Last in a series on the biking life of AJ Littrell of Twisted Audio.
AJ Littrell’s initial relationship with a motorcycle, like that of a lot of young riders, began with a need for speed. Graduating from the three-wheeler ATVs he had come to love as a kid, he got his first bike at the age of 16, starting out with a sports model for several years. This really let him get out and go with the kind of thrill you might only know, say, from riding in a Marine helicopter.
But that kind of speed adventure came to an end one day when he was topping off the speedometer at 120 mph on a Super Hawk along an empty country road. He was feeling the rush when, out of nowhere … he hit a dog!
“I got real lucky,” he says now. “My guardian angel was working overtime. I had a backpack full of clothes on, there was nobody coming. I walked away from that one. Just had to get my right knee scoped. I didn’t even know what I had hit until the police officer came to the hospital and told me what happened. I thought it was a deer, but it was a German Shepherd.”
He got another sport bike for about a year before getting out of the sport class and getting the 2003 Ironworks Savage Custom Cruiser he has now, putting his high speed days behind. Now he just likes “cruising around and hanging out with the guys” and showing off his special bike.
However, he’s also part of a bike club that does a lot more than just hang together. He’s in the South Jersey Chapter of the Nam Knights Motorcycle Club, a military and law enforcement club that supports fallen police officers and all military veterans.
Some of the things they do include escorting returning veterans from the area to their homes from the air base at Fort Dix, which includes taking the veteran and his family out for a celebratory meal.
On Veterans Day the group also rides to the Williamstown Veterans Memorial in New Jersey to lay wreaths on each veteran’s gravesite. They’ve also ridden as a group through New York City for a veteran’s ceremony, complete with a police escort. And. of course, Memorial Day weekend they will be at the Rolling Thunder event in Washington, D.C. These and other events that honor veterans and police officers couldn’t be more meaningful to AJ.
“We’re a bunch of guys who believe in the same thing and we make sure we take care of our military veterans and that we never forget those who walked that path before us,” says AJ.
For members, the club recreates the same feeling of brotherhood they found in their own tours of service. “The club is a bond among people who have something in common, just like the military,” says AJ. “I don’t have to explain to another guy why I like riding a bike. He understands it in the same way I do.”
The club also fosters an atmosphere where wives and children can make the club a family outing as well. AJ’s nine-year-old daughter Skylar has already filled up a vest full of patches relating to club activities. Even if he and his wife Wendy move on after their retirement dates in the Marines, AJ figures he’ll start another chapter of the Nam Knights wherever they end up. For simply spending great times with family and friends, there’s nothing in AJ’s mind that beats his biking club and the biking life.