A Tauranga funeral service now has a motorcycle hearse for those wanting a unique send off.

Hope Family Funerals now own an Indian Chief Classic.

Hope Family Funerals' Ricky Hope said For many years the business was asked if they had a motorcycle hearse.

They thought about it for a couple of years and conducted extensive research, he said.


"Americans have a trike towing an enclosed hearse type carriage. The United Kingdom have an enclosed sidecar."

Feedback from local bikers was that they wanted an open style hearse with the wind all around them, Mr Hope said.

There were a few Harley Sidecar hearses in Australia that were open to the elements and a couple in the lower North Island and South Island too.

Mr Hope said they had look at a Harley Softail and the more robust Road King.

"We were unsure if the best option was a Harley or an Indian. I spoke with the Tauranga Ulysses Club and asked for their opinion on Indian versus Harley. They said that they wouldn't hesitate to have their last ride on an Indian."

The Indian stacked up when reviewed by international riders (Cycle World), and with the Kiwi connection of Burt Munro we were convinced that the Indian was the best choice.

However, it nearly didn't happen.

"We found a new Indian Chief Classic at Wellington Motorcycles, but the owner of the company liked the bike so much he wanted to keep it. We managed to talk him around and late February this year the bike was delivered.

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"We had tremendous support from local people; Kurt Nielsen of Sidecars NZ (Katikati), the amazingly talented engineer Chris Knibbs 'Pom' (Te Puke), TruFold Products (Tauranga), Gavin Banyard and Paul from Tauranga Auto Electrical and Roy, KJ, Tim and the team at Buckeridge Repair & Refinishing Centre (Tauranga) for their excellent paint job."

Hope Family Funerals believed they had the only Indian Motorcycle Hearse in the world and were excited to be able to offer a tribute to passionate bikers for their "one last ride".