Watch 'The Bikeriders' Stars' Austin Butler, Norman Reedus Talk Motorcycles

austin butler and norman reedus and motorcycles
Watch 'Bikeriders' Stars Talk Movie MotorcyclesCourtesy of Focus Features
  • The Bikeriders is an upcoming movie starring Austin Butler and Norman Reedus, and the two actors discuss the motorcycles in a new behind-the-scenes video.

  • More than 40 vintage motorcycles were used during filming, with Butler and Reedus sharing stories about the period-correct bikes from the '40s and '50s.

  • Jeff Milburn, the movie's stunt co-coordinator, also discusses the motorcycles used in the film, which were ranked by "ridability" and "startability."

We may be Car and Driver, but we're fans of all types of vehicles, including two-wheeled machines. That's why we're excited about the new movie The Bikeriders, which hits theaters June 21 and stars Austin Butler and Norman Reedus. In anticipation of its theatrical release, we got early access to a behind-the-scenes featurette with those two actors talking about some of their motorcycle co-stars as well as what went into filming.


The Bikeriders is about a fictional Midwestern motorcycle club called the "Vandals" that in the 1960s turns from a community for those who don't quite fit society's norms into a breeding ground for violence à la the real-life Chicago Outlaw Motorcycle Club. Austin Butler stars as Benny, the club's newest member, while Norman Reedus—who's already known as a motorcycle enthusiast outside of his acting career—plays Funny Sonny. The four-minute video also features Jeff Milburn, who's the film's stunt co-coordinator and stunt double.

austin butler and norman reedus and motorcycles
Courtesy of Focus Features

While filming The Bikeriders, production utilized more than 40 vintage motorcycles, including a 1965 and '66 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide seen in this clip. All the bikes were also ranked by "ridability" and "startability."

Butler says he had to spend a lot of time training on a motorcycle for his role in the film. The period-correct motorcycles in the movie use drum brakes that don't dissipate heat as well and have less stopping power than modern models with disc brakes.

"The brakes were a big thing," laughs Butler in the video. "The front brakes were very squeaky and didn't want to stop. It feels like stopping a train." He also admits that he only crashed once, to which Reedus is quick to tease him about.

"I have a bit of a Frankenstein bike," Reedus explains in the clip, pointing to the Harley that he rides in the movie. "This is different years of stuff. This is a late-'40s Springer front end, the frame is a '50s, but there's a '70s motor in this one." Milburn says the backstory is that the bike had a '50s motor, but it blew up on the way there, and Reedus' character stole a new motor and put it in the bike.

The featurette also explains one of the bikes' "suicide shifter," which earned the name for being notoriously hard to use and required riders to take their hand off the handlebars to shift.

"Cooler cred but harder to run," says Reedus.

Directed by Jeff Nichols, The Bikeriders is based on Danny Lyon's 1968 book of the same name. The new movie also stars Tom Hardy and Jodie Comer, and it's slated to open in theaters later this month on June 21.

You Might Also Like