Not that we consider this the definitive list of all time great motorcycle songs or videos that feature motorcycles, here are thirteen note worthy songs since the 1950’s that are collectively popular with motorcyclists.
What do you think? Did we miss your favorite song? Tell us in the comments.
Since we can’t leave out the scooter crowd, The Hondels make it in at
#13: Hondels: The Little Honda I’m gonna wake you up early cause i’m gonna take a ride with you…We’re goin’ down to the honda shop, i’ll tell you what we’re gonna do…Put on a ragged sweatshirt, i’ll take you where you want me to….
Famous for Southern Rock and famous for the tragic motorcycle accidents that claimed the life of founding members Duane Allman and Berry Oakley.. The Allman Brothers music was heavily influenced by the two wheel lifestyle. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
#12. Allman Brothers Band: Midnight Rider “Well, I’ve got to run to keep from hidin’….and I’m bound to keep on ridin’…
With a nod to the iconic movie Easy Rider, Born to be wild is the song that comes to mind the most often by non-motorcycle riders when they think of “biker music.” For that reason we almost didn’t want to include this tune, but that would be doing the band Steppenwolf a disservice.
11: Steppenwolf- Born to Be Wild “I like smoke and lightning…Heavy metal thunder…Racin’ with the wind…And the feeling that I’m under”
Chris Cross isn’t the first artist you think of when you think “motorcycle music” but this popular melody was once a favorite of the USRiderNews founding editor so he kind of forced us to include it.
10. Christopher Cross: Ride Like the Wind “And I’ve got such a long way to go, To make it to the border of Mexico, So I’ll ride like the wind, Ride like the wind”
The second song from the movie Easy Rider on this list comes from the Byrds. It’s not as iconic and overused as Born to be Wild but it succinctly sums up the two wheel lifestyle and earned a solid spot in the top 13.
9: Byrds: Ballad Of Easy Rider “All he wanted was to be free…and that’s the way it turned out to be…”
Harley riders will remember this song performed by Tritt at many of the traveling 100th anniversary parties across the United States. Looking back at the fiasco that was the final performer in Milwaukee, (Elton John) we’re guessing this song would’ve been a better one to close it out.
8: Travis Tritt: Great Day to Be Alive “I might go get me a new tattoo…take my ole’ Harley for a three day cruise…might even grow me a Fu Manchuuuu….ah…but it’s a great day to be alive”
The only song on the list with an actual motorcycle exhaust note in the song. It’s been overused almost as much as Born to be Wild and the opening sentence in the lyrics are idiotic, but we included it because the song gives a nod to several iconic “gentlemen’s clubs” all across the US.
7: Motley Crue: Girls, Girls, Girls Friday night and I need a fight…My motorcycle and a switchblade knife
Only one of two country songs to make the top 12, this song is probably the most under appreciated motorcycle tune every created by a world famous artist. Harley-Davidson’s and stringy haired blondes… what else is there in life?
6. Merle Haggard: Motorcycle Cowboy I ain’t got no driveway, Park my hog out on the lawn…I ain’t got no driveway, Park my mean old hog out on the lawn..Well I ain’t got me much money, But I Got me a long tall blonde.
One of the newest songs to make the list. Kid Rock is an unapologetic biker and rides his Harley in this video sans helmet with a FTW attitude that carries over into this life and music.
5. Kid Rock: Born Free Fast, on a rough road riding…High, through the mountains climbing….twisting, turning further from my home
1980’s classic rock and roll comes alive in this video from the band named after lead singer John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. While the song peaked at #7, the opening guitar riff is instantly recognizable to hardcore bikers all over the world.
4. Bon Jovi: Wanted Dead or Alive I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride…I’m wanted dead or alive
Probably the least recognized song in this list (followed closely by #6) The Other Kind is one man’s ode to the life of a 60’s and 70’s motorcycle rider. Earle is best known for Copperhead Road used as the theme music for the Discovery Channel show Moonshiners
3. Steve Earle The Other Kind “Nowadays I got me two good wheels.. And I seek refuge in aluminum and steel…It takes me out there for just a little while…And the years fall away with every mile…
Bob Segar was riding motorcycles long before it was considered cool to have long hair, tattoos and ride Harley-Davidson. On most lists Roll Me Away would wind up at #1, (and our Editor argued for it, but since we gave into him on #9 we stood our ground on this one) and while it’s considered by many to be the quintessential “gotta get the hell out of dodge and ride song” we think even Bob himself would agree that the next song should be #1
2. Bob Segar: Roll Me Away “Took a look down a west bound road, right away I made my choice…headed out to my big two wheeler, I was tired of my own voice..”
There are songs about motorcycles and there are songs about motorsickles…this one tops them all.
1. Arlo Guthrie: The Motorcycle Song “I don’t want a pickle…I just wanna ride my motorsickle…”