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First Ride: A Motorcycle Film

By Brett Smith


Do you remember the first time you rode a motorcycle? Your first bike? That magical moment became a lifetime memory.

Kids today are not discovering motorcycles at the rate their parents and grandparents did. The motorcycle industry needs new riders. The dealerships need more youth coming in their doors and the local race tracks need more kids signing up to compete.

When the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame asked for a video to kick off the Class of 2018 ceremony, I pitched a concept that aimed to inspire a future hall of famer rather than celebrate the present inductees

“First Ride” acts out the imagination of one boy discovering motorcycles. One child whose life is forever changed.

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Film Info and Fun Facts

Director of Photography Spencer Grundler filmed “First Ride” in 8k on RED Epic with Kowa Evolution anamorphic lenses.

Three different farms in Mt. Airy, Maryland provided the perfect early November backdrop for filming, which happened on the final day of daylight saving time.

The Honda XR75 used in the video came from Donnie Smith via Fredericktown Yamaha. So much can go wrong with video equipment and I wanted a bulletproof XR75. I didn’t have to worry about a bike that wouldn’t start.

The boy, Caden, races motocross in the Mid-Atlantic and Dennis is his real grandfather. Fun fact: at the 1989 Amateur Motocross National Championships at Loretta Lynn’s, I finished 14th place in the 65cc 7-11 class. A Cecil “Denny” Williams finished 13th. That’s Caden’s father. We didn’t know each other until the Riley family of Fredericktown introduced us for this project. Small world.

At the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame ceremony, the videos of the class of 2018 followed, including Nicky Hayden’s. To see the rest of the videos, visit the AMA’s YouTube page.