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In Japan They Use Motorcycles as Musical Instruments

If you’re into motorcycles, you’ve probably heard about Bōsōzoku, the Japanese rebel biker gangs often associated with outlandish motorcycle tuning. But what you probably didn’t know is that they like to use their bike to create really loud music.

Thrill-seeking Bōsōzoku gangs have been known to engage in a variety of dangerous and illegal activities, like racing through city streets, weaving through traffic and running red lights, or removing the mufflers on their bikes to make even more noise than usual. But ever since Japanese police started cracking down on illegal Bōsōzoku activities in the early 2000s, they’ve had to come up with new ways of passing time without breaking the law. That’s how they came up with “Bōsōzoku sound battles”, where participants compete in creating the most impressive dubstep tunes using the throttle and clutch on their motorcycles.

Photo: YouTube screengrab

There are a couple of videos of Bōsōzoku bikers showing off their music making skills doing the rounds on social media these days, and for good reason, as the sounds they produce by alternatively hitting the throttle and clutch of their motorcycles at a very fast pace are actually pretty impressive.

 

At first, I thought that these videos were just one-time events that someone just happened to capture on camera, but a quick search on sites like YouTube yields dozens, if not hundreds, of videos of such sound battles, some with hundreds of thousands, and even millions of views. There are even special events where people turn up to see these revving maniacs show off their musical skills.

 

As you can hear in some of these videos, Bōsōzoku sound battle enthusiasts sometimes modify the mufflers on their motorcycles in order to achieve a special sound and wow the crowd. Some even practice as duos, matching their lightning-fast hand movements to create the same sounds.

 

And if you thought these were just some kids fooling around, you were wrong. As you can see, most of these Bōsōzoku revving musicians are in their 40s, and some even older than that.

 

So yeah, if you didn’t know, motorcycles can be used to create dubstep tracks, but I imagine that they also make you deaf in the process.