28 Most Iconic Songs About Motorcycles Ever Written

songs-about-motorcyclesMotorcycles have long been a symbol of freedom, adventure, and rebellion, capturing the imagination of musicians and listeners alike. From the roar of the engine to the thrill of the open road, motorcycles embody a sense of liberation and excitement that is reflected in many iconic songs across various genres.

Whether it’s rock, metal, country, or folk, these songs celebrate the unique culture and spirit of motorcycle riding. In this article, we explore a collection of popular songs about motorcycles, each one offering a distinct perspective on the allure and exhilaration of life on two wheels.

28 Most Popular Songs About Motorcycles to Add t0 Your Ride


Here’s a list of the most famous songs about motorcycles:

#1 “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf

“Born to Be Wild,” released by Steppenwolf in 1968, is an iconic rock anthem that epitomizes the spirit of motorcycle culture. The lyrics, “Get your motor running, head out on the highway, looking for adventure in whatever comes our way,” capture the exhilaration and freedom of riding a motorcycle on the open road.

The song’s powerful guitar riffs, driving rhythm, and John Kay’s gritty vocals create an energetic and rebellious atmosphere. Often associated with the counterculture movement of the 1960s, “Born to Be Wild” has become synonymous with the biker lifestyle and remains a timeless celebration of adventure and nonconformity.

#2 “Motorcycle Man” by Saxon

“Motorcycle Man,” released by Saxon in 1980, is a heavy metal track that pays tribute to the thrill and power of motorcycle riding. The lyrics, “I can beat your street machine, I’m a motorcycle man,” emphasize the speed, strength, and rebellious spirit of a motorcycle enthusiast.

Biff Byford’s commanding vocals and the song’s fast-paced, aggressive instrumentation reflect the intensity and excitement of riding. “Motorcycle Man” showcases Saxon’s signature sound and celebrates the biker lifestyle, resonating with fans of both heavy metal and motorcycles. The song captures the essence of freedom and the rush of adrenaline that comes with high-speed riding.

#3 “Ride” by Twenty One Pilots

“Ride,” released by Twenty One Pilots in 2015, is an alternative rock song that uses the metaphor of a motorcycle ride to explore themes of life’s journey and self-discovery. The lyrics, “I’ve been thinking too much, help me,” reflect the introspective and contemplative nature of the protagonist’s thoughts during the ride.

Tyler Joseph’s expressive vocals and the song’s catchy, reggae-infused beat create a laid-back yet thought-provoking atmosphere. “Ride” emphasizes the importance of enjoying the journey and finding peace amidst the chaos of life. The song became a hit, resonating with listeners for its relatable message and unique musical style.

#4 “Motorcycle Emptiness” by Manic Street Preachers

“Motorcycle Emptiness,” released by Manic Street Preachers in 1992, is a melancholic rock song that critiques consumerism and the emptiness of modern life. The lyrics, “Under neon loneliness, motorcycle emptiness,” describe the isolation and disillusionment of a young man searching for meaning in a superficial world.

James Dean Bradfield’s emotive vocals and the song’s atmospheric guitar work create a haunting and reflective mood. “Motorcycle Emptiness” blends poetic lyricism with powerful instrumentation, making it a standout track in the band’s discography. The song’s themes of existential angst and yearning for freedom resonate deeply with listeners.

#5 “Leader of the Pack” by The Shangri-Las

“Leader of the Pack,” released by The Shangri-Las in 1964, is a classic girl group song that tells the tragic story of a young girl’s romance with a biker gang leader. The lyrics, “He’s the leader of the pack,” recount the girl’s forbidden love and the subsequent death of her boyfriend in a motorcycle accident.

The Shangri-Las’ dramatic vocal delivery, combined with the song’s narrative style and sound effects, create a vivid and emotional story. “Leader of the Pack” captures the rebellious allure of the biker lifestyle and the heartache of young love, making it a timeless and influential piece of pop music history.

