If you are passionate about anything and everything to do with motorcycles, Hollywood has plenty to offer that goes with your passion. Be it superhero movies, war movies, documentaries, or action movies, motorcycles have always been used as the ultimate props. Following is a list of 5 unforgettable motorcycle movies about those who built them, rode them, and used them as a symbol of change, rebellion, youth, and culture.
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
If you’re looking for an ideal combination of motorcycles, adventures, youth, and revolution, The Motorcycle Diaries ought to be on top of your movie watch list. Released in 2004, the movie is a biopic based on the journey and written memoir of a 23-year old medical student Ernesto Guevara, who several years later went on to become the iconic Argentinean revolutionary and Marxist guerilla commander Che Guevara. The movie revolves around a trip taken by Ernesto Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado, on an old Norton 500 motorcycle they called La Poderosa or “the Beast”. As they travel across South America, the trip plants the initial seeds of transformation, radicalization, and awakening within Guevara as he observes the people, cultures, impoverished peasantry, economic inequalities, and class injustice that he encounters on the journey.
The World’s Fastest Indian (2005)
If speed biking is your idea for a thrill, here is one movie that will give you a high. Hitting the screens in 2005, The World’s Fastest Indian is yet another remarkable biopic that will set your heart racing. The movie is based on Kiwi speed bike racer Burt Munro and his modified Indian Scout motorcycle. It is a true story based on the life of Munro, who at more than 60 years in age, set three separate land-speed records in 1962, 1966, and 1967 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah. He visited these flats (known worldwide for their many miles of flat compacted salt ideal for speed testing) ten times in an attempt to set world speed records. Out of his ten visits, he managed to set three world records, one of which stands unbroken even today. The stunning performance of Sir Anthony Hopkins who plays Burt Munro, the Indian Scout with its streamlined body, and of course the dizzy speeds, make this a movie a must-watch for motorcycle lovers.
Dust to Glory (2005)
If off-road races and bikes interest you, Dust to Glory is one amazing movie totally worth watching. The movie is essentially a documentary that covers the notorious Baja 1000, an annual off-road race which takes place across the Baja peninsula in Mexico. Every year, the race attracts hundreds of racers along with their badass machines, as well as thousands of cheering fans. There were a number of helicopters and a huge crew involved in making this film, which covers the race and all the competitors throughout 650 miles of the Mexican desert. It is indeed riveting to watch racers dodging some precarious terrains and harsh weather conditions as they ride. Moreover, the riders also need to watch out for sadist spectators who take pleasure in sabotaging the track course by burying/hiding obstacles, digging holes, and laying all sorts of other traps! Even if you don’t like bikes, this movie is a must-watch!
Easy Rider (1969)
If you consider yourself a true motorcycle enthusiast, Easy Rider is definitely a must watch. Arguably one of the most memorable motorcycle movies of all time, Easy Rider is a landmark American movie which tells the viewers a story about two hippie bikers who ride across America on their piston-powered stallions. Starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson, Easy Rider is essentially a counterculture film that explores the societal issues, landscapes, drug culture, communal lifestyle, and the hippie movement that plagued the United States during the 1960’s. The movie is indeed a gem, which beautifully tries to capture the rebellion and restlessness of the youth culture which resulted into an alternative lifestyle, as well as the hatred and disagreement between separated generations.
Electra Glide in Blue (1973)
A neglected classic released during the early 70’s, Electra Glide in Blue is basically the story of a good cop entangled in a world of evil fellow officers and squad-room politics. The good cop is John Wintergreen (Robert Blake) who is ultimately demoted and made a traffic cop. Named after the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide motorcycles issued to traffic cops, the movie goes on to show John Wintergreen and his partner Zipper (Billy ‘Green’ Bush) cruising along the open desert road of Arizona on a mission to prove a suspected suicide case as a murder. Overall, the outstanding photography, amazing scenery, some great motorcycle footage, and of course Blake’s acting make this movie unforgettable.
Miley Stevens, the author of this article, is part of the team with, Pit Stop Parts and Apparel, leading dealers of motorcycle parts and accessories.She is passionate about bikes and enjoys participating in amateur racing events.