If money were no object, what would you drive, and on what day? Sometimes decorum demands a Lexus, and then other times friends demand an F150. Still other times you need a thrifty Prius commuter, and on the weekend, you just need the wind-in-your-face thrill that only a Harley-Davidson can provide. Unfortunately, money is an object to most of us, and so we settle for the ordinary, and we live vicariously through the eyes and lives of those for whom money is no object. Celebrities motorcycle collections are just one of those…
It is only fitting for the main persona of the History Channel’s show “American Pickers” to have “picked” an interesting assemblage of two-wheeled, historical, motor vehicles. Although Mike Wolfe has been collecting various antiquities and trinkets his whole life, this in no way takes away from his other collecting passion. Known for his eclectic motorcycle tastes, Mike Wolfe’s garage is filled with unique motorcycles from both America and Britain. This American Picker clearly lives up to his title, though, as his collection is headed by his passions for America’s first motorcycle, the powerful Indian.
More than just an actor and a father, Brad Pitt is actually a motorcycle enthusiast too. Just peeking in at a few of his motorbikes, we see a great assortment of high-quality vehicles. Not sticking with any particular brand, Pitt has picked up some hard to get and exciting finds. Whether it is his off-roading BMW R11GS Adventure, or his Japanese superbike, the Yamaha R1, Brad Pitt knows how to pick them. His collection includes two Triumphs, classic British bikes updated for modern riding, a Royal Enfield Bullet 500, known for its continuous production over the years, and a couple Ducatis, one of which is the Desmosedici RR. That particular Ducati has only 500 models, and Pitt made sure he was one of the 500 owners.
Tom Cruise may be known for doing a number of movie stunts by himself, a number of them including hair-raising white-knuckle motorcycle stunts, but he also owns and rides what has actually been named the World’s Most-Powerful Road Motorcycle. The Vyrus 987 C3 4V has speed equivalent to a Bugatti Veyron, having the ability to go 211 mph. Cruise’s owning of this powerhouse shows both the riding capability and intensity of this actor. If you ever thought he doesn’t actually do his own stunts, then this bike should change your mind.
“Black Hawk Down” and “Star Wars” star Ewan McGregor has been around the world on motorcycles, logging tens of thousands of miles in all kinds of weather and road conditions, from the cold wilderness of Canada to the hot deserts of Africa, and is even planning a similar trip into South America. No one but a motorcycle enthusiast would even think of making such trips, and McGregor is quite the enthusiast. In his home stable, McGregor favors old bikes and has a few interesting new ones as well. With a Suzuki Bandit 1200, a Guzzi Griso, and even a Sunbeam, a British classic. Motorcycle enthusiast McGregor doesn’t just talk the talk, but walks the walk, well, rides the ride.
“Jay Leno’s Garage” is not just a Discovery-channel staple, but a description of a real place, Jay Leno’s garage, in fact, occupying an airport hangar in California. While Leno is known for his intense love for automobiles, something many may not know is how much he loves motorcycles as well. In his airport hangar garage, Leno has nearly 100 motorcycles, all unique and exciting in their own way. Filling the collection, as Leno is hesitant to call it, is a 1967 Munch Mammoth, a 1976 Hercules Wankel, and an assortment of Leno’s particular appreciation, Vincents and Brough Superiors. That isn’t all of them, though, as many of his other bikes also have unique features and reasons why they are in his garage. One that speaks for itself is the Y2K jet-powered bike, a bike that only a motorcycle fanatic would own. Jay Leno obviously knows what he wants in his collection, and sure enough, whatever he wants he almost certainly already has.
“Sons of Anarchy”
Now, the so-called “Sons of Anarchy” aren’t really a single celebrity, but a popular television series. Still, they may have single-handedly jump-started the flagging motorcycle economy in the United States, and with some very nice bikes. Whether it was the crew Sons of Anarchy Motor Club, Redwood Original, or SAMCRO, or the crew of their rivals, the motorcycles that appeared in this show were breathtaking. Many of the SAMCRO crew drove Dynas, each customized to fit their individual personality. Other crews had other Harley-Davidson models, lighting up the screen with their chrome design and classic style. Even one of the cops on the show drove a great bike, a ‘70s Triumph Bonneville, giving the show some international flavor. If a show about people riding motorcycles does not express passion for motorcycles, I don’t know what will.
Though it may feel that celebrities get all the fun, buying and riding motorcycles that we could only dream of, their involvement actually helps the motorcycle industry considerably. Their interest sparks interest in their fans, creating a chain reaction of motorcycle buying, benefiting the motorcycle industry. This allows manufacturers to keep designing and re-engineering new models and gives us opportunities to see the ingenuity of these two-wheel terrors, as new models appear worldwide. So instead of being jealous of these celebrities, if we are true motorcycle enthusiasts, shouldn’t we be thankful?