IT is the cheeky, head-turning protest that has a serious message.

Sporting nothing but their birthday suits and helmets, scores of people will take to the streets of Southampton on two wheels for this year's Naked Bike Ride.

The bold and brazen protestors will set out in the buff from Southampton Common on a tour of the city to encourage people to dump the car and go green.

Now in its second year, organisers are hoping this year's event - on June 6 - will attract even more riders than the 102 that turned up last year.

Organiser Thea Bjaarland, who stripped off in public for the first time at last year's event, said: "The Naked Bike Ride is a peaceful, imaginative and fun protest against oil dependency and car culture.

"It's a celebration of the bicycle and also a celebration of the power and individuality of the human body.

"It is also a symbol of the vulnerability of the cyclist in traffic.

"The message to people is come as bare as you dare.

"Nudity makes a great statement, and many of us will be completely naked, but if you're more comfortable in a little clothing, that's fine too.

"In previous years, riders have worn shorts, bras, swimwear, body paint, wigs and sunglasses.

"Body painting and adornment, customised bikes and other creative expression are all strongly encouraged."

The cyclists will take a route that passes through Portswood and tours the city centre before returning to Southampton Common via The Avenue.

The event is part of World Naked Bike Ride, which has grown in popularity since its inception in 2004.