Eight Reasons Why Justin Bieber Is a Total Squid

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Like, OMG! Justin Bieber rides a Ducati! Could he get any dreamier?

Isn’t it fascinating, the divergence between image and reality? Yes, 99 percent of teenage girls locked themselves in a bathroom and scrawled “Bieber Fever” all over themselves in Sharpie when these images of the 18-year old dropped. They see a bad ass, but you and I, as actual motorcyclists, see an accident waiting to happen. Here’s why.

Urban Dictionary defines the word “Squid” as: “A young motorcyclist who overestimates his abilities, boasts of his riding skills when in reality he has none. Squid bikes are usually decorated with chrome and various anodized bits. Rear tires are too wide for their own good, swingarm extended. Really slow in the corners, and sudden bursts of acceleration when a straight appears. Squids wear no protection, deeming themselves invincible. This fact compounds itself with the fact that they engage in ‘extreme riding’–performing wheelies and stoppies in public areas. Squids wreck a lot. Derived from ‘squirly kid.’”

We’re confident in applying the label to Bieber for these eight reasons:

1. No upper body protection. The human body evolved to go about 12 mph. As a result, hitting hard stuff at speeds above that tend to result in severe injury. Specific items of clothing have been developed with padding or “body armor” capable of preventing such injuries. Riding without such protection is largely considered suicidal. Since Bieber dates models and other famous-types, we’ll assume he’s just ignorant of the risk. And seriously dude, you’d look twice as cool if you’d just wear a leather jacket.

2. Fly Kicks. Did you know that motorcycles are seriously heavy? That Ducati 848 Evo he’s riding weighs 370lbs before you add fuel. Sitting on it at a standstill, you have to support all that weight through your legs, feet and ankles. Even if The Bieb doesn’t fall off, over-the-ankle boots provide much needed support. If he does fall off, those bedazzled sneakers will fly off his feet in less than a second, providing no protection against injury. But why not wear real motorcycle boots? They look awesome.

3. No Gloves! Here’s a fun formula: In a crash, for every 1 mph you’re going over 30 mph, you lose an additional 1mm of flesh while sliding on the average road surface. That’s if, like Bieber, you don’t wear protection. Doing the math, that’s 1cm of flesh if you slide down the road at 40 mph. Where on Justin Bieber’s hands does he have 1cm of flesh to lose? This is what happened to my butt at 35 mph.

4. Custom Stickers. These read “Swag.” Justin’s taken the time to personalize his bike, but hasn’t invested similar time in his riding skills. Come on dude.

5. Expensive helmet, no other riding gear. A common sign of squidly behavior. Those pesky cops make you wear a helmet, so you may as well buy the most expensive one, right? All it means is that you’ll be fully aware of the pain while you lay in the ER suffering multiple compound fractures and road rash.

6. Riding on the shoulder of a highway. Really dude? See all that stuff to your left? That’s the road, it’s where you ride. If traffic is heavy, you ride in the empty space between lanes, not off to the side. Doing so is illegal, increases the likelihood that debris will cause a flat tire and cars aren’t looking for bikes approaching on the shoulder, so should one pull over, the likelihood of it hitting you is increased. Just an all-round bad idea. Here’s how you lane-split safely.

7. Heels on pegs. Again, another classic indicator of a deficit in riding ability. Because riding a high-performance motorcycle like this Ducati is essentially an athletic sport, those who master it do so with a specific form or “body position.” That form sees the balls of your feet placed on the pegs, enabling you to move your body around the bike. Locking your heels in like this is detrimental to control.

8. The biggest chicken strips ever. See that large, shiny patch of unused rubber on the side of the tire? That’s there because Justin hasn’t leaned the bike much past 20 degrees to take a corner. Because motorcycles turn by leaning over, the amount of tire that’s worn is sort of an indicator of how that motorcycle is ridden. Typically, a motorcycle owned by an experienced rider will display no, or very small, strips of unused rubber on the sides.

All of these eight signs together, combined with the fact that someone with no prior motorcycle experience purchased an exotic, exceptionally difficult-to-ride superbike as their first motorcycle can only invariably lead to one conclusion: Justin Bieber is going to crash and, if he doesn’t start wearing some safety gear, he’s going to get really, really badly hurt when he does. I hope his management is listening.

Gear: Shoei RF-1100 Helmet ($400)

  • Kirill

    Super Quick Until Inevitable Death. What a waste of an 848.

    • okipouros@gmail.com

      I hope he doesn’t read this advice…

  • Mike

    Wait, there was doubt about this fact?

  • David S

    LOL! Honestly the funniest thing i’ve seen all day. Thank you HFL for making my Thursday that much funnier.

    Honestly first thing i noticed was his lack of gear, and second his chickies. I hope this doesn’t influence others to ride so under-equipped.

  • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan


  • Roman

    1. Because ofcourse he is.

  • valen

    oh god.

  • Bald Shaun

    Is Hell for Leather TMZ now?

  • Jon B.

    $100 says that matte black range rover in front of him is his handler/manager/swag team etc and JB rode behind that rig at like 20mph for these publicity shots.

    • JC


    • daniel dominguez

      im not surprised hes a squid. he chromed out his fisker karma for crying out loud.

    • brigand

      Yeah, I agree. Look at the photos. They’re set up. He’s looking back at what? The random photog? The second shot he’s managed just to get up enough speed, from being stopped on the shoulder discussing the shot with his handlers, to get his feet up on the pegs. 50/50 he managed to haul it down from 15mph to a stop without falling over.

    • Daan

      If it’s a publicity campaign it’s even worse that this asshole decided it would be a good idea to advocate not wearing gear.

  • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D [EX500]

    Ha! Sadly, chicken strips are usually inevitable, to a degree, for commuters and city riders.

    • Daan

      Yeah, but those are about the farthest thing from commuting or city tyres.

  • Mitch

    Why are celebs always allergic to gear? Even gloves?

  • NewOldSchool

    At the dealer the other day and two guys pull up on R6′s wearing fancy Arai’s, but with jeans, skate shoes, no gloves, hoodies and an icon chest protector.

    I asked them about the chest protectors as if I was curious, asking them to take a dive onto the pavement.

    “Naw man that would hurrrrt!”

    I asked, “So how about going like 40mph?”

    Blank stares.

    “…and on the freeway?”

    “…dammnnn bro.”

    I walked away.

    • T Diver

      What is the purpose of the chest protector? They seem very popular. I even ride with folks who wear them. I understand the back protector aspect but what’s with the chest armor? I would be grateful if the dude from ICON would explain.
      I had to push start my ninja to ride last night. I bet Bieber never gets to push start his ride.

      • NewOldSchool


        Because people will buy things that make them feel safe. These are seen as a stepping stone to at least get people to think about wearing gear.

      • http://www.rideicon.com iconmotosports

        The Stryker Vest is not intended to be worn as a standalone piece. The Stryker Vest is for those that want more protection, but may have a jacket that does not have a back protector. Also, the chest protector is there to add more protection where other similar items may go without.

        People may wear the Stryker alone, but many customers have started with the Stryker Vest, experienced that gear can be comfortable to wear, and then gone on to wear more gear (jackets, helmets, gloves, etc.).

        • NewOldSchool

          I wear an Accelerant vented jacket, Stealth gloves and Reign boots.

          I understand Icon’s intent, and I appreciate all you do to raise gear awareness, but it is the real world common practice which I am against.


          • http://www.rideicon.com iconmotosports

            As of right now, that rider is not completely protected, but he’s wearing a full face helmet and a Stryker Vest; which is more than most motorcyclists in the U.S.

            Later, he may try on one of our textile jackets and see that they breathe well, and are comfortable to ride with. Then, he might buy a pair of gloves, boots, and Stryker Kee armor. Eventually, he might ride fully geared up, or he may not. It’s up to him.

            It’s better to persuade people to wear more gear one piece at a time, than berate them and turn them off from never wearing gear.

            We choose to start a conversation about wearing gear, not just critique about how much to wear at all times.

            • NewOldSchool

              Well put, I like to open rider’s and friend’s eyes who don’t gear up.

            • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

              We all have to start somewhere, today’s squids learn somewhere along the way that protection trumps fashion.

              I just hope it’s not too late for Justin Bieber: Someone who has contributed immensely to the arts, academia and progressive hair fashion.

      • Jonathan

        Chest protection is an option in many A-stars jackets. I’m sure other brands have it too. It’s supposed to protect your heart and lungs from clip-on and footpegs in a bad crash.

        • T Diver

          That makes sense.
          You Icon folks are to be commended. Thanks for the reply. A dude wearing just the vest sees someone crash and decides to wear more gear. It happens. The vast majority of the folks in my club wear knee armor. Many with elbor armor too. Most of it is Icon gear. My knee guards are the “KNOX Cross Knee Guards”. They are comfortable but don’t feel as solid as some of the Icon stuff. It makes me want to buy more Icon gear. The squid image is not an issue is not something I’m too concerned with. I pretty much am ATGATT.
          When I see people wearing sneakers, or just their skinny hipster jeans [Wes], I think they are crazy but it’s their business. Say what you will about Icon and squids but I don’t see any other brands on here replying to posts. Plus I think their videos are pretty cool. But then again I think 80mph power wheelies on the LA freeways look neat (that is when a squid other than myself is pulling them.)

  • Johndo

    For the chicken strips if the guy just got his license and only rides in the city, it’s quite normal. Not wearing proper gear is not. I’m sure if his insurance company sees these pics he’ll be getting a call. His pinky finger is probably insured for more then I insured my house.

