8 Signs You Might Be a Ricer

Orange and black ricer car with rear wing

You might be a ricer. Yeah, you! Wait… what’s a ricer? Well, some say it’s an acronym for “Race-Inspired Cosmetic Enhancement”, some say it means you spend more money trying to look fast, than to actually be fast. No matter how you define it, it’s not a name you want to be associated with

So, how can you tell if you’re a ricer? Well, we’re going to fill you in. These are the eight signs you might be a ricer.

#1: You Sound Like One

Ricer Exhaust on Silvia

This is potentially the most obvious calling card of a certified ricer. You hear an absurdly loud exhaust ripping down the road, and you turn your head expecting to see something fast, like a Porsche or a Ferrari, but nope! It’s just a total ricer in a ratty Civic with a sawed-off exhaust doing around 50 miles per hour. These super-loud exhausts are the sonic embodiment of ricer culture. They’re a pathetic and desperate grab for attention, thinking everyone on the sidewalk assumes they’re driving something special, but in reality they’re just extremely annoying.

Everyone knows your Civic EX isn’t worth a damn. Wow, your Acura is deafening and barely gets the 0-60 of an Amazon delivery truck… everyone’s really impressed. But if you’re a ricer, you don’t really care about that, do you? It’s all about getting that super annoying sound that drives all your neighbors absolutely crazy. So, if your car is louder than it is fast, you might be a ricer.

#2: You Drive Like One

Ricer Car Rear Wing Toyota Corolla

I’m pretty sure that everyone that has ever driven a car has had the experience of sharing the road with a ricer at one point or another. And it’s not a pleasant one. Ricers tend to drive like they’re on the set of a Fast & Furious movie, but without the actually cool cars, and without the driving skills to perform those kinds of stunt driving maneuvers.

The result? Ricers driving like total jackasses. Lots of honking, weaving through traffic without the slightest regard for their own safety or anyone else’s, and staying in a perpetual state of tailgating. Ricers will even speed past much more powerful cars, like they’re trying to prove that their Ford Focus is more badass than a BMW 3-series that could blow them out of the water by just tapping on the gas. But, hey, at least they don’t have to check their blinker fluid! 

And this is where ricers become more than just an annoyance to those of us who appreciate the art of the car. When you have people on the road constantly worried about proving that they’re top dog, obviously these people are going to be less concerned with observing the rules of the road and keeping everyone safe. So, if you own a tricked-out Honda Civic, just accept the fact that you aren’t driving a Ferrari, and don’t try to flex your unimpressive horsepower by putting everyone in danger.

#3: You Dress Like One

Ricer Guy Wearing a Honda Shirt in front of his car

Now, the best way to spot a ricer is obviously by the car, but one thing you may not know about this culture is that the flashiness extends to their clothes as well. For instance, if you see a riced car pull up next you at the Chipotle parking lot, if the car’s got a coat of purple and green, the driver’s probably sporting something with those colors as well. It seems a bit restricting to me to have to wear the same colors as your car day in and day out, but I guess if you’re dedicated to upholding the way of the rice… 

Oftentimes you’ll see ricers wearing t-shirts from companies like Affliction or Ed Hardy, or maybe they’ll be in a straight-up racing jacket. But whatever they’re wearing, it’s going to be real flashy.

#4: You’re Vented

Fake Vents on a Ricer Car

A common stylistic touch to most ricer cars is the presence of a completely excessive amount of vents. And I said stylistic, because that’s the only thing these vents are for. Normally, vents are put into cars either because they make the car more aerodynamic or to force more air into components like brakes and intercoolers. But if you have vents on your car that are either unnecessary or fake, you should seriously take a look in the mirror and consider whether or not you’re a ricer. 

And for those of you who don’t know, I was telling the truth when I said that fake vents are a thing. That’s right, people will actually pay to get vents installed on their cars that don’t actually take in air. Apart from the fact that that’s just a massive waste of money, it’s also just an obvious cry for attention. 

In terms of unnecessary vents, any vents that you add onto a Toyota Corolla or any car like it are unnecessary. That engine doesn’t need any additional airflow. You just want to look like you have a turbocharged V8 under your hood when in reality you have a hundred-horsepower hunk of crap. And really, I don’t think anyone’s buying it. 

#5: You’re A Stripper

Stripped interior in a Mazda Miata
Miata Turbo Forum

You know all those nice interior features that come in cars? If you’re a normal person it probably would never even cross your mind to strip them out, right? But if you have an uncontrollable urge to strip your interior down to its bare bones so you can get that “racing look”, then you might be a ricer. In race cars, the lack of interior parts serves a real purpose, namely, to reduce the weight of the vehicle so it can reach higher speeds. But if you’re rolling around in a Dodge Neon, there’s really no reason to rip out the entire interior

And yeah, racing seats might look cool if you’re whipping a souped-up Camaro, but in a car that’s not built for power or speed, like a high percentage of riced up cars are, those racing seats kind of just look silly. I know we all have fantasies of traversing the turns of the Monaco Grand Prix, but save the stripped interiors for the real race cars, and keep the interior in your Honda Civic. No matter how much weight you take off that thing, it’s still not going to go fast. 

#6: You Got Wings

Oversized racing wing on a black toyota

Now, racing wings aren’t always a bad thing, and I don’t mean to say that you should never put racing wings on your car. But ricers have taken this mod to a completely unnecessary level. When you put wings that rival those of a Boeing 747 on your Subaru Impreza, then you know you’ve gone too far. And if you’re thinking, “no, no, the bigger the wings the better”, then you might be a ricer. 

I’d say a good rule of thumb is that if you’re driving a street vehicle, your racing wing probably shouldn’t be taller than the top of your car. If your car looks like its ready to zoom down the runway and take flight, then you probably went a little overboard. Wings, first and foremost, are there to increase downward force so that race cars moving at high speeds don’t lose stability and fly off the track. If you’re driving a car with a max speed of 85 miles per hour, your racing wing is… unnecessary.

#7: You’re Sticky

Ricer Car with Underglow and stickers

Another telltale sign of a ricer is the classic stickers on stickers on stickers look, which, let’s be honest, has never looked good… ever. Maybe one or two stickers are alright on the back window of your whip. But when you start covering every inch of your car in stickers that you got when you purchased the cheap body parts that you slapped onto the exterior of your 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse, that’s when you might have to start considering whether or not you’re a ricer. 

Typically, stickers in ricer circles include Monster Energy Drink stickers, NoS stickers, and any sticker that has a skull in the middle with two pistons sticking out the sides of its head. Now, in my opinion, putting stickers on a car exterior is never a good look. You want to keep your car’s body looking crisp and clean the way the manufacturer intended it. And if you are going to slap on some stickers, keep it to the rear bumper. Stickers on your hood never look good.

#8: You’re Desperate

Blue Ricer Car with Rear Wing
Generation: High Output

Basically, to summarize what the ricer lifestyle is all about, it’s sort of a call for attention. You want people to be impressed for by your car and all of its sweet mods, so you take it to the extreme and try to make your weak street car look like a super powerful racing machine. But real racing rigs don’t need to be overly flashy or loud, they speak for themselves with their incredible performance and style. 

You’re never going see someone slapping stickers or an overly large racing wing on their Ferrari Spider, and if there is someone who has done that, they deserve to be in jail. The point is that ricing is a bit of a pissing contest, in which no one is the winner. 

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