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IDLE TALK: Leo McElrath IV and 'Angry Alice'

Jun 08 2018

Welcome to Idle Talk — a new blog series dedicated to Kuryakyn supporters and their rides. The premise is pretty straightforward: shine a spotlight on our faithful followers and their motorcycles through a simple Q&A format that tells their stories, shows off their rides, and most likely embarrasses ’em in one way or another.

Topics will range from what sparked their interest in riding to their most memorable experience on two wheels, and then we’ll finish with some real heavy-hitters like favorite biker flicks, roadside snacks, and expose their most embarrassing moment on a motorcycle. These no-holds-barred interrogations aren’t going to change the world, but they might make you laugh… or at least shake your head in pity at the suspects in question.

First up in the series is longtime Kuryakyn supporter, friend, and United States Army veteran, MSG, Leo McElrath IV, MOARNG (ret).

A 4th generation service member for the United States Army, Leo spent 25 years in the Missouri Army National Guard’s Heavy Transportation unit, serving in Iraq from 2003-’04. Leo’s a die-hard Harley-Davidson enthusiast who’s bled orange and black for the better part of two decades, and he’s also worn out a few Kuryakyn catalogs outfitting his bikes with chrome add-ons for as long as he can remember. Before we get started, we'd like to thank Leo for his longtime support and, more important, his service to our country.

Current ride: “Angry Alice” 2016 H-D Road Glide Special
Years riding: 18
Day job: Class A CDL truck driver and route delivery driver for a hardware distribution center in Missouri
Social Handles (Facebook, Instagram & YouTube): @LM4PHOTO

Why did you start riding, and what does riding mean to you?
LEO: I’ve always been intrigued by motorcycles, so on a whim, I bought a $500 Honda and hid it at work in the back room. The plan was a challenge to myself to learn to ride and earn the “M” endorsement to my license. I had no idea how much this experience would expand the boundaries of my entire life. Motorcycling has become my #1 form of stress relief as well as the #1 place to challenge myself in rider skills. This community has proven time and time again to be the home of some of the most genuinely real people. Everyone has a unique story and the motorcycles provide the opportunity to start the conversation.

What was your first bike?
LEO: My first bike was a 500cc Honda Ascot. I rode it for 6 months then traded it towards a Harley Sportster. Since then I’ve owned a 2003 H-D Electra Glide, 2008 H-D V-Rod, 2014 H-D Street Glide Special and now my current 2016 H-D Road Glide Special.

Describe your best experience on two wheels?
LEO: I’m going to give you two.... first was the first time I did an Ironbutt Ride. I’ve since completed 4 additional both with “Ironbutt” and “Ride1KinaDay”. The second was meeting Willie G. Davidson in passing. There weren’t any crowds, and without hesitation, he spent time in an honest conversation with us.

If money was no object, where would your ride bucket list take you?
LEO: I’d like to ride all of the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska within the U.S.A., and I’d also like to ride Australia and New Zealand someday (dreams!).

Favorite hobby other than riding?
LEO: I really enjoy photography, although I think it’s more that I like to accomplish challenges. I enjoy teaching and training others in new skills.

What would tell someone who's on the fence about taking up motorcycling?
LEO: It’s the greatest free therapy you can get.

Favorite roadside snack?
LEO: Dill pickles… I love them and they also help with hydration. Bonus if they’re cold.

Name a song or band you’re ashamed to admit you like?
LEO: I listen to almost all genres, but it would probably be surprising to people that I like to listen to Adele or Lady Gaga.

Favorite biker flick?
LEO: Easy Rider… it’s so much more than just a bike ride across the country.

What’s one thing you hate seeing other riders do?
LEO: Riding while intoxicated.

Lastly, what’s your most embarrassing moment on a motorcycle?
LEO: The first weeklong trip I took on the bike I tried to stop at every “Welcome to..." (state) sign I crossed and get a picture. I rode all week, 5,000+ miles, and when crossing into my home state I stopped for my pic and completely forgot to drop the kickstand...

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