Cover Bike Owners

Bill Miller and His 2005 American Ironhorse Texas Chopper

September 30, 2010
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Our October 2010 cover bike is owned by Bill Miller from Kansas City, Missouri. I was introduced to Bill and his eye-catching 2005 American Ironhorse Texas Chopper by Michael Blomberg, one of our studio photographers. I've always loved the long and sleek lines of the Texas Choppers, and I thought the Atomic Green color really popped. Therefore, we decided to feature Bill's bike on this month's cover.

During our photo shoot I asked Bill if I could interview him for this month's issue, to which he happily agreed.
CC: Bill, what is your occupation?
Bill: I'm the Sales & Operations Vice President for Waddell & Reed, Inc.

CC: Do you have hobbies other than motorcycling?
Bill: Yes, I also enjoy working out, golf, fine dining and the theater.

CC: Why do you ride?
Bill: Escapism. I love to find some back roads to small towns in Kansas and Missouri, park the bike, chat up some locals, and enjoy some local food and beverage. I also enjoy participating in rides whenever possible.

CC: How long have you been riding?
Bill: I've been riding 43 years on all sorts of two-wheelers.

CC: What was your first bike?
Bill: At age 15 I got a 125cc Yamaha (yin yin yin- yin).

CC: How many bikes have you owned?
Bill: Seven. I've had three Yamahas, one Honda, two Harleys and my Texas Chopper.
CC: How many bikes do you currently own?
Bill: Just my Texas Chopper.

CC: What do you like most about your Texas Chopper?
Bill: The 42 inch rake, elongated tank, custom color and paint, tripled chromed forks, engine and exhaust. Most bikes are black, and they just don’t stand out. I’m partial to the bright blues, oranges and greens…the turn-your-head racing colors.

CC: What is your dream bike?
Bill: This is the perfect bike for any day trip action. Love the day trip. I have the right bike for now. With no windshield protection you can only take a 2 -3 hour pounding at 70 mph highway riding before you have to get off and relax with a cold beverage of choice. This suits me fine.

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?
Bill: Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida March 1-10, 2002. It was a great ride, and the weather was perfect on the way down. I was riding my 2001 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy and made only six stops over the 2.5 day trip from Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. I got lucky in Rocky Mount and twice more at the Golden Palms Inn in Daytona.

CC: Do you have a least memorable riding experience?
Bill: After Bike Week, while traveling back to Philly I hit a huge rain and sleet storm in South Carolina. I was between exits on I-95 between Coleton and Bedlam with no cover or exits in sight. The rain was hard and heavy, with sleet mixed for about 12-15 miles. Speeds were cut down to 35-40 mph, and not pleasant. All bikers know what rain and sleet feels like at those speeds. Needles and pins man, needles and pins!
CC: To what motorcycle clubs or organizations do you belong?
Bill: None currently. I like to freelance with several local riders who will venture out on a few day trips here and there. I also take my bike solo to bike nights at the Power & Light District and other local watering holes in and around KCMO.

CC: What motorcycle rallies and events have you attended?
Bill: Daytona Bike Week, plus this year, I'll be participating in the Bikers for Babies RIDE. I've also ridden for Breast Cancer and other causes in past years including rides for the police and fireman killed in the line of duty and a few other very worthwhile causes.
CC: Which is your favorite bike night location?
Bill: The Power & Light District in downtown KCMO on the 4th Wednesday of each month. All summer long it is huge and there are plenty of food and beverage venues to choose from. It’s also great to see all the different bikes lined up around P&L. There are also many other things to do there as opposed to other bike nights at other stand-alone bars.

CC: Do you prefer riding in a group or by yourself?
Bill: I like both. Unless it’s a charity ride, I like to ride in groups under 10 bikes, so all can keep sight and up with one another. Larger bike groups seem to get bogged down no matter how experienced the riders are. Traveling solo and going to less traveled towns and villages are a blast. The chopper gets lots of looks and is a great conversation starter.

CC: Who are some of your closest riding buddies?
Bill: Mel and Rodney McLaughlin, Craig and Kathy Horton, Dave and Pam Leonard, Dave James, and Steve Stringberg.

CC: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Bill:: In the daytime I’m a button-down executive at a large national financial planning and investment management company. In my youth, I played professional baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
CC: Thanks for the interview Bill, and thanks for letting us shoot your chopper for this month's cover.

Interview by Mike Schweder

Photos by Michael Blomberg with Main Street Photography (816) 830-6363.

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Published in Cover Bike Owners