#6 “Midnight Rider” by The Allman Brothers Band

“Midnight Rider,” released by The Allman Brothers Band in 1970, is a southern rock song that reflects the determination and resilience of a life on the road. The lyrics, “I’ve got to run to keep from hiding, and I’m bound to keep on riding,” convey the protagonist’s relentless pursuit of freedom and escape from troubles.

Gregg Allman’s soulful vocals and the band’s blend of rock, blues, and country create a haunting and evocative atmosphere. “Midnight Rider” embodies the spirit of the lone rider, capturing the sense of adventure and the enduring quest for liberation. The song remains a classic, celebrated for its timeless appeal and evocative storytelling.

#7 “Bat Out of Hell” by Meat Loaf

“Bat Out of Hell,” released by Meat Loaf in 1977, is an epic rock opera that tells the story of a young man’s wild escape on a motorcycle. The lyrics, “Like a bat out of hell, I’ll be gone when the morning comes,” depict a dramatic and high-speed ride through the night.

Jim Steinman’s elaborate composition and Meat Loaf’s powerful, theatrical vocals create a sense of urgency and rebellion. The song’s intense guitar solos and grandiose production mirror the thrill and danger of motorcycle riding. “Bat Out of Hell” is celebrated for its storytelling and is a staple of rock music, embodying the spirit of freedom and youthful defiance.

#8 “Motorcycle Mama” by Neil Young

“Motorcycle Mama,” released by Neil Young in 1978, is a laid-back, country-rock song that features playful lyrics about a carefree woman who loves riding motorcycles. The lyrics, “Motorcycle mama, won’t you lay your big spike down,” reflect a casual, easygoing attitude toward life and relationships.

Young’s relaxed vocal delivery and the song’s simple, catchy melody create a fun and lighthearted atmosphere. “Motorcycle Mama” celebrates the joy of riding and the freedom that comes with it, capturing the essence of a carefree lifestyle. The song stands out for its humorous and affectionate portrayal of motorcycle culture.

#9 “Motorcycle Drive By” by Third Eye Blind

“Motorcycle Drive By,” released by Third Eye Blind in 1997, is an introspective rock song that explores themes of love, loss, and self-discovery. The lyrics, “I’ve never been so alone, and I’ve never been so alive,” reflect the protagonist’s emotional journey and the sense of clarity found during a motorcycle ride.

Stephan Jenkins’ emotive vocals and the song’s dynamic instrumentation create a powerful and reflective mood. “Motorcycle Drive By” captures the feeling of liberation and the introspective moments that come with being on the road. The song resonates with listeners for its raw honesty and emotional depth.

#10 “Motorcycle Song” by Arlo Guthrie

“Motorcycle Song,” also known as “The Motorcycle Song (The Significance of the Pickle),” released by Arlo Guthrie in 1967, is a humorous folk song that tells a whimsical story about a man’s love for his motorcycle and a pickle. The lyrics, “I don’t want a pickle, just want to ride on my motorsickle,” showcase Guthrie’s playful storytelling and wit.

The song’s simple, catchy melody and lighthearted lyrics create a fun and entertaining listening experience. “Motorcycle Song” is celebrated for its humor and charm, capturing the joy of riding a motorcycle and the quirky adventures that come with it.

#11 “The Motorcycle Boy Reigns” by The Jesus and Mary Chain

“The Motorcycle Boy Reigns,” released by The Jesus and Mary Chain in 1988, is a shoegaze/alternative rock song that exudes a sense of cool detachment and rebellion. The lyrics, “She said, ‘The motorcycle boy reigns,'” are sparse and enigmatic, contributing to the song’s mysterious and edgy vibe.

The band’s use of reverb-drenched guitars, driving bass lines, and brooding vocals create a dark, atmospheric soundscape. “The Motorcycle Boy Reigns” captures the allure of the outsider and the rebellious spirit of motorcycle culture, reflecting the band’s signature blend of noise and melody. The song’s moody aesthetic has made it a cult favorite among fans of alternative rock.

