American Rider offers condolences to family and friends of Peter Starr. Starr, who died July 3 at the age of 80, was legendary in the motorcycling world for his work in film and television.
Born in Coventry, England, in 1942, Starr found his love of motorcycling while working for Triumph as an interpreter. In 1965, he moved to the U.S. and worked as a DJ. Over time, his horizons expanded to filmmaking. His award-winning documentary, Take It to the Limit, brought motorcycling to the masses and gave viewers a closer look at iconic racers like Kenny Roberts, Jay Springsteen, Ricky Graham, and Bubba Shobert.
Starr produced and directed more than 40 TV specials related to motorcycling and motorsports throughout his life. He received 14 major international awards for filmmaking, and his work has been on USA Network, TNN, ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, The BBC, Channel Five UK, ABC Sports, The History Channel, PBS, and others.
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According to Starr’s website, he was also the first to bring many innovative techniques to motorcycle filmmaking. He was the first to have a film camera on a motorcycle and to broadcast live video from a racing motorcycle. He was also the first to have a national TV series on motorcycling: The Peter Starr Motorcycle Show.
Starr also spent some time in front of the camera himself as a stunt rider. He performed in films like Batman and Robin, Apollo 13, EDtv, and Lethal Weapon 3, as well as plenty of commercials.
He was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame in 2017 and the Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2011. He wrote two autobiographical books and hosted the MotoStarr podcast and YouTube channel.
Our sibling publication, Rider magazine, hosted Peter Starr on the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast in 2021. In the podcast episode, Starr and Rider’s Greg Drevenstedt talk about Starr’s life and career, his films, and his experiences riding motorcycles in 12 countries, which is the subject of Starr’s book Motorcycle Traveler.
Peter Starr was a true legend who shaped the image of motorcycling for riders and nonriders alike. He will be missed.