Oxford dictionary revises definition of bikers Carsten Rehder/DPA

Top lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary have decided to alter the definition of bikers to avoid causing offence to the two-wheeled fraternity.

According to the previous entry, they turn up in gangs with "long hair" and "dirty denims", but times have changed and those frequenting two-wheels now look more at home in a Calvin Klein advert than they do in a greasy spoon cafe.

The motorcycling community has become fed up with the stereotype being perpetuated by the dictionary entry and they argued that the likes of Prince William, David Beckham and George Clooney also ride motorcycles and they could hardly be described as shaggy and unkempt.

The OED responded and accordingly altered the entry.

The online version previously defined a biker as: "A motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang: a long-haired biker in dirty denims."

It now reads: "A motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang or group: a biker was involved in a collision with a car."

The alteration doesn't seemed to have addressed the issue as 65% of 524 bikers polled said they spent most of their time riding alone, not in gangs.

The study, by insurance firm Bennetts, found today's biker is most likely to be over 35, middle class, working in IT or telecoms and likely to ride a Honda.

When the term "biker" came into common usage 50 years ago, it often described gangs of leather-clad troublemakers.

Hannah Squirrell, from Bennetts, said: "In the early 60s, biker was a relatively new term which provoked fear among many, partly due to their image portrayed in the media.

"Fortunately, since then, bikers have grown away from the cliched stereotype and now encompass all sectors of society."