Wait, motorcycle songs? Have you ever heard of them?
They’re a real thing, and you probably know several.
Keep reading to learn what motorcycle songs are and which ones we think are the best.
Why Motorcycle Songs?
Rock n’ roll and motorcycling go hand in hand. Both embrace the ideals of rebellion, edginess, freedom, and adventure. Some biker songs feature choppers and their associated sounds. Still, others have a different tone but make you feel the same excitement and adrenaline rush.
There are a lot of tracks out there associated with riding a chopper. So many that we could probably write several articles about them. And these songs aren’t just classic rock n’ roll, but also country and even pop. We’ve decided to stick with classic biker hits for today’s topic.
Whether you ride or not, one thing’s for sure, the tunes we’ve selected will fuel your sense of danger and hang onto your butts shenanigans.
#7 Motorcycle Man by Saxon
About the Song: The track starts with the sounds of motorcycles racing by. They’re loud and in your face. Then, the guitars come in over the motorcycles. It’s a fast heavy metal tune from the British metal band Saxon.
The original band members, Steve Dawson, Peter Gill, Graham Oliver, Paul Quinn, and Biff Byford, wrote the song. Saxon released Motorcycle Man in 1980 on the Wheels of Steel album and released a remastered version in 2009. The tune was super popular in Japan, staying on the charts for almost six months.
If you see me riding by Do not stop me, do not try 'Cause I'm a motorcycle man I get my kicks just when I can When I can
First Appearance: On the 1980 Saxon Album Wheels of Steel.
#6 Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi
About the Song: It screams of the bittersweetness of life on the road: being an outlaw, the determination, exhaustion, and desirability. Written by Jon Bon Jovi and Ritchie Sambora, Wanted Dead or Alive came out in 1987. The song shot up the charts and peaked at #7 on Billboard Hot 100 and #13 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks.
It’s the band’s signature song. Plus, the track was the theme song for Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch show. Other notable appearances include the movie Wild Hogs, plus episodes of The Sopranos and The Vampire Diaries. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the number quadruple platinum in 2015.
And I walk these streets, a loaded six-string on my back I play for keeps 'cause I might not make it back I've been everywhere, still I'm standing tall I've seen a million faces and I've rocked them all
First Appearance: Bon Jovi’s 1987, Slippery When Wet album.
#5 Bad Motor Scooter by Montrose
About the Song: Bad Motor Scooter is one of the best-known songs from Montrose, an American hard rock band. Sammy Hagar wrote the tune. The intro, although a guitar, sounds like a revving motorcycle.
Ronnie Montrose (founder of the band) came up with the sound while he was just messing around. Hagar would play the intro on a lap steel slide guitar during live performances. The tune appears on Montroses’ debut album in the early 70s and Sammy Hagars 2004 album The Essential Red Collection.
Ooh, the last I seen your face I swore that no one would take your place Now since you've been gone I've been feelin' bad, yeah I'd come out to your place but I'm afraid of your dad so you
First Appearance: The 1973 Montrose debut album.
#4 Ezy Ryder by Jimi Hendrix
About the Song: Rumor has it that the film of the same name inspired the track. Jimi Hendrix, of course, takes it to a whole new level, like everything he did. The guitar is the star, and everything flows and fills in around it.
Then Hendrix’s voice comes in and finishes it out. Jimi Hendrix wrote and performed the tune. The song was released posthumously in 1971 on The Cry of Love album. It also appears on other albums, including Voodoo Soup (1995) and First Rays of the New Rising Sun (1997.)
See all the others say "do what you please" Gotta get the brothers together and the right to be free In a cloud of angel dust I think I see me a freak Hey motorcycle mama you gonna marry me? Ha, ha
First Appearance: December 31, 1969, during the first show at the Fillmore East.
#3 Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers
About the Song: Midnight Rider is the second song from The Allman Brothers’ second album. Gregg Allman and Robert Kim Payne wrote the track. However, the number was a much bigger hit for other singers and bands.
Greg Allman’s solo release in 1973 was one of the most successful covers. In addition, Willie Nelson recorded his version in 1980.
The words appeal to the ideals of rebellion and freedom-seeking found in most motorcycle songs.
And I don't own the clothes I'm wearing And the road goes on forever And I've got one more silver dollar But I'm not gonna let 'em catch me, no Not gonna let 'em catch the midnight rider
First Appearance: The Allman Brothers 1971 album Idlewild South.
#2 Bat Out of Hell by Meat Loaf
About the Song: Bat Out of Hell is an epic track and album from 1977. The song itself is nearly 10 minutes long, and the guitar intro is almost two minutes! Finally, Meat Loaf comes in and blows us away. Meat Loaf released the number in 1978 in Australia, 1979 in the UK, and again in 1993.
Jim Steinman wrote Bat Out of Hell intending to include it in a rock n’ roll SciFi Peter Pan musical. We could write an entire article just about the song.
Then I'm down at the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun Torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike And I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell And the last thing I see is my heart, still beating Breaking out of my body and flying away Like a bat out of hell
First Appearance: Meatloaf’s 1977 Bat out of Hell album.
#1 Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf
About the Song: Talk about an anthem to the motorcycle!! Even if you’ve never been on a hog, the song takes you right there on the road with the wind blowing against you. It’s bold, it’s rock, and it’s legendary.
Mars Bonfire wrote the tune. It’s featured in the 1969 film Easy Rider. Believe it or not, Bonfire initially intended the song to be a ballad. Born to Be Wild reached #2 on Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Many artists have covered the song, including Bruce Springsteen, Slayer, Hinder, Blue Oyster Cult, and Etta James.
I like smoke and lightnin' Heavy metal thunder Racing with the wind And the feeling that I'm under
First Appearance: In 1969, on the Steppenwolf debut album.
Which Motorcycle Song is Your Favorite?
Our list of the greatest classic motorcycle songs. What do you think? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments.