In The Walking Dead, Daryl Dixon’s motorcycle has become as iconic as his crossbow. When the prison is attacked during Season 4, Daryl must escape on foot, leaving his bike behind. At the beginning of the episode “Spend,” Daryl drives out of the gates of Alexandria on a newly reassembled motorcycle. Daryl built it out of the parts that Aaron had found in his garage and on the road.
The vintage Triumph chopper Daryl rode early in The Walking Dead was originally his brother Merle’s bike, hence the unsavory Nazi insignia on the gas tank. The bike was a customized 1971 Triumph Bonneville 650 with a ’69 motor. In the mid-season finale of Season 4, “Too Far Gone,” the prison is overrun, leaving Daryl without his motorcycle as he escapes with Beth. In the Season 5 episode “Forget,” Aaron shows Daryl that he has a whole collection of motorcycle parts in his garage. Whoever had lived in the house previously built motorcycles, and Aaron collected additional parts when he was outside of Alexandria. Aaron tells Daryl, “Whenever I came across any parts out there, I brought them back. I didn’t know what I’d need. I always thought I’d learn how to do it, but I get the feeling you already know what to do with it.”
When the episode “Spend” begins, we see that Daryl has been busy building a new bike, which he rides out of the gates of Alexandria as he leaves to go recruiting with Aaron. His newly built motorcycle is a 1992 Honda CB750 Nighthawk that uses Kenda tires, a Yamaha YZF-RG front end and wheel, Progressive Suspension shocks, and stock Honda parts. The rack above the rear fender is a custom mount for Daryl’s crossbow. In a post-apocalyptic world where broken down cars fill the highways and slow-moving zombies can show up in herds, a motorcycle is a surprisingly sensible choice of transport. It allows the rider to move quickly in tight spaces, while traveling either on the highway or off-road. A bike fits Daryl’s independent and unconventional character, but also serves him well for scouting or recruiting, when he is more frequently on his own. The choice of a motorcycle makes sense in a world where gas is becoming scarce. It can be fixed without relying on electronic diagnostic tools and spare parts are easier to transport and store. Let’s hope that Daryl holds onto this bike for a while.
Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon, came to The Walking Dead with more experience with motorcycles than most. Prior to becoming a full time actor, Reedus had worked on bikes in a local motorcycle shop. Reedus has continued to own and ride his own motorcycles over the years he’s been on The Walking Dead. When Reedus learned that his character was going to be getting another bike he recommended Classified Moto for the build. Reedus already owned a Classified bike and he knew they could build a bike with a unique “Frankenstein” look that would be perfect for his character in The Walking Dead. See the AMC behind-the-scenes video to learn more about the build.
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