Europe

Russia's Macho Man Putin Jumps on a Harley at Biker Convention

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, rides Harley Davidson Lehman Trike as he arrives for the meeting with Russian and Ukrainian motorbikers at their camp near Sevastopol in Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula, Saturday, July 24, 2010. Russian flag is in the background. Putin has lept on a Harley Davidson and roared into a international biker convention in southern Ukraine. Around 5,000 bikers from Europe and beyond are gathered in Sevastopol for the annual festival on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. (AP Photo/Sergei Karpukhin, Pool)

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, rides Harley Davidson Lehman Trike as he arrives for the meeting with Russian and Ukrainian motorbikers at their camp near Sevastopol in Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula, Saturday, July 24, 2010. Russian flag is in the background. Putin has lept on a Harley Davidson and roared into a international biker convention in southern Ukraine. Around 5,000 bikers from Europe and beyond are gathered in Sevastopol for the annual festival on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. (AP Photo/Sergei Karpukhin, Pool)

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine -- Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has lept on a Harley Davidson and roared into an international biker convention in southern Ukraine.

Around 5,000 bikers from Europe and beyond gathered in Sevastopol for the annual festival Saturday on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

Putin, in Ukraine for talks with the country's new Russia-friendly leadership, had his black shirt sleeves rolled up as he motored toward a stage along a dusty road on the three-wheeled bike.

In sunglasses, black jeans and black fingerless gloves, the Russian prime minister clearly reveled in the moment, smiling and waving to the enthusiastic crowd.

From a podium, he described the motorbike as "the most democratic form of transport" and praised the bikers' free spirit.

He also urged them to unite in promoting safe driving.