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Top 6 Celebrity Motorcycle Crashes

Despite the cool leather jacket and the iconic images of him on a bike, James Dean didn’t die in a motorcycle accident. Instead, he was in his Porsche 550 Spyder.

Even if Dean’s dangerous, reckless, cool persona didn’t add to the mythos of the motorcycle, the bike has still managed to take on those qualities all on its own. Or rather, with the help of a few other reckless stars.

Here are the top six biggest celebrity motorcycle accidents of all time.

  1. E. Lawrence – Better known as Lawrence of Arabia, T.E. Lawrence was cool because cool was even a term. After returning home to England after helping start a revolution against the Ottoman Empire during World War I (in, you guessed it, the Arabic part of the world), Lawrence swerved his Brough Superior SS100 out of the way of two boys in the road. He died as a result, a hero to the end.
  1. Half the Allman Brothers (Duanne Allman and Berry Oakley) – Guitarist Duanne Allman and bassist Berry Oakley died just over a year apart and only a few blocks from each other. Duanne died because he ran his bike into a truck that stopped suddenly and Berry ran into a bus. The similarities were eerie and tragic for one of the great bands of Southern Rock.
  1. Gary Busey – Gary Busey is probably better known for being crazy than for being an actor, but maybe there’s a reason for that. In 1988, the notoriously anti-helmet actor/crazy man was in an accident so bad, the police officer attending to him had to hold his head together until the ambulance arrived. There was a real fear of permanent brain damage. Busey turned out to be okay, but he’s still a little…off all the same.
  1. Bob Dylan – As mysterious as the great poet-songwriter himself, Dylan’s accident was never reported and some have speculated, never happened. In 1966, he was out on his Harley 45 and apparently had an accident bad enough that he took a break for months. But again, no report, so perhaps he just wanted a vacation? We’ll never know unless he writes a song about it.
  1. Keanu Reeves – Reeves has had a few accidents in his time and always gets back on the bike. His biggest one came before his rise to fame, though, in 1988, when he was worried enough that he thought he was going to die. In the end, he just lost his spleen.
  1. Ben Roethlisberger – The Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback has taken a few hits in his time, but his 2006 bike accident was bad enough to break his nose and cost him a couple teeth. Life’s a little tougher when you don’t have linemen blocking the cars for you.

That’s our top six celebrity motorcycle accidents. If we’ve learned anything, it’s not to ride a bike if you’re a celebrity. Or, maybe, just be careful and avoid stupid mistakes like reckless driving, mechanical malfunction, or riding drunk, as these errors in judgment are all contributors to motorcycle accidents.

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