If you spend any time at all on your bike, you know the perils lurking out there and you’ve surely had some close brushes with disaster.
Celebrities may have certain advantages that you don’t when it comes to money, adulation and armies of supplicants to take care of their every whim, but once they saddle it up and screw on the throttle, they’re out there on the highway alone and left to their own devices – just like you.
It’s the danger and the thrill that make riding a bike such a rush, and to that end, we thought we’d put together a list of unlucky celebrities who’ve suffered the consequences of their lust for two-wheeled speed.
Gary Busey: Busey loved his motorcycles, and was vocally anti-helmet, so the fact that he nearly bought the farm due to head injuries he suffered in a violent crash in 1988 after picking up his Harley from a repair shop was more than a little ironic. A police officer who was on the scene immediately managed to control Busey’s bleeding and tend to the actor’s injuries until medical help could be called. As for Busey’s stance on motorcycle helmets now? He’s a supporter of mandatory helmet laws…
Eric Estrada: The star of the 70′s camp police drama, CHiPs, Estrada was involved in a motorcycle wreck during the production of the show in 1980. That crash resulted in Estrada suffering a broken wrist, a dozen broken ribs, and two collapsed lungs. Ever willing to take advantage of any publicity, good or bad, the show’s producers wrote the crash into the show’s storyline and filming some of “Ponch’s” scenes from his hospital bed while he recuperated.
Gerard Depardieu: Depardieu admits to having been involved in more than a dozen motorcycle accidents and one of those crashes broke the French actor’s leg in five places. Despite his travails, Depardieu says he still rides and the rush he gets from riding is something he’ll never be able to give up.
Peter Fonda: Underwent a number of surgeries after breaking his back and neck in a 1985 motorcycle crash, but says he still prefers riding a motorcycle to riding a horse. His justification for that preference? Fonda says he’s “never been bitten by a motorcycle.”
Billy Idol: Was bedridden for several months in 1990 after his motorcycle was struck by a car after he ran a stop sign in Los Angeles following a recording session. Idol’s leg was so twisted it nearly had to be amputated. A photographer who witnessed the electrodes and tubes attached to the rock star during his lengthy stay in the hospital said Idol looked like a “Cyberpunk,” and Idol promptly used the gist of that remark as the title of his next record.
Adrien Brody: The Oscar-winning actor and star of The Pianist crashed his motorcycle into a car in 1992 which led to him sliding feet-first through a crosswalk. Brody said he stopped riding for several years after that accident.
Bob Dylan: Dylan’s 1966 motorcycle accident may have led the then folk musician to “reinvent” his career as turn to an electrified, rock-based sound. Some pundits say that crash nearly killed Dylan, while others say the crash story was simply a fiction put on to provide the eccentric artist some time off and a jolt of publicity.
David Hasselhoff: The favorite recording artist of German’s the world over, The Hoff lost control of his bike and crashed into a pole in Los Angeles back in 2003. The tumble caused the reality TV star and former TV lifeguard minor injuries and scraped up his passenger, then-wife Pamela Bach, as well.
Lauren Hutton: The gap-toothed supermodel and actress took a spill while riding a motorcycle during a charity event in support of the Guggenheim Museum back in 2000. She was a lucky woman as her good friend, actor Dennis Hopper, had convinced her to wear a set of leathers and a full-face helmet. The upshot? The actress’s injuries were limited to broken leg.
Mark Knopfler: The superbly talented guitarist and Dire Straits frontman crashed his motorcycle into a car in London in 2003. Knopfler broke his shoulder, collarbone, and seven ribs, but fortunately, no damage was done to his virtuoso fingers.
T.E. Lawrence: The British army officer who became famous as “Lawrence of Arabia” died in a horrible 1935 motorcycle crash while riding his Brough Superior, the fastest motorcycle of the day and still a coveted bike the world over.
Ann Margret: Though an accomplished rider, Margret was tossed from her bike in Brainerd, Minnesota in 2000. For her trouble, the lovely and experienced starlet suffered a broken arm and four broken ribs.
Seal: The soulful singer suffered a motorcycle accident as a young man from which he fully recovered, but the trademark scars on his face didn’t come as a result of that accident but from a life-long affliction with lupus.
Ken Wahl: The accomplished and handsome actor won a Golden Globe for his role in Wiseguy, and he had already survived multiple motorcycle accidents when a 1992 crash caused him some severe spinal damage. Wahl has faced a very difficult road back from that crash, and his neck injuries were so severe that he eventually sought professional medical assistance for his ongoing pain management issues.
Liam Neeson: While aboard a Harley in 2000 near his New York home, Neeson slammed into a deer. The accident resulted in the superstar actor cracking hi pelvis, and he was found unconscious and lying by the side of the road.
Barry Oakley and Duane Allman: Allman, the then-24-year-old guitarist for The Allman Brothers Band, was killed in a 1971 motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia. Allman collided with a semi-truck which had pulled in front of him.
In a horrible twist of fate, Oakley, the band’s bassist, was killed in a motorcycle crash a year later and less than a mile from the spot where Allman bought the farm.
Keanu Reeves: Suffered a broken his ankle in a 1997 motorcycle crash which threw a lasting scare into the actor. Reeves has recently spoken about other crashes he’s suffered…
Ben Roethlisberger: The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and Super Bowl winner was reported to be near death following a 2006 motorcycle accident in which he broke his nose and his upper and lower jaw. He also lost a pair of teeth in that crash, and he was fortunate that the damage wasn’t much, much worse as he was riding without a helmet and a valid motorcycle license endorsement.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: The massive Austrian, former Governor of California and infidel broke six of his ribs and spent several days in the hospital after a 2001 motorcycle wreck. Schwarzenegger slammed his chest into the windshield of his bike as he maneuvered to avoid a car which stopped short in front of him. Riding again, this time five years after that accident with his son Patrick in a sidecar, The Governator couldn’t avoid slamming into a car which backed out in front of him. Schwarzenegger dodged serious injury in that crash, but needed fifteen stitches in his upper lip. His son was not injured in the crash.
Kellen Winslow, Jr.: The Cleveland Browns tight end tore knee ligaments in a 2005 motorcycle crash in a parking lot. Winslow lost control of his crotch rocket, hit a curb in a parking lot and flew over the handlebars. The accident cost him most of an NFL season and tarnished his image.
Tips for buying your motorcycle insurance, coverage you need:
- Collision to pay for damage caused to your vehicle in an accident with another vehicle or any stationary object.
- Comprehensive to cover such things as fire, hail, wind, vandalism, hitting an animal, etc.
- Towing / Pickup
- Medical payment or personal injury protection to cover the medical bills resulting from an accident.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist to protect us when the other driver is at-fault and does not have coverage or assets out of which your bills can be paid.
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