#12 “Ezy Ryder” by Jimi Hendrix

“Ezy Ryder,” released posthumously by Jimi Hendrix in 1971, is a psychedelic rock song that celebrates the free-spirited lifestyle of a motorcycle rider. The lyrics, “There goes Ezy, Ezy Ryder, riding down the highway of desire,” paint a picture of a carefree individual pursuing adventure and living on the edge.

Hendrix’s virtuosic guitar work, combined with his soulful vocals and the song’s driving rhythm, creates an exhilarating and otherworldly atmosphere. “Ezy Ryder” captures the essence of the counterculture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, celebrating individuality and the quest for freedom. The song remains a testament to Hendrix’s innovative musicianship and enduring influence on rock music.

#13 “Motorcycle” by Love and Rockets

“Motorcycle,” released by Love and Rockets in 1989, is an alternative rock song that captures the exhilaration and freedom associated with motorcycle riding. The lyrics, “Motorcycle, I don’t want to ride it, I just want to make it,” reflect a blend of fascination and metaphorical expression about the motorcycle lifestyle.

The song’s driving beat, catchy melody, and distinctive guitar work create an energetic and dynamic atmosphere. Love and Rockets’ unique sound, combining post-punk and gothic rock elements, adds depth to the song’s exploration of desire and freedom. “Motorcycle” became a fan favorite, celebrated for its infectious energy and evocative lyrics.

#14 “Little Honda” by The Beach Boys

“Little Honda,” released by The Beach Boys in 1964, is a playful and upbeat song that celebrates the joy of riding a Honda motorcycle. The lyrics, “I’m gonna wake you up early ’cause I’m gonna take a ride with you,” capture the carefree excitement of cruising on a small motorcycle. The song’s catchy melody, harmonized vocals, and surf rock instrumentation create a fun and nostalgic atmosphere.

“Little Honda” showcases The Beach Boys’ ability to infuse everyday activities with a sense of youthful exuberance. The song remains a charming ode to the simple pleasures of motorcycle riding.

#15 “Stone Cold Crazy” by Queen

“Stone Cold Crazy,” released by Queen in 1974, is a fast-paced rock song that reflects the chaotic and rebellious spirit often associated with motorcycle culture. The lyrics, “I’m a stone cold crazy, you know,” convey a sense of wildness and unpredictability. Freddie Mercury’s powerful vocals, combined with the band’s intense instrumentation and rapid tempo, create an electrifying and exhilarating atmosphere.

The song’s hard rock and proto-thrash elements highlight Queen’s versatility and influence on the genre. “Stone Cold Crazy” is celebrated for its high energy and raw intensity, capturing the thrill and danger of living on the edge.

#16 “Girls, Girls, Girls” by Mötley Crüe

“Girls, Girls, Girls,” released by Mötley Crüe in 1987, is a glam metal anthem that celebrates the rock and roll lifestyle, including the love of motorcycles. The lyrics, “Friday night and I need a fight, my motorcycle and a switchblade knife,” highlight the rebellious and hedonistic aspects of the biker culture.

Vince Neil’s gritty vocals, the song’s driving rhythm, and the powerful guitar riffs create a high-energy, party atmosphere. “Girls, Girls, Girls” became a defining track for Mötley Crüe, reflecting their image as rock and roll bad boys. The song is a tribute to the freedom, excitement, and excesses of the biker and rock scenes.

#17 “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen

“Born to Run,” released by Bruce Springsteen in 1975, is an iconic rock song that captures the longing for escape and freedom, often associated with motorcycle journeys. The lyrics, “Tramps like us, baby, we were born to run,” express a desire to break free from the constraints of everyday life.

Springsteen’s passionate vocals, combined with the song’s anthemic instrumentation and soaring saxophone solo, create a powerful and uplifting atmosphere. “Born to Run” has become an enduring anthem for those seeking adventure and liberation. The song’s themes of rebellion and the open road resonate deeply with listeners, making it a timeless classic.

