Motorbikes and movies. Made for each other. Really, who wouldn’t want to be thrown the keys to one of these custom-built beauties and told to ride. Ride like the wind!
In movies, motorbike riders never get helmet hair, their bikes never get stolen and they never sustain any serious injuries - bar a camera perfect scratch to the face or perhaps a smidge of hard-won road dirt. Even when they are hit by an angry lorry.
And movie motorbike riders don’t park, they just screech to a halt. Often under heavy gunfire. No steering locks to engage, no soggy waterproofs to remove.
“Garrett Hedlund in Tron: Legacy. After losing the police, he pulls up, hits a button to kill the engine, removes his helmet - without undoing a strap - and walks away, leaving his Ducati Sport Classic 1000 as a gift to thieves.“ visordown.com
“I need your mote-ah-cycle”, that’s the Terminator, in an American/Austrian accent. What follows is an all-time great chase scene, involving the Terminator’s Harley, a dirt bike, and a very angry big-rig tow truck stolen by the T-1000, a stop-at-nothing killing machine, who, while in pursuit, is all to willing to ignore the fundamental rules of the Highway Code.
1. Akira (1988)
Motorcycle: Custom-animated design, rumored to be a Honda
Rider: Mitsuo Iwata
Shotaro Kaneda's (Iwata's) futuristic bike has a die-hard following. You only have to google "Kaneda bike," to find a wide array of amazing real-life replicas lovingly built by fans. Very impressive.
2. Quantum of Solace (2008)
Motorcycle: Montesa Cota 4RT (modified)
Rider: Daniel Craig
Of course James Bond is the master of every piece of machinery he picks up, including the feisty trials bike that is the Cota 4RT. Multiple world trials champion Dougie Lampkin won his titles on a previous Montesa model. No wonder Bond chose to ride one. Simply the best for 007.
3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Motorcycle: 2009 Aprilia RS 125
Rider: Megan Fox
Don't let its small size fool you. This lightweight rocket is powered by the renowned Rotax-Aprilia two-stroke engine. One of the reasons this bike owns the 125cc classes in Europe. Ace mechanic Mikaela Banes (Fox) rescues her hapless boyfriend, Sam (Shia LaBeouf) on her trusty RS 125. Sweet!
4. The World's Fastest Indian (2005)
Motorcycle: 1920 Indian Scout "Burt Monro Special"
Rider: Anthony Hopkins (really?)
The real-life Burt Monro set three separate land-speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, between 1962 and 1967. The 1967 record of 190.07 mph is still the fastest-ever speed recorded on an Indian Scout. Monro not only modified his bike himself to set these records, but constantly ferried it back and forth between his native New Zealand and Utah. Perseverance and mad genius. Perfection.
5. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Motorcycle: 2001 Ducati 996
Rider: Carrie-Anne Moss
All about the classic freeway chase where Trinity (Moss) rescues a bewildered businessman on her fabulous Ducati 996. As she fights back, the masterful piloting of this bike is truly inspiring.
6. The Great Escape (1963)
Motorcycle: 1961 Triumph TR6 Trophy Bird
Rider: Steve McQueen
The Great Escape...didn't that involve Nazis? Before 1961?? Yes, yes. The Triumph TR6 was painted Wehrmacht gray and disguised to look like a period bike. Some period 1938 BMWs (with sidecars) also show up in the movie. McQueen (in German soldier costume) even chases himself on the TR6 at one point. Super-skilled or what?