- The Washington Times - Friday, May 25, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — Harley-Davidson enthusiasts who take the motto “Live to Ride, Ride to Live” to heart now have a proper conveyance to hog heaven.

A Long Island funeral-home chain invested $100,000 in a three-wheeled Harley and carriage-style hearse for bikers who want to go out in style.

So far, reactions have been “favorable and positive,” Michael Moloney of Moloney Family Funeral Homes said Thursday during a Manhattan demonstration.

“People see it and go, ‘Wow, this can be really cool and different for my dad, for my uncle,’ ” Mr. Moloney said.

The black hearse is a replica of a 19th-century horse-drawn carriage and features sconces in each corner, a large window on either side and burgundy and gold curtains. It can fit caskets up to 39 inches wide and carry more than 900 pounds of coffin and dead weight. The black and chrome motorcycle is a 2006 Road King Classic.

For $795, a driver will take the dearly departed from the funeral home to the house of worship, then on to the cemetery compared to $475 to $575 for a lift in a traditional hearse, they said.

Mr. Moloney said his family hoped to capitalize on a high concentration of military veterans and bike fanatics on Long Island.

“It’s not morbid, it’s cool,” he said. “It’s a way for people to always remember your funeral.”

Eamon Connors, 38, who rides with a Brooklyn biker club when he’s not driving a bus, loves the idea.

“It’s unique, something different,” said Mr. Connors, who like other passers-by snapped a picture with his cell phone. “If you’re going to go out, you gotta go out in style, right?”

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