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Top 5 Most Iconic Motorcycling Songs

Top 5 Most Iconic Motorcycling Songs

These are the tunes that we most often see associated with a rumbling engine and the picturesque landscape of a wide open road stretching as far as the eye can see. The songs are classic and timeless and always invoke the imagery of freedom and the excitement one experiences while tearing down the highway on an iron horse. Here are five of the most iconic songs written either about riding or most encapsulates the biker lifestyle.

1. Highway to Hell by AC/DC

As soon as the riff begins and that kick step beat set the stage for one of the most classic ass-kicking & care-free songs. While most are busy worrying about their eternal soul, AC/DC proudly declares that they're taking the fast track straight to damnation and they simply could not care less. The greatest answer to an existential crisis, just because you're barreling towards the abyss, its no reason not to enjoy every moment of the ride there.

2. Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood & The Destroyers

This song has already become synonymous almost cliche theme song for the stereotypical biker badass. Just because we've heard it all too many times already is not reason not to give the song its due. There’s a reason why its been replayed so many times, it just works. It might not implicitly be about riding but you know as soon as you hear it you're picturing a leather bound biker tearing down the highway.

3. Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers

It doesn't get more “ride or die” than this classic about an outlaw biker on the lam. Freedom or death, even the law won't stop some from riding. Every time they throw a leg over is a symbolic flip of the coin. The most sobering part of the story is the riders acceptance that he'll likely be imprisoned soon but while things are bleak the rider remains hopeful that the next flip of the coin, over that next horizon might just be his salvation. Wrought with despair and hope, nothing better exemplifies the mentality a biker has to take on every time he rides. It can all end really badly, and we know it, but the ride is worth it.

4. Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf

“Get your motor runnin', head out on the highway, lookin’ for adventure, in whatever comes our way.”

Much like “Bad to the Bone” this song has almost become a cliché as well. However, during its debut in Easy Rider - Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper tore down the open highway, desert landscape adjacent, helmets strapped firmly to their sissy bars, hair flowing in the wind. Nothing better exemplified the mystique and appeal of taking on the open road on two wheels. It's opening line succinctly puts why despite the fact there are far safer methods to get around, some of us maniacs decide the best idea is to straddle atop an engine balanced on two wheels is the best way to do it. Some of us were simply born to be wild.

5. Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi

Less of a declaration of freedom than an outlaws lament. It's a story many of us can relate to even if you aren't on the run from the police, every time we ride, we're symbolically throwing a dice. We take life head on even if we're not sure where were headed. The mix of freedom and fragility we can feel on a bike keeps us humble and reminds us of how short life can be and to never take it for granted. It makes us a bit more serious and a bit more wild, it simply forces us to see life differently than most.

“A man who has blown all his options can’t afford the luxury of changing his ways. He has to capitalize on whatever he has left, and he can’t afford to admit — no matter how often he’s reminded of it — that every day of his life takes him farther and farther down a blind alley…”

-Hunter S. Thompson

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