[[quoteright:300: 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, especially since car engines are measured in horsepower and many are either named after horses (Mustang) or have horses in their logo (Ferrari).

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.

!!Examples with motorbikes:


[[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?]]
* ''Anime/MelodyOfOblivion'' styles the motorcyles to resemble horses. They transform into {{Bishonen}} for extra [[RuleOfCool cool factor]].
* Celty from ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'' is a modern-day headless spirit called a dullahan. Her preferred method of getting around is a reanimated headless horse, which she disguises as a pitch-black motorcycle when she boards 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.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds''
** Inverted in the [[Manga/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 ''LightNovel/FateZero'':
** One of Saber's special abilities is skill with all forms of vehicle transportation. Unsurprisingly, she upgrades rather quickly from horse to motorcycle. One episode of the anime is even titled "Knight on Two Wheels."
** This skill is also demonstrated by Berserker, who skips the motorcycle and goes straight for a fighter jet.
** Subverted by Archer: he may do it, as all the greatest horses in history belong to him (along with all its other treasures) but he prefers using an ancient Indian spaceship.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Creator/DCComics superheroes Knight and Squire ride motorbikes. In some 50s stories and the Creator/PaulCornell miniseries, they even have stylised horses' heads. Knight's bike "Anastasia" can even follow a scent!
* When ComicBook/JonahHex was transported to the post-apocalyptic 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''.
* In the [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} rode a flying horse for a while. In the [[ComicBook/Supergirl2011 Post-Flashpoint universe]] Kara rode a space rocket bike during one story.
* ComicBook/TomStrong has the Weird Rider, an 1800's cowboy using a space-traveling bike. Calls it his horse, too.
* In ''ComicBook/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 ''ComicBook/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 ''ComicBook/{{Hawkman}}'' books, combined this trope with the Centaur. She was a cyborg whose torso was grafted to the fuel tank of a motorcycle.
* In Franchise/TheDCU, UsefulNotes/{{the Golden Age|of Comic Books}} cowboy-themed hero the Vigilante rode a motorbike instead of a horse.
* A similar inversion to ''The Avengers'' in one {{Elseworld}} in the ''Comicbook/JudgeDredd: Alternity'' one-shot: in a fantasy kingdom, Dredd is a knight who rides a horse called Magister, as an analogue to the Lawmaster bike.
* ''ComicBook/MortadeloYFilemon'': PlayedForLaughs in "Mortadelo de la Mancha". Mortadelo and Filemón believe themselves to be Literature/DonQuixote and Sancho, and Mortadelo steals a motorbike for Filemón to ride, mistaking it for a donkey.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Shows up in the ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}''/''Literature/TheHobbit''/''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' FusionFic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11852303/1/Rise-of-a-Star-Knight Rise of a Star Knight]]'' and its sequel, ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12404778/1/Knights-of-Remnant-The-Ring-of-Darkness Knights of Remnant: The Ring of Darkness]]'', with horses being replaced by motorcycles, [=ATVs=], trucks, and [=APCs=]). Especially prevalent with the Sky Knights of Mistral, who are shown making a cavalry charge on motorbikes armed with [[SwissArmyWeapon gun-spears]] and are based on the Rohirrim(but aren't the actual Rohirrim, who are part of the Army of Mistral), and with Jaune (being a knight and all).

* 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.

* ''Literature/GoodOmens'': The HorsemenOfTheApocalypse now ride motorcycles.
* In ''Literature/TheDevilsRose'', 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 Creator/MercedesLackey's urban fantasy setting ride shape-shifting steeds that get to be horses ''and'' motorcycles.
* The [[TheGrimReaper Death]] of the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' normally rides an ordinary, living horse (because the hellish ones proved too hard to maintain), but in ''Discworld/SoulMusic'', the interference of the spirit of [[ThePowerOfRock rock music]] onto the Disc inspires Death to essentially take on the essence of heavy metal, and he rides out on a cobbled-together motorcycle, while wearing a leather jacket and holding a rose in his teeth.
* In a short story "Deep in the Depths of the Acme Warehouse", set in modern New Orleans, fantasy AntiHero {{Literature/Kane}} and his sidekick ride Harleys. In typical fantasy setting, Kane used to ride a huge black stallion named Angel.
* Calamity, a cowgirl-themed superhero in the ''Literature/NemesisSeries'', prefers to get around using motorcycles in both her superhero and civilian identities.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'', during the original Rinto Kuuga's era the Gouram could transform into horse armor. In the modern era, it adapted to work with a motorcycle instead.
** This is also inverted in ''Series/KamenRiderHibiki'''s movie and ''Film/KamenRiderXKamenRiderGaimAndWizardTheFatefulSengokuMovieBattle'', which are set in the Sengoku era and an AlternateUniverse ''resembling'' the Sengoku, respectively, and sees the Riders using horses instead of their signature motorcycles.
* One episode of ''Series/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."
* ''Series/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 ''Series/{{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.
* Parodied in an episode of ''Series/DesigningWomen.'' Charlene visited a psychic who warned her to beware a shoemaker on a red horse. Not too long after, a man named Schumacher came in the room to tell them he had just hit their car with his Mustang (which was yellow, but Charlene decided that was close enough.)

