Bikers speed to TV fame

By Jessica Elgot, March 22, 2012
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Black leathers, a Harley-Davidson, the open road - and now a potential TV showcase.

Some of the 120 members of Yids on Bikes, the UK's Jewish club for motorbike enthusiasts, are set to be featured in a Sky TV series.

YoB President Loren Shefer is negotiating with Back2Back Productions for a six-part documentary about the group heading to Canada to mark Yom Hashoah on the 2,000-mile "Ride to Remember," organised by the international Jewish Motorcyclists Alliance.

"We are looking for serious riders," he said. For Mr Shefer, "it's a ride I've always wanted to do, but it's usually in the US. It takes in Holocaust museums and synagogues."

Fellow YoB member Doron Aminoff, 39, rejected the notion "that Jews and motorbikes don't mix. But we're not like the Hell's Angels. We ride a variety of bikes - we're very diverse."

The group gets together twice monthly for rides into the countryside around London, but members sometimes head off as far as Devon.

YoB is the only UK group of its kind but there are four dozen worldwide, with titles such as Hillel's Angels, Kosher Hogs and the King David Bikers.

Mr Shefer accepts the group's name is controversial, but explains: "We did want it to spell out 'yob'. We wanted to reclaim the word from meaning chav or hoodie."

There are a dozen female YoBs and another member is Elvis Shmelvis, the Jewish Elvis impersonator.

Originally started in 1996, "we didn't form into an organised group until around a decade later," Mr Shefer said. "When the Facebook group began, we had so many more members. We took part in the Salute to Israel parade three years ago, with Magen Davids and flags on our bikes."

Retired property investor Steven Taylor, 63, has put himself forward for the ride to Canada. "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," he said.

Mr Taylor has been riding a motorcycle since he was 16. "It keeps you young and keeps you fit. My Harley weighs 360 kilos - you have to be pretty fit just to lift it."

Last updated: 7:28pm, March 22 2012