Making the last ride in style
A new funeral service will take motorcycle enthusiasts on their last ride.
Started around 18 months ago by two Christchurch couples, The Last Ride uses custom-made motorcycle hearses to transport loved ones to their funeral ceremonies.
‘‘Well, it’s the last ride, heading to the crematorium or the grave site,’’ said creator Roger Hutchison.
‘‘We as Kiwis celebrate people’s lives. We celebrate with talking, beers, a bit of nonsense.
‘‘It’s for people who love their motorcycles. It’s something different.’’
Christchurch couples Roger and Ann Hutchison and Wayne and Annette Turner, all in their 60s, have worked on constructing the motorcycle hearse ‘‘every weekend for the past 15 months.’’
The 2000 Harley-Davidson with attached 7.5-foot casket was recently completed and used for the first time for a friend who died of cancer, transporting him to his Kaiapoi funeral.
‘‘It’s cost us a fortune to do it; we sold the boat and the bach,’’ said Ann.
‘‘But it’s one of those things, if you didn’t do it, you’d always wonder. ‘‘It all just fell into place.’’ Roger turned to engineer and friend Wayne and his fishing buddy Graham Esker in Ashburton to build the casket mold.
‘‘We made the tea and coffee but they did Annette said.
The motorcycle hearse, which weighs around 700-kilograms, could be used from Nelson to Invercargill, transported in its own trailer.
With chrome decorations, lights, and helmets for those who wanted to ride on the back of the motorbike, Wayne said the bike spoke for itself.
‘‘How do we go about it? ‘Here’s my card in case you die?’’.
Both men have been riding all the work,’’ motorcycles since they were young boys, and had ‘‘100 years biking between us both.’’
‘‘We just thought it was a good idea for the motorcycle world. And me and Wayne are into bikes,’’ Roger said.
Realistic about the niche nature of the service, Ann said before investing in the project they all did their homework by contacting funeral homes around the city.
‘‘Most of them said ‘bring it on’. They were amazed.’’