Those who missed out on watching the “I Am Evel Knievel” documentary on Spike TV last September 2014 now have a chance to watch it over and over again on DVD, Blue-Ray, and various digital platforms. The documentary from Virgil Films is now available for purchase all over the country and as somebody who has seen the documentary, it’s a must-watch for anybody who has been interested in the life and forays ofAmerica’s most iconic daredevil.
I’m not going to spoil the contents of the documentary because it wouldn’t be as fun to learn about Knievel as it would from the people who actually played important roles in his life. His family, including sons sons Kelly and Robbie, and former wives Linda Knievel and Krystal Kennedy-Knievel, provide enlightening perspectives about the man who actually has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the survivor of “most broken bones in a lifetime.”
That particular record already provides a great glimpse on what made Knievel tick. After all, this was a man who took great pride in doing what nobody else could in a tim when stunts didn’t have the same level of planning and meticulous preparation like they do now. He really lived life on the edge and he suffered for it, both physically, as the 430 broken bones in his lifetime will tell you, and emotionally.
The "I Am Evel Knievel" documentary also features footage of the iconic daredevil’s greatest jumps, including his first major attempt, over the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and the Snake River Canyon jump in Idaho. Suffice to say, if you want a crash course on Evel Knievel, this documentary is a great place to start.
The documentary is available on Blu-Ray for $14.99 and on DVD for $9.99.
Continue reading to read more about the life and times of Evel Knievel.
The late Marlon Brando didn’t just portray and influence the biker lifestyle in The Wild One, he actually was an avid motorcycle enthusiast in his personal life long before the 1953 hit movie. One of his rides just fetched over a quarter-million dollars at a Julien’s Hollywood Legends auction. The 1970 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide, with black sheet metal and “gangster whitewall” tires, had only 13,859 miles on the odometer when it was purchased by a lucky, and apparently well-heeled, enthusiast for a staggering $256,000.
Mr. Brando bought this sled on April 8, 1970, and was the original owner, leaving it pretty much stock and keeping it in very good condition. The engine is what the old boys called a “Shovel-Pan.” It had the Shovelhead top end with the old Panhead bottom end, evidenced by the peanut-hull shaped gearcase cover on the right side that accommodated the generator drive gear that ran off the cam gear, as opposed to the nosecone-style cover used on the later Shovelheads that replaced the generator with an internal alternator housed within the primary-drive cover.
This detail adds a bit of rarity to the bike, in addition to the star power bestowed upon it by its original owner, especially since the 1970 FLH model is listed as having the nosecone/alternator setup. This makes me believe that either this is not the original engine, or perhaps it is actually a 1969 ½ (maybe?) sold as a 1970 model. Whatever the case, the new owner must be tickled pink to score such an interesting and iconic sled. I only hope that said owner actually rides it (carefully) and doesn’t relegate it to a museum display.
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American cable and satellite television channel A&E is set to launch a new daytime series called OCC American Xtreme. The 13-episode series will feature the inner workings of the custom motorcycle scene from the point-of-view of two of the most famous names in the chopper business.
One is Paul Teutul Sr., who many of us know as one of the faces of Orange County Choppers, considered as one of the most influential custom motorcycle shops in the world. The other is Rusty Coones from the hit show Sons of Anarchy. Coones is also the founder of Illusionist Cycles, an up-and-coming custom bike shop that’s already making waves in the business.
Put these two bombastic personalities together and you have the makings of an explosive new series that really puts a big spotlight on the industry, diving into all the tough decisions that need to be made in building custom bikes for specific customers.
Coones’ presence in the show should be particularly interesting given that his baby, Illusionist Cycles, is still a neophyte compared to Teutel Sr.’s more established Orange County Choppers. Knowing these two men from their past TV works, OCC American Xtreme should be a fun new series from A&E.
The network could’ve picked from a pool of successful custom bike builders in the country to feature on its new show. It’s nice to see them pick the two guys that can really bring a whole new dimension and perspective into the oftentimes chaotic, yet ultimately hilarious world of custom motorcycle building.
