Famous Men and their V-Twin Life! – “One Speed Dean” Wide Open

Throughout history men have had a passion and sometimes an obsession with the motorcycle.  There is no mystery as to why this is. Motorcycles represent a combination of several manly elements: danger, speed, singular focus, solitude, mechanics, noise, and physical skill.

Many famous men were motorcycle enthusiasts; they combined their passion for things like acting, music, and adventure, with a love for bikes.  Motorcycles were a perfect outlet for their zeal for life; riding the open road with the wind in their faces left them invigorated and inspired. Today we take a look at the relationship one famous man had with their motorcycles and one that inspired me to go fast!

JAMES DEAN

Of course the “Rebel Without a Cause” had a thing for motorcycles. He got his first real motorcycle at age 15, a 1947 CZ 125cc. He was the only kid in his small town in Indiana with his own motorcycle, and he rode it full throttle, losing two teeth in a fall. The locals called him “One Speed Dean.” And that one speed was “wide open.”

When he dropped out of college to pursue acting, he traded his beloved CZ for a Royal Enfield 500cc vertical twin. But he wouldn’t hold onto that bike for long. While home in Indiana on break from working on a play in NYC, Dean decided to ride his Royal Enfield all the way back to the Big Apple. But when it broke down along the way, he traded it in for an Indian Warrior TT. When Dean arrived back in New York, he had the bike serviced at a shop…where Steve McQueen worked as a mechanic.

Later, wanting to emulate Marlon Brando, Dean bought a Triumph TR5 Trophy, the last bike he rode before he died.

 

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