Motorcyclists – What a Way to Go!

Garland "Crabb" Crabb pulls a flag-draped coffin in his motorcycle hearse.

Garland "Crabb" Crabb pulls a flag-draped coffin in his motorcycle hearse.

Are you a motorcycle enthusiast? No matter your two-wheeled proclivities, as this week is Sturgis week in South Dakota. In honor of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, offers some interesting ways to pass to the great Motocross in the sky.

Hope Cemetery, located in Barre, Vermont, is located in granite territory, so odd tombstones are normal here. Artisans have sculpted tombstones of automobiles, easy chairs and one of an old man on a motorcycle. Other motorcycle tombstones include a laser-cut image of a motorcycle on a stone in southern California, a cycle without a rider in this image and another riderless cycle in what seems to be a European location.

No matter how you mark your grave, the point is how you’re going to get there. The following list contains five companies located throughout the U.S. that can supply you with a motorcycle-drawn hearse. These firms also are members of the American Motorcycle Hearse Association (AMCHA), a group of independent motorcycle hearse companies striving to be the most professional motorcycle hearses in the United States. The hearses range from the simple to the sublime, and the histories of these companies are just as interesting as their vehicles:

  • Black Diamond Motorcycle Hearse Service: Garland “Crabb” Crabb, owner, and Kenny “Krazylegs” Rosati handcrafted the hearse that is carried by a 1992 Electra Glide that was converted into a trike in January 2006 (see image above). That’s when business started in Bryan, Texas. Their mission is to never “disrespect our customers memory of their loved one by offering our hearse for anything except what it was created for…’A Ride To Remember.'” Thanks to Crabb for permission to use that photo.
  • Cournoyer Funeral Home: This one is unusual, as this is a funeral home that owns New England’s only tombstone hearse. It can be used by any family, at any funeral home in New England, with as little as 24 hours advance notice. Known as the Series III, a three-wheeled cycle carries a hearse with a laminated deck floor with cut mohair trim and crushed velour curtains that line the decoratively etched safety glass windows. It is an exact replica of a horse drawn hearse from the 1800’s – the only difference is, of course, the modern day “horse” hitched to the front of it.
  • Iron Hearse Destinations: Located in Des Moines, Iowa, this funeral option was built by Lloyd Robbins, Harley rider of three-plus decades. He built a glass-sided caisson to pull with a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide trike and in June 2008 launched his business. Robbins took nine months to build the $5,000 caisson he uses out of the same materials used in road signs. He painted “Final Journey” on it and bolted a “JURNY” license plate on the rear. Robbins wears a white shirt buttoned to the top, a black vest and one spur on his riding boots while on duty.
  • Lone Spur Hearse: This company, located in St. Louis, Missouri, is a newly established D.A.V.-owned-and-operated Motorcycle Hearse Service. Their standard attire throughout our duties includes black pants, boots, vest, armband and – of course – a lone spur. If desired, biker leather can be an alternative attire. Their services will begin in September this year.
  • Ride to Eternity, LLC: Big Bill and Judie use a Gold Wing to pull you into eternity. They are located in Tarpon Springs, Florida and serve west-central Florida. The hearse is equipped with a clear custom ceremonial urn display case that can be used at the memorial ceremony and then carried by four pall bearers to the coach. They also carry infant, standard, oversized, and pet caskets.

Look through the sites above and through other member sites to learn more about each company and about the company they keep. You’ll discover other motorcycle hearse companies that may not be members of the AMCHA – at least not yet. And, you may discover funeral homes that are friendly to bikers.

From what we can see, almost every biker dedicated to carrying his biker bethren to biker heaven also is dedicated to military veterans and to helping you find a funeral home that will work with your wishes. So, take you time and find a motorcycle hearse company in your region and follow up on a biker’s last dream.

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