fear on the highway leads to death, therefore I will not let fear be my master. I
will master it. My machines will outlive me. Therefore, they are my legacy. I will care for them for future bikers to cherish as I have cherished them,
whoever they may be. I do not ride to gain attention, respect, or fear from those that do NOT ride, nor do I wish to intimidate or annoy them. For those
that do not know me, all I wish from them is to ignore me. For those that desire to know me, I will share with them the truth of myself, so that they
might understand me and not fear others like me. I will never be the aggressor on the highway. However, should others mess with me, their
aggression will be dealt with in as severe a manner as I can cast upon them. I will show respect to other bikers more experienced or knowledgeable than I.
I will learn from them all I can. I will not show disrespect to other bikers less experienced or knowledgeable than I.
I will teach them what I can. It will be my task to mentor new riders, that so desire, into the lifestyle of the biker, so that the breed shall continue.
I shall instruct them, as I have been instructed by those before me. I shall preserve and honour traditions of bikers before me, and I will pass them on unaltered.
I will not judge other bikers on their choice of machine, their appearance, or their profession. I will judge them only on their conduct as bikers.
I am proud of my accomplishments as a biker, though I will not flaunt them to others. If they ask, I will share them.
I will stand ready to help any other biker that truly needs my help. I will never ask another biker to do for me what I can do for myself.
I am not a part-time biker. I am a biker when, and where ever I go. I am proud to be a biker, and I hide my chosen lifestyle from no one.
I ride because I love freedom, independence, and the movement of the ground beneath me. But most of all, I ride to better understand
myself, my machine, the lands in which I ride, and to seek out and know other bikers like myself.
It used to be that all bikers shared a common bond, an unspoken code of
ethics and behavior that transcended words and was built on actions. There
was never a bible written on this Biker's Code of the West and there was no
need for such to me. But the times are a-changin' and there seems to be a
lot of new riders out there. These days the riders you see blastin' down the
tarmac are just as likely to be clad in shorts and sneakers as jeans and
engineer boots. And the roughest, toughest-looking biker you pull up next to
could be your doctor or lawyer and may be wearin' a Rolex watch under his
leathers. There's nothing wrong with that, so long as these new riders learn
the Code of the West just as we old-timers did.
Being a biker used to be about using your creativity to take a basket case
old hawg and using only grit and ingenuity, turning it into a one of a kind
eye dazzler, then risking your life on the asphalt on a bike you made
yourself out of pride. Bikers wore leather and grease because they knew
cagers would just as soon run them down as look at them, so they had to be
intimidating. We were a breed unto ourselves with no union, no support
group, and in many cases, no family (they threw us out). We had to make it
in the world of our own, against all rules, against mainstream society, and
against all odds. You know, we survived and prospered because of the Biker
Code of the West and we never took shit from anybody. As an old scooter
tramp named Jug once said, "It's every tramp's job to school the young. How
else are they gonna know a Panhead from a bed pan?" With that in mind, we
bring you a primer on the basic two-wheeled Code of the West. Take heed,
brothers and sisters, for our Code is a hallowed one filled with honor and
loyalty, the likes of which have not been since the days of knighthood.
The Biker Commandments
Don't take any shit. Be kind to woman, children and animals, but don't take
any bullshit. This is an essential part of being a biker. It has to do with
respect and honor. Anyone can be a brash, quick-tempered lout. Be cool,
stand tall and backup what you say with action.
Never lie, cheat or steal. Another way of saying this is to always tell the
truth. Bikers are always the greasy bad guys in the movies, but every real
biker knows that his word is his bond. Your word is all you have in life
that is truly yours. Guard it carefully and be about something noble, for
you are a true knight of the road.
Don't snitch. If you see a wrong, fight it yourself. If you are about
anything, you'll take care of problems yourself and never feel the need to
snitch someone off. Snitches are the lowest life forms on earth, right up
there with biker thieves. This rule goes hand in hand with the next one.
Don't Snivel. Absolutely no one likes or respects a sniveler. Another way to
say this is hold your mud. Still another way to think of it is, "Don't sweat
the small stuff." Most of life's little inconveniences work themselves out
whether you snivel or not. Keep your chin up, dammit! You're a biker, not
some lowly mollusk.
Never say die and never give up. Whether it's in a fight, a debate, or a
business deal, no matter how bad it gets, a biker never gives up. That's why
you see a lot of wealthy bikers these days, 'cause they don't know how to
quit in any element of their lives. In the biker world of rugged
individualists, only the strong survive.
Help others. When a brother or sister is broken down by the side of the
road, stop and help them. Even moral support, it that is all you can give,
is better than riding on by. Remember life is about the journey, the ride,
not getting there. You already are there. And don't just help bikers, show
the world that we are better than our image portrays us. Courtesy costs you
nothing and gives you everything.
Stick to your guns. Do what you say you'll do, be there when you say you
will. This is called integrity. This also goes back to standing for
something. Like the song says, "You've got to stand for something or you'll
fall for anything."
Life is not a drill. Yeah, this ain't no dress rehearsal. This is life - go
out and take big bites of it. You've got no time to lose and bikers don't
stand around waiting for the party to come to them. You only go around once.
Tomorrow you could be road kill, thanks to a chain smoker asleep at the
wheel of his Caddy. Live life now, make the most of each moment. This is not
All right, now let's review. You are a biker, a modern-day knight of the
road. Protect the weak, walk tall and stand proud. Your word is your bond.
Stick to your guns. Don't take any shit. Life is not a drill. Now go forth
and ride. When in doubt, ride. That's what we do...ride. If you want to ride
around in a Day-Glo Hawaiian shirt and sandals, go for it, but if you intend
to look like a goof, at least don't act like a goof. These commandments are
just a few of the broad strokes, there is a lot more to being a biker than
buying a bike. If you just buy a bike, you are a motorcyclist. Being a biker
is a way of life, a proud way of life we hold in high regard and with a
burning passion for the open highway and for life.