Motorcycle USA’s Cruiser Editor, Bryan Harley, mugs for a shot with Aerosmith front man and avid motorcyclist, Steven Tyler.
Motorcycle USA recently traveled to Boston where it got a chance to sit down and talk motorcycles with Aerosmith front man and Dirico Motorcycles partner, Steven Tyler. A biker for as long as he can remember, Tyler talked candidly about the freedom motorcycling offers him and tells us a little about how he became the figurehead of a fledgling motorcycle manufacturer, Dirico Motorcycles. Be sure to check out the 2009 Dirico Motorcycles First Ride video to hear Tyler tell you about his new company and to see Dirico’s lineup.
Steven Tyler: OK, what’ve we got? Good evening and welcome to live MotoUSA.
Motorcycle USA: We’re here and we’d like to talk a little about Steven’s newest venture, Dirico Motorcycles. He’s actually gone in with Stephen Talarico and Mark Dirico and started up a new motorcycle company here in the great North East. So, I’m sure a lot of people want to know, why a motorcycle company, with everything else you’ve got going on?
Steven Tyler: Well, you know, I don’t get much of a chance to get off and be by myself, and the best way to spell freedom is motorcycle. You get on a bike and just take off and you don’t have to sign autographs and you can just be with your bad-ass self and God above and the great outdoors. I always had a hankerin’ for a bicycle with a motor on it, from the time I was five…
Motorcycle USA: And once upon a time, that’s all there was bicycles with motors on them, like the old Indians and Harleys.
Steven Tyler:Yeh, yeh. Or like a trail bike or mini bike. And we would get them from the store, already made and everything, and my brother-in-law, Mark Dirico, who is very good at building things, picked up a frame at Steve Talarico’s Harley shop up in New Hampshire and proceeded to build on it. And what you see is what you got.
Motorcycle USA: So I know that Steven already had the manufacturing facilities, and Mark is the hands-on engineering guy, so what aspect are you doing in the business?
Steven Tyler: I just kinda sprinkle a little Greekery on it and give it a place to live and ride it mostly.
Motorcycle USA: But you give input on the styling?
When asked about his favorite motorcycling moment, Tyler said “I’ve done acrobats with my girlfriend on it that I really don’t want to talk about here.”
Steven Tyler: A little bit. Not much in the beginning, it was a little bit in the design and I just wanted to be a part of something that I could really be proud of, and Aerosmith was about as fine as fine a band can be, and having a cousin who was already dealing with Harleys and a brother-in-law that has an idea for style, what he came up with, I was just so a part of it, and it was so much a part of what I love to do, and ride, and I just kept saying “Push that wheel out a little bit more” on the next version. And the next version he built, actually, we’re going to be playing in Sturgis this summer, and they picked the bike as their bike.
Motorcycle USA: So it’s the official Sturgis bike?
Steven Tyler: I believe it is. We can celebrate now.
Motorcycle USA: So do you have a favorite Dirico Motorcycle?
Steven Tyler: I’m pretty hot on that yellow one out there (a custom Dirico Pro Street) and the brand new one that we’ve got, the new Speedster, it’s just a great ride.
Motorcycle USA: What got you into motorcycling, ‘cause I know you’ve been riding forever?
Steven Tyler: Just all my life I’d get on my mini-bike and go up on the aqueduct and go through the woods and it was a good reason to get away. We did a gig for Willie Davidson and he gave the band five Fat Boys and so I started putting this and that on it, and when Mark started adding things to the frame that he got at Steve’s place, once we got our VIN number, we were off and running (laughs). So you know, it’s just nothing but fun.
Motorcycle USA: So do you have a favorite motorcycling moment?
Steven Tyler: Let me see, I’m still picking some gravel out of my teeth from last summer, but, umm, no, I’ve done acrobats with my girlfriend on it that I really don’t want to talk about here, but mostly it’s just good to get off and get away and have a moment with the Big One above.
Motorcycle USA: Do you have a favorite motorcycle of all time?
After the interview, Tyler and his band Aerosmith played to a raucous home crowd in Boston, Massachusetts.
Steven Tyler: Well, Mark was going to build me a bobber for my birthday, but instead he built this thing he calls the Speedster and I’m just, I love it so much, it’s that old style of the first one that we built but with a little bit bigger engine, and I just love it, I love it. It’s just beautiful. Plus it’s yellow.
Motorcycle USA: OK, I’ll give you three choices for favorite motorcycle scene in a movie – Brando, McQueen, or Fonda?
Steven Tyler: I’d have to say Brando. (Marlon Brando starred in The Wild One as gang leader Johnny Strabler. In the movie, Brando was a black leather jacket street tuff that rode around on a 1950 Triumph Thunderbird 6T.)