  • ike6116

    Didn’t you just fuck yourself up really bad wearing jeans taking a standard 90 degree intersection?

    Glass houses and all.

  • Rosario

    Wait. Why the hell are you reporting this like people care?

    • http://www.racetrackstyle.com Racetrack Style

      good one. I actually did laugh out loud. twice. who is Justin Bieber?

  • Gregory

    California needs a tiered motorcycle licensing system.

    From age 10-15, you’re limited to, say, 50cc, after a test. If you pass a second difficult practical test, from age 16-20 you’re allowed to ride up to 125cc. Then, if you pass another difficult practical test, you’re allowed to ride a 250-400cc. If you’re over 27-years-old and pass a fourth very difficult practical test, you’re allowed to ride anything you want. Continuing education would be required yearly.

    This would keep pop stars from using motorcycles as “image”.

    I’d also have tiered licensing for automobiles. There are so many fucking bad car drivers out there, it’s shameful.


    • Rob

      Where oh where is the +1 or like button… you sir, have taken the thoughts right out of my brain.

      • The other Joe

        Right out of your brain? that must feel really weird!

    • http://cynic13th.livejournal.com/ cynic

      I think this would be over doing it. Making a 2 tiered system would be enough. Hell even mandatory MSF would be almost enough.

    • Nick Hobbs

      Over 27? Jesus, are you European? Speed cameras like those empoloyed in England may reduce wreckless driving but I sure as hell don’t want them. G, there will be bad drivers anywhere you go.

  • Scott-jay

    “Squids wreck alot.”
    It cracks me up Wes would write this.

  • frick

    You’d think his assistant could have found shoes that matched his wheels better…

  • nick2ny

    Wes, is there an article about proper body positioning somewhere on here? I quit riding around with my arches on the pegs after chatting with you a couple years ago, and want to know more.

  • richard gozinya

    I almost feel bad for Ducati, having that little douche seen on one of their bikes. Tiny, annoying little twerp doesn’t exactly fit the Ducati image.

    Oh, and Katee Sackhoff’s bike is way cooler than Bieber’s. So, if you’re going to start posting stuff about celebrities on motorcycles, there’s a lot better material available than an androgynous pop star.

    • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

      This is not about celebs, it’s about squids.

      For shame mentioning a legit motorcyclist like Katee Sackhoff on the same page as Beiber and squids.

  • Lawrences

    Do a celeb shot, get in media, bring out a new model the FLXHBEEBCMEE…The Motor Company missed, like, the best one ever!

  • rohorn

    Will Justin ever be as cool as THIS legend?

    • ~RUSH~

      *GAG*…I just threw up in my mouth a little…

    • NewOldSchool

      I geeked out when I noticed the old steering stabilizer haha!

  • Aapo Tilman

    there are other celebrities doing it right:


    Proper Gear, one might think, after all, they can afford it.

  • 10/10ths
  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    Hahaha bedazzled sneakers.

    At least he doesn’t have the typical “locked arms leaning on the handlebars” problem.

  • Guest


  • NoMan

    geez, haters gonna hate i guess! what ever happened to just being glad more people are riding, or maybe in his case learning to ride

    • fureien

      he sets a bad example. all the wannabes are now going to copy him: no safety gear and starting with a difficult bike

      • Thijsvr

        Modern day evolution. People that can’t think logical for themselves and look at Justin Bieber for answers will remove themselves from the gene pool ;)

      • NoMan

        I started out on an 02 R1, and I had no problem. I did wear all sorts of gear, but I had absolutely no problem learning to ride on a 150 hp sport bike. Was it overkill???? probably, but at the price of $5500 i wasnt going to get a better bike for the money.

    • DragosStefan

      And when he crashes and gets mutilated because he wears no protective equipment, all the media says: this is what happens to people who ride motorcycles.

  • Thijsvr

    We all had to start riding at some point. Some start out this way, on a bike like this. If you have the money and you like it, why not. You may not go fast as fast as you would on a lighter bike, but he could’ve done worse. He could’ve bought a 1198 right ;)

    And aside from that, I have chicken strips on my Fireblade too, because I not only use it to pose in the weekend, but drive it to work as well. Which is a 30 kilometer ride over the highway. It’s not great, but it beats a car.
    In all honesty, I won’t win any competitions on a track either, but I am able to find the edge of the tire, it just seems like I don’t because riding in a straight line for a several kilometers brings back the chicken strips again. It doesn’t really looks like the Biebs is racing here either, but just using the bike as transportation.

    Like your articles though, just felt I had to point this out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Ketan.N.Kadam Ketan Kadam


    • Leslie Sofarelli

      most crashes occur when we least expect them…gear up,, no excuse and in JB’s case..he has the money!

  • sanjuro

    Learning to ride?

