So the word "motorcycle" is the second most popular search on match.com for women seeking men.
We’ve all heard that women want a guy who’s tall, dark and handsome. But maybe it’s time to update that to “tall, dark and handsome—and on a Harley.” Because it seems that since the days of the flicks The Wild One and Easy Rider, a guy on a bike has held a special kind of bad-boy appeal. In fact, in a recent Match.com survey, “motorcycle” was the second most-popular term that women used when searching through online profiles.
So we decided to see why it is that a two-wheeled scream machine ranks so high. Dr. Kate Wachs, a Chicago psychologist and the author of Relationships for Dummies, says, "Motorcycles are still perceived as rebellious, tough, and strong—but, unlike in the past, they're now much more socially acceptable." Like tattoos, motorcycles are often the hidden fun-factor in otherwise respectable citizens. Here, the full story on their allure.
Guys with motorcycles have a little extra oomph.
There's no doubt about it: A motorcycle signifies a little extra ingredient in a guy—a little extra testosterone in a world of sensitive men. Hey, sensitive metrosexuals are great, but some women still like a little cave with their man. "A man on a bike exudes independence, self-reliance, and fearlessness," explains Michelle Midyette of Santa Fe. "He has nothing but leather between him and certain harm—clearly, he freely embraces risks and has a lust for life." Yes, that rebel vibe can work its magic.
But of course, this little extra oomph can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, he's more masculine than the average pencil-pusher; on the other hand, "you need the tough-boy exterior balanced by a kinder, softer side when you're off his ride," observes Dennie Hughes, relationship columnist at USA Today and author of Dateworthy: Get the Relationship You Want. No problem, says Midyette: "Almost all the bikers I've ever known — and I make sure to introduce myself to most that cross my path — have been sweet, big-hearted, intelligent men.”
Guys with motorcycles offer instant invigoration.
Riding along on a bike, you can feel of the wind in your... er, helmets, which makes a lot of women swoon. "I don't care if it's raining, snowing, whatever—if I am in a bad mood and my biker says 'get your leathers on,' and five minutes later I'm catching the wind, that's always a mood-booster," says Georgia Tillery of Ocean Beach, CA. "There's nothing like that kind of wind blowing in my face—even the dirt in my pores and the occasional bug in my teeth is worth it," agrees Christine Hall of Carlsbad, CA.
Guys with motorcycles thrive on spontaneity.
A guy with a bike is no doubt the sort of fella who’s likely to say, “Let’s go for a ride” on the spur of the moment. If the mood strikes to head for the hills, the seashore, or anywhere else, he’s likely to seize the moment on his bike. And he’ll take his date along for the fun. "With a motorcycle, you're guaranteed two things: Speed and convenience," says Mark Byron of Los Angeles, so you can go wherever your whim and wheels want to take you. Another benefit: "It's a lot easier to find parking close to a restaurant," points out Max Perez of San Francisco—making dinners out all the more convenient.
Guys with motorcycles are the only match for ...girls with motorcycles!
Of course, tons of women have motorcycles themselves and are avid riders—and that's why they search for biker guys: To complement their sassy self-image. "Of course I have to search for a guy with a bike," says JoMarie Spagnola of Atlanta, GA. "Who else is going to keep up with me on my 2001 Yamaha V-Star?" Just remember this, says Hughes: "Between two motors, the wind, and neither of you wanting to get too distracted from the road, motorcycle riding doesn't exactly make for meaningful conversation." Make sure you've got other things in common besides four-stroke engines, otherwise you might be headed for a relationship ditch.
Guys with motorcycles make even the most empowered women feel girly.
In this day and age, women are the masters of our own destiny. No longer do we look to men for power, permission, or affirmation. And as great as that is, there's a part of many of us that likes to be a li'l lady once in a while. "The back of my guy's bike is the only place I'll let a man (literally) take the front seat. I’ll give up my independent power to wrap my hands around his middle and put my trust in him for just that small while," says Amy Kaye of Brooklyn, NY. "It's a little taste of being old-fashioned. That's a great feeling—at least for a little while.”
Dating a biker dude gives a woman an excuse to tap her wild side.
If you’ve ever wondered about what your bad-girl side would look like, this is the opportunity to find out. Surely you won’t be hopping on the back of a Harley in a camisole, prairie skirt and heels. Nope, this is your chance to shine in jeans, boots—and whatever black leather is lurking in your closet. None to be found? No worries! Anything casual will do the trick. Notes Vin Amendola, a guy with a bike in Middle Village, NY: "At any age, a woman looks sexy and rebellious on a bike—even if, in real life, she just dropped off the kids off at soccer practice."
Of course, some women don't dig the biker thing at all. "To tell you the truth… I'd rather date a guy with a convertible," says Dale Chestnut of Albany, NY. "No helmet required, and you can drink coffee and wear short skirts." To which we say: Doll, you're born to be mild.
Amy Keyishian is a New York-based freelance writer who loves anything on wheels, as long as it's a Honda. Her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Maxim, Men’s Fitness and Nerve.com.