Seattle Cossacks – A One-of-a-kind Motorcycle Stunt Team

Are you looking for a dazzling display of high-flying motorcycle acrobatics and breathtaking skills? Attend a performance by the Seattle Cossacks, a one-of-a-kind motorcycle stunt team. These motorcycle stuntmen are the real deal, having wowed the crowds for over 80 years without ropes, props, or gimmicks.

The Stunt Team’s History

The Seattle Cossack motorcycle stunt team has a long and fascinating history. In the 1930s, a group of racers and off-road bikers created motorcycle tricks to pass the time between events. Initially, it was simply for their entertainment, but it soon drew a crowd.

In January 1938, motorcycle enthusiasts and corporate professionals met in Seattle to turn this pastime into a business. Before April, they came up with an official organization with its own set of bylaws, dubbing it the Seattle Cossacks. The stunt team quickly became popular in Seattle, split up to join World War II, and returned to fame after the war in 1946.   

Why did they call themselves the Cossacks? “Cossacks” was the name of Russia’s cavalry in the 1930s, known to be highly skilled, fearless horsemen. People also called motorcycles “iron horses” in the 1930s, so the two terms seemed to fit perfectly.

The Seattle Cossacks’ Performances

If you’re ever in the Pacific Northwest area, you won’t want to miss the Seattle Cossacks. They perform throughout the year in various locations. You can typically see them at these types of venues:

  • Weekend and holiday parades with large, public audiences
  • Events that involve the entire community
  • Motorcycle shows and meet-ups

Although there are numerous motorcycle makes and models to choose from, the Cossacks like to keep things old school. They still ride Harley-Davidson bikes from the 1930s and ’40s, the oldest being a 1930 VL. These vintage motorcycles have the proper structure and stability to carry multiple people in various configurations, such as three-machine human pyramids.

Since 1938, the Seattle Cossacks have stayed true to their mission statement, promoting more than their skills. As their original bylaws state, they aim to “entertain and promote the positive image of motorcycling” and, just as importantly, encourage rider safety.

The Process of Becoming a Cossack

Not everyone can join the Seattle Cossacks. It takes a lot of trust, practice, consistency, and devotion. Here are some boxes you’ll have to check to ride with the Cossacks:

  • A team member must first sponsor you
  • You’ll have to own a motorcycle and demonstrate that you properly take care of it
  • You must attend all stunt practices
  • During your rookie year, you’ll start with drills and work toward performing stunts
  • You must demonstrate that you can skillfully control your bike during all stunts
  • Team members must vote you in

Team members aren’t required to work out or reach a specific fitness level. They only have to be able to control their “iron horses” and perform stunts safely and consistently. Age also has little to do with it—the team’s ages range from 27 to 74.

The Cossacks take their profession seriously, and most team members have been perfecting their stunts for years. One individual has worked with the stunt team for over 46 years, and four other members have over 120 years of combined experience. The remaining team members have been performing stunts for one to 26 years.

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Motorcycle safety should be your top priority. However, sometimes you can’t avoid an accident. If you get into a motorcycle wreck, call Law Tigers at 1-888-863-7216 to discuss your case with our experienced attorneys.