Vanson Founder Van Der Sleesen Interviewed On Driven To Ride Podcast

Vanson Founder Van Der Sleesen Interviewed On Driven To Ride Podcast

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Driven To Ride Podcast:

Editorial Note: To listen to this podcast, go HERE. To listen to Part One of this podcast, go HERE.


WHEATON, Ill. — Have you ever met someone who describes their life on this planet in such an entertaining way you lose track of time? Well, that is the dilemma “Driven to Ride” podcast host Mark Long faced with Mike van der Sleesen. Mike, the CEO of Vanson Leathers, was one of Mark’s first guests, and that interview barely scratched the surface of a life of adventure spent on and around two wheels. This week, Mark jumps back into the conversation with part two of his conversation with van der Sleesen.


Mike van der Sleesen was born in the U.S. but he grew up in The Netherlands and France, where he was first exposed to the joys of motorcycling at 9 years old on a Solex, its front wheel driven by a small engine. Van der Sleesen progressed to two- and four-speed Puchs, followed by another two-stroke, a Garelli. Slot in behind a passing truck at just the right moment, Mike recalls with a chuckle, and you might catch its draft.

In the 1960s, van der Sleesen found himself in the thick of the vibrant British motorcycle scene, and he has never lost interest in the sport. Today, Mike owns five Nortons in various trims, one of which he bought in 1972, two years before he co-founded Vanson Leathers, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer. On this episode, van der Sleesen reminds us that motorcycling, much like life, is all about the journey.

“We are thrilled to once again have Mike van der Sleesen on the show,’” said Mark Long, host of the “Driven to Ride” podcast. “If you live on the East Coast, near Boston, you might see Mike riding one of several Nortons he has owned since his days across the pond. And if you find yourself in Fall River this weekend, swing by legendary Vanson Leathers and congratulate Mike and his wife, Kim, as well as the rest of the team, on their golden anniversary.”


The “Driven to Ride” podcast is an immersive exploration of the motorcycle and adventure lifestyle. Hosted by Mark Long, each episode showcases inspiring guests and notable figures in the motorcycle community who live and breathe the world of two wheels. With candid conversations and captivating storytelling, this podcast is required listening for anyone with a passion for the open road.


From industry experts to adrenaline junkies to everyday adventurers, the “Driven to Ride” podcast covers a range of topics, making each episode a must-listen for anyone with a love for two wheels. This episode is available at and on your favorite podcast platform. Past shows have featured Alonzo Bodden, Peter Egan, Ricky Carmichael, Dave Despain, Michael Lichter, Robert Pandya, Mike van der Sleesen, Austin Rothbard, Bridget McCutchen, Dennis Noyes, Sarah Schilke, Doodle on a Motorcycle, George Beavers, and Jeff Allen, plus trips to Circuit of The Americas for MotoGP and a tour of the now-shuttered National Motorcycle Museum.


Connect with fellow motorcycle enthusiasts and share your thoughts about the podcast on social media using the hashtag #DrivenToRidePodcast. For updates, behind-the-scenes content, and more, follow the “Driven to Ride” podcast on:







Mark Long, the charismatic host of the “Driven to Ride” podcast, is an avid motorcycle enthusiast with a deep passion for sharing the stories that drive the motorcycle community.

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