* This trope is used as lyrics for Music/{{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.
* Music/BonJovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive", as quoted above[[note]]Unless it's a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_horse train]][[/note]]
* Music/{{Megadeth}}'s "The Disintegrators also has this in the lyrics:
--> The slayer's arrived on a black horse of steel\\
Trouble is coming, hell on two wheels
* Not surprisingly, given the biker imagery in many of their songs, the iron horse from Music/{{Motorhead}}'s "Iron Horse/Born To Lose", refers to a motorbike.

[[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:Video Games]]
* Link gets an Epona-inspired motorcycle in ''VideoGame/MarioKart8'' named the Master Bike. And although Eiji Aonuma was not really involved in its creation, he was definitely impressed by its design so much that he wants to incorporate it into future Zelda titles.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' granted his wish, as completing the ''Champions' Ballad'' DLC gives Link the ability to summon the [[{{Magitek}} Master Cycle Zero]], which functions as his personal Divine Beast and has a unicorn design on the front. AwesomeButImpractical has never looked so badass.
* 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.
* ''VideoGame/TokyoMirageSessionsFE'' has motorbikes in place of horses for cavalier transformations, complete with a horse ornament on the front. The pegasi with rocket boosters could also qualify.

* [[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:Western Animation]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'', cowboy-themed hero Vigilante rides a motorcycle.
* In one of the ''Franchise/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 ''WesternAnimation/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.
* The beginning of Episode XCII of ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' has Jack wearing samurai plate armor and an oni mask, but seated on a low-rider. Though he loses the helmet, the mask, and some of the armor in a battle, he continues to use the motorcycle to travel around like the traditional wandering samurai that he is.


[[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]].

!!Examples with other forms of transportation:

[[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.)

* Nellybelle, the loyal steed of Creator/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 the 1995 Ian [=McKellan=] film adaptation of ''Film/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]].
* {{Lampshaded}} in ''Film/WeWereSoldiers'', where Colonel Moore theatrically explains to his officers that helicopters are horses that you don't have to feed or catch. The film, and the book it was based on, both center around one of the first US Army Air Cavalry units. In RealLife, the helicopter pilots were notorious about breaking uniform violations by sporting old Cavalry [[NiceHat scout hats]] instead of their uniform caps. Hardly unforgivable, when you consider that their unit was the 1st Battalion of the U.S. 7th Cavalry regiment (yes, ''that'' [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7th_Cavalry_Regiment 7th Cavalry]]).
* In ''Film/HerbieRidesAgain'', the titular car decides to defiantly participate in a medieval-themed "jousting" tournament (they even referred to the track as a "list") which basically was duels of cars (given names from the Arthurian legends) [[GameOfChicken playing Chicken]].

* ''Literature/FireAndHemlock'' Tom Lynn acquires a cool horse, which he exchanges for a cool car, because horses are a ''bit'' out of fashion. The horse and car are very similar to each other, roughly the same colour, and the car is difficult to handle, as is the horse.
* In ''Literature/OnAPaleHorse'' by Creator/PiersAnthony, TheGrimReaper's pale horse can become a pale CoolCar, or a pale CoolBoat.

[[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.

* The country song "Suds In The Bucket" by Music/SaraEvans 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"

* The 1943 update of the 1927 Broadway musical ''A Connecticut Yankee'' had uplifted [[Myth/KingArthur Arthurian]] characters adopting jeeps as the new horses.

* ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'' introduce Skiddo and its evolution Gogoat, goat-like Pokémon with horns that resemble handlebars, upturned tails that resemble motorcycle seats, and are large enough and strong enough for adults to ride on. Humans riding on Skiddo and Gogoat are a common sight in urban Kalos.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars'', the good guys' speeder-bikes are stylized to resemble horses.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooWhereAreYou'': In "Mystery Mask Mix Up," Shaggy uses Scooby as a motorbike. His ears are the handlebars and his legs spin like a motorbike's wheels.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* After UsefulNotes/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]].
** With the widespread adoption of helicopters, this has extended to include [[DeathFromAbove Air Cavalry]].