A two-wheeled tribute to the Space Shuttle

Dailies -



As motorcyclists, you and I probably have a little more in common with astronauts than the average person. We know what it is to take risks, we know what it means to delicately control a machine on the razor edge of performance and we spend a lifetime perfecting the skills required to do so. Constantly pursuing technical innovation in the name of speed, motorcycle manufacturers have something in common with NASA too. So, as the shuttle program prepares to make its final flight tomorrow, Aprilia USA thought it would make sense to put together a little tribute to the men and women, the engineering and the sheer bravery that’s inspired so many, including us.

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Aprilia USA commissioned Hell For Leather and Tangent Vector to produce this video.

  • HammSammich

    “Yeah, I ride a motorcycle, so I’m basically an astronaut.”

    So Wes, does this line really work with tattoo models at the bars? ;)

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Every time, just don’t forget the skinny jeans.

  • James

    Just like Saab trying to teach us that their cars are pretty much jet-fighters.

    • Rick

      Or General Motors, trying to convince us their cars are anything at all.

  • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

    It’s just not a fair comparison when you include the weight of the shuttle with rockets and only the dry weight of the Aprilia. Why not the wet?

    Other than that, sweet vid. Oh, (insert obligatory “the music sucks” comment here.)

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Both are the standard quoted weight for each vehicle.

    • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub sean (the roommate)

      Umm, the music is perfect.

  • Kirill

    Like astronauts, motorcyclists also wear ridiculous outfits

    • raphmay

      and walk in slow motion to their bike/shuttle.

      • Greg

        True, next should be an Aprilia-on-the-moon vid, all shot in slow motion just like the original moon landing. Then we convince people that Neil Armstrong actually smuggled an Aprilia onboard Apollo 11 and there’s a secret race track on the moon and everything weighs 0.0 lbs.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Great idea. Here’s hoping we can get a 7 figure budget to pull it off!

  • http://www.desmoworks.com desmoworks

    Going to put that on my resume; astronaut.

    • MotoRandom

      I always prefered the term “zero altitude fighter pilot”

  • nick2ny

    LOVE IT! Makes me want to cry, and the bit at 2:28 when the nozzles vector the torque… Beautiful.

    • BMW11GS

      i love torque vectoring

      • tomwito


  • Roman

    Ok, that was actually pretty awesome.

  • jason

    Maybe now we can get some of those NASA nerds to figure out how to make vents on riding jackets that work without inflating the coat.

    • Eric

      The program was shut down after the feasability study predicted a per vent cost of $104,649.83. However the real deal breaker for most riders would be the 325 man hours needed to replace the vents after each ride.

      • BMW11GS


  • Myles
  • andy727

    Very nice, guys. Well done.

    • JonB

      Agreed. Super.

  • Steve

    I still say…Italian chick with long black hair and big curves jammed into a tight dress…

  • wwalkersd

    It takes about 3 months to get a space shuttle ready for launch again after it returns to earth. It takes about 3 months, maybe longer, to get parts for an Aprilia.


    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

      …and we have a winner!

    • Gene

      Does an Aprilia need the engine torn down and inspected after every flight?

  • Thom

    Heck … there wasn’t a single aspect of this video that wasn’t enjoyable . Even the canned Tangerine Dream wanna be music ( lets see how many here remember them )

    Now lets hope the thing ( Shuttle Launch ) gets off the ground Friday as the weather isn’t looking any too promising .

    @ Wes ; Seriously , consider hitting me up for some original music for one of your productions in the future . My CV ? Without giving away too much online , 14 years worth of ASCAP composer awards enough to get your attention ?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Well our production company has a resource for environmental music, which is all this is supposed to be. It needs some audio to tie it all together as most of the NASA footage doesn’t come with any.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Thom, throw an email to info@.

      • Thom

        @ Grant – Will do

        • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub sean (the roommate)

          @thom. The music was great. Stop trolling for work. Your accolades don’t mean much without having good taste to pair it with.

          • Thom

            @ sean ( the roommate ) as well as Wes

            Sheesh I really HATE online sometimes .

