Celebrities and their motorcycles have had a long and enduring affair. From before the iconic movie, Easy Rider, celebrities, mostly men, have taken to the open road. Why the link between the famous and the fast? Certainly wherever there is money there are toys to spend it on but could there be more to the lure. I asked Mike Werner, the man behind Bikes in the Fast Lane Motorcycle News
for his take on the link between the two. Mike has an interesting theory. He says there are three basic types of celebrity motorcycle riders: the ones who are riding to look cool and may have many bikes but not so many miles on the bikes, the "real biker" celebs who were into biking before they became famous and now have the money and time to indulge their passion and the ones who started off riding as a fashion statement but then found themselves getting really into motorcycles. Mike Werner cited Robert M. Pirsig, the author of the much-loved book Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance
who said that the allure of riding a motorcycle is that you are one with the road in a way you cannot be in a car, you are exposed to the weather and the air and the smell of the road.
Motorcycles also offer an escape from the world of celebrity, the chance to feel free and slip away from the world. It's no surprise that many of the celebrity motorcycle riders are also pilots. Each offers both the exhilaration of potential danger as well as the feeling of mastery, to be both in control and yet aware that you are not completely in control, that the environment you are in also controls you. I suspect that being famous can be similar in some ways, a odd juxtaposition of power and powerlessness.
Paris Hilton, to my knowledge, has never been seen, outside of the red carpet of course, on the $250,000 custom motorcycle she is shown riding in the picture above. The gallery below includes just some of the celebrities famous for loving and riding (at least to premieres) their motorcycles.