British mods and skinheads commonly called rockers, greasers, or grease as an insult. Since then, the terms greaser and rocker have become fairly interchangeable in the UK but are used differently in North America. Rockers were also derisively known as Coffee Bar Cowboys. In Japan, their equivalent was called the Kaminari-zoku (Thunder Tribe).
Up until the post-World War II period, motorcycling held a prestigious position and enjoyed a positive image in British society, being associated with wealth and glamour. Starting in the 1950s, the middle classes were able to buy inexpensive motorcars, and motorcycles became transport for the poor.