Two Wheels Plus 180 mph Is the Road More Traveled

Colossal Media's Adrian Moeller Hops on His Motorcycle to Ride With the Legion of Doom

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NEW YORK ( -- Adrian Moeller, co-founder of outdoor ad agency Colossal Media, has a need for speed. Not your average speed, mind you. He satisfies that craving by racing his Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle up to 180 mph on a track.
Adrian Moeller
Adrian Moeller

"Part of the fun of a sport bike is changing direction real fast, leaning it over and dragging your knee on the ground when you're going through the turns," said Mr. Moeller, 29, who likes the car-free environment at a race track that allows him to speed and work on his technique. He also uses his bike to travel to meetings or scout locations for his New York agency.

As a child, Mr. Moeller went for motorcycle rides with his uncle, but it was not until five years ago that he learned to ride himself. "I had a friend who had a motorcycle, and he kept raving about it," he said. "So I went out and got one myself. I didn't know how to ride."

Short-lived first bike
His first motorcycle, a used Honda Nighthawk, broke within a few days of purchase.

"I bought it on a Friday night. I had so much fun blasting around on it," Mr. Moeller said. Unfortunately, the woman he bought the bike from never changed its oil and the engine seized up that same Sunday. "By Monday the bike was just sitting there."

Undeterred, Mr. Moeller bought a new motorcycle. He crashed it a week later.

After a couple of little accidents, Mr. Moeller enrolled in a racing school where he could practice on a track. "It really opened my eyes up to what you can do on a bike," he said. The course taught him survival reactions like how to handle a turn when going faster than feels comfortable.

"Your automatic reaction is to kind of stare at what you don't want to run into," Mr. Moeller said. "You need to look where you're going, which sounds easy but it's hard to do. Your body takes over and wants to slam on the brakes when you're going through a turn. That's exactly what you don't want to do."

Racing around the track at 180 mph
After the instructional course, he joined a motorcycle track team in which members rent out a race track for open practice. Groups of 15 to 20 cyclists race around a course full of sharp turns, at times hitting 180 mph on the straightaways.

"You try and go with people who are a little better than you so it pushes you to try to keep up with them," Mr. Moeller said.

Mr. Moeller belongs to the Legion of Doom motorcycle club. With 200 members in four states, it's the biggest sport bike club in America. Each year about 50 members travel to Florida for bike week. This year was Mr. Moeller's fourth trip with the group.

The club ships their bikes to Daytona, where they watch the opening race of the American Motorcyclist Association racing season and spend a few days there, before riding to to South Beach in Miami.

Uncomfortable trip
The four-hour drive to South Beach can be uncomfortable because sport bikes are not optimally designed to go cruising speeds. "The way the handlebars are set up, you really have most of your weight on your wrists. You lean on top of it. It's meant to go really fast and for the wind to prop you up off of it," Mr. Moeller said. "If you're going at normal highway speeds, you can get really sore really fast."

One of Mr. Moeller's best memories of the Legion of Doom trip was when his wife, who doesn't ride her own motorcycle but will frequently ride on the back of his, flew down to meet him.

Mr. Moeller likes both the camaraderie of the highway and the competition of the track. Looking ahead, he'd like do amateur motorcycle racing. He also has his eye on his next ride- the sleek black on black Yamaha YZF-R1. "If the stealth bomber airplane was a motorcycle, that's what it would look like."

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