[[quoteright:300:[[http://www.worth1000.com/entries/272291/napoleon-bike http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/NapoleonBike_6817.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300: [[MemeticMutation Your argument is invalid.]]]]

->''I'm a cowboy''
->''On a steel horse I ride''
-->-- '''Music/BonJovi''', "Wanted Dead or Alive"

Using a CoolBike as the replacement for a CoolHorse, 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. For our standards, they are slow, time consuming, and impractical, but due to their similar physical structure, motorbikes can fill the same role in the plot, with the added benefit that they are [[SignatureSoundEffect loud]] and [[MadeOfShiny shiny]].

For example a KnightInShiningArmor, a {{Cowboy}}, or the HorsemenOfTheApocalypse, could always upgrade to a bike if they need to appear in a modern day setting.

It can happen either with OlderThanRadio characters getting new reimagined versions, or with original characters intentionally invoking the classical feel of these riders.

Occasionally, a CoolCar can also fill the same "metaphorical horse" role, especially a sports car, or a truck, that still have that "lone rider" feel to them.

Contrast with AutomatonHorses, that is an inversion where real horses are treated like machines by the plot, and Compare to MechanicalHorse, a machine that really does look like a horse. If characters use the motorbike to joust, then it's MotorcycleJousting.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara'', despite being the TropeNamer, is not an example as the "motorbike" is still a [[CoolHorse real horse]], just one that's been [[AnachronismStew outfitted with handlebars and tailpipes]]. Never mind that the tailpipes have no purpose, and the rider, Date Masamune, doesn't even use the handle bars, preferring to ride with his arms crossed. So... [[RuleOfCool Why?]]
* ''MelodyOfOblivion'' on the other hand, '''is''' an example, but it goes a bit further than that by styling the motorcyles to more closely resemble horses. They transform into {{Bishonen}} for extra [[RuleOfCool cool factor]].
* In ''LightNovel/{{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, which she disguised as a pitch-black motorcycle when she boarded the ship for Japan. As a bike it doesn't have any headlights, still has [[TheShadowKnows the shadow of a horse]], makes hoof steps instead of engine sounds, and also whinnies on occasion.
* Inverted in the ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'' manga, in which the Skeleton Knight uses a horse instead of the motorcycles that everyone else uses while dueling.
** Played straight with Sherry [=LeBlanc=], a French woman with a flower-knight theme; her D-Wheel is modeled to appear horse-like, with the card zones running down the back of the neck.
* In ''{{Fate Zero}}'', one of Saber's special abilities is skill with all form of vehicle transportation. Unsurprisingly, she upgrades rather quickly from horse to motorcycle.
** This skill is also demonstrated by Berserker, who skips the motorcycle and goes straight for a fighter jet.
** Subverted by Archer: he may arguably do it, but he prefers using an ancient Indian spaceship.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* DCComics superheroes Knight and Squire ride motorbikes. In [[http://www.blogcdn.com/www.comicsalliance.com/media/2010/07/knightbatman62.jpg some 50s stories]] and the Creator/PaulCornell [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100308234629/marvel_dc/images/thumb/b/bd/Squire_and_her_Cycle.jpg/210px-Squire_and_her_Cycle.jpg miniseries]], they even have stylised horses' heads. Knight's bike "Anastasia" can even follow a scent!
** Some other 50s stories, however [[http://blog.newsarama.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10087/normal_Silver_Age_Knight_and_Squire_4.jpg take it too far]].
* When ComicBook/JonahHex was transported to the post-appocalyptic future in the series ''Hex'', he swapped his horse for a cool motorcycle. He does the same thing when he travels to ThePresentDay in the New 52 ''All-Star Western''.
* ComicBook/TomStrong has the Weird Rider, an 1800's cowboy using a space-traveling bike. Calls it his horse, too.
* In ''TopTen: The Forty-Niners'', the Black Rider is a Zorro-inspired hero who "cuts a dashing figure" atop his motorcycle Midnight. When he shows it off to Leni he claims he named it after a horse he once owned.
* In ''SheHulk'', the time-displaced Western hero Two-Gun Kid receives a sky-cycle as a gift from his descendant Hawkeye via VideoWill. 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.
* ''Comicbook/GhostRider'': the character's RetroactiveLegacy establishes that Riders of previous eras often rode a HellishHorse or other animal native to their region (camels, etc). Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch ride motorcycles.
* Inverted in ''Comicbook/TheAvengers'' vol 3 #2: When the Avengers are caught in a reality warp that transforms Britain into a medieval kingdom under the control of Morgana La Fey, Captain America and Hawkeye, two Avengers associated with motorbikes, are the only members of the Queen's Vengeance seen riding horses ([[{{Thememobile}} with appropriately logoed barding]]).
* Mustang Suzy, a character from the '90s ''{{Hawkman}}'' books, combined this trope with the Centaur. She was a cyborg whose torso was grafted to the fuel tank of a motorcycle.
* In TheDCU, the GoldenAge cowboy-themed hero the Vigilante rode a motorbike instead of a horse.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In TheMovie, Film/GhostRider has a demonic motorbike that includes a horse's skull.
** Considering that his [[LegacyCharacter direct predecessor]] is shown using a horse for the same role, [[FridgeBrilliance this makes sense.]]
* The film ''Knight Riders'' is all about a modern biker gang who act like Arthur's knights of the round table.
* Although we do not see any motorcycles in either of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}'' films, motorcycles are implied to be their equivalent of horses, as tractors are for cows.
* The Japanese live action ''Gun Crazy'' films included "A Woman from Nowhere", which has the title character ride a motorcycle in a modern-day version of a Western.
* Marlboro in ''Film/HarleyDavidsonAndTheMarlboroMan'' is a cowboy (actually he just dresses and smokes like one and participates in Rodeos) who rides a motorcycle instead of a horse.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/GoodOmens'': The HorsemenOfTheApocalypse now ride motorcycles.
