|Manufacturer||Asian, esp. Japanese|
|Also called||Rice machine, rice rocket, rice grinder, or ricer|
Rice burner is a pejorative, used as early as the 1960s, originally describing Japanese motorcycles, then later applied to Japanese cars, and eventually to Asian-made motorcycles and automobiles in general. The term most often refers to vehicles manufactured in East Asia, where rice is a staple food. Variations include rice rocket (referring most often to Japanese superbikes), rice machine, rice grinder or simply ricer.
The adjectival variation riced out describes the result of "overmodifying a sports compact, usually with oversized or ill-matched exterior appointments". The term is often intended to disparage cars which have been modified cosmetically to give a false impression of high performance, but are not actually capable of it. The accusation is that the car has been customized with the intent to deceive.
The term is often defined as offensive or racist stereotyping. In some cases users of the term assert that it is not offensive or racist, or else treat the term as a humorous, mild insult rather than a racial slur.
- Motor Cycle 17 November 1966 pp.674-675 You Say This. "Won't last. ...Many a rice burner will be clapped out within four or five years, but the Tiger 90 would last about 12 years. Paul Ayres, Woking, Surrey". Accessed 4 May 2015
- Motor Cycle 1 December 1966 pp.740-742 You Say This. "Challenge on. I was interested to see the correspondence regarding the Triumph T90 and the Suzuki Super Six and the challenge issued...Having sold and serviced many Triumphs and Suzukis, I feel qualified to act without bias. Had Paul Ayres (17 November) the experience of both makes, such as comes the way of a dealer with 16 years in the trade, he would not refer to the finest two-fifty motorcycle yet manufactured as a rice burner. K.R. Harris, Aitchanbee Motor Cycles, Harrow Weald, Middlesex." Accessed 4 May 2015
- Motor Cycle 22 December 1966 pp.834-835 You Say This. "Proof. We do not consider the Suzuki Super Six to be a rice-burner. Indeed, after it has drunk its petrol, it will have little appetite for anything else. A two-fifty which needs a gallon of petrol every 47 miles to travel at 60 mph must be the ultimate in low efficiency. P.J. Worsnop, P. Woollven, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottingham". Accessed 16 June 2015
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He's a master tuner of Vincents, a defunct and legendary British motorcycle brand -- bikes that were the fastest production machines before the era of the Hayabusa and other 'rice burner' 'crotch rockets.'
- "Vintage year for a show" (HighBeam), Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), 21 May 2004, retrieved 22 September 2012,
. Classic owners from all three areas are invited and you don't have to own a rice burner to compete; there are prizes for best British and European as well as best in show and runners up.
- Lowry, Brian (2 June 2004), "The Last Ride.(Movie Review)" (HighBeam), Daily Variety, retrieved 22 September 2012,
If nothing else, the cross-generational bonding as they attempt to unravel what happened decades ago provides fertile ground for GTO-friendly dialogue: 'Maybe along the way, you might learn something about real cars,' Ronnie grumbles at one point, referring to Matt's import as a 'rice-burner.'
- Lutey, Tom (15 May 2003), "The right track; Teens' spirits and their engines get a rush at Spokane Raceway Park", The Spokesman-Review, retrieved 22 September 2012,
Moline races a 'rice burner,' the label applied to the tiny import cars mostly from Japan. His 1992, turbo-charged AMC Eagle Talon was manufactured by Mitsubishi.
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Looking back at the first Datsun trucks and Toyota sedans to arrive in the United States in the late 1950s, it is easy to see why purists bristled at any suggestion that these ungainly Japanese 'rice burners might be collectible some day.
- Miller, John Mark (13 July 2010), "Schools; family; American cars (letters to the editor)", The Charleston Gazette, retrieved 22 September 2012,
Editor: This letter is directed at all those people who just had to buy a Japanese car: Laid off? Hungry? Eat your rice burner!
- Nishioka, Joyce (27 June 2001), "Rice rocket; Inside the import car phenom", AsianWeek
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