The bad boys of motorcycling

Drug smuggling, GBH and murder; these nine are the baddest of the bad from the world of motorcycling


Marco Lucchinelli

Marco Lucchinelli was the closest thing to a rock star that motorcycle racing ever had. The long hair, the excesses of drink and drugs, the beautiful women and fast cars, hell he even played at Italy’s massive San Remo Song Festival (think Glastonbury but without the mud) and cut several singles in the early 1980s.

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Billy Lane

William David ‘Billy’ Lane became famous through his many appearances on Discovery Channel’s Biker Build-Off programme. He owns his own company called Customs Inc, has written two books, has a degree in mechanical engineering and holds seven US patents on motorcycle parts and accessories. But despite his high level of education, his success in business, and his television fame, he threw it all away in a moment of madness in September 2006 when he had a head-on collision with a scooter rider on Florida Route A1A.

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Juan Garriga

He won three 250cc Grand Prix races and finished second in the 1988 world championship, was a factory rider in the 500cc class, and has competed in WSB on a semi-factory Ducati. But when his racing career was over, Spaniard Juan Garriga found even more excitement amidst an underground world of drugs and guns.

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Mick Doohan

Mick Doohan is one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time, conquering the 500GPs in the 1990s on the fierce Honda NSR. He was famed for his ultra-aggressive style and absolute disregard for pain and injuries, but after suffering from a career-ending crash at Jerez in 1999 he all but disappeared from the sport. However, he hit the headlines again in 2006 for all the wrong reasons when he was arrested at a strip club in Australia.

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Mike Goodwin

Mike Goodwin was a rock promoter who invented Supercross in the 1970s and Mickey Thompson was his business partner, himself a successful race promoter and founder of his own tyre company. However this business deal turned sour when Thompson accused Goodwin of stealing money from him. The matter went to court and Goodwin was ordered to pay compensation, he refused, went bankrupt and threatened the life of Thompson. A life that would end, along with his wife, in 1988 when Thompson was gunned down by two unidentified black men. Goodwin was held responsible for ordering these killings and jailed in 2001.

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Jason Lawrence

American motocross and Supercross star Jason Lawrence was no stranger to controversy when he appeared before a judge in 2009 charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of battery with serious bodily injury, and one count of mayhem. He had already been suspended from racing and fined heavily for both on and off-track misdemeanors.

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Evel Knievel

The original daredevil Evel Knievel had a colourful and controversial life away from the glamour and broken bones. He got himself into a slight bother after beating up the promoter of his ill-fated Snake Canyon jump, after he penned a book that featured a few unsavoury anecdotes. Knievel's answer to silence him from writing any more books was to beat him with so much force it would leave him with a compound fracture to his left arm and a broken right wrist.

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Kim Ashkenazi

Kim Ashkenazi was a talented rider on both dirt and tarmac, racing against Jeremy McGrath in Supercross and making an impression in the British Supersport class, all in 2003. It was a promising start, but before he could build on his results, Ashkenazi’s world fell apart. In 2004, the police executed a search warrant on his home and seized computers that were found to have hundreds of indecent images of children on them. During the search, the police also discovered quantities of amphetamines, ecstasy tablets, cannabis, and half a kilo of cocaine.

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Anthony Gobert

Anthony Gobert was the one most naturally gifted riders to ever throw a leg over a motorcycle. But the thrill of racing a factory Suzuki in 500cc Grands Prix, or of winning World Superbike races on factory Kawasakis and Bimotas, was never enough to content the wayward Australian.

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