The Story Behind the John C. Riley Motorcycle Tee-Shirt in Step Brothers Movie

By Billy Rainford

Presented by Kawasaki Canada

Unless you’re the one person in the world who hasn’t seen the movie Step Brothers starring Will Farrell and John C. Riley, you’re familiar with the scene where Riley’s character, Dale Doback, comes in wearing a Kawasaki road racing tee shirt.

John C. Riley as Dale Doback in Step Brothers.

I remember watching the movie the first time and being like, “Hey, cool, he’s wearing a motorcycle shirt!” It’s kind of like the scene in Ghostbusters II where Bill Murray appears with a 100% sticker on his construction helmet. But the even cooler thing about the Step Brothers tee shirt story is that it involves a Canadian.

You may have heard that it’s actually a photo of Peter Derry, but let’s dive into the details. Here’s what Peter had to say about it:

The original photo of Peter Derry at Mosport. | Flair Photography photo

The actual original photo is of me racing to a win at Mosport (Photo credit to Flair Photography). The photo ended up all over the internet not long after and I guess someone thought it would make a nice retro-looking shirt for John C. Riley to wear during this “Did you touch my drumset?” scene

(Note: You have to click the “Watch on YouTube” link to view the scene)

The movie was highly recommended to me to watch…in fact I was shocked about how many people had seen it and laughed their asses off. So, one Friday night in the dead of winter, Robyn and I got the movie. When this scene came on, I yelled, “Hit pause!” I grabbed the photo and held it up to the TV and we were stunned. It was funny how we stumbled onto it. 

I never really did anything about it for a couple of years and then the story intrigued an entertainment lawyer who insisted on pursuing the case.
And…I bought a Kawasaki after that one. One can never have too many motorcycles!

Here are a few details on the actual motorcycle in the photo:

So, the motorcycle in the shot was a 1982 Kawasaki S1 Superbike (Factory Kawasaki, only 30 made) and was originally ridden by the Canadian Superbike Champion, Lang Hindle. I was an amateur at the time this bike was campaigned. 

I was asked to race the bike in 2002 for a collector and went on to win several races and break the all-time vintage lap record in the Vintage Road Racing series, twice. I had a good run on the bike until 2005 when it was finally retired from competition. I got a lot of press and so that’s probably how the photos were discovered.

So, there you have it. That’s how a photo of Peter Derry road racing made it into the movie Step Brothers and now lives in Canadian Motorcycle Racing folklore.

Peter wearing the tee shirt at Motopark last weekend. | Bigwave photo

*** By the way, if you’d like one of these tee shirts for yourself, give Peter a DM on his Instagram page: ***