            I WAS NOT criticizing the music ! I WAS countering the previous post that said it sucked . I only commented that it sounded a lot like Tangerine Dream . I SAID there was NOTHING including the Music in this Video NOT TO LIKE . That plain english enough for you sean( the roommate ) { as well as Wes }

            As far as good taste there Sean ( the roommate ) I’ve got more in my little finger than you’ll ever have in your entire existence . Proven by the above response to me .

            FYI ; sean( the roommate ) I was one of the original US fans of Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese etc etc . So WTH wouldn’t I like this especially when it synched to the Video so well ?

            Also you can ask Grant genius . I DON’T NEED the work . I’m semi retired in my mid 50′s , was only making an offer and sure as Hell wasn’t ” Trolling ”

            So take your attitude and …………… ( you can guess the rest )

  • Adam

    I loved the video and the music. If you don’t like the music then you are most likely riding HD :)

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    That was rad. Atmospheric music + motorcycle engine sound + spaceships + motorcycles = boner.

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    Very cool. Where did you get the NASA footage?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      From NASA.

      • nick2ny

        Q. Where did you get that farmer’s tan?

        A. On the farm.

      • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

        Thank you, smart ass.

  • Joe

    Looked like more of an advertisement than a tribute. If I worked for NASA I would probably be insulted.

  • Wereweazle

    Was a lot of the Aprilia footage shot the same day as that GTR race? I noticed one just chilling in the background at about 1:06.

    Absolutely fantastic video. The calm music and the little wiggle the Aprilia gives at :37 is just arousing. I mean awesome.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Yeah, we shot all three in one day.

  • http://mansgottado.tumblr.com/ gregorbean

    Good stuff guys.

  • Frosty_spl

    Nice vid! Why is everyone on the toob such a hater? Dang.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Silly Frosty, Youtube comments is the magical land where all the trolls go to be free of the tyrannies “dignity”, “decency” and “respect for others” shackled on them by those meany humans.

    • dux

      The space shuttle sucks

  • Ken

    Very enjoyable

  • Kevin

    No manufacturers were fellated in the making of this video.

    • NickP

      Nope, just NASA

  • NickP

    Interesting comparison, that’s for sure.

  • http://www.pedalgents.com holdingfast

    bit of a reach,… but you can never lose w nasa footage. and the rsv looks and sounds awesome as well of course, so yay

  • tomwito

    How many RSV4s can fit into the cargo bay of the Shuttle? You know, if we ever colonize Mars?

    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

      Screw road bikes, I want an MX bike on Mars! 1/3 gravity, bitches :D

  • John

    So let’s get this straight. Aprilia pay you to make a video saying how great an Aprilia is, you make said video and then put it on your own website in the bit where I normally read news stories and features. Eh? I thought you lot were meant to be independent? Taking ads is one thing, making them yourself and then calling it a news story is surely another. Hark! Is that distant kerching the sound of Wes being bought by the motorcycle industry?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      I love the way you pretend that advertorial has never existed before now, that advertorial isn’t a commonly accepted practice in the most respected publications in the world and that there isn’t a blatantly clear disclaimer HFL’s involvement in the making of the video.

      I won’t out your identity, or the dirty little secrets that we know about your company’s relationships with its advertisers, but you go on having fun pitching those rocks in that glass office of yours.

  • jayspeed

    Really good video, but is Aprilia trying to make an association between its brand and the NASA brand? If so, that could be a problem.

    • Rick

      If you ever saw pictures of Colin Edwards’ rolling inferno Aprilia RS3 Cube that association would be obvious!

  • Thom

    Weather cleared up .

    Shuttle took off

    Video was great

    A good start to the weekend I do believe

    PS; @ sean(the roommate ) please do read my response above to your attitudinal and snide remark July 7th 12:52 pm

  • Chris

    How about a Ural and Soyuz mash-up next?

  • Kit

    Nobody ever gives me hell for being a motorcyclist but I always take heat for being a rocket surgeon. Nobody takes my field of work seriously, I should just say I’m a motorcyclist for now on…

  • Esteban

    good work! enjoyed that