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Motorcycle hearse service gets rolling in Oklahoma City

Brian Gray, a former family services counselor, offers his Final Ride motorcycle-drawn hearse service in Oklahoma City for $500.
BY CELIA AMPEL Published: July 11, 2012

If you want your hearse driven by a burly biker in black, you're in luck.

A former Dignity Memorial family services counselor has started a motorcycle-drawn hearse service called Final Ride.

Brian Gray, who has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old, offers the service as a way for Oklahoma families to personalize a funeral procession for any loved one, motorcyclist or not.

He saw similar companies advertising in other states, and he wanted to make the “unique, memorable” service available in the Oklahoma City area.

The hearse costs $500 for any funeral within 100 miles of Chapel Hill Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens, 8701 Northwest Expressway.

Gray will travel beyond 100 miles, but he charges $1.20 per extra mile, plus $85 if he has to stay overnight. He offers a 25 percent discount for police officers, firefighters and members of the military, and no base rate for any of them killed in the line of duty.

Gray had his first customer two weeks ago, but the idea has been in the works for a long time.

“It's been a year and a half, dreaming and building and saving,” he said.

He had to save almost $100,000 to get the business going. Six weeks ago, when the two-wheeled, windowed coach he draws behind the motorcycle was finished, he was ready to roll.

Gray has partnered with 15 funeral homes in the Oklahoma City area, with a home base at Chapel Hill. He promotes Final Ride through those funeral homes, as well as motorcycle venues and rallies.

Chapel Hill charges $195 for a traditional hearse, general manager Angie Garner said. But she said Gray's motorcycle hearse offers families a little something extra.

“It's a neat way to individualize the service. … He's done a lot of research, and he takes a lot of pride in his work,” Garner said.

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