Created By: EternalSeptember on December 29, 2010 Last Edited By: EternalSeptember on January 3, 2011
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My Horse Is A Motorbike

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I'm a cowboy,
On a steel horse I ride.
And I'm wanted
Dead or Alive.
-- Jon Bon Jovi, "Dead or Alive"

Using a Cool Bike as the replacement for a Cool Horse, in a modernized take on older tropes.

Cool or not, in a modern day setting, it would appear weird to ride a horse on the streets. After all, for our standards, they are slow, smelly, and quite impractical. But due to their similar physical structure, motorbikes can fill the same role in the plot, with the added benefit that they are loud and shiny.

For example a Knight in Shining Armor, a Cowboy, or the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, could always upgrade to a bike if they need to appear in a modern day setting.

Occasionally, a Cool Car can also fill the same "metaphorical horse" role.

Contrast with Automaton Horses, that is an inversion when actual, natural horses are treated like machines by the plot, and Compare to Mechanical Horse, a machine that actually looks like a horse.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • DC Comics superheroes Knight and Squire ride motorbikes.
  • When Jonah Hex was transported to the post-appocolyptic future in the series Hex, he swapped his horse for a cool motorcycle.
  • In Top 10: The Forty-Niners, the Black Rider is a Zorro-inspired hero who "cuts a dashing figure" atop his motorcycle Midnight.
  • In She-Hulk, the time-displaced Western hero Two-Gun Kid receives a sky-cycle as a gift from his descendant Hawkeye via Video Will. The Kid explicitly compares it to a horse.
  • Marvel hero the Black Knight used to ride a flying motorcycle he called his "atomic steed". He got it from the Knights of Wundagore, who naturally used it in a similar fashion.
  • Inverted in Ghost Rider, where the character's Retroactive Legacy establishes that Riders of previous eras often rode a Hellish Horse or other animal native to their region. Using a horse to supplant a motorcycle.

Film
  • In The Movie, Ghost Rider has a demonic motorbike that includes a horse's skull.
  • Robocop 2. Alex Murphy has a joust with Cain: Murphy on a motorcycle, Cain in an armored car.

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • On Get Smart Smart went undercover to break up a medievel-themed biker gang which jousted on motorbikes.
  • In Kamen Rider Kuuga, the Gouram was originally armor for a horse that the original ancient Kuuga would ride. When Kuuga returned in the modern day, it adapted to work with a motorcycle instead.
  • One episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker featured a Hell's Angel riff on the classic Headless Horseman myth.
  • The Horseman "War" in Supernatural drove a red Ford Mustang.

Manga & Anime
  • In Durarara!, one of the characters is a modern-day headless fairy called a dullahan. Her preferred method of getting around was a reanimated headless horse, but she was forced to leave it behind when she boarded the ship for Japan. But she soon replaced it with a pitch-black motorcycle that rides through the streets without any headlights, inspiring fear and awe into any that look upon it. Oddly enough, it also whinnies on occasion.
  • Inverted in the Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds manga, in which the Skeleton Knight uses a horse instead of the motorcycles that everyone else uses while dueling.

Western Animation
  • On Justice League Unlimited, cowboy-themed hero Vigilante rides a motorcycle.
  • In one of the Scooby-Doo movie, there's a spear-wielding ghost knight who has a ghost horse. Fred tries to fight him using a motorcycle and a long iron pipe.

Video Games
  • There was a rumor about a Legend of Zelda game called A Link to the Future, in which Link would ride a motorcycle called "Epona".

Real Life
  • A common vehicle in 3rd-world Asia is the "autorickshaw", essentially a buggy pulled by a motorcycle.
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • December 29, 2010
    Arivne
    Film
    • Robocop 2. Alex Murphy has a joust with Cain: Murphy on a motorcycle, Cain in an armored car.
  • December 29, 2010
    PaulA
    DC Comics superheroes Knight and Squire ride motorbikes.
  • December 29, 2010
    bluepenguin
    The Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride motorbikes in Good Omens.
  • December 29, 2010
    KaiYves
    In The Movie, Ghost Rider has a demonic motorbike that includes a horse's skull.
  • December 29, 2010
    Uncandescent
    In Durarara!, one of the characters is a modern-day headless fairy called a dullahan. Her preferred method of getting around was a reanimated headless horse, but she was forced to leave it behind when she boarded the ship for Japan. But she soon replaced it with a pitch-black motorcycle that rides through the streets without any headlights, inspiring fear and awe into any that look upon it. Oddly enough, it also whinnies on occasion.
  • December 29, 2010
    Koncur
  • December 29, 2010
    SweetMadness
    Page quote:

