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25 Best Motorcycle Movies Ever!

Get Ready to Binge Watch the Classics

by Ujjwal Dey

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Movies inspire us and move us visually and emotionally to seek new lifestyles, new careers and new opportunities. If you are looking to fuel your passion for your next biker run or new motorcycle tour, have a look at these movies.

The art of adventure and motorcycling are the two wheels that roll through all roads. The level of freedom and excitement that is felt on a bike is unique, so it’s no surprise that motorcycling has been the subject of many films over the years.

Travel films are no exception – they tap into the consciousness of riders who are curious for more – always asking questions and always wondering ‘where next? Here is a list of must watch motorcycle adventure films, and discover why watching them will get you in the mood for your next big trip….

This is not a comprehensive list and definitely not a Best Of List. It is a list of 25 motorcycle films that you may have never seen or even heard of. All of them we think are worth taking a look at.

1. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life's calling. (126 mins.)
2. On Any Sunday (1971 Documentary)
Documentary on motorcycle racing featuring stars of the sport, including film star Steve McQueen, a racer in his own right. (96 mins.) Considered to be one of the best ever motorcycle sport documentaries ever made, this 1971 film was nominated for an Academy Award. Watch em all - BSA, Harley-Davidson, Triumph, Husqvarna, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Hodaka and Bultaco.

3. One Week (2008)
Chronicles the motorcycle trip of Ben Tyler as he rides from Toronto to Tofino, British Columbia. Ben stops at landmarks that are both iconic and idiosyncratic on his quest to find meaning in his life. (94 mins.)
4. Easy Rider (1969)
Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America. (95 mins.) This is one of the most iconic American counter-culture films ever made.
5. Riding Solo to the Top of the World (2006 Documentary)
In India, journeying from Mumbai to one of the most remote places on earth, the Changthang Plateau. Filming entirely as a one man unit, he captures some incredible moments with the landscape, the people who inhabit it as well as himself and his own experience of this stunning journey.

6. On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter (2014 Documentary)
Inspired by Bruce Brown's 1971 documentary, "On Any Sunday," chronicles the international sport of motorcycle racing. (90 mins.)
7. Long Way Round (2004 Mini-Series)
This documentary series follows actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on a motorcycle trip around the world... (315 mins.) Between April and July 2004, Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor travelled from London to New York ‘the long way round’ – taking two BMW R1150GS bikes with them and transversing some of the most difficult terrain the world had to throw at them.

8. TT3D: Closer to the Edge (2011 Documentary)

By vividly recounting the TT's legendary rivalries and the Isle of Man's unique road racing history... (104 mins.) If you’ve never been to the Isle of Man in May to watch the annual Tourist Trophy, this film is almost the next best thing to being there.

9. 12 O'Clock Boys (2013 Documentary)

Pug, a young boy growing up on a combative West Baltimore block, finds solace in a group of illegal dirt bike riders known as The 12 O'Clock Boys. (76 mins.)
10. The World's Fastest Indian (2005)
The story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who spent years rebuilding a 1920 Indian motorcycle, which helped him set the land speed world record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967. (127 mins.)

11. Why We Ride (2013 Documentary)
The passion of the riders and the soul of their machines. (89 mins.) Through exquisite vintage and slow-motion footage from places such as Bonneville, Daytona, motocross tracks, and campsites in the California desert, the audience is taken on a stunning visual journey into our two-wheel world, with dozens of riders, some famous, some not, speaking poignantly about what motorcycling means to them.

12. The Wild Angels (1966)

The "Angles", a San Pedro motorcycle gang, parties in the Coachella Valley's Palm Springs Indian Canyons, California, and wreaks havoc with the local police. (93 mins.)

13. Dust to Glory (2005 Documentary)

A documentary on the Baja 1000, an annual off-road race held in Baja, Mexico that attracts hundreds of racers, their souped-up machines, and thousands of fans. (97 mins.)

