It’s time to get your motor running. Motorbikes and motorcycles are iconic symbols that many musicians have used to express their feelings throughout the years.
From the 60s to today, rock stars use motorcycles to express freedom, life on the road, and their rebellious nature.
If you’re ready to head out on the highway, here are some of the best songs about motorbikes you can add to your playlist.
“Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf
Song Year: 1969
The definitive song about motorcycles and motorcycle culture, “Born To Be Wild” was an anthem for the counterculture revolution in the late 1960s.
Featured as a theme song in the film Easy Rider, the song captures the freedom you get while riding a motorcycle.
Reaching number 2 on the Billboard hot 100 in 1969, “Born To Be Wild” is still considered one of the greatest rock songs. Rolling Stone Magazine places the track at number 129 on the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time List in 2004.
“This Life” by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers
Song Year: 2011
“This Life” is the theme song for Sons of Anarchy, a television program about a fictional motorcycle gang.
Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers tell the story of a lone biker against the world. He longs for excitement and adventure before his final days.
“Midnight Rider” by Allman Brothers
Song Year: 1970
Another anthem for the motorcyclist, “Midnight Rider” is the Allman Brothers' love letter to motorcycle life and culture. The Allman Brothers use their signature mix of blues, flok, and rock to tell the story of a man on the run with his motorcycle.
While the Allman Brothers never charted with this classic, Greg Allman finally hit the charts with his solo version in 1973. Joe Cocker, Paul Davidson, and Will Nelson also found success when they covered “Midnight Rider.”
“Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi
Song Year: 1986
“Wanted Dead or Alive” brought the rebellious motorcycle lifestyle to teens in the 1980s.
Jon Bon Jovi found inspiration for “Wanted Dead or Alive” while suffering from insomnia on his tour bus. He felt the band was living the life of outlaws going from town to town taking money, booze, and girls.
“Wanted Dead or Alive” found a home on the big screen as well. The song appeared in two motorcycle movies, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man and Wild Hogs.
“Bat Out of Hell” by Meatloaf
Song Year: 1977
Meatloaf burst onto the scene like a “Bat Out of Hell” on his debut album. “Bat Out of Hell” is the first track from Meatloaf’s album trilogy.
Writer Jim Steinman had an obsession with car crash songs and found the perfect opportunity to explore this narrative with Meatloaf.
The protagonist in the story is going to meet the girl of his dreams but dies in the attempt while riding his motorbike.
“Ride Like the Wind” by Christoper Cross
Song Year: 1979
“Ride Like the Wind” was a massive hit for Christopher Cross in 1979.
Inspired by old westerns, the story follows a convicted murderer who is on the run and headed to the Mexican border. While the song is about the villain, “Ride Like the Wind” follows the same formula that many other motorbike songs follow.
Cross wrote “Ride Like the Wind” during a jam session with the band. The lyrics came to Cross while traveling across Texas.
“Ride To Live, Live To Ride” by Twisted Sister
Song Year: 1983
“Ride To Live, Live To Ride” is the third track on You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll. Recorded before Twisted Sister hit mainstream popularity, “Ride To Live, Live To Ride” helped Twisted Sister form their signature sound in the early 1980s.
The song wants you to get on your motorcycle and ride. It’s essential to experience the world and life. Your motorcycle is a way to lose yourself and be more carefree.
“Iron Horse / Born To Lose” by Motorhead
Song Year: 1977
Lemmy delivers another motorcycle anthem with “Iron Horse / Born To Lose.” The track featured on Motorhead’s self-titled debut album from 1977.
The lyrics follow a rebellious rider who’s proud of his iron horse and his motorcycle lifestyle.
“Easy Rider” by Action Bronson
Song Year: 2015
Inspired by the 1969 cult classic Easy Rider, Action Bronson uses his rhyming skills to describe his life of adventure. He describes the wildness and energy his life has spiraled into since becoming famous.
The song follows Bronson and his rebellious lifestyle. You’ll also find many of the same counterculture references from the 1970s in “Easy Rider” by Action Bronson.
“Motorcycle Man” by Saxon
Song Year: 1979
“Motorcycle Man” is the first track off Saxon’s love letter to motorcycles, Wheels of Steel. The entire album is an ode to living the life of a motorcycle man.
“Motorcycle Man” tells the story of a man that lives life on the edge and does whatever he wants. Whether it’s driving 150mph or rocking harder than anyone, it’s cool to be a “Motorcycle Man.”
“Hell Bent for Leather” by Judas Priest
Song Year: 1978
“Hell Bent for Leather” has the protagonist of the song speeding and racing on his motorbike. The song features a detailed description of his bike and how the rider races it with precision.
Rob Halford's lyrics describe how many other racers tried to beat him, but they died trying.
While not a hit single, “Hell Bent for Leather” appeared on the Judas Priest album Killing Machine, which has since become a cult classic.