* In ''The Devil's Rose'', the protagonist is an undead Texas Ranger who tracks down fugitive souls from hell. His horse demon mount...thing gets mauled shortly into the story so he saws off its head and attaches it to a motorcycle. Later, he attaches it to a car.
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'': Ares the god of War used to ride a war chariot, that was red and gold and had pictures of people dying painful death adorning it, pulled by a pair of fire breathing horses. It changed into a modern version, a flame-painted Harley Davidson the "size of a baby elephant", with a caucasian skin seat.
* Taking this to its logical conclusion, Elves in MercedesLackey's urban fantasy setting ride shape-shifting steeds that get to be horses ''and'' motorcycles.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Murphy's motorcycle takes on the appearance of a horse when [[spoiler: joining TheWildHunt]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'', 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 ''KolchakTheNightStalker'' featured a Hell's Angel riff on the classic HeadlessHorseman myth.
* Parodied in the "Erizabeth L" sketch of ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', in which one character points out: "It's bleeding weird having half the Tudor nobility ligging around on motorized bicycles."
* [[HappyDays Fonzie's]] motorcycle was "his horse" on occasion.
-->'''Q:''' What does Fonzie feed his horse?
-->'''A:''' [[CatchPhrase 'Aaaaaaaaaay!]][[note]]'''A2:''' Gasoline.[[/note]]
* On ''Series/GetSmart'' Smart went undercover to break up a medieval-themed biker gang which jousted on motorbikes.
* An episode of ''{{Sliders}}'' involved a world where gasoline engines are outlawed, and oil is an even more precious commodity than in RealLife. Everybody uses alternative engines but only biker gangs stick to using gas-guzzling motorcycles and constantly raid oil convoys for fuel. While their lifestyle is definitely more in line with the "biker" stereotype, one of their practices involves a duel between two gang members. How? An old-fashioned joust but on bikes and no armor.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* This trope is used as lyrics for {{Manowar}} song "Return of the Warlord"
* Implied in Music/TaijiSawada's solo song "Empty Room," with the symbolism in the "Horse is my mate" line, which, due to being GratuitousEnglish literally could be read as a tribute to bestiality or heroin - except the reference is that the subject of the song is entirely alone except for his "horse." Since the rest of the song is set in a fairly modern setting and the writer was a BadassBiker, it's pretty obvious the reference is not to an actual horse but a motorcycle.
* BonJovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive":
-->I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride,\\
I'm wanted dead or alive
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the RPG ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/index.html?curid=2619246 Diana: Warrior Princess]]'', Diana's mount is a motorcycle with a horse mind.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' SpaceMarines will occasionally make use of squads mounted on massive motor cycles in the same manner as classical cavalry. The White Scars chapter is especially noted for it. They've been called [[RecycledInSpace Mongols on Motorbikes]] before for a reason.
** Eldar Shining Spear Aspect Warriors deliberately invoke a RecycledInSpace take on [[KnightInShiningArmor Knights In Shining Armor]] - with [[EnergyWeapon Laser Lances]] while riding [[RocketRide Jet]][[CoolBike bikes]]
** Imperial Guard "Rough Riders" are a light cavalry unit. Their mini comes with a horse mount[[note]]A [[JustifiedTrope justified]] use of the seeming anachronism; living animals are stated to be much more versatile in rough, trackless terrain than vehicles would be[[/note]], but is designed to be remountable; putting them on motorcycles is a popular option. ([[AutomatonHorses With no mechanical effect]].)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* There was a rumor about a ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' game called ''A Link to the Future'' (a literal UrbanLegendOfZelda, if you will), in which Link would ride a motorcycle called "Epona".
* In the ''Videogame/StarWarsConquest'' GameMod for ''Videogame/MountAndBlade'', the speeder bikes replace the horses. The Riding skill now serves to determine which speeder bike can be ridden and how fast.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* [[Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja Dr. McNinja's]] magic motorbike Sparklelord is actually a transformed - no, not a horse, but [[spoiler: close. It is a unicorn.]]
* In ''Webcomic/RoninGalaxy'', Leona's bike is shaped like [[http://www.roningalaxy.com/comic/page-87/ a unicorn.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* On ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'', cowboy-themed hero Vigilante rides a motorcycle.
* In one of the ''ScoobyDoo'' movies, 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.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Phantom 2040}}'', whose [[ComicStrip/ThePhantom predecessor]] had the CoolHorse Hero, has a flying motorbike instead.
* The motorcycles in ''WesternAnimation/BikerMiceFromMars'', which sometimes acted like sentient horses.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ZorroGenerationZ'', Tornado is a motorcycle.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'': In "Stand and Deliver", in the VillainOfTheWeek is the Dandy Highwayman, a high-tech version of TheHighwayman who rides a motorbike instead of a horse.
* One episode of ''TheRealGhostbusters'' had Peter falling for the pretty female descendant of Ichabod Crane just in time for a new Headless Horseman to show up riding a motorcycle and ''throwing flaming motorcycle helmets'' at people.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* A common vehicle in 3rd-world Asia is the "autorickshaw", essentially a buggy pulled by a motorcycle.
* [[http://www3.nfb.ca/fm455w/Collections/Photos/WWII/Rubrique3_Le_front_interieur/Section2_Le_recrutement_et_la_conscription/3-2-1ENG_c087430k.jpg This]] recruitment poster.
* The Italian regiment Reggimento Corazzieri (literally Cuirassiers' Regiment), the honor guard of the president of the republic, was, in most of its incarnations, a cavalry unit (either of mounted archers or cuisassiers), and currently alternates between horses big enough to not appear small with the tall soldiers of the regiments and [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/2june2006_059.jpg equally enormous bikes]].
[[/folder]]

