Biker Build-Off

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Biker Build-Off TV Poster Image
Tricked-out motorcycles make math cool.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Teaches the values of hard work, following your dreams and passions, caring about what you do, creativity, and good sportsmanship. White and Asian men are the primary characters. Women are almost entirely absent from the show.


Episodes occasionally include risky stunts (jumping over people on a bike, etc.).


Frequent "ass," but harsher words are bleeped.


Brands related to motorcycles are mentioned and sometimes displayed, especially Harley Davidson. Local craftsmen and artists are also mentioned. Most bikers have their own shops and their own brands, which obviously get publicity from the show.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Frequent smoking. Certain camera shots of bikers smoking cigarettes to be cool. Some alcohol in the background.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this well-produced reality show encourages an interest in engineering, math, design, and creativity. That said, some episodes include multiple shots of the main characters smoking cigarettes while looking cool. Frequent cursing and occasional drinking also appear. Some risk-taking -- like jumping over people with a minibike -- appears in some episodes.

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What's the story?

BIKER BUILD-OFF combines the excitement of a competition with the educational experience of a documentary. In each episode, two expert motorcycle builders have 10 days to build custom bikes that will face off against each other in a competition judged by fans. Each builder approaches the task differently: Some work alone, while others use a team to create their custom bike. But each must employ skills in math, engineering, design, and creative vision to be able to compete.

Is it any good?

This is a fabulous show to teach students how to turn their passions and studies into work they'll enjoy. The spirit of the competition is friendly and respectful, with occasional good-natured chop-busting. Occasionally contestants even ask each other for assistance, which is typically promptly given, showing that cooperation and competition can go together.

So why a "pause"? There's a fair amount of rough language (the truly bad stuff is bleeped), and in at least one episode, there are repeated shots of a bike-builder blowing cigarette smoke into the camera while striking cool poses. Too bad, because otherwise Biker Build-Off is an excellent tool for encouraging kids to work hard while having fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about combining passions with work. How do parents bring their hobbies to their jobs? Kids, what are you interested in that you could turn into lucrative work? Do you know any people doing work you're interested in? What skills do you need to build in order to do the kind of work you aspire to? Do you ever get career ideas from watching people on TV?

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