Set your calendars because OCC American Xtreme will premier on at 4 pm EST on August 22, 2015 on A&E.
Continue reading to read more about A&E’s new 13-episode series, OCC American Xtreme.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know by now that DJ and auto collector Chris Evans has been named as one of the three hosts of the revamped Top Gear.
He’s got huge shoes to fill being part of a new trio that will be following up the dynamic troika of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. Evans recently signed a three-year deal with the BBC to be one of the three new faces of Top Gear, but what really got my attention was a tweet he sent shortly after the announcement.
Apparently, the revamped Top Gear won’t have a strict focus on cars like the previous administration because plans are being made to give motorcycles its own time in the Top Gear spotlight.
Rare was the day when motorcycles got some airtime in the old Top Gear so this is a refreshing change in direction that will get a lot of motorcycle fans excited. Since he’s the only Top Gear host that has been announced so far, Evans also sought the comments of his Twitter followers on what they want to see in the new Top Gear.
Apparently, jet skis are also on the table, as are hovercrafts and, well, lunar modules.
I’m not so sure that last one is going to hit off well with viewers unless Evans decides to race a lunar module with a Yamaha YZF-R1M on the moon, but that’s never going to happen.
In any case, the big takeaway here is that Top Gear will place more focus on motorcycles when it goes back on air in God-knows-when.
Continue reading to read more about plans to feature more motorcycles in the new Top Gear.
Arnold Schwarzenegger may be busy promoting his new movie, Terminator Genisys, in London, but he also found time to throw a little shout out to London Mayor Boris Johnson and his ingenious bicycle-for-hire scheme, Boris Bikes.
Apparently, Schwarzenegger is a big fan of Boris Bikes because when he wasn’t doing any of his media obligations for the movie, he was busy shuffling around the city, going from one landmark to another using only a Boris Bike as his mode of transportation. Arnie even posted a series of Snapchat clips on his Facebook page, detailing the sites he was in and pretty much being the all-around cool guy everybody knows him to be.
His support of Boris Bikes isn’t all that surprising too considering that the scheme was instituted by Mayor Johnson as a way to curb traffic in London and more importantly, offer its residents and tourists a cheaper and more efficient way to go about their business in the city. Schwarzenegger himself is a huge proponent of environmental protection and is one of the fiercest advocates in the fight to curb pollution in some of the world’s biggest cities.
Naturally, eagle-eyed fans of the Terminator immediately recognized him as he was cycling around London with some, at least according to reports from UK newspapers, even castigating him for riding without a helmet. All in good fun, it seems, because Schwarzenegger was quick to reply in his Twitter account with a humorous jab of his own: “In case I do get hit, can you give me a list of body shops so I know where to direct the drivers to fix their cars?”
I love how you’re promoting Boris Bikes, Arnold. But yeah, please wear a helmet while you’re at it. If you’re going to champion environmental awareness, might as well do it with road safety, too, right?
A 1969 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide has been put up for auction at Julien’s Auctions on June 27, 2015. This isn’t just your regular classic Harley, though, because a certain Hollywood icon once owned this particular bike. That actor was Marlon Brando, who many of us remember for his iconic roles in the Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and Julius Caesar.
The history behind this specific Harley FLH Electra Glide began in 1970 when Brando first purchased it. Fast forward to 2015 and the Electra Glide is about to get a new owner, who could end up forking as much as $400,000 to own it.
That’s Julien’s Auctions pre-auction estimate of the bike, although something that once belonged to Don Vito Corleone himself could fetch a lot more than that. From what I’ve gathered, past motorcycles owned by Hollywood legends have commanded huge sums of money.
A recent example is music legend Jerry Lee Lewis, who auctioned off his 1959 Harley-Davidson for $385,000 in January 2015. That winning bid is a stout one, but still pales in comparison to the Harley chopper ridden by Peter Fonda in the 1969 movie Easy Rider. That one sold for a whopping $1.35 million, making it the most expensive auction price for a motorcycle in history.
