In the wonderful world of escapist entertainment, owning a motorcycle makes you an immense bad ass with a will of steel and fists of iron. Even characters who might only ride a motorcycle occasionally suddenly find themselves turning into the toughest human being on wheels.
In real life, most motorcycles are sitting in the garages of henpecked husbands or the driveways of aging rebels turned office workers going through the throes of their mid life crises. Real life is definitely more “sons of middle class upbringing” than Sons of Anarchy.
Luckily for all of us, I don’t write about boring and unimportant stuff like real life.
With the reboot of this iconic cult comic series gracing theaters in England, and hopefully washing the acrid taste of Stallone’s 1995 version out of the eyeballs of those of us who dig 2000 AD, it is only fair we give Dredd a spot on this list. The Judge himself tends to spend a lot of his time being the law on top of his bike, aptly titled the Lawmaster.
When you think “bad ass biker” I know exactly what comes to mind – a 19 year old college freshman in a pink vest. At least that is what comes to mind if you’ve ever played any of the Resident Evil games. I am really curious as to what college she went to, because the one I went to as a freshman didn’t have motorcycle riding OR zombie shooting classes. I’m 25k in debt and no closer to surviving a zombie apocalypse in cut off shorts, thanks a lot America.
Biker Mice from Mars
If you look up the definition of “bad ass biker” in the dictionary, I’m 100% certain it will say “Mice, from mars.” If you weren’t around in the 90s to enjoy the amazingness of giant space mice on sentient motorcycles cleaning up the mean streets of Chicago, I legitimately feel sorry for your childhood.
Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. “If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.” Hiro used to feel this way, too, but then he ran into Raven. In a way, this was liberating. He no longer has to worry about being the baddest motherfucker in the world. The position is taken.
Hey you remember books right? The things with the pages and the words and all that? Where you have to use your imagination? I’m sure you’ve seen one before. Well as books go, it doesn’t get much more bad ass than Raven from Neil Stephenson’s cyberpunk tour de force Snow Crash. Not only is he pretty inarguably the “baddest motherfucker in the world” but his motorcycle is actually a tactical nuclear bomb. That takes huge balls. Literally, because they’d be horribly mutated from the radiation.
When Bayonetta isn’t using her magic hair as a weapon, infuriating the gaming community by putting its sequel on a system that is more casual than khakis, using enemy weapons as stripper poles, and making those few of us plodding about in game journalism who actively try to push back against the objectification of women characters figure out just what the hell to do when the game doing the objectifying is damn good, she is riding about on her custom motorcycle and spilling more blood than a drunk vampire.
While Bruce Wayne might not be joining the Hell’s Angels anytime soon, and he really doesn’t have the body count that most of the other people on this have due to his whole “no killing” thing, you try to tell the god damn Batman he can’t be on a list about bikers when he has had at least a dozen Batcycles. Seriously, I dare you.
Sons of Anarchy, or Hamlet on Wheels depending on your perspective, has about a dozen characters that could have taken this spot. Pretty much every dude that sits down on a bike in this show has done multiple things that would classify them thoroughly as a bad ass. I, personally, went with Opie here. This guy has lost the most of any member of SAMCRO and is still as unwaveringly loyal as a solar powered Tamagotchi. It is just a shame that in shows like this, loyalty is the most terminal illness you can get.
Plus come on, he is a total dreamboat.
He has a flaming skull, is pretty much immortal, and has made it much easier for unoriginal stoners everywhere to think of usernames. And he was played by Nicholas “If I Were Anymore of a Ham I’d Have Played Babe” Cage. Doesn’t get much more bad ass than that.
If you like anime, even just a little, the above image should have just sent you into a coma due to iconic overdose. AKIRA is the first wacky Japanese cartoon that many of us /a/ dwellers ever got exposed to, and Kaneda’s rise from being the head of a delinquent motorcycle gang to one of the only people bad ass enough to fight his nearly omnipresent former best friend is still interesting twenty five years later.
Before movies portraying bikers as counter-culture rebels were ubiquitous, The Wild One absolutely defined the outlaw biker movie genre. Of all of Marlon Brando’s most impressive roles, and there were many, his turn in The Wild Ones remains one of the most memorable. Strabler might not have been doing coke, running guns, or banging hookers, but if it weren’t for him this genre might not even exist. Oh, and he had sideburns. In the 50s. That was enough to get life in prison back then.
Oh, and before you fill the comment thread with “WHAT ABOUT DENNIS HOPPER” just remember that I had to bump somebody to make room for the Biker Mice from Mars. Obviously a much better decision.