    Do you teach novices to skip wearing essential gear like gloves, boots, and a jacket? Ride on the shoulder where road debris ends up?

    I laugh at chicken strips point, stupid stickers, and the $15k first bike. And yes, it is Justin Bieber.

    But when it comes to safety and skill, all I can do is shake my head.

  • Justin Bieber

    #9 He watches RheaMDC videos

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.a.fowler.1 Jonathan Andrew Fowler

    swag started out meaning “secretly we are gay”. Look it up! Guess this is one time it is not much of a secret! There are 2 kinds of riders, those who have dumped it, and those who will sooner or later. Wear the gear, or the scars, your call. It can be uncomfortable at stop lights, but the first time you get up off the freeway, and clock into work the next day, you will never ride without it again! (speaking from experience)

  • AM3RIG

    you would shut up about squid motorcycles. why not you mock on hd motorcycles or scooters who didnt wear jacket nor glove protections. you are a plain stupid!

  • Ewan Skinner

    I get fed up with the Holier than Thou brigade who have a go at motorcyclists not wearing the full ‘Safety’ kit. I was a police motorcyclist and didn’t wear all that stuff all the time, and especially when it was very hot.
    Better to be cool and comfortable and avoid the accident in the first place rather than be all protected and hot and sweaty.
    And to teenager leather jackets and bike boots smack of middle age!
    Leave others alone until you are perfect……no biker ever is!

    • Sonny Liston

      Great points my friend

  • Dietrich Von Bacon

    I for one encourage Justin Bieber to continue riding his bike on the shoulder of the highway. Go get ‘em Justin! I look forward to your obituary.

    • Joe Bielski


  • Motorcycle RN

    On a street bike chicken strips ain’t so bad. But on a track bike…

  • LS650

    Meh. I’ve seen local squids doing a lot worse.

  • ThinkingInImages

    My first thoughts when I saw the headline was JB? Motorcycle? Here in Ride Apart? Followed by a yawn. He’s a “celebrity”, not a role model. Well, not in a positive sense to me.

    The “squid” angle I get. Yes, far too many people ride without properly gearing up. Eventually, it catches up with them. That’s the important take-away here.

  • Rowtag

    that poor ducati deserves better

  • John Tiedjens

    OK so Justin is a squid … he is when he’s off his ducati as well, but I do tire of the constant barrage of safety police who rant at anyone who hasn’t wrapped themselves in a serta sleeper. There is a huge difference between going out to drag a knee and cruising or enjoying a bit of mototourism. When you dress yourself in leather or what I refer to as a snow suit mid summer you take a big portion of why we enjoy riding out of the experience. Yeah you don’t want to wear a fishnet speedo Jr. to go out onna ride but the other end is not appealing either unless it’s spring or fall. I’ve devised this combo that gives you some protection and at the same time is cool and breezy. Moto flak jak slider jeans, gloves, boots and helmet…. it’s a comfortable package and will give you at least a little more than a T and jeans. I can’t wiat to hear the nay sayers on this one… LOL!

    • John Tiedjens

      Years ago Dirtbike Magazine would have referred to Bieber as a SPODE.

  • Peter Chen

    (5. Expensive helmet)

    With all that money, JB didn’t go all the way out for RF-1200


    JB just snatched a great RF-1100 deal at revzilla for $279.99, he is a smart shopper :P

  • devillock

    Theory of evolution will sort this one out for us.

    • SniperSmitty

      Sport Bikes are the chlorine in the gene pool. I ride a CBR600. But only after 3 seasons on a cruiser. Also, one of my favorite lines….. Sweat evaporates faster than skin heals. Keep the dirty side down.

  • Reid

    While I’m all for bashing on squids, I had hoped that RideApart would not stoop to posting celebrity news. This is funny and all, but I really can’t stand or understand this rabid fascination with celebrities.

  • Armin Pelkmann

    Body position and safety I agree.. in general an entertaining read. but the section on the helmet is over-done. An RF 1100 is a nice helmet but far away from AGV Pista or Schuberth SR1 or an Corsair V. you can get the RF 1100 for 300$ right now …

  • The Mrs

    I have large chicken strips on my ancient Ninja 500 and am proud of them. Means I am going home safely at the end of the night. I have only been riding for two years and am not comfortable doing hard leaning yet. People saying good if people like this die have no compassion. Even if a rider dies stunting or speeding on the streets wearing no gear his life still had value. Just because they take risks and do things you wouldn’t doesn’t mean they deserve to die. BTW My husband and I are not squids or stunters. We just hate when people who have zero experience with the community pipe up and say that ignorant stuff. I am even more saddened to see people who are riders saying it. Just because they ride or gear up or don’t, differently than you doesn’t mean you’re better. Is there going to be an article about cruiser riders who don’t gear up to your standards? I know the risks and when something happens it will be on me. No one else will suffer the consequences.