This week's RFT feature story, "Highway Hellraisers," digs deep into the history of the St. Louis-based Streetfigherz and the group's chronic inability to get along with police. But our print-edition article is missing something. The videos.
The Streetfighterz have a prolific presence on YouTube. The official trailer for the 2012 Ride of the Century has collected over 1.7 million hits to date. The explosion in the amount of clips out there probably has something to do with the popularity of the GoPro helmet cameras worn by seemingly every rider on the Ride of the Century.
In any case, we've collected some of the Streetfighterz's greatest YouTube hits. Please don't try these at home.
2012 was the tenth anniversary of the Ride of the Century. The Streetfighterz went all out, and the ride attracted upwards of 3,000 riders. Things got crazy.
The most notorious moment from the 2012 ride involved a group of riders who evaded a police blockade by driving the wrong way up a highway exit ramp. If you were driving eastbound on Highway 370 near the Earth City Expressway that day, you might remember this:
But pulling stunts on a high-powered rice rocket doesn't always go well. During the 2010 Ride of the Century, Streetfighterz co-founder James Vaughn accidentally hit the kill switch on his bike's right handlebar -- instantly shutting off the bike and sending him flipping over his handlebars at 70 mph.
That was brutal, but don't worry, Vaughn survived and is completely fine today.
Though the potential for horrible injury is high when it comes to sports bikes, when risks do pay off, they do so spectacularly.
Continue for more Streetfighterz videos, including the one in which "Sitdown" Steve Jones rides down the highway without a front tire.
"Sitdown" Steve Jones thought it would be cool to try riding a wheelie with the front section of his motorcycle removed. On the highway. For a few miles.
The 2013 Ride of the Century was marked by a huge police presence. The below video is lengthy, but the first few minutes document the heavy police checkpoints at the official ride's starting point.
Those checkpoints, however, were merely inconveniences to the hundreds of riders waiting to start the group ride. The previous day a group of riders staying at a Red Roof Inn had their bikes impounded after police claimed they had seen the bikers pulling stunts and speeding down a highway.
According to "Sitdown" Steve Jones, the 2011 Ride of the Century was the first time he had seen the police come out with a concerted effort to stop riders from stunting on the highway. However, the police's first efforts did little except create the opportunity for the riders to record themselves leaving the officers in the dust.