Although CHiPs got me into motorcycles, my absolute favorite of the 1980s action/adventure TV shows of my youth was Knight Rider. I loved cars and computers, and the show combined both. David Hasselhoff, who played Michael Knight on the original show, has been talking for years about making more Knight Rider (the 2008 reboot notwithstanding). Though it's not exactly the form he had in mind, he sort of got his wish in this clever video for German car sales website mobile.de. You don't even need to speak German to appreciate it.
The video bears a perfect resemblance to a classic Knight Rider episode from the colors to the clothing, even the old 4:3 aspect ratio instead of today's 16:9 standard. There's a girl in distress, but not to worry, Michael Knight is there, dressed in the same leather jacket and red shirt as always. As the bad guys escape on mopeds, Michael uses his Com-Link to call his mechanical counterpart, who auto cruises to his aid. Much to our surprise, his buddy is not a sleek black sports car, but a special blacked-out moped.
Not to worry, though. This moped is state of the art (for the 1980s), with much of the same technology Michael Knight is used to. The throttle lights up the same way and the LED speedometer reads out a blistering 17 mph top speed, enabling him to catch up to the bad guys in no time. They open fire, yet even without the benefit of KITT's bulletproof Molecular Bonded Shell, our hero is unharmed. Being bad guys, one of them decides to take out the other to cover his own escape, resulting in a crash into a bush accompanied by the Wilhelm scream.
The remaining bad guy escapes into a parking garage. Michael's moped scans the area and quickly detects the bad guy riding up to the top level. Michael smashes through the gate and accelerates up the ramp at maximum speed—about 3 mph. Engaging Super Power Mode causes a lame spoiler to extend from the back of the bike, about as useless looking as KITT's own Super Pursuit Mode. Both foes are better off getting off their mopeds and pushing them to the top level.
Arriving out of breath, Michael finds the bad guy on the top level of an adjacent garage, taunting him with the briefcase he has presumably stolen. Undeterred, Michael makes a run toward the other garage and engages Mega Boost to jump to the other side. Let's just say that his attempt is not as successful as his traditional four-wheeled counterpart. The moped is toast, but naturally, Michael is unharmed and uses mobile.de to search for a Pontiac Trans Am... I mean, a black T-top. (Pontiac made the show stop using the car's make and model after people walked into dealers wanting to buy the car from the show.)
It's cheesy and campy in all the right ways, just like the original show. Getting Hasselhoff to reprise his famous Knight Rider role for the commercial was actually rather easy.
"I'm just kind of synonymous with making fun of myself and having fun," Hasselhoff says in an interview video. "If you can laugh at your mistakes and really not take life seriously, I think you're ahead of the game." This also perfectly describes my attitude toward learning to ride in the dirt.