Top 10 Motorcycle Movies
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
Contributed by Paul Seaburn, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
I’m not much of a motorcycle rider – I’m allergic to leather, I don’t have much hair for the wind to blow and I don’t like the taste of bugs.
That doesn’t stop me from loving motorcycle movies. Biker films have the three ingredients I look for in a movie: cool dudes, good-looking women and lots of noise. My top 10 favorite motorcycle movies are loaded with all three, but I’ll give you a little about the plots in case you’re a film buff.
10. C.C. and Company
The cool dude C.C. Ryder is Joe Namath, the good-looking woman is Ann-Margaret and the bikes are Kawasakis in “C.C. and Company,” a 1970s biker movie best know for having Joe Namath and Ann-Margaret in it. Plenty of scenes with bikes, dirt bikes ands three-wheelers make up for the bad acting.
9. Wild Hogs
Art imitates life – specifically, baby boomers wanting to ride motorcycles – in “Wild Hogs” as four Boomer friends ride across the country. John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H Macy are the greying bikers, but the real stars or the Harley XL1200C Sportster Custom, FXSTS Springer Softail, Black Fatboy and Screaming Eagle Fatboy they ride.
8. The Wild Angels
B-movie king Roger Corman was the first director to put Peter Fonda on a Harley Davidson in the 1966 outlaw biker movie “The Wild Angels.” Fonda played Hells Angels San Pedro chapter president “Blues” with Nancy Sinatra as his girlfriend “Mike,” Bruce Dern as “the Loser” and Dern’s real-life wife, the lovely Diane Ladd, as his wife “Gaysh.” Besides “Easy Rider,” “The Wild Angels” inspired biker movies “Devil’s Angels,” “The Glory Stompers” and “The Born Losers.”
7. Top Gun
Everyone else remembers “Top Gun” for the F14 aerial dogfights, but I like this movie for the scenes with Tom Cruise riding his Kawasaki GPZ750R – how could Kelly McGinnis resist a Maverick on a bike like that? This film was his first time on a motorcycle and Cruise has ridden them ever since.
6. Terminator 2
Before he was the “Governator,” Arnold Schwarzenegger played the Terminator, a cyborg who probably was more complicated than the bikes he rode. While saving Sarah Conner, the buff-but-lovely Linda Hamilton and her son from the T-1000 in “Terminator 2,” the Terminator rode a Harley Davidson Fatboy. Arnold is a lifelong motorcycle rider and owns a fleet of bikes.
Jousting on motorcycles in a movie directed by George Romero, the Godfather of all zombie movies – what could be more fun? In “Knightriders,” Ed Harris rides a Honda CBX as the “King” of a band of biker “knights” trying to live by the code of King Arthur. Another king – horror author Stephen King – shows up occasionally.
4. Mad Max
The first “Mad Max” movie was an early role for eventual Hollywood madman Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky, a cop in a futuristic Australia. Max drives a car while pursuing a scary fuel-stealing motorcycle gang led by the Toecutter and Bubba Zanetti on a Kawasaki K-1000 and a Rickman Framed Kawasaki 900 performing sensational stunts.
3. The Great Escape
Based on an actual World War II prison break, “The Great Escape” has some great scenes on WWII bikes, the most famous being Steve McQueen jumping a barbed wire fence on a TT Special 650 Triumph which had modified to like a German army BMW. McQueen was an avid rider and did all of his own stunts.
2. The Wild One
In “The Wild One,” what many consider to be the first great motorcycle movie, Marlon Brando rode his own 1950 Triumph Thunderbird 6T as Johnny, the leader of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club. He popularized the Perfecto style motorcycle jacket and sideburns while chasing Mary Murphy, the lovely Kathie, and fighting Chino, the leader of the Beetles, played by Lee Marvin.
1. Easy Rider
Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper riding across America in the 60’s on Harley Davidson Hydraglide choppers, Karen Black as a hooker, Jack Nicholson being Jack Nicholson and a soundtrack featuring Steppenwolf, The Byrds and The Band – it doesn’t get any better than “Easy Rider.”