Hollywood creates style. From our fashion choices to how we speak, what we eat and how we party, a lot of what we do was dictated through cinema. Among the most common themes in the history of cinema is the motorcycle.
The very embodiment of cool, the individuality and sense of adventure implied by the vehicle has always drawn the public’s imagination. Biker gangs, bored middle-aged fathers, and teenagers with dreams of the next life have all fallen victim to the motorcycle’s shiny charisma.
And it is not just ordinary people who have been beguiled.
Here are some celebrities who are obsessed with motorcycle-riding in their real lives.
The birth of the leather-and-motorcycle obsession in the U.S. can actually be traced back to a single movie, The Wild One, starring Marlon Brando. Not only did his character popularize the motorcycle, but he also created a passion for leather, carefree attitudes and the constant threat of violence.
In his real life, Brando was known to be a temperamental womanizer, much like many of the characters he portrayed. It is no wonder then that he was a passionate motorcycle enthusiast. His prized Harley Davidson was auctioned off for $2.5 million in 2015.
If Tom Cruise was the Marlon Brand of the past generation, then Ryan Gosling might be the Marlon Brando of Generation Y. A talented actor who has had a wide diversity of roles, and a sex symbol to boot, Gosling is also an avid motorcyclist. He even did his own motorcycle stunts in the movie The Place Beyond the Pines.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may be known for their numerous blockbuster roles, their good looks, humanitarian efforts and their marriage, but they are also huge motorcycle fans. While not hoarding Third World children, these star-crossed lovers are busy adding to their already impressive collection of bikes.
These include the rare Ducati Desmosedici RR, of which only 500 are in existence, and an MV Agusta. Brad’s personal favorite seems to be the Ecosse Titanium, which cost him north of a $100,000.
Rockstar singer songwriter actress dancer punk feminist Pink is one of the more passionate bikers in the Hollywood celebrity sphere. You can pretty much guess from some of her music that she would be a motorcycle fan, but no amount of anguished yet hopeful lyricism could help you guess that the singer of So What actually has a monstrous collection, including a Harley-Davidson Sportster XL Iron 883N and a Triumph Bonneville T100.
The star of many an action and comedy blockbuster, Ryan Reynolds has had an interest in bicycles from a very young age. In addition to riding around in the best Ducatis and Triumphs, he even has a custom-made Triumph 650 in his garage. His style, is simple and eternal—gloves, jeans, biker rings, leather jacket.
In addition to the 650 in his garage, Reynolds also harbors passions for his Triumph Thruxton. He made a short, rather meditative film about the bike and what it means to him. Most memorable quote: “You can’t do anything on a bike, except ride … and breathe.” Indeed.
Even among motorcycle fans, Ewan Mcgregor’s passion might seem a bit much. The A-list star actually went on a 20,000 mile, 3-month around-the-world motorcycle tour with close friend Charlie Boorman in 2004. They even made a movie about it (Long Way Round). In addition to being a distance motorcyclist, Mr. Mcgregor is also quite the collector.
In fact, besides his movies and romantic life, the one area of Mcgregor’s life that gets media attention is his regular swapping out motorcycles.
Mission Impossible star Tom Cruise has an impressive collection of vintage bikes. He is usually seen riding around on his Vyrus 987 C3 4V, one of the more expensive bikes on this list, valued at over 100,000 British pounds. Tom is so comfortable with motorcycles that he does his own stunts in movies whenever a motorcycle is introduced into the plot (high-speed chases, nocturnal solo journeys, searching for the damsel as she heads to the airport, etc.)
Mr. Cruise compliments his extensive bike collection with an even more extensive car collection, featuring Porsches, Bugattis and Chevys, and Mustangs.
Riding Off Into the Sunset
At the end of many classic movies, the protagonist rides off down the highway, the reddish-yellow sun dipping below the horizon. How much of the celebrity obsession with bikes is due to the repetition of that kind of scene and how is because it is actually fun to own a bike and ride off into the sunset, we cannot say. All we know is that there is something indescribably cool about motorcycle riding and these celebrities are certainly rocking it!