Watch Randy “Detroit” Hayward Wax Poetic About Motorcycles In This Short Documentary
While it’s world-famous for music, arts, and the auto industry, Detroit isn’t really a town you think of when you think about motorcycles. You should, though. Aside from me living here, which obviously gives the city serious motorcycling bona fides, Detroit has a rich motorcycling history and a vibrant modern bike culture.
One of history’s most famous and highly regarded Brass Age motorcycle brands, Henderson, was founded in Detroit in 1911 by brothers William G. and Thomas W. Henderson. Also in 1911, one Mr. Breed (given name unknown) of Bay City, MI, designed the Detroit Motorcycle which was eventually produced by the Detroit Motorcycle Manufacturing Company. As a side note, I’ve actually seen one of these things—it was the same one featured in an episode of a sitcom called Detroiters.
Detroit was also the birthplace of the sublimely weird Bi-Autogo, the Highwaymen MC outlaw motorcycle club, and countless talented riders and trend-setting customizers throughout the last century or so. One of these trendsetters, and one of my personal favorite Detroiters period, is a dude named Randy “Detroit” Hayward. Recently, Jake from Prism Motorcycle Supply spent an afternoon at Hayward’s Detroit home talking about bikes, history, inspiration, and all kinds of motorcycling ephemera.
Born and raised in Detroit, Hayward is a man of many parts. He’s a Harvard-educated teacher and school administrator, a visionary motorcycle builder, a passionate historian, a proud family man, and the brains behind the Detroit Antique Motorcycle (D.A.M) Show. He has a fantastic collection of teens and 20s-era American bikes from Harley, Indian, and Detroit’s own Henderson. He built the world-famous Endian 4 in his living room. He eats, sleeps, and breathes motorcycling, and that’s just scratching the surface.
Prism Supply’s video is a short, 12-minute look into Hayward’s life, vision, and motivations. He invites Jake into his home, gives him a tour, and the pair settle down in Hayward’s office/chill-out space to talk about life, the universe, and everything as it pertains to motorcycles. It’s a very chill time with a chill dude and well worth your time.