TOP 10 MOTORCYCLE MOVIES
A Movie Motorcycle List for Motorcyclists
With Terminator Salvation opening in a few days we decided to take a look at some of our favorite movie motorcycles. Doing a list like this is always hard, and we found ourselves constantly having to make tough choices about who made the cut and who did not. Ignoring Vanilla Ice in Cold as Ice was easy, and reading that another magazine included Tom Cruise on a similar movie motorcycle list just mades us giggle. The hard part of doing this was really breaking down what it means to ride and the feelings associated with it. Here is our list, feel free to comment if you love it and run away if you don’t.
10 – Terminator Salvation – We don’t want to be the site putting up Terminator Salvation spoilers, so just trust us when we tell you that these machines are badass.
9 – Knightriders – Honda CBX driven by “King William”: Knightriders stars Ed Harris as the ‘King’ of a troupe of motorcycle ‘Knights’ struggling to live by the code of King Arthur in a corrupt modern world. Before you label us a bunch renascence fair geeks think how reassuring the solid feel of your bike on the highway feels after a day of dealing with all the deception we face every day at work. While we may not think of ourselves as knights of the road the way Ed Harris did on his Honda CBX, almost everyone who rides can appreciate the honest, no-compromise ideals that it takes to ride. We don’t want to give away the ending of this movie, but no real rider will admit to not being moved by it. Maybe it is a bit too much of a cult movie for some, and we admit that there is a trippy/boring 70’s thing going on that we don’t do enough drugs to get, but honor and bikes go together which is why it is on our list.
8 – Quadrophenia – Lambretta Li150: People that dress/talk/act just like their friends but don’t ride are losers without independence, but if you do ride you are allowed to dress and act like your crew, or as Jimmy says in Quadrophenia “I don’t wanna be like everybody else – that’s why I’m a Mod, see?” Okay, maybe this makes no sense to an adult, but for generations of angst ridden teenagers disillusioned with their parent’s way of life and the dead end jobs they enter every day, this makes all the sense in the world.
7 – Mad Max – Kawasaki K-1000, Rickman Framed Kawasaki 900: We all know that part of the appeal of motorcycles is their badass nature, and Mad Max includes the two scuzziest and at the same time coolest badass guys on bikes ever – The Toecutter and Bubba Zanetti. (No relation to the pump and dump Zanett.) Freaky looking with a snarl that creeps you out, and how could we forget Bubba’s lines.
Bubba: Good afternoon.
Station Master: Good afternoon.
Bubba: We’re here to meet a friend. Come in on the train.
Station Master: Nothing come in on the train except a couple of crates and a [pauses, glances at Bubba]…coffin?
Bubba: Our friend.
The first time we saw this movie, sometime in the 80’s, we were blown away by the beautiful cinematography, fast paced action and awesome motorcycle stunts that make this film a winner.
6 – Tron – Lightcycle: Isn’t it comforting to know that even in the future motorcycles will still be the cool expression of the power of the individual? We think so.
5 – The Wild One – Triumph Thunderbird 6T:
Does anyone ride motorcycles because it is the rebellious thing to do..ummm…what do you have to rebel against. Maybe we are rebelling by not making this movie number one, but frankly if it were not for Lee Marvin, we would not be big fans of this movie. Still, bikes are all about rebellion, which is why it is on our list.
4 – Shampoo – Triumph T-140 Bonneville: Is a movie about a male hair stylist the best example of independent, gather no moss lifestyle that we all dream about when we ride our motorcycles…yes! This a great movie, and if you are a single guy this is probably the only movie on the list you can show a girl and actually stand a decent chance of scoring.
3 – The Great Escape – Triumph TR6: Maybe it is the marvel mystery oil in our veins, but we can’t think of a better movie metaphor for the struggle of an individual against a repressive regime than the Steve McQueen motorcycle chase in The Great Escape. It does not matter if he makes the jump across the border or not, it is the irrepressible human spirit that we feel on motorcycles that makes this one of the best movie scenes, motorcycle or not, ever.
2 – Easy Rider – Harley Davidson Hydraglide: “You know Billy, we blew it,” explains Wyatt (Peter Fonda) to Billy (Dennis Hopper) when he realizes that their search for freedom, while financially successful, was a spiritual failure. Against a backdrop of the rise and fall of the hippie movement, generations in conflict and the increased polarization of American society Easy Rider also shows that there is no better way to really see a country than by doing it on a bike.
1 – My Bodyguard – Honda CB175: Two sad and lonely teens rebuild a bike from the bottom up with junkyard parts, and once the bike runs they become kings of the world that can do anything – this is exactly what riding is all about! It does not matter what you motorcycle looks like, how fast it rides or how badass your outfit looks, just get on your bike and the world gets better. We are not even 100% sure what motorcycle was used in this movie and we still made it our favorite motorcycle movie…yeah, that’s how much we liked it.