Stunters refer to motorcyclists, typically on sport bikes, who perform a variety of stunts on their bikes. This only becomes problematic when such stunts are performed on public or private roads. There are recognized groups of stunters who perform professionally, but others who attempt tricks in public areas or on private roads can endanger their health and safety as well as the health of others.
For some motorcyclists, stunters attempting tricks in public areas bring a bad name to the entire motorcycle community. There are many motorcyclists who ride with the utmost respect for traffic regulations, courtesy to other drivers and personal safety. Because stunters can perform tricks at particularly high speeds without regard for their own safety or that of others, it can paint all motorcyclists with the same brush, making many feel that laws unfairly discriminate against them or simply average people based on the behavior some people do. Another term for stunter is "squid," which in motorcycle parlance can mean a person who rides a motorcycle intentionally and irresponsibly.
Others argue that learning to do stunts is an extreme sport made somewhat easier by advances in the construction of sport bikes. Some tricks are amazing to watch, and people need to be skilled to perform them. Those stunterers who are trying to achieve commercial success through their sport usually have well-defined exercise areas that are not on public roads. There is also a variety of safety equipment that can protect both riders and bikes if a stunt fails, and as long as these stunts are not practiced on public roads, there is little risk to others.
There are a number of stunts that can attempt stunts. The simplest is the wheelie, in which the rider brings the front of the bike up and rides only on the rear wheel. Many variations of wheelies are demonstrated by stunt riders, including the circle wheelie, in which the rider rides with the front wheel in a full circle. Other tricks or stunts include the stoppie, which involves lifting the rear wheel off the ground or hanging on the handlebars with hands or feet. There are numerous variations and a seemingly endless array of inventions of new tricks as this high-risk sport evolves.
The practice of stunting is controversial, as some of the tricks actually pose a significant danger to the cyclist. Still, you will see some forms of the same stunts at dirt bike competitions and exhibitions. What many cyclists want to discourage are new cyclists trying to become stunters where inexperience is most likely to lead to injury, and if the practice is to be recognized, many argue that it should be legitimized with defined areas for practice that do not pose danger to other motorists.