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Why Do Bikers Think They are Tough

Why Do Bikers Think They are Tough? (6 Surprising Reasons)

Know why bikers act tough?

It’s not because they wish they were in Sons of Anarchy.
It’s not because they dream of being in an outlaw bike gang.

In fact, they have a few totally legit reasons.

Bikers act tough because riding a motorcycle is a challenge.
It’s dangerous.

Threats come from many directions at once: from the weather, to road conditions and the dodgy skills and aggression of some car drivers. Without deep reserves of physical and mental toughness, bikers would be lying on the couch instead of going riding.

Bikers think they are tough because they have to be.
It’s not about being cool – it’s about surviving.
They’ve learned over the years that to ride a motorcycle, you actually do have to be pretty tough.
There are dangers and challenges around every corner.


tough bikers might meet a tiger


Being a biker is really not for the faint-hearted.

Let me explain…

Why Bikers Think They are Tough:
6 Reasons You Probably Hadn’t Thought Of

1.  Riding conditions make bikers tough

When you ride a motorcycle, you’re at the TOTAL mercy of the weather.
And the roads themselves.

You have to adapt to a range of conditions, because you’re not tucked away safely inside the bubble of a car.
Or lying on the couch watching Netflix.

Being out on a motorcycle means getting used to riding in extreme heat, freezing cold, biting wind, and rain that hits your face like a million hateful little needles, and soaks you to the skin.

Bikers have to cope with riding on roads with hidden pot holes full of rain, or leftover winter road grit.
Here in New Zealand, a sealed road surface can quickly turn into gravel without warning.
Or sometimes even dirt.

So bikers have two choices.

They can wait for the one day a year when conditions are perfect.
It’s sunny and warm with no sign of rain.
The roads are smooth and clear.

Or they can go riding in less-than-perfect conditions, and just deal with the challenges that arise.

They know they’d better toughen up, and learn to handle being seriously overheated, and uncomfortably cold.
They’d better look out for random holes in the road, or black ice.

That’s the nature of motorcycling.


tough bikers ride in all conditions


2.  Riding a motorcycle requires mental toughness

Many motorcycle rides turn out to be more gruelling than you expect.
WAY more gruelling.

There might be high winds that you have to fight against to even stay on the road.
Or unexpected road works with a detour that adds more miles to a long ride, when you’re already dangerously tired.

So bikers need to be tough mentally too.

It takes determination to push through on a motorcycle ride that stopped being fun a couple hours back (even before that freezing rain started). The alternative is to just give up, and start a new life sleeping by the highway in the rain.

That’s not really an option.

Especially if I’m riding on the back of the motorcycle!
I’m a little too high-maintenance to run with that lifestyle choice.

And so often the only thing that gets you to the end of a demanding, gruelling ride is the mental toughness to keep on going.


tough bikers can keep going


3.  Bikers need to be tough enough to ignore physical pain

A huge percentage of bikers are living with the pain of old (or current) riding injuries.

Many were reckless in their teens or twenties and learned the hard way that falling off a motorcycle hurts.
And depending on how bad the accident was, there can be ongoing aches and pains that stay with you for life.

Talk to any biker, and they’ll tell you about the time a car drove right at them, or failed to stop at a red light.
And many bikers have several stories of awful accidents they survived.

The injuries vary from minor, to life changing.
But riding motorcycles is the most fun thing ever – and so they want to keep doing it.

And to stay in the saddle, they’ve learned to live with riding in pain.
They rise above the sore shoulder, the twinge in the leg, or early arthritis in the hands.

You just can’t do that if you’re a pampered delicate flower with petals that bruise easily.


tough bikers are not delicate


4.  Riding a motorcycle takes self belief

Out there on the highway or in heavy traffic, bikers need all the skills they can muster to stay upright, and out of harm’s way.

Often riding in traffic is like being in a real life video game.
Everyone’s trying to kill you.

Hazards pop up out of nowhere, unpredictably, and at high speed.

There are constant challenges on every kind of road.

It might be a corner that tightens up much faster than you expected.
Or a new obstacle that appears magically in the middle of the road.

Here in New Zealand, you have more to deal with than traffic, too.
Even on quiet rural rides with hardly a car in sight, you might round a corner to come face to face with 30 surprised cows in the middle of the road.

