There are many celebrity motorcyclists, but some of them go waaay beyond the occasional ride. Here are five of them, in no particular order.
1. Keanu Reeves. Actor Keanu Reeves, who is probably best known for starring in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, “The Matrix” series of movies, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “Speed” is a longtime motorcycling enthusiast who turned his passion into a company. Reeves co-founded Arch Motorcycle, which makes high-end custom motorcycles that start at $78,000. The company began after Reeves decided in 2007 that he wanted to customize his own motorcycle. He enlisted the help of motorcycle builder and customizer Gard Hollinger. Once the work was done, the two formed Arch and offered their first custom machine to the public in 2014. (www.archmotorcycle.com).
The photo above, supplied by Squarespace, a web publishing platform company, shows Reeves, a Squarespace customer, surfing on one of his motorcycles. The still is from a 2018 Squarespace Superbowl commercial that is part of a campaign with Reeves that the company says is “intended to inspire viewers to take the first step in pursuing their passions by making a website on Squarespace.” Reeves isn’t actually surfing on the bike ala the late Indian Larry as it appears, although Reeves is on a moving motorcycle. He was harnessed in, standing on the bike as it was pulled by a truck at 45 mph for filming. To see the ad, go to www.squarespace.com/Keanu.
Also, for more than 15 years Reeves has quietly operated a private charitable foundation that funds cancer research and children’s cancer wards in hospitals.
2. Jay Leno. As the host of the popular NBC Tonight Show, Jay Leno was one of the highest profile motorcyclists in the country. He took up motorcycling as a teenager and now has one of the biggest private collections of rare and antique motorcycles in America. He has used his popularity to help promote positive motorcycling activities, giving a great deal of time and money to help motorcycling-based charities, such as the Love Ride, which raises money for muscular dystrophy research.
But perhaps Leno’s biggest contribution to motorcycling is his unabashed enthusiasm for the sport. The comedian helped show America it is OK, even cool, to be a motorcyclist. He put a good face on the sport and had a major influence in helping along motorcycling’s baby-boomer growth spurt of the 1990s. He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000.
3. Perry King. Actor Perry King starred in the television series “Riptide,” was a guest star in several television series, including “Melrose Place,” “Will and Grace” and “Spin City,” and has appeared in numerous movies, including “Slaughterhouse Five,” “The Lords of Flatbush” and “The Day After Tomorrow.” He is a lifelong motorcycling enthusiast who frequently participates in charitable events. For years, King has given his time and talent to both the AMA and the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
Besides serving on the AMA board of directors, he has been a frequent host of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and has volunteered his talent to make motorcycle safety public service announcements.
4. Dee Snider. Dee Snider (on left in photo) was the lead singer for the heavy metal band Twisted Sister, whose songs include “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “I Wanna Rock,” "Ride to Live, Live to Ride” and “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll.” In 2017, Snider held his 15th annual “Dee Snider’s Ride” to help those in need. The 2017 charity ride raised money for Melissa’s Wish, a not-for-profit group that helps the caregivers of those afflicted with catastrophic illness.
In past years, the Long Island, N.Y., ride has raised money to fight cancer, to feed the needy and to help prevent birth defects. The ride has averaged about 800 bikes and 1,300 participants each year over the years. He was on “Celebrity Apprentice” and won $325,000 for the March of Dimes. (www.deesnidersride.com)
Photo courtesy of Indian Motorcycle
5. Mark Wahlberg. An actor and former rapper who has starred in many movies including “Ted,” “Ted 2” and “The Gambler,” Mark Wahlberg in 2015 served as Indian Scout motorcycle brand ambassador for Indian Motorcycle, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries Inc. That year, Indian Motorcycle also launched a limited-edition apparel line called The Mark Wahlberg Collection of t-shirts and tank tops for men and women that, Indian said, “celebrates Americana and incorporates vintage styling and iconic Indian Motorcycle logos.”
Wahlberg, and Indian, have been supporters of the Veterans Charity Ride, a non-profit organization that uses motorcycle therapy and other programs to provide healing experiences for wounded, severely injured and amputee veterans from all branches of service. (www.veteranscharityride.org)
Who is your favorite celebrity motorcyclist and why? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.