Back Street Heroes

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Back Street Heroes
Back Street Heroes cover issue 1 November-December 1983.jpg
Editor Stu Garland[1][2]
Categories Custom motorcycles, biker culture
Frequency Monthly
First issue November/December 1983 (1983-December)
Company Mortons Media Group
Country United Kingdom
Based in London
Language English
ISSN 0267-9841

Back Street Heroes (est. 1983) is a monthly UK custom bike magazine that helped to popularize a "new breed" of custom motorcycle, distinct from previous choppers because they combined rat bike-influenced utilitarian and minimalist design with greater use of high tech gadgetry, but catering to an upscale buyer in the Robb Report demographic.[3]

Back Street Heroes "celebrates the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, black leather, long hair and open exhausts aspect of motorcycling,"[4] targeting, like its US counterpart Easyriders, the "hardcore" niche.[5] It is one of a handful of biker magazines that included fiction until 2016.[6] The magazine tied together geographically isolated enthusiasts of biker culture by keeping them up to date on custom bike mechanical techniques and styles, and motorcycle rallies, as well related culture, such as biker music and their music.[7] All this earned the magazine credibility with the mainstream press on the subject of outlaw motorcycle clubs.[8][9]

Ian 'Maz' Harris, PhD, founder of the Bulldog Bash rally and spokesman for the Hells Angels, was a regular contributor.[10][11] Another Hells Angel, Brian 'Moke' Thompson, was also featured in the magazine.[12] L. J. K. Setright contributed technical articles, and Paul Sample's Ogri cartoon moved to Back Street Heroes in 2009 for a short while (ceased in 2012), after 35 years at Bike.[13]


  1. ^ "About us", Back Street Heroes, 2015, retrieved 2015-02-23 
  2. ^ Back Street Heroes - Europe's Leading Custom Motorcycle Magazine, Mortons Media Group, 2010, archived from the original on 23 February 2015, retrieved 2015-02-22 
  3. ^ Seate, Mike; Green, Simon; Terry, Steve (2005), Techno-Chop: The New Breed of Chopper Builders, MBI Publishing Company, pp. 60–61, ISBN 0-7603-2116-7, retrieved 2010-12-29 
  4. ^ Zawada, Zed (1993), "Titles for motorbike fanatics", Campaign  – via General OneFile (subscription required), p. 24 
  5. ^ Leader of the pack?, Europe Intelligence Wire  – via General OneFile (subscription required), 29 May 2003 
  6. ^ Parente, Audrey (2 March 2009), "Local magazine draws raves", The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Florida, p. A.1 
  7. ^ Mackay, Hugh; Ivey, Darren (2004), Modern media in the home: an ethnographic study, Indiana University Press, ISBN 1-86020-598-4, retrieved 2010-12-29 
  8. ^ McGrath, Melanie (13 February 1999), "Riders on the storm", Guardian, retrieved 2011-01-01 
  9. ^ Ballard, Linda M. (1997), "'These youngsters change all these traditions': a perspective on 'Outlaw' motorcycle clubs in Ireland.", Folklore  – via General OneFile (subscription required), Folklore Society, no. 108, pp. 107+, ISSN 0015-587X 
  10. ^ Kukuruzovic, Simon (16 June 2000), "Bikers pay last respects to Maz. More Than 2,000 Join Cortege For Hell's Angels Hero Who Gained Warwick University Doctorate", Coventry Evening Telegraph, Coventry, United Kingdom, p. 3 
  11. ^ Hell's Angels mourn founder member, BBC News, 15 June 2000, retrieved 2010-12-29 
  12. ^ "Bikers give final tribute to friend", Lurgan Mail, Lurgan, Northern Ireland: Johnston Press Digital Publishing, 2 August 2007, retrieved 2010-12-29 [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Foulkes, Duncan, "Duncan Foulkes meets celebrated cartoonist Paul Sample who is putting his huge collection of artwork up for sale", The Shropshire Magazine, retrieved 2010-01-01 

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