Kerri Kasem is much more than a pretty face. Because even though she possesses cover girl beauty, to diminish the hard work she’s done to become a highly regarded radio personality and motorcycling advocate would be an injustice. Kasem has been riding a wave of popularity since becoming the on-air cohort of one Nikki Sixx, the outspoken bassist for a little band called Motley Crue, on their syndicated radio show Sixx Sense. The duo does The Side Show Countdown with Nikki Sixx together as well. She also divides her time between producing The Kerri Kasem Podcast with Ashley Marriott in addition to co-hosting The Mortgage Radio Network Show. Needless to say, Kasem is a very busy woman.
If the last name sounds familiar, it’s because Kerri is the daughter of iconic radio personality Casey Kasem, the voice who brought the weekly Top 40 countdown to millions of homes across America. And while it would have been easy enough to rely on her father’s laurels to break into the broadcasting business, Kasem’s ascent in radio was achieved the old fashioned way, through hard work and determination. She is a graduate of the Academy of Radio Broadcasting and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and paid her dues at the bottom of the industry totem pole, interning and learning the ropes as she built up her resume, from reporting and hosting on E! to being a VJ on MTV Asia to appearing on ESPN’s Beg, Borrow and Deal 2.
Kerri also loves to ride motorcycles and has been able to meld two of her passions, broadcasting and motorcycles, on several shows. She did a motorcycle travel show for SPRINT called SEE America, she writes and produces segments for ALO Magazine as their motor editor, and even did a “Build or Bust” episode on the Speed Channel against Gard Hollinger of LA County Choprods. Most recently, she and Nikki had a chance to help design a Victory Cross Country 8-Ball for their show and had a blast injecting the bagger with plenty of Sixx Sense attitude.
That translates to a bike with “Dr. Feelgood” brashness, from the cast bronze cross on the tank to the crush velvet trim on the seat. The centerpiece is its multi-dimensional, multi-textured tank, the signature Sixx Sense cross and crow cast in bronze overlaid on faux alligator skin and leather. The combination of colors established on the tank continues down the custom seat and swatch on the back fender, the work done by Nate Hofwegen of Vinyl Lux Sewing and Upholstery out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Sixx Sense Cross Country 8-Ball rightfully features a variety of parts from the “Godfather of
Kerri Kasem and Nikki Sixx recently got a chance to help design a Victory Cross Country 8-Ball, aiming to inject it with the same attitude and personality as their popular radio show, Sixx Sense with Nikki Six.
We could envision the Sixx Sense Victory Cross Country 8-Ball rippin’ it up on the Sunset Strip with ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ blasting out of its stereo system. Then again, maybe we’re just flashing back to our youth!
A 21-inch Arlen Ness Black Engraved Wheel adds a touch of class to the Sixx Sense Victory’s front end.
We met radio personality Kerri Kasem of the show Sixx Sense at the Long Beach IMS to talk about the Victory Cross Country 8-Ball she helped design.
Custom Motorcycles,” Arlen Ness, ranging from a laser-engraved 21-inch front wheel to engraved engine covers to Ness floorboards and controls. The stock bars have been ditched for black mid-Apes and outfitted with custom mirrors and grips. While the engine is stock, a few more ponies should be gained through the addition of Victory performance exhaust. The metal-flaked paint is deep and rich, Sixx Sense graphics streaking up the saddlebags and emblazoned on the front fairing. Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Sixx Sense bike without a kickin’ sound system. The bike definitely conveys the Crue ‘tude.
Thanks to Victory Motorcycles, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Kerri at the recent Long Beach IMS to talk about her motorcycling history, the Sixx Sense Victory, and about the show in general.
MotoUSA: How’d you get into motorcycling?
Kerri Kasem: I’ve been into motorcycles for a very long time, since my mom bought me and one of my sisters, she got us a little scooter for Christmas. Except my dad flipped out and went ballistic. He thought we were going to kill ourselves. It literally just, it wasn’t even a 50, you know, it wasn’t even like a little 50! We graduated to the Honda 50s and stuff from there, but it was a little scooter and we just fell in love with it, rode it everywhere. And from there, all the dirt bikes, from a 50 to a 125, 200s, 400s, four-strokes, two-strokes, whatever and then graduated to street bikes in 2000.
MotoUSA: When people think about your upbringing, they don’t envision your dad wearing a black leather biker’s jacket. Initially he didn’t like you riding?
Kerri Kasem: Oh know, although he did ride. Dan Hagerty (Grizzly Adams) taught him how to ride. There was a movie called Glory Stompers, remember Glory Stompers? It’s an old motorcycle movie. My dad was in that riding a motorcycle. (The movie starred Dennis Hopper as Chino. Kasem played a character called Mouth.) So he did a couple motorcycle films, but after that, he didn’t want anybody that he loved riding motorcycles.
