Jason Momoa is a counterculture insurgent. There’s a cause he’s our Khal Drogo, our Conan the Barbarian, and our superhero, the Aquaman. It’s fairly easy: Momoa is a badass, a superhuman man-beast whose coronary heart pumps motor oil and abdomen starves for velocity. He bleeds for bikes, for his or her half in American historical past, and for the custom of all of it. Lately, Momoa has made it his mission to make use of his skills to share the very best that bike tradition has to supply.
In assist of the United We Will Journey marketing campaign, Momoa produced and directed a six-part collection highlighting actual Harley-Davidson riders round the US. Whereas this introductory video options Momoa’s gritty and charming message for navigating COVID-19 and journeying ahead to new locations, the forthcoming collection will concentrate on a variety of riders and customized tradition bike builders and their ardour for motorcycling.
The enduring actor and movie producer took a while to talk with Males’s Journal about his new video collection, challenges he confronted whereas filming throughout COVID, and his imaginative and prescient of the way forward for bike occasions and tradition.
MEN’S JOURNAL: United We Will Journey is a fantastically filmed quick movie that includes bike riders across the nation who’re discovering their solution to push ahead within the face of COVID-19 dangers and lockdowns. What challenges did you face whereas producing this collection?
JASON MOMOA: I’m so completely happy you prefer it. These aren’t actors—these are actual riders. We traveled across the nation in a van with a small crew to fulfill within the intimacy of their properties whereas they shared their tales and fervour for motorcycling. We took this very severely, traveled safely, and took each precaution and everybody was secure—I’m very pleased with that. No matter anybody’s views are on questions of safety associated to COVID, I simply don’t need to damage anybody. So we simply went out and did our greatest job and had success in that.
That is our basis. And on the similar time, I’m not occupied with going again to the best way issues have been throughout lockdowns. We went by way of one thing collectively and we’re adapting to the brand new regular. It’s gonna depart a mark, and it ought to depart a mark like all scars do. However this a cultural reset and we are going to transfer ahead in a brand new approach, collectively.
You’ve produced a mess of compelling quick movies. What was the imaginative and prescient for this collection and do you’re feeling you captured it?
It’s in regards to the spirit of motorcycling. Driving brings us all collectively and the bike group has your again. It doesn’t depend on race, weight, gender, or sexual preferences. It’s a standard ardour that offers again what you place into it. And there are such a lot of countercultures inside countercultures in motorcycling. I don’t decide what sort of motorcycling you do; you’re the one on the market doing it—and I can relate to that. I really feel a variety of peace blasting by way of the canyons on my bikes, and I do know lots of people are struggling, so I needed to share that frequent thread that retains us all collectively. We got down to movie across the nation and actually showcase some particular individuals, spend time with them, who additionally share that frequent thread.
The frequent thread being a motorbike—a conduit for pleasure but in addition a wealthy American custom, a bit of pure Americana on the subject of celebrating classic motorcycling.
Hell yeah! I simply watched the premier of our video on-line with Jochen Zeitz, the brand new CEO of Harley-Davidson. It was fairly emotional second for me. You understand, I like the model a lot and to have the ability to present one thing like this, a heat message from the guts at a time after they really want it, felt highly effective on my coronary heart. There aren’t a variety of firms, you can most likely depend them on one hand, which have survived the Nice Despair, endured each world wars, all of the peaks and valleys of our nation’s final hundred years, and now are witnessing and navigating a worldwide pandemic and big social reforms. They will actually reply to the individuals and guarantee them that we’ve been by way of so much collectively and we’ll get by way of this as properly. It is probably not the very best time to go purchase a motorbike—lots of people can’t afford it proper now—but it surely’s the spirit, proper? I used to be raised by a single mom who supplied for our household, paycheck to paycheck, however we at all times had hope.
What was the catalyst that sparked your relentless ardour for bikes?