I don’t know if Brando’s ’69 FLH Electra Glide will hit that number, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it approaches seven figures. These pre-auction estimates are typically on the conservative side, especially when it comes to celebrity-owned items. If I we’re to make a guess, I think Brando’s Harley could sell for somewhere close to $700,000.
Fortunately, the auction is in two weeks so we won’t have to wait too long to find out how much it’ll go for.
Continue reading to read more about Marlon Brando’s old Harley-Davidson that’s scheduled to go up for auction.
The Kawasaki Ninja H2 is one of those superbikes that belongs in its own category of motorcycle awesomeness, presumably included with descriptive words like “mental” or “bonkers.” Jay Leno knows that more than most, having already ridden the Ninja H2 and experienced first-hand the exhilarating power of 205 supercharged ponies on a superbike.
Knowing full well what the Ninja H2 is capable of, the automotive and motorcycle enthusiast decided to dedicate an entire episode of his hit web series, Jay Leno’s Garage, to learn more about the long and storied history of the H2 straight from the mouth of someone who knows what he’s talking about: Kawasaki Senior PR Coordinator Jeff Herzog.
The two discuss a plethora of topics pertaining to the Ninja H2, each one ending up with the same conclusion: the H2 is a bike designed for evil intentions. Leno even brought out a couple of H2 bikes from yesteryear just so he and Herzog can put in proper perspective the feeling of riding some of the fastest and most powerful bikes Kawasaki built in their respective generations.
And like all Jay Leno’s Garage episodes, I’d be remiss if I neglected to point out that Leno took all the H2 bikes for a run like only he could. I’d advise you guys to turn the volume up just so you can enjoy the ear-splitting spectacle of a supercharged Ninja H2 unleashing its banshee-like screams on the road.
There’s really nothing quite like an H2 blasting through the open road with little regard for noise pollution. That’s always been one of the H2’s calling cards and for as long as it’s been around, it’s a badge of honor it still proudly wears to this day.
William Shatner’s ongoing partnership with American Wrench to create the V-8-powered Rivet One art deco tricycle is now on its last stages as the partners get close and closer to the start of Captain Kirk’s 8-day journey across the United States with the admittedly one-of-a-kind machine that has also taken in the description of a “landjet.”
The journey, which has been billed as “The Ride,” is scheduled to kick off on June 23, 2015 straight from American Wrench’s own shop just outside Chicago, Illinois. Shatner will be piloting the Rivet One on this 2,400-mile journey, most of which will take place in the iconic Route 66 highway that starts in Chicago and ends in Santa Monica, California.
While it would seem like a lonely trip if he’s riding on his own, Shatner will actually have the company of a team from American Wrench and members of The American Legion Riders. In fact, the legendary actor will use the trip to meet with members of the Legion along the route in an effort to raise awareness for the charitable efforts the country’s largest wartime veteran organization does all over the US.
Also, such an adventure wouldn’t be complete without documentation, would it? To the surprise of no one, The Ride will be documented for an upcoming television show, details of which are still being kept under wraps. What we do know is that the show will follow Shatner and his ride mates throughout the entire journey as they travel from city to city until they reach Santa Monica on June 30, 2015.
Continue reading to read more about William Shatner’s 8-day adventure with the Rivet One.
Back in March 2015, I brought to your attention a cool replica of the Tron Light Cycle that was going up for auction at an RM Auctions event. The auction has since concluded and the Light Cycle turned out to be quite the catch, fetching $77,000 despite initial projections that the bike would only sell for as high as $40,000.
If you recall, the now previous owner of the bike is Paul Andrews, considered by many as one of the most well-known automotive collectors in the US. Back in 2012, Andrews commissioned a third-party manufacturer to build a working replica of the Light Cycle. The end result was nothing short of remarkable as Andrews found himself owning a bike that not only looked exactly like the one used in the Tron movies, but also featured a 96V motor that’s powered by lithium batteries.
