Famous Geezers are baby boomers or older than baby boomers, famous and infamous, whenever I hear about some old person who is famous and rides a motorcycle, I get one of those half-smiles. You know, the one that says, “But of course!”
But of course, it is only natural that someone who has become an icon (and survived to become a living baby boomer or older) amongst us mortals, should ride a motorcycle. But of course! Now there are a ton of celebrities out there who ride. some are avid riders, and some have just a single photo of themselves on a motorcycle to verify that they are riders. I have picked a few for review and here they are in no particular order.
So, in no particular order, let’s take a look at the first and most famous. Evil Knievel? Elvis Presley? Elizabeth Taylor (Malcolm Forbes days)? No, no-no, the first and most famous are the pair of celebrities who brought “Easy Rider” to the movie screen. Produced by Peter Fonda and directed by Dennis Hopper, they both were the lead actors in this Harley hardtail motorcycle, road, social awareness, counterculture, or just plain money-making movie.
Peter Fonda (born February 23, 1940) is still riding motorcycles today as last seen in Wild Hogs (2007).
Dennis Hopper (born May 17, 1936) Dennis Hopper can be seen on a pre-World War II made Indian Four motorcycle with a sidecar in the movie Hell Ride (2008).
And next is one of my personal movie favorites.
Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Born July 30, 1947) Today the Terminator has become the Governator in California. In 2001 Arnold broke six ribs in an MC crash. Then in 2005, he crashed again along with his 12-year-old son (who was in a sidecar) and Arnold ended up getting fifteen stitches.
And here’s a few that surprised me.
Stephen King, (September 21, 1947) has sold 350 million copies of his books and rides a Harley. In 2007 King set out on the trek across Australia, with his Harley in tow, to complete a journey started with a close friend Joe Floyd who has since passed away.
Dan Aykroyd, (born July 1, 1952) HD A police buff, he rides an Ontario Provincial Police motorcycle, collects police badges, sometimes rides shotgun with detectives in squad cars, and owns a business in partnership with several Toronto police officers.
Antonio Banderas, (born August 10, 1960) rides an HD. Antonio and Melanie Griffin (his wife) almost share the same birthdays (August 9th and 10th). For his 40th birthday, Melanie bought him a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Willie Nelson, (born April 20, 1933) has been seen sitting on a Harley. I may be wrong, but I don’t think he is still riding these days.
Some BMW folks.
Ted Koppel, (born February 8, 1940) rides a BMW.
William Shatner (born March 22, 1931) rides a Yamaha and BMW. in 2008 William Shatner discovered the perils of riding a motorcycle without any protective gear when he crashed on a highway in California. The reckless former Star Trek star refuses to pad up and rides around the state wearing just beach clothes – even after a crash that could have killed him.
Here’s some more (a partial list) motorcycle riding celebrities.
T. E. Lawrence (born August 16, 1888, died May 19, 1035) At age 46, a few weeks after leaving the service, T. E. Lawrence was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident while piloting a Brough Superior SS100 motorcycle in Dorset, close to his cottage, Clouds Hill, near Wareham. The accident occurred because of a dip in the road that obstructed his view of two boys on their bicycles; he swerved to avoid them, lost control, and was thrown over the handlebars of his motorcycle. He died six days later. The world knew T. E. Lawrence as Lawrence of Arabia, a British soldier renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt of 1916–18. (That’s his photo at the beginning of this post.)