    I'm a cowboy,
    On a steel horse I ride.
    And I'm wanted
    Dead or Alive.
    -- Jon Bon Jovi, "Dead or Alive"
  • December 29, 2010
    randomsurfer
    On Get Smart Smart went undercover to break up a medievel-themed biker gang which jousted on motorbikes.
  • December 29, 2010
    SquealingSandry
    Oh, come on! Nobody mentioned that the Trope Namer (oddly, not an example of this trope) is Sengoku Basara's Date Masamune?
  • December 29, 2010
    AndrewJ
    Good Omens: The Horsemen Of The Apocalypse now ride motorcycles.
  • December 29, 2010
    Kayube
    • In Kamen Rider Kuuga, the Gouram was originally armor for a horse that the original ancient Kuuga would ride. When Kuuga returned in the modern day, it adapted to work with a motorcycle instead.
    • Inverted in the Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds manga, in which the Skeleton Knight uses a horse instead of the motorcycles that everyone else uses while dueling.
  • December 29, 2010
    DAN004
    Does this count?
    • In one of the Scooby Doo movie, there's a spear-wielding ghost knight who has a ghost horse. Fred tries to fight him using a motorcycle and a long iron pipe.
  • December 30, 2010
    EternalSeptember
    ^^^^^ Well, if it's not an example, bringing up a Mechanical Horse would be just confusing. Now the title is Exactly What It Says On The Tin, for everyone who doesn't know the meme. Also, this line didn't appear in the game, the trope namer is the demotivator poster.

    ^ Yes, it counts, the implication is clearly there in an "Old vs. New" way, where bikes are the new horses.
  • December 30, 2010
    dragonKhorse
    @Durarara example: The character's name is Celty, and the whinnying is because her horse's spirit was removed from the corpse and moved into the motorcycle. How it whinnies without any vocal cords is a completely different story.
  • December 30, 2010
    Dcoetzee
    Feel free to use or discard this one as it's not a strict example.

    • Collin Raye's song "Latter-Day Cowboy" tells the story of a truck driver who thinks of himself as a cowboy and thinks of his truck as his horse.

  • December 30, 2010
    dotchan
    • Sengoku Basara - Actually, I haven't seen the series, so I don't know if this is true.
  • December 30, 2010
    EricDVH
    The Zelda thing was a fan rumor built around a gaming journalism hoax, commonly referred to as A Link to the Future.

  • January 1, 2011
    EternalSeptember
    Launching in a day.

    edit: or a few more. I'm working on it.
  • January 1, 2011
    foxley
    When Jonah Hex was transported to the post-appocolyptic future in the series Hex, he swapped his horse for a cool motorcycle.
  • January 1, 2011
    ScottAlmighty
    The Horseman "War" in Supernatural drove a red Ford Mustang. Admittedly, it's not a motorbike, but I feel this trope still applies.
  • January 1, 2011
    EponymousKid
    In Top Ten: The Forty-Niners, the Black Rider is a Zorro-inspired hero who "cuts a dashing figure" atop his motorcycle Midnight.

    In She Hulk, the time-displaced Western hero Two-Gun Kid receives a sky-cycle as a gift from his descendant Hawkeye via Video Will. The Kid explicitly compares it to a horse.

    Marvel hero the Black Knight used to ride a flying motorcycle he called his "atomic steed". He got it from the Knights of Wundagore, who naturally used it in a similar fashion.

    Inverted in Ghost Rider, where the character's Retroactive Legacy establishes that Riders of previous eras often rode a Hellish Horse or other animal native to their region. Using a horse to supplant a motorcycle.
  • January 1, 2011
    DAN004
    Because the Trope Namer Sengoku Basara is not an example, this trope would fall into the index This Index Is Not An Example.
  • January 2, 2011
    arromdee
    The Vigilante from JLU is a comic book example as well.
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