Chesapeake Shores star talks about motorcycles, his acting career and how he balances his two passions

Story by Michael Marino

Actor Jesse Metcalfe has a passion for motorcycles. Best known for his role as John Rowland on the hit television series Desperate Housewives, Metcalfe currently is starring in the Hallmark Channel series Chesapeake Shores. The third season of the show is scheduled to begin airing Aug. 5.

American Motorcyclist Association: How long have you been riding motorcycles? What got you into riding?

Jesse Metcalfe: I've been seriously riding motorcycles since 2007. I messed around with dirt bikes as a teenager, and took a few joy rides on my stepfather's 1996 Custom Softail. It wasn't until I was 28 that I actually owned my first motorcycle.


AMA: What was your first motorcycle? How many motorcycles do you own now?

JM: My first motorcycle was a 2008 Harley-Davidson Custom Rocker in scarlet red with a Vance & Hines pipe, drag bars, Heartland leather spring seat, 103 street legal engine upgrade kit and tons of custom chrome. I bought the bike while on location in Shreveport, La., and I still own it to this day. I own three motorcycles.

  • 2008 Harley-Davidson Custom Rocker

  • 2002 West Coast Chopper

  • 1957 Triumph Thunderbird (fully restored)


AMA: What kinds of riding do you like to do (on-road, off-road, competition)?

JM: I don't compete and I rarely ride off-road anymore. I'd say I'm more of a Sunday cruiser. I wouldn't call myself a purest, but I'm definitely an enthusiast. I love all things motorcycle. New and vintage bikes, helmets and accessories as well as memorabilia. I definitely love collecting, and I've always loved going fast.


AMA: How hard is it to find time to ride with a full-time acting career?

JM: It can be challenging to find a bike when you're on location shooting, but if you have the passion you'll figure it out. I do find myself missing my "toys" when I'm away for long stretches, but I have been lucky enough to play quite a few roles that involve riding.


AMA: Tell us a little bit about Chesapeake Shores. Do you ride a motorcycle on the show?

JM: Ha! Actually, I do ride on the show. My character, Trace Riley has a 1976 Triumph Bonneville 750. I had to fight hard for that character choice, but I'm glad I did, because it suits the character and the show. Trace is a country music singer/songwriter who also owns his own country bar in town. He's a bit of a good ol' boy, but from the East Coast, much like myself. Chesapeake Shores is like modern day Partridge Family, with a hint of Nashville.


AMA: What is your favorite motorcycle-related memory?

JM: Well, after I bought my Rocker and wrapped shooting Beyond A Reasonable Doubt with Michael Douglas in Shreveport, I ended up doing a solo road trip from Shreveport to Miami. I stopped along the way in New Orleans and Daytona Beach. Had the time of my life! This was definitely one of my all-time favorite riding experiences.


AMA: What is the reaction you get from other actors, fans, and friends when they find out you ride motorcycles?

JM: Well, one of the best things about riding motorcycles is the community that you become a part of. As motorcycle riders and enthusiasts there's a passion that unites us. I feel like I've met and become friends with a lot of amazing people just because I ride. But it's knowledge and experience that separates the men from the boys.