Here’s a compilation of what we think are some of the greatest motorcycle movies ever made. Alongside more mainstream classics we’ve also thrown in a few cult films and some awesome motorcycle B-movies.
If we’ve missed out some of your favorites or you don’t agree with our choices, let us know in the comments!
So here’s a run-down of out 26 of the greatest motorcycle movies ever made!
#26. Top Gun
In the movie Top Gun, lead actor Tom Cruise rode a Kawasaki GPZ750R (when he wasn’t piloting an F14 fighter jet).
This was the first bike Cruise had ever ridden and after learning how to ride in the car park of a Californian bike shop Cruise was hooked and has owned bikes since.
#25. Wild Hogs
Wild Hogs is a story about four middle aged friends (John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H Macey) who decide to take their Harley Davidsons on a cross country trip to find out what it feels like to be a ‘real’ biker.
The Harley Davidson bikes featured in the movie include a XL1200C Sportster Custom, FXSTS Springer Softail, Black Fatboy and a Screaming Eagle Fatboy.
#24. Tron – Light Cycle
Fair enough, the Lightcycle might not be a real motorcycle but it’s still pretty cool. This cult science fiction movie featured a distinctive video game-like visual style, and was one of the first movies from a major studio to use extensive computer graphics.
#23. Terminator 2
Terminator 1 featured a chase scene in which Sarah Connor was being hunted down by the Terminator on a Honda 750. In the sequel, Terminator 2, Arnold rode a Harley Davidson Fatboy as helped John Conner outrun the T-1000.
To this day Arnold remains an avid motorcycle enthusiast and owns a wide range of bikes.
London, 1965: Like many other youths, Jimmy hates the philistine life, especially his parents and his job in a company’s mailing division. Only when he’s together with his friends, a ‘Mod’ clique, cruises London on his motor-scooter and hears music such as that of ‘The Who’ and ‘The High Numbers’, he feels free and accepted. However, it’s a flight into an illusionary world.
A young motorcycle gang calling themselves the Living Dead terrorise the population from their small town. After an agreement with the devil, if they kill themselves firmly believing in it, they will survive and gain eternal life. Following their leader, they commit suicide one after the other, but things don’t necessarily turn out as expected.
A traveling group of medieval performers, the main attraction being knights on motorcycles, is falling apart at the seams as the performers either crack under the pressure of mean cops, bouts with near fame and emotional problems. The group’s leader, the self-styled “King” Billy (Ed Harris) has grown increasingly unstable over the years, to the point that he’s failing to see the differences between the shows and real life.
The movie storyline is a little wacky but it’s worth sticking with for the great bike action, and Ed’s Honda CBX.
Custom chopper builder and punk rocker Kutty Noteboom builds his working man’s chopper from the ground up with the help of good friend Rico and the rest of his biker brothers in this intimate award-winning documentary about renowned hot rod and motorcycle club the Sinners.
#18. C. C. & Company
Motorcycle mechanic C.C. Ryder joins “The Heads,” an outlaw biker gang. Fellow gang members menace fashion journalist Ann when her limo breaks down in the desert, but C.C. comes to her rescue. The bikers disrupt a motorcross event tied in with a fashion shoot, but C.C. enters the competition under Ann’s admiring eye. His win puts him at odds with Moon, leader of “The Heads.” When C.C. leaves with his cut of the purse, the bikers kidnap Ann, and C.C. races Moon to win her freedom.
#17. Stone Cold
Joe Huff is a tough, go-it-alone cop with a flair for infiltrating dangerous biker gangs. The FBI blackmail Joe into an undercover operation to convict some extremely violent bikers, who are angry at the capture of their leader.
#16. Silver Dream Racer
A young hot-headed motorbike enthusiast inherits the prototype for an incredibly fast machine which was designed by his brother. He successfully gets the finance for it, and uses the bike to challenge for the world championship at Silverstone.
#15. Ride With The Wind
In this tender made-for-television drama, a motorcycle racer changes his outlook on life after becoming close to a young mother and her dying son.
#14. Hells Angels On Wheels
At first gas station attendant Poet is happy when the rockers gang “Hell’s Angels” finally accepts him. But he’s shocked when he learns how brutal they are – not even murder is a taboo to them. He gets himself in trouble when the leader’s girlfriend falls in love with him – and he welcomes her approaches.