I made a movie about it known as Where the Wild Stomped In. I used to be 6 the primary time I used to be on the again of a motorbike with a household good friend. I’ve an image of it. It was my awakening. That was the precise second I grabbed a maintain of it and by no means let go. It’s like when somebody first will get on a horse, however for me, no horses—they don’t like me and I don’t like them, though I’ve to journey them for my job. However I grabbed maintain of a motorbike and I moved and rode and received snug and I like it. It’s develop into a part of my DNA. Being in that wind and rising up in Iowa, I might get on the market. I had the whole lot I wanted and I beloved it.
And since then, by way of your passions for driving and constructing, you’ve develop into an envoy for driving. And also you’ve develop into infatuated with bike historical past and early racing?
I like driving and constructing previous bikes. I’ve bikes from between round 1915 and 1932. I went approach again and all the fellows I look as much as are actually fucking previous [laughs]. There are some badass names that also do it, like Mark Walker, Mel Stultz and all the fellows from The Race of Gentlemen (TROG), and the Crazy Eights of The Frozen Few. They’re all household now and have impressed me and welcomed me. I like what Billy Lane has completed with Sons of Pace Classic Motorbike Race—it’s fucking loopy leaping on these previous bikes, man. You get going 100 miles an hour round these tracks. It’s intense.
You’re an advocate for all kinds of driving. What’s your view on immediately’s bike tradition?
I like the simplicity of it, the tradition that it brings—it’s at all times in regards to the individuals who journey. I like the counterculture of all of it. I grew up a skateboarder, a surfer, and a climber. I might put my skateboard and climbing footwear on my bike and simply go. And there are such a lot of countercultures within countercultures, so many several types of riders and specializations inside the huge world of bike fanatics.
The place are we headed now? What do you assume the long run holds for bike occasions, exhibits and rallies?
Lots of people are actually revolting in opposition to what’s occurring proper now—summer time rallies, exhibits and occasions cancelled or held on-line in a digital model. I actually needed to make it to TROG this yr, and I’m tremendous bummed its not occurring. Born Free Present was simply cancelled. However then have a look at Sturgis, they’re doing it proper now. Persons are at all times going to insurgent and collect. I feel it’s going to proceed on and get greater, particularly with the best way know-how is shifting proper now. There’s an entire new era that isn’t even conscious, doesn’t know in regards to the board observe racers—these guys have been fuckin’ rockstars. They ripped round these picket tracks within the 1920s and in the event that they fell, the picket splinters would gorge them. It was loopy to be driving 100 miles an hour at the moment on these flimsy bikes. And now, we’ll have e-technology that can be capable to do stuff like that and produce it again.
You may have a very balanced perspective on motorcycling: respect the previous however make investments sooner or later. Does that type of sum your place and outlook on what’s to come back?
I imply, individuals created journey touring—we did that. We took inventory bikes and we transformed them for journey touring. That’s what we do, we strip it down, we make it sooner, we make it go additional and we make it climb greater. We get on the market within the mountains on bikes and push them in each approach doable. And it’s only a matter of time once we can get out additional and for longer with e-technology. Possibly it is going to be tied in additional with solar energy or photo voltaic charging. And we’ll be capable to take these bikes and keep out within the wild, within the nature, and off the grid. And to be on the market on electrical bikes and never depart a heavy or damaging carbon footprint—that’s the long run. I like all types of driving. However to take a few of this future-thinking tech and tie it to one thing particular from the previous makes it even higher.
So that you assume electrical bikes will play a giant position sooner or later?
Undoubtedly a giant a part of it. Look, it’s all going to occur and it has to occur. You and I’ve each ridden the H-D LiveWire, however after they make an off-road model? Wow! I’d like to take that factor aside, rip these fenders off, placed on huge tires and simply go wild and race it at TROG. Simply take it there and rip [Momoa yells motorcycles sounds like BRAAAP! BRAAAP!]. Are you fucking kidding me? That’s going to be unbelievable! That’s what hot-rodding is all about—that’s what they did. Put the quickest goddamn motor on it, strip it down, after which race it. So long as the spirit is there, it’s at all times about tinkering with completely different applied sciences and wrenching in garages to give you distinctive concepts.
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