Throughout history, there have been a few famous people who have embodied the spirit of riding a motorcycle. These people embraced the danger, challenged the speeds, enjoyed the freedom inherent in all motorcycles.
Here are some of the most famous celebrities who owe at least a little bit of their fame to a two wheel machine.
What he rode: 650cc Triumph TR6 Trophy in "The Great Escape."
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting."
If there is one man, celebrity or not, that embodies the spirit of a motor- cyclist, it's Steve McQueen. Mcqueen used to joke that he wasn't sure if he was an actor who races or a racer who acts, but it doesn't matter how you classify McQueen.
Gear-heads and film buffs both admire McQueen for his passion. McQueen would famously take off from Hollywood on the back of a vintage Indian to escape the pres- sure of his movie life, and to get back to his roots.
"I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth."
What he rode: BMW R1200GS in "The Long Way Down."
Few celebrities today can capture the unbridled passion that McQueen pos- sessed, but on today's celebrity landscape, Ewan McGregor has to come the closest.
McGregor has traveled around the world in just about every direction possible. McGregor and Charlie Boorman have reignited a passion for adventure touring with their Long Way Around and Long Way Down documentaries.
What he rode: BSA A65 Lightning during the Hells Angels period
"Some people will tell you that slow is good - but I'm here to tell you that fast is better. I've always believed this, in spite of the trouble it's caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba..." Hunter S. Thompson is one of few celebrities who was allowed to hang out with the Hell's Angels. Thompson spent a year on the back of a bike with the world's most notorious motorcycle gang.
That has to earn him a little respect.
What he rode: Brough Superiors
"A skittish motorbike with a touch of blood in it is better than all the riding animals on earth, because of its logical extension of our facul- ties, and the hint, the provocation, to excess conferred by its honeyed untiring smooth- ness." -TE Lawrence
Don't know T.E. Lawrence, how about Law- rence of Arabia? Lawrence was a British Army officer who gained fame during the Arab revolt in 1916. Lawrence was an avid motorcyclist, and frequently pushed the limits of his Brough Superior motorcycle past 100 mph. Lawrence's passion would eventually prove fatal, as he died shortly after a motorcycle crash in 1935.
What he rode: Royal Enfield 500, Triumph T 110
"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
If you want to see what effects a motorcycle can have on a person, just check out the before and after picture of James Dean.
Dean was the poster boy for rebellion, and for his short 24-years-on this earth, he embodied the spirit of the motorcyclist.
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