#13. Running Cool
Bone and Bear, two rough and tough bikers ride out from Sturgis, SD. to the marshes of South Carolina to help out their “bro” Ironbutt Garrett, who’s land is being eyed by the money-grubbing, domineering Calvin Hogg. With the townspeople aghast at the “scooter-trash” invading Buford, the Sherrif, under the direction of Hogg, try to get the bikers out of town while they try to organize a “Wetland Run” aimed at making enough money to pay off the back taxes that threaten Ironbutt’s claim to the land.
#12. Beyond The Law
Dan Saxon is an undercover cop who infiltrates a biker gang to nail the scum behind a drug-smuggling operation. In order to maintain the trust of the gang’s leader, he must commit ever more dangerous and heinous crimes. Just how far ‘beyond the law’ will Saxon go?
#11. Werewolves on Wheels
A biker gang visits a monastery where they encounter black-robed monks engaged in worshipping Satan. When the monks try to persuade one of the female bikers, Helen, to become a satanic sacrifice the bikers smash up the monastery and leave. The monks have the last laugh, though, as Helen, as a result of the satanic rituals, is now possessed and at night changes into a werewolf, with dire results for the biker gang.
#10. Raising Arizona – The Lone Biker Of The Apocalypse
Ex-con Hi and ex-cop Ed meet, marry and long for a child in the wilds of Arizona. When Ed discovers she’s barren the God-given solution is presented: to snatch a baby from a set of quins. Thus begins a series of kidnappings, capers and rum goings-on that revolve around the helpless yet universally-loveable child. Hi’s convict friends, his boss, and even the Lone Biker Of The Apocalypse become involved in the ever-twisting plot in the quest to own the baby.
#9. Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
The opening scene of the movie Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man including the song “Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi.
#8. Any Which Way You Can (Black Widows)
Philo takes part in a bare knuckle fight – as he does – to make some more money than he can earn from his car repair business. He decides to retire from fighting, but when the Mafia come along and arrange another fight, he is pushed into it. A motorcycle gang and an orangutan called Clyde all add to the ‘fun’.
#7. Viva Knievel!
As the legendary stuntman travels to Mexico to prepare for one of his greatest stunts yet, he takes time out of his schedule to meet his fans, help out lonely orphans, and try to get his alcoholic mechanic to reconcile with his son. While all of this is going on, Evel’s main rival is plotting to have Evel killed and then get rich by using the Team Evel 18-wheeler to smuggle cocaine into America.
#6. Max Max
In an Australian dystopia of decaying order and violent highways, a police pursuit driver is drawn into a path of vengeance after a motorcycle gang targets him for the death of their former leader. In the U.S.
In Mel Gibson’s post-apocalyptic classic The Toecutter and Bubba Zanetti ride a Kawasaki K-1000 and a Rickman Framed Kawasaki 900.
#5. The Wild One
This is the original motorcycle movie, starring Marlon Brando as the brooding leader of a biker gang that invades a small town.
Also starring Lee Marvin, The Wild One is the ultimate motorcycle rebellion movie and
features a stunning Triumph Thunderbird T6.
#4. On Any Sunday
A documentary following the lives of motorcycle racers and racing enthusiasts, including actor Steve McQueen. First asking the question “Why do they do it?” this film looks at the people who devote (and sometimes risk) their lives to racing on tracks and off-road courses around the world.
#3. The Great Escape
Starring Steve McQueen, The Great Escape features arguably one of the greatest motorcycle scenes of all time. Apart from the barbed wire jump itself McQueen performed all his own stunts, and had a lot of input into the motorcycle scenes.
In the now infamous final scene McQueen was riding a TT Special 650 Triumph which had been made-over to look like a wartime BMW.
#2. Easy Rider
This cult classic from 1969 features top Hollywood actors and top bikes. With the hit theme “Born to be Wild”, Easy Rider is a motorcycle buddy film featuring such big names as Nicholson, Fonda, and Hopper.
The bikes that featured in the film were mainly Harley Davidson Hydraglide models from 1949, 1950, and 1952.
#1. The World’s Fastest Indian
The World’s Fastest Indian is based on the true story of Burt Munro, a bike racer from New Zealand.
Played by Anthony Hopkins, Munro manages to set a 1000cc world record in 1967 on an Indian brand motorcycle that he mechanically modified and covered with an aerodynamic shell. At the time of the record attempt Munro himself was 68 years old riding an Indian motorbike that was 47 years old.
The record still stands to this day.
So, that’s the end out list of the 26 greatest motorcycle movies, what did you think? Let us know in the comments!