#18 “Ride On” by AC/DC

“Ride On,” released by AC/DC in 1976, is a bluesy rock ballad that reflects on themes of solitude and the transient nature of life on the road. The lyrics, “Got another empty bottle, and another empty bed, ain’t too young to admit it, and I’m not too old to lie,” convey a sense of weary resignation and introspection.

Bon Scott’s soulful vocals, paired with the song’s slow, blues-infused instrumentation, create a melancholic and reflective mood. “Ride On” stands out in AC/DC’s catalog for its emotional depth and departure from their typical high-energy rock sound. The song captures the loneliness and contemplation that often accompany the nomadic lifestyle.

#19 “Highway Song” by Blackfoot

“Highway Song,” released by Blackfoot in 1979, is a southern rock ballad that captures the experience of life on the road. The lyrics, “Oh, the wheels keep rolling, and it seems like my life’s passed me by,” reflect the weariness and longing of a traveling musician. Rickey Medlocke’s emotive vocals and the band’s blend of rock, country, and blues create a powerful and evocative atmosphere.

The song’s extended instrumental sections and soaring guitar solos add to its epic feel. “Highway Song” resonates with listeners for its authentic portrayal of the highs and lows of the road life, making it a staple of southern rock.

#20 “Hell Bent for Leather” by Judas Priest

“Hell Bent for Leather,” released by Judas Priest in 1978, is a heavy metal anthem that celebrates the thrill and power of motorcycle riding. The lyrics, “Seek him here, seek him on the highway, never knowing when he’ll appear,” depict a mysterious and unstoppable rider.

Rob Halford’s commanding vocals, combined with the band’s aggressive guitar riffs and driving rhythm, create a high-energy and intense atmosphere. “Hell Bent for Leather” captures the essence of speed, power, and rebellion associated with motorcycle culture. The song is a quintessential example of Judas Priest’s influence on the metal genre and their celebration of the biker lifestyle.

#21 “Wheels of Steel” by Saxon

“Wheels of Steel,” released by Saxon in 1980, is a heavy metal anthem that celebrates the power and freedom of riding a motorcycle. The lyrics, “When my foot’s on the throttle, there’s no looking back,” express the exhilaration of high-speed travel. Biff Byford’s commanding vocals and the band’s driving guitar riffs create an energetic and rebellious atmosphere.

The song became a defining track for Saxon, showcasing their blend of metal and rock with a focus on themes of power and independence. “Wheels of Steel” resonates with listeners for its portrayal of the thrill and liberation found on the open road.

#22 “Freewheel Burning” by Judas Priest

“Freewheel Burning,” released by Judas Priest in 1984, is a fast-paced heavy metal song that captures the intense thrill of high-speed motorcycle racing. The lyrics, “Look before you leap has never been the way we keep our road,” emphasize the reckless and adrenaline-fueled nature of the ride. Rob Halford’s powerful vocals and the band’s aggressive guitar work create an electrifying and intense atmosphere.

“Freewheel Burning” is celebrated for its high energy and relentless pace, embodying the spirit of freedom and rebellion associated with motorcycle culture. The song highlights Judas Priest’s ability to blend powerful storytelling with dynamic metal instrumentation.

#23 “Ghost Rider” by Suicide

“Ghost Rider,” released by Suicide in 1977, is a minimalist, synth-punk song that tells the story of a lone motorcyclist on an endless journey. The lyrics, “Ghost rider, motorcycle hero,” convey a sense of mythic adventure and isolation. Alan Vega’s haunting vocals and Martin Rev’s repetitive, driving synth lines create a dark and atmospheric soundscape.

The song’s raw, stripped-down style reflects the stark and relentless nature of the rider’s journey. “Ghost Rider” became an influential track in the punk and post-punk scenes, celebrated for its innovative approach and its portrayal of the motorcycle hero as an enduring and enigmatic figure.

