Motorcycle Man

Q&A after the film
Short Film - 32 mins
Daniel Lovering


'Motorcycle Man' is a short documentary about a man who has pursued a single passion in life: motorcycle racing. Dave Roper has raced every year since 1972, competing on exotic vintage bikes at racetracks around the world and winning a reputation as a folk hero of the sport.

But Roper is hardly an adrenaline addict. He takes a philosophical approach to racing, viewing it as a test of mental and physical abilities. As he enters his twilight years, Roper reflects on the unconventional path he has followed in life, the dangers he has faced and the choices he has made.

In the post-war era, when many men and women sought security in conformity, Roper took chances and dared to be different. A Vietnam veteran, he never married and has lived alone in a small, cluttered house on Long Island since 1978. But he finds fulfillment on the racetrack and through a large community of friends, some of whom run a fan club in his honor.

'Motorcycle Man' follows Roper from a workshop in Brooklyn to his home on Long Island to a racetrack in Canada. Along the way he encounters autograph-seeking admirers, old friends and fellow racers eager to test their skills on the track. It also delves into Roper's past, including his historic win at the Isle of Man TT in 1984, when he became the first American ever to win the notoriously dangerous race.

'Motorcycle Man' celebrates the speed, sweat and thrill of motorcycle racing, while offering a meditation on craft, obsession and what it takes to pursue your dreams.