Directed by Daniel Lovering
SHORT DOCUMENTARY | 31 minutes | International Premiere
Dave Roper has raced every year since 1972, competing on exotic vintage bikes at racetracks around the world and winning a reputation as a folk hero of the sport. But Roper is hardly an adrenaline addict. He takes a philosophical approach to racing, viewing it as a test of mental and physical abilities. Motorcycle Man follows Roper from a workshop in Brooklyn to his home on Long Island to the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (ex Mosport) racetrack in Canada. Along the way he encounters autograph-seeking admirers, old friends and fellow racers eager to test their skills on the track. It also delves into Roper's past, including his historic win at the Isle of Man TT in 1984, when he became the first American ever to win the notoriously dangerous race. As he enters his twilight years, Roper reflects on the unconventional path he has followed in life, the dangers he has faced and the choices he has made.
Motorcycle Man celebrates the speed, sweat and thrill of motorcycle racing, while offering a meditation on craft, obsession and what it takes to pursue your dreams.
I first learned about Dave Roper from my father, who raced motorcycles in the '60s and '70s. My father had sold Roper a bike, and he spoke proudly of his brief association with this folk hero of the motorcycle racing world.
Over the years I learned more about Roper—about his longevity in the sport, but also his calm demeanor and thoughtful approach to racing. He seemed an unlikely character: a fierce competitor on the racetrack who had the bearing of a college professor off the track. That complexity of character piqued my interest. So began the making of "Motorcycle Man."
About the Director
Daniel Lovering is a writer, photographer and award-winning documentary filmmaker. His first feature-length documentary, “Through the Place,” won the Best Architecture Film award at the 2016 New Urbanism Film Festival in Los Angeles and the Festival Director’s Award at the Queen City Film Festival in Cumberland, Maryland. An experienced journalist, Daniel has reported from more than a dozen countries. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Economist and Foreign Policy, among other publications. Daniel worked for eight years as a staff writer for The Associated Press in Asia and the United States, reporting on subjects ranging from business and politics to war and natural disasters. He began his career in film and television production, working as an intern on the children’s television series “Bill Nye, the Science Guy.”
Premiere: International Premiere
Release Year: 2019
Runtime: 31 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Daniel Lovering
Producer: Daniel Lovering
Camera: Daniel Lovering
Editor: Chi-Ho Lee
Key Cast: Dave Roper