WHY THE ‘PURPLE RAIN’ MOTORCYCLE WAS THE PERFECT PRINCE RIDE
This small-scale custom bike fit him perfectly.
One of the most enduring images of Prince is the Purple Rain album cover and movie poster showing him astride a purple motorcycle. With billowing smoke, dramatic backlighting and heroic upward angle, Prince and his tricked-out ride make for a truly indelible image.
Surely Prince’s badass bike was some monstrous Harley, right? While that was probably the perception of many fans, Prince actually rode a motorcycle as diminutive as the musical icon himself. The bike was actually a customized Honda CM400A twin-cylinder starter bike that was notable for its low seat height and its automatic two-speed transmission that absolved His Purpleness of having to squeeze a clutch lever.
He kitted out the bike with a classic ’70s Vetter Windjammer fairing and a seat with pink velour inserts. Most motorcyclists would be dismissive of such a small-scaled machine, but Prince’s ride fit the five-foot-two pop god perfectly.