This replica Light Cycle is a fully functional motorcycle that can be used legally on the streets provided it has a license plate and the new owner collects the necessary papers to make it eligible for public roads.
RM Auctions didn’t disclose the identity of the winning bidder, but I gotta say that whoever forked out $77,000 to own this replica Tron Light Cycle scored himself a pretty good deal.
Continue reading to read more about the replica Tron Light Cycle.
Orlando Bloom belongs in the small subculture of celebrities who have well-founded affinities towards motorcycles, specifically those of the custom variety. BMW is his particular brand-of-choice and like anybody who demands more out of his motorcycles, Bloom enlisted the help of noted builder Deus Ex Machina to spruce up his latest bike, the S1000R.
Deus Ex Machina admitted that working on a bike as new as the S1000R came with its own set of challenges, especially one that featured an in-line four engine. But the famous custom bike shop was up to task, as it always is.
Bloom also gave his input to Michael “Woolie” Woolaway, who interpreted the actor’s recommendations with a minimalist approach to reflect Legolas’ very own design ideas. The end result isn’t going to blow you away, but it speaks to what Bloom wanted out of his new S1000R, which apparently involved putting in simple touches to accent and highlight the bike’s bare street fighter aura, sans the plastic bodywork.
It’s definitely a different design from what we’re used to with the S1000R, but hey, if it works for Bloom, that’s all that really matters for Deus Ex Machina.
After all, the number one rule in the custom world is to always make the client happy.
Motorcycles have been making more frequent stops at Jay Leno’s Garage recently, and the latest to do so is the Ronin 47, a bike known in the industry for its unconventional design as it is for its exclusivity.
The bikes actually trace their lineage to the Buell 1125, although you probably wouldn’t notice any similarities given how dramatically restyled the Ronin 47s are. You only need to look at the bike to understand what I’m saying. See that radiator-like contraption on the front that’s flanked by projector beams posing as headlights? Well, that contraption’s actually a radiator of the liquid-cooled variety. Pretty interesting, to say the least.
Mike Mayberry is the co-founder of the Ronin Motorworks as well as its lead designer. So if you have any questions on the design of the bike, he’s the guy you want to talk to. Fortunately, Jay Leno did just that in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.
In the episode, Leno and Mayberry talk shop about the Ronin 47, discussing the company’s history at length and the inspiration behind the creation of these motorcycles. It’s a longer-than-usual episode of Jay Leno’s Garage - almost 20 minutes - but it’s definitely worth your time for a variety of reasons.
So get to know more about Ronin Motorworks and the Ronin 47 in this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. It’s a fascinating watch, especially if you’re wondering about what Mayberry’s plans for the company and the Ronin 47, including its decision to limit production of the Ronin 47 to, you guessed it, only 47 units.
You can always count on Jay Leno to make us all feel inadequate. The affable comedian was at it again when he featured his unrestored 1936 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.
In his own words, Leno believes that the Knucklehead was the bike that launched Harley-Davidson’s company back in the day. Knowing how much he knows about automotive and motorcycle history, it’s hard to argue against that point.
As far as the specific bike itself is concerned, Leno explained how he got possession of the Knucklehead back in the 80’s. Even then, it took him a while - 30 years, by his count - to give the beaten down Knucklehad a little fixer-upper, only to find out that it actually didn’t need anything more than a clean carburetor and a full tank of gas to roar back to life. Leno and his crew did add a few more parts to make it function like new, but the point is that a bike this old shouldn’t work the way it does if it was basically forgotten for the past three decades.
And yet here it is, looking good as new and purring like a kitten the way it once did. It kind of makes you jealous that for all of his cars and bikes, Leno can still stumble into a classic bike like the Knucklehead.
Oh, the episode concludes, as it always does, with Leno taking the Knucklehead out for a spin around the neighborhood. If you didn’t know any better, you would have thought that this Knucklehead was in its dying stage before being taken out to pasture.
But when it comes to classic cars and classic bikes, you don’t underestimate Jay Leno’s uncanny knack to find hidden and neglected gems and bring them back to their old opulence.