Or an escaped sheep that’s broken through a paddock fence – let’s hope he doesn’t make a sudden left turn, and end up under our wheels.

Riding a motorcycle is an unpredictable adventure.
It demands high levels of confidence, and specialist riding skills.

So bikers need the self-belief to know they’re tough enough to deal with the challenges thrown at them.

Lack of confidence and self-doubt can kill you out there.


tough bikers need confidence


5.  Bikers need to be tough to share the road with cars

Car drivers are possibly the biggest hazard bikers face on the road.

Sure, some bikers ride like maniacs, and seem to be actually aiming to cause a 10-car pile-up.
But most bikers are just trying to get from A to B – and ideally enjoy the ride.

Car drivers often make this simple goal way more difficult than it has to be.

Car drivers have so much potential to cause complete chaos for bikers, due to behaviors like these:

  • Texting while driving.
    You might as well drive with your eyes closed if you’re not watching the road.
  • Not checking for motorcycles.
    Many drivers never think about bikers, so change lanes because they can’t see a car in the way.
  • Not stopping at red lights or stop signs.
    Driver distraction can mean that all the road rules go out the window – anything might happen, no matter what the road signs say.
  • Driving aggressively.
    There’s always a frustrated driver who wants to race a motorcycle when he pulls up at the traffic lights.
    Then, when he’s left behind in the motorcycle’s exhaust, he gets even angrier and can chase the motorcycle for miles.

Road rage is a really common challenge for bikers.
So many times I’ve been on the back of the hubby’s motorcycle and watch as a driver actually makes eye contact, and drives right at us.

He MUST be able to see us, right?
He’s looking directly at us.

Sometimes he’ll actually smile, and wave brightly as he cuts us off, or pushes past in our lane.

So because bikers have to share the road with cars, they’d better be tough.


tough bikers deal with car drivers


6.  What’s with all the leather?

There’s a reason that bikers often wear leather.
And believe it or not, it’s not because it makes them look tough.

It’s actually the best form of protection in the case of an accident.

If any of the conditions we’ve already talked about here come to pass – like riding in heavy rain on dodgy roads along with texting drivers – the worst might well happen. But if you hit the road in a suit of armor that’s made of leather, that’ll help to protect you from injury.

It’s way more about safety than looking like a cool, dangerous outlaw.


tough bikers often wear leather


So now you know why bikers think they are tough.

It’s not about bravado or image.
Bikers simply need to be tough to survive all the challenges thrown at them on the road.

And when they do, the reward is the joy of another day on a motorcycle.


Like this article?

Then you might also enjoy this:

What Annoys a Biker? 10 Things That Drive Them Crazy!




    I am reading this article think wow, you nailed it! I myself am retired from racing and now disabled (since 2006) I had to get off the bike in 2010 and ended up in a wheelchair and with a cane. I understand pain! I have been getting healed by our Lord Jesus since last March and I have purchased a new Royal Enfield Interceptor 650. One of the smallest cc bikes I have ever owned. But this particular bike takes me back to the 70’s and just makes one smile like no other bike ever has. I must say that this is the first time in my life that I purchased new protective gear before I ever purchased my new bike!
    Just last week a man in a suv looked right at me, smiled, then tried to take my lane? Why or what this guy was thinking I do not know? I laid on my horn and he stayed between the 2 lanes. I pulled ahead then stopped at the light, turn and looked at the guy and asked him what his problem was. He then proceeded to dart right across 3 lanes and took off as if he was fleeing a bank robbery and while doing so he almost caused a car pileup. With our city becoming more congested it is becoming more and more difficult for motorcyclists and bicyclists alike. Between the dilapidated roadways here in Texas and the influx of people it has become treacherous.
    Thank you again for the article and I hope more motorists read it!

    Please stay safe, stay healthy, may the wind always be at your back and the rubber side down,

    Lay Monk Jeffery

    Pax Et Bonum

      Thanks, Jeffery, for your kind words, and glad you enjoyed the article! Yes, I know that feeling all too well – too many times drivers look you in the eye and then do something aggressive.
      That’s if they’re not texting…
      Enjoy your Enfield! We have a few friends with them too – they absolutely love them!

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