MotoUSA: What are you riding now?
I have a Victory Judge and I have a GSX-R600 and I’ll ride whatever you give me to ride. (Laughs)
MotoUSA: I know you were on a Build or Bust show on the Speed Channel against Gard Hollinger and LA County Choprods. How was that experience for you?
Kerri Kasem: Good and bad. I didn’t like the fact that, in reality they tried to create drama, so there was a lot of drama that was trying to be created by some of the producers, which I didn’t like. What I loved was learning how to use a plasma cutter, learning how to fabricate, I got to do pretty much everything except wiring the bike so I learned so much about building a motorcycle. Can I build one? No, but I really learned a lot and that was the part I liked the most about that show.
MotoUSA: How’d the Sixx Sense (Victory Cross Country 8-Ball) project with Victory come about, did they approach you first?
Kerri Kasem: You know, I don’t know. I think they did but I’m not on the advertising side. I do know we’ve been wanting to work with them for a very long time and when they approached us, they had all these great ideas, and I said “Hey, I ride, I want one of your bikes, I want to try it out.” And they said sure. They gave me a bike (a Judge) and it’s still sitting in my garage and I’m riding it and I’m a huge Victory fan. Huge. I love it. I love that bike. I get stopped everywhere. It’s ‘Nuclear Sunset,’ that’s what they call it. It’s a matte orange so people think that it’s a custom paint job but it’s factory.
MotoUSA: Did you have fun being part of the design process and having input on the final result?
Kerri Kasem: Oh yeah. Designing the Victory Cross Country 8-Ball was so much fun. A lot of sketches going back and forth, a lot of ideas being thrown around in the room. And I really wanted to do like a cross on the tank, just wrap the tank, and they pretty much did exactly what I wanted and then added their touch. We have a crow, as a symbol for Sixx Sense,
The back of the bike is definitely its centerpiece, the cross and crow cast in bronze while the faux gator skin and leather adds layers of texture.
so not only did they put the cross on the tank and wrap it, they put the crow on the cross. It’s cast in bronze and it’s just gorgeous and continues on down to the tail end of the bike. That was something I really wanted and it’s there. I wanted the Sixx Sense on the side of the bike, kind of in a bronzy color, they did that. Nikki wanted the red crush velvet, they got that. There’s little crosses on the side of the bike because he’s into crosses. They really incorporated our ideas.
MotoUSA: What’s your favorite feature of the bike?
Kerri Kasem: That cross. That cross is my favorite. Another thing that was great, I’m a vegetarian, and I never asked them to do this, but all the alligator skin and the leather, everything is faux, it’s all fake, so I’m very happy about that. No animals were harmed in the making of the bike. (Laughs)
MotoUSA: What are the plans for the Sixx Sense Victory Cross Country 8-Ball?
Kerri Kasem: Well, we’ve been talking about it on-air for the last few weeks where people can sign up at Sixx Sense.com, people can sign up here at the Victory booth, and we’re giving it away tomorrow, Sunday, so I’m very excited about that. (The giveaway of the bike was Sunday, Dec. 8) I’m a little sad to see it go. When we actually got to see it, it came to life literally I think like a week ago, we got to see it a couple days ago and now we have to give it away so I’m a little bummed. I want to keep it in the studio but we couldn’t do it. I hope somebody gets it that really appreciates motorcycles. This bike’s made to be ridden. It’s a Victory, it should be out on the road.
MotoUSA: Switching gears, growing up, you probably listened to Motley Crue just like the rest of us. Did you ever think when you started out in broadcasting that you’d be doing a syndicated radio show with the bassist from Motley Crue?
Kerri Kasem: No, I never thought I’d be doing a show with one of the guys I grew up listening to on the radio. I was such a metal head growing up, such a metal head. And when I auditioned for the show, they wouldn’t tell me who it was. So I
Nikki and Kerri aimed to build a bike that reflected the attitude and vibe of their show, Sixx Sense. Mission accomplished.
walk in the room, and there’s Nikki Sixx, and I’m like, wait a second, what? He’s doing radio. But we had a great time. We hit it off immediately, great chemistry, and he hired me, so I was very grateful. The last four years have been fantastic.
MotoUSA: What’s the funnest part of the show?
Kerri Kasem: There’s so many things. I mean, you get to tour with him. When he goes on tour, the radio show goes on tour, so we’ve got to go on tour with KISS and Poison and the New York Dolls, yeah, it’s been amazing. Who gets to go on tour with a rock band they grew up with? So I feel very fortunate. I love our studio, I love, there’s so many parts of our show that I love. I never feel like I’m at work.