A working actor since 1988 and a motorcyclist since 1972, Richard Grieco has a passion for both disciplines. An Ossa 125 got him started on two-wheels, and he rose to international stardom in 1988 as Detective Dennis Booker on the 21 Jump Street television series.
Since then, Grieco has expanded on his continuing acting career with stints as producer (23 credit), a director (five credits), a musician (Waiting for the Sky to Fall), and painter (“Abstract Emotionalism”).
As a motorcyclist, he’s a fan of vintage motorcycles, owning nothing newer than a 1987 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail. So, let’s talk bikes.
Richard Grieco Interview
Richard Grieco: Upstate NY
What’s your current ride?
I used to have seven Harleys. Now, I have three Harleys, and two Indians—one a 1939 trike and a ’41 Scout. The Harleys are a 1990 Springer rebuilt to look like a ’48 knucklehead, an ’87 Heritage built to look like a ’59 Duo-Glide, and a 1982 shovelhead “Booker Bike”. I also have a 1966 Triumph Tiger 500.
What’s your dream ride?
I have it—the 1990 Springer rebuilt to look like a knucklehead.
What got you involved in riding?
Started when I was a seven-year-old. It was an Ossa 125.
What type of riding do you do most often?
I would say cruising.
What is your most memorable motorcycle story?
I have had quite a few. It has to be my assistant at the time, Dale—also a great friend. We took a trip through Arizona and New Mexico. I’ll never forget crossing into Arizona and strapping our guns and holsters on. It was a total sense of freedom.
Who is your most admired motorcyclist, besides Steve McQueen? [LOL]
Evil Knievel—he changed the game.
What is your favorite motorcycle movie?
How has riding influenced your acting?
It gave me a sense of freedom, and the understanding of being in the moment.
Have you gotten to ride while acting ever?
Yes! Booker and Bolt or, as some called it, Rebel Run.
What other past times do you do besides motorcycling?
Painting, music, cars, writing.
Did you ever participate in huge motorcycle events?
I have in the past—usually, the trip out is more fun than the actual event.
Is there one motorcycling-related trip or event you’d like to participate in?
In as few words as possible, how has motorcycling truly changed your life?
It has given me a sense of freedom and being your own man, not the Hollywood bullshit.