Denmark gets its first motorcycle hearse

Into the great wide open … on two wheels

In the traditional blues tune 'St James Infirmary', the deceased is described as being hauled away by “Seventeen coal-black horses, hitched to a rubber-tied hack”. And now Danes can take that long last ride accompanied by the more modern sound of  heavy metal thunder, as the country’s first Harley Davidson hearse is now in service.

Baby's in black … leather
The jet black, six speed Ultra Electra Glide from 2013 sports a 98 horsepower engine that is guaranteed to get a body where it needs to go quickly. The Harley hearse cost about 600,000 kroner to build and travels throughout the country, helping out at the funerals of some of the 150,000 Danes who own motorcycles.

The two undertakers who operate the bike –  both bikers themselves – charge just under 6,000 kroner per day for the bereaved to use the hearse to carry off one’s presumably leather-clad loved one.

“Funerals are becoming more and more individual. Many want the last trip to be something special, so we thought there needed to be an alternative to the four-wheeled hearse,” Mogens Balling, the funeral director of Begravelse Danmark who is one of the men behind the bike, told MetroXpress.

Get your motor runnin’
Well-known chef Carsten Olsen – Den Skaldede Kok – is also a biker, musician and a Harley enthusiast. He has already decided that the Harley hearse will be the last vehicle he resides in.

“It’s the only way to go,” he said. “I mean, I know that I won’t know on the day exactly what I'm riding in, but it’s good to be able to book it in advance. Although I hope that day doesn’t come to soon,” said Olsen.

The extravagantly tattooed chef said that Steppenwolf’s ‘Born to be Wild’ was his choice for the ‘hymn’ to be playing as the Harley hearse takes him on his last ride.

READ MORE: Denmark gets its first bicycle hearse

Although motorcycle funerals have been around for some time in Germany and the UK, all of the members of the Valby club were very clear that they would only be interested in being carried home in a Harley hearse. Other makes and models need not apply.