Riff wore a Fu Manchu and semi-long hair in a hairband, which during the late 1970s to the 1980s had been a popular style for men, particularly rockers. This combines with his name, given a guitar hook is known as a "riff".
Behind the scenes
There was no mention of Biff's family, except for Gertrude Tannen and Griff Tannen, in the films. However, Back to the Future: Biff to the Future 1, co-written by Back to the Future co-creator Bob Gale, has Gertrude angrily state to Biff he is her only grandson. This could mean several things: Cliff and Riff are the result of Kid Tannen not going to jail, and didn't exist in the timelines where he was imprisoned, Cliff and Riff died in the regular timeline, or the two never found out about their father and Gertrude is not aware of Kid's other children.
No real information about Riff's personality are expressed, save for the Tannen family disposition towards meanness. He couldn't have been born any earlier than 1938, even if he was conceived directly after Biff's birth.
Riff Tannen was voiced by Andrew Chaikin.