Last week saw the famous actor and onscreen zombie killer head out to Death Valley and talk motorcycles with the all-women group ‘Babes Ride Out’. This Sunday will mark the mid-point for the six part mini-series and promises to bring a slice of the motorcycle world not seen by many.
Joining Reedus for his two-wheeled adventures will be Jason Paul Michaels, a co-founder of Dime City Cycles as well as starting the Standard Motorcycle Co-op with his wife Leticia Cline. The latter is a place where everyone, from novices to experts, can collaborate, learn, and build, restore or repair virtually any kind of motorcycle.
Jason Paul Michaels and Norman Reedus - Source AMC
Certainly on the schedule is a visit to Motus, the maker of America’s only premium brand of sport-touring motorcycles and proprietary V4 engines based in Birmingham, Alabama.
“Norman is an avid motorcycle enthusiast with millions of fans. We couldn’t be more pleased about the Motus MST being selected for this new series on AMC,” said Lee Conn, president of Motus. “We’re so thankful to Left/Right and AMC for the opportunity to introduce our American-made motorcycles to a whole new audience.”
Motus hopes the episode will give viewers the chance to see how their motorcycle performs along some the best roads in America. Motus manufactures comfortable sportbikes designed to excel in performance, comfort and range.
Both its models, the MST and more premium MSTR, are powered by mighty V4 Baby Block engines, which combine high performance with low maintenance and a unique character that Motus feels ‘expresses the evolving heritage of the American motoring experience’.
“As far as American motorcycles go, I’d put my money on Motus for being the finest example of pure, un-filtered hot rod adrenaline in the palm of your hand,” said Conn.
This American motorcycle manufacturer was founded in 2008 with a goal of building an all-new American motorcycle from scratch. Motus enjoys a similar history to that of another all-American motorcycle seen in the upcoming show, the Hellcat by Confederate Motors Inc.
Like Motus, it’s based in Birmingham, Alabama and takes a less-traditional design route with its models. They are eye-catching though, with even Tom Cruise reportedly owning a Hellcat Confederate motorcycle.
While we’re not sure if Reedus will visit Confederate Motors as well, Jason Paul Michaels is seen riding a Hellcat in many of the publicity pictures. The motorcycle is unusual enough to spend a few minutes of conversation on, especially as that particular motorcycle would cost at least $69,500 if you could buy one new. The model shows up as sold out on Confederate Motors website.
A publicity photo and picture of Confederate's Hellcat
All of this sounds like an interesting episode that will attract a solid base of Norman Reedus fans as well as a fair number of motorcycle enthusiasts, and that’s what AMC executives are surely hoping for.
While anytime is a good time for fans to watch Reedus, the television gods were not kind to the new motorcycle show, or AMC, on July 19th with ‘Ride With Norman Reedus’ and the preceding program ‘Preacher’ both taking a hit in their ratings.
‘Preacher’ lost 610,000 viewers when compared to the week prior, about 35% of its audience. Starting with a lower number of viewers than ‘Preacher’, ‘Ride With Norman Reedus’ lost about 38% of its audience with a total viewership of 470,000. The night was dominated by the monstrously rated seventh game of the NBA Finals leaving only shows such as Game of Thrones able to withstand the draining audience. Interestingly enough, the HBO hit actually enjoyed a slight week-to-week lift in total viewership.
But it should be more than the television executives rooting for a larger audience for this motorcycle show.
As noted in Clutch and Chrome’s podcast about the premiere episode as well as the various articles we’ve published, ‘Ride With Norman Reedus’ is a different type of motorcycle show that seems to be banking on the popularity of Norman Reedus and the global following enjoyed by the show the actor stars in, ‘The Walking Dead’.
If the popular actor and the AMC network can draw the needed audience numbers not only will this be a great opportunity for the millions of Reedus fans, but an opportunity motorcycle enthusiasts may be treated to more smart, entertaining television that comes closer to capturing what life is like from the saddle.