#24 “Ride the Wind” by Poison

“Ride the Wind,” released by Poison in 1990, is a glam metal song that captures the sense of freedom and adventure associated with motorcycle riding. The lyrics, “Ride the wind, never coming back until I touch the midnight sun,” evoke the imagery of a boundless journey and the pursuit of dreams.

Bret Michaels’ passionate vocals, combined with the band’s melodic guitar riffs and driving rhythm, create an uplifting and energetic atmosphere. “Ride the Wind” emphasizes the themes of independence and the open road, resonating with listeners for its positive message and catchy melody. The song remains a favorite among Poison fans and motorcycle enthusiasts.

#25 “King of the Road” by Roger Miller

“King of the Road,” released by Roger Miller in 1965, is a country song that, while not exclusively about motorcycles, captures the spirit of a nomadic, free-spirited lifestyle often associated with bikers. The lyrics, “Trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let, fifty cents,” depict the life of a wanderer who is content with simple pleasures and the freedom of the open road.

Miller’s smooth vocals and the song’s catchy, upbeat melody create a lighthearted and nostalgic atmosphere. “King of the Road” became a major hit, celebrated for its portrayal of independence and the joy of living life on one’s own terms.

#26 “Motorcycle Irene” by Moby Grape

“Motorcycle Irene,” released by Moby Grape in 1968, is a psychedelic rock song that tells the story of a wild and free-spirited woman named Irene. The lyrics, “Motorcycle Irene, she ain’t no man’s machine,” highlight her independence and rebellious nature.

The song’s energetic instrumentation, featuring jangly guitars and a driving beat, creates a lively and dynamic atmosphere. “Motorcycle Irene” captures the essence of the late 60s counterculture, celebrating individuality and the breaking of societal norms. The song remains a standout track in Moby Grape’s catalog, appreciated for its storytelling and its vibrant, carefree spirit.

#27 “One Piece at a Time” by Johnny Cash

“One Piece at a Time,” released by Johnny Cash in 1976, is a humorous country song about a man who builds a car using parts stolen from his workplace over many years. While not directly about motorcycles, the song’s themes of ingenuity, rebellion, and the love of vehicles resonate with motorcycle culture.

The lyrics, “It’s a ’49, ’50, ’51, ’52, ’53, ’54, ’55, ’56, ’57, ’58, ’59 automobile,” reflect the protagonist’s resourcefulness and determination. Cash’s distinctive voice and the song’s playful, upbeat melody create an entertaining and memorable track. “One Piece at a Time” is celebrated for its clever storytelling and its embodiment of the DIY spirit.

#28 “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” by Richard Thompson

“1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” released by Richard Thompson in 1991, is a folk-rock ballad that tells the story of a young man named James who loves both his motorcycle and a woman named Red Molly. The lyrics, “Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme,” highlight the romantic and adventurous nature of the story.

Thompson’s masterful guitar playing and emotive vocals create a compelling and poignant narrative. The song’s detailed storytelling and vivid imagery make it a standout in Thompson’s discography. “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” has become a beloved classic, celebrated for its blend of romance, adventure, and the timeless allure of a legendary motorcycle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What themes are commonly explored in songs about motorcycles?

Songs about motorcycles often explore themes of freedom, adventure, rebellion, and the thrill of the open road. They capture the sense of liberation and excitement that comes with riding.

Why do motorcycles symbolize freedom in music?

Motorcycles symbolize freedom in music because they represent the ability to travel anywhere, escape societal constraints, and experience life with a sense of adventure and independence. This resonates with listeners who long for liberation and self-discovery.

Are there specific genres that frequently feature songs about motorcycles?

Yes, rock, metal, country, and folk genres frequently feature songs about motorcycles. These genres often emphasize themes of rebellion, adventure, and the open road, which align well with motorcycle culture.

How do motorcycle-themed songs impact listeners?

Motorcycle-themed songs often inspire feelings of excitement, freedom, and nostalgia in listeners. They evoke a sense of adventure and resonate with those who appreciate the motorcycle lifestyle or dream of experiencing it.

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