!!Basically the same principle, but not with motorbikes:

[[folder:Anime and manga]]
* In the ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}'' series, the Sanzo party rides in a jeep rather than the horse used by Sanzo's mythical counterpart in ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest''. (And in both cases, it's actually a shapeshifting dragon.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Nellybelle, the loyal steed of RoyRogers' sidekick Pat Brady, was a jeep. (Being a sidekick, Pat didn't rate a Cool Conveyance; when he went by hoof, he got a mule.) Roy himself always rode his CoolHorse Trigger, even in modern-day adventures.
* In one film adaptation of ''Theatre/RichardIII'', the title character is a Nazi. Upon getting his car stuck in mud, he yells the famous "A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!" line.
* In ''Film/PrettyWoman'', the protagonist wanted someone to pick her on a white horse. [[spoiler:Her love interest used a white ''limousine'' instead]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''On a Pale Horse'', the first of PiersAnthony's ''IncarnationsOfImmortality'' series, the GrimReaper's pale horse can become a pale CoolCar, or a pale CoolBoat.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', the Four Horsemen ride in classic cars (Red Mustang for War, Pale Cadillac for Death).
* The ''Series/{{Mythbusters}}'' bought an old Jeep, fitted it with a foam horsehead, painted it black and used it to test a mounted archery myth.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The country song "Suds In The Bucket" by Sara Evans gives the fairy tale character a country spin.
-->When her prince pulled up - a white pickup truck\\
Her folks shoulda seen it comin' - it was only just a matter of time\\
Plenty old enough - and you can't stop love\\
She stuck a note on the screen door - "sorry but I got to go"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars'', the good guys' speeder-bikes are stylized to resemble horses.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life]]
* After WorldWarI, when cavalry was shown to be ineffective against modern weapons, many cavalry units switched from riding horses to becoming [[TankGoodness Mechanised]] or [[CoolCar Motorised Infantry]].
[[/folder]]


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