Leathered: a life taken to extremes on and off the bike is the autobiography of John “Hopper” Hopkins, one of the most talented, charismatic and popular racers ever to grace the sport of motorcycle racing.
Raised by English parents in California, John started riding motorcycles for fun with his father on the dirt roads of the California dessert, and later signed from relative obscurity as a teenager to compete in the most elite levels of the sport. John emerged a huge star with a large fanbase in the UK and the US.
But behind the scenes there was tragedy, mental torment and substance abuse issues. LEATHERED uncovers the true stories behind the lurid headlines, the drug smuggling trips to Mexico, his contemplation of suicide and the rehabilitation that saved him.
The love story with his wife Ashleigh provides the backdrop to a dramatic, funny and uplifting story of an extraordinary life lived before the age of 40.
From riding motorcycles for fun with his father on the dirt roads of the Californian desert, to the pinnacle of the most extreme of extreme sports, via the desperate lows of personal tragedy, alcohol and drug abuse, Hopkins’ story is truly a rare one of adrenaline, addiction, recovery and redemption at the highest level of international sport.
John’s huge and loyal fan base in the UK, USA and far beyond will know much about the career of a teenage motorbike racer signed from obscurity to compete at the elite level of the sport, who within just a few years emerged as one of its most exciting stars. Many will also be aware of the bone-crunching injuries, and the rumors around his alcohol-fueled antics, that ultimately proved his downfall at the peak of his success.
Untold until now, however, are the true stories behind the lurid headlines, the extent of John’s mental torment at the time, his eventual total dependence on painkillers and alcohol, the drug smuggling trips to Mexico, his contemplation of suicide and the rehabilitation that saved him. The love story with his wife Ashleigh provides the backdrop to a dramatic, funny and uplifting story of an extraordinary life lived before the age of 40.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JOHN “HOPPER” HOPKINS is a former motorcycle road racer based in the United States. Raised by English parents in California, he became the youngest professional rider on the MotoGP circuit. In 2007 Valentino Rossi labels him as his most-feared rival. A series of horrific crashes and debt took their toll and John becomes addicted to alcohol and pills. He turned his life around and despite further crashes and injuries comes within .006 of a second from winning the British Superbike series. Another horrific crash finally ended his career at the age of 35. He is known to MotoGP fans as the most fearless rider of a generation.
Title: Leathered: A Life Taken to Extremes On and Off the Bike
Author: John Hopkins
Pub date: 10/12/21
Price: $26.99 US/$32.49 CAN