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Is Taylor Lautner the New Steve McQueen?

Taylor Lautner is just the latest star to find himself digging motorcycles, but he’s got a long way to go before he hits the heights of motorcycling greatness achieved by Steve McQueen.

McQueen was a bonafide rider and racer, and his love of bikes set the standard for Hollywood types.

McQueen defined what it means to be an “anti-hero” in Hollywood, and for him, it was no act or photo op for Rolling Stone. McQueen raced cars and motorcycles, but it was his path to Hollywood stardom and motorcycling glory that made him and enduring figure. Abandoned by his father and an alcoholic mother at the age of six, McQueen was saddled with a stepfather he called “a prime son of a bitch”, fought and ongoing battle with dyslexia, and to top it all off, suffered from partial deafness.

As a young man, McQueen ran with a street gang and bolted from home at the tender age of 14. That adventure ended up resulting in a stint at the California Junior Boys Republic in Chino Hills, California. The movie star in training worked in a brothel, did time as an oil rigger and, when he was old enough, enlisted in the Marine Corp. After a hiccup that saw him go AWOL and spend over a month in the brig, McQueen embraced Marine discipline and ultimately saved the lives of five other Marines during an Arctic training exercise. He managed to pull all five out of a tank just as it broke through ice and disappeared into the sea.

That’s a resume, not a photo op…

 

Steve McQueen

My candidate for the current King of Hollywood Motorcycling?

Ewan McGregor.

McGregor’s part in the grueling motorcycle marathon with his best friend Charley Boorman and cameraman Claudio von Planta became a  best-selling book and a really cool movie, both called Long Way Round. The pair followed that trip up with a ride during which they made  Long Way Down  in 2007, and they have a plan in the works to make yet another bike movie in 2011 which will feature a journey through South America.

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