For those of us immersed in motorcycle culture, it’s always fun to hear about prominent figures who like to ride. Typically this means actors and the like; A-list celebrities like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Ryan Reynolds have been mentioned over the years as motorcycle enthusiasts.
However, there are also some major professional athletes who like to ride motorcycles also.
These people don’t tend to get as much attention, in part because driving a motorcycle while being paid to be an athlete is something of a no-no. While it is of course possible to ride safely accidents do happen, and people in sports ownership don’t want their players risking injury. In the NBA, player contracts actually forbid motorcycle riding, in addition to a host of other activities!
Nonetheless, pro athletes are often thrill-seekers, and they’re also usually able to afford whole collections of high-end vehicles. So, naturally, plenty of them do ride motorcycles. We’ve put together a short list of some of these figures.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Perhaps the least surprising figure on this list, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is widely viewed as something of a devil-may-care bad boy. Often speaking about himself in the third person, he rose to become one of the deadliest scorers in European footballl, before retiring from international competition and moving to the U.S. to play in Los Angeles. Ibrahimovic once made headlines for ordering a custom-made all-black Harley Davidson VRSCF V-Rod Muscle. We’d have been seeing him in action at this summer’s World Cup given that his native Sweden qualified, but he’s sticking to his word that he’s done with international play.
Wayne Rooney – Rooney, too, is now effectively a retired star, at least on the international stage. One preview of the World Cup put things in perspective, reminding us that England was humbled by Iceland at the 2016 European Championships and has generally done poorly in international competition of late. Thus, the team is now trying a more youthful approach and Rooney is done playing for England. This could give him a little more time to work on his hobbies, which appear to include motorcycles. He once customised a 2012 Laugh Jensen with a diamond-encrusted coating to be sold at auction.
LeBron James – As we said before, the NBA actually has a strict no motorcycle policy. That said, no one seems to mind that LeBron James, the league’s biggest star by a mile, ignores this rule. James has admitted he rides motorcycles, and it appears no one is going to stop him!
Cain Velasquez – As other sports league owners and commissioners have done, UFC boss Dana White has had to weigh in on motorcycle use by his sport’s athletes. He’s basically indicated they can do what they want so long as motorcycles aren’t the primary mode of transportation. Needless to say that leaves the door open quite a bit, and famous fighter Cain Velasquez has taken advantage. Velasquez is thought to be something of an enthusiast, and has been known to buy or at least ride numerous different bikes.
Rickie Fowler – Pro golfer Rickie Fowler is a pretty interesting character. And one of the surprising facts that makes him so interesting is that he actually fancied himself a motocross competitor until he sustained an injury in his teens. He remains passionate about the sport by all accounts, and has even talked about his golf game in terms of what he learned from riding motorcycles competitively.