14. Dust to Glory (2005 Documentary)

A documentary on the Baja 1000, an annual off-road race held in Baja, Mexico that attracts hundreds of racers, their souped-up machines, and thousands of fans. (97 mins.) This follows the Baja 1000 race and all of the competitors through 650 miles of the Mexican desert. There was a huge film crew, several helicopters involved in making this film and the result is pretty spectacular. Not only do the competitors have some fearsome terrain and weather conditions to ride through but they also have to watch out for the spectators that take some pleasure in laying traps for them.

15. Stone (1974)
Members of the Grave Diggers Motorcycle Club are being knocked off one by one, and someone needs to find out why! Sandy Harbutt's timeless Australian cult film about a bunch of renegades riding Kawasaki 900s. (103 mins.) an interesting snap shot of motorcycle culture outside the U.S

16. Hells Angels on Wheels (1967)
At first gas station attendant Poet is happy when the Hells Angels gang finally accepts him. But he's shocked when he learns just how brutal they are. (95 mins.) Ralph ‘Sonny’ Barger, President of the Hells Angels, is credited in the titles as being a consultant to the filmmakers and he plays a non-speaking part early on in the film.

17. Choppertown: The Sinners (2005 Documentary)

Custom chopper builder and punk rocker Kutty Noteboom builds his working man's chopper from the ground... (93 mins.) An interesting take on Southern California motorcycle culture and life. This award-winning documentary takes a refreshing look at what it takes to build a custom motorcycle with a group of friends. It’s not your OC Chopper story but an honest look at why Rico Fodfrey and his So Cal Sinners crew build their bikes. How they do it and why they do it. How they search for parts and re-use parts in clever and innovative ways.

18. Electra Glide in Blue (1973)

Bored with his highway traffic duties, Arizona motorcycle patrolman John Wintergreen is assigned to Homicide where his polite investigative style irks his macho boss. (114 mins.) The open desert roads of Arizona, a pair of Harley-Davidson riding traffic cops - Not the best plot line in the world but some great motorcycle footage and worth watching.
19. The Wild One (1953)
Two rival motorcycle gangs terrorize a small town after one of their leaders is thrown in jail. (79 mins.)

20. Road to Paloma (2014)
Wolf, a Native American on the run after avenging his mother's murder, flees across the desolate American West on his motorcycle, where he'll discover that justice has a cost. (91 mins.) This is very emotionally moving story and showcases the cruelties faced by Native Americans even in 21st century.

21. Hell Ride (2008)

Two rival bikers gangs, the Victors and the Six-Six-Six's, refuel their decades-old rivalry. (84 mins.)

22. Akira (1988)

A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop. (124 mins.)

23. The Born Losers (1967)

Billy Jack battles outlaw motorcycle gang in a small California beach town. (113 mins.)

24. Every Which Way But Loose (1978)

The San Fernando Valley adventures of trucker turned prize-fighter Philo Beddoe and his pet orangutan Clyde. (114 mins.) The biker gang are the bad guys here.

25. Somewhere Else Tomorrow (2014 Documentary)

A naive dreamer attempts to circumnavigate the world on his motorcycle, surviving only on the money he makes along the way. (107 mins.)

26. Race to Dakar (2006 TV Series)

This documentary follows the entry of motorcyclist and actor Charley Boorman into the 2006 Dakar Rally from Lisbon to Dakar.

27. An Island Legacy Edge Closer (2013 Documentary)

A feature documentary with a charming look-behind-the-scenes at the Isle of Man TT road racers and all else about the Island. Enjoy the history, the entertainment, and the glitz of it all with this documentary feature. (61 mins.)

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Reader Comments

Have you seen 21 Days under the Sky?

Philadelphia, Pa
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Editor Response No, I haven't seen it. But the author didn't run the movie I was in, either: Born to Ride. I'll mention it.
Motorcycle diaries would have been ok, but Che was a murdering commie bastard. I guess that's why they tell you who he is at the end. I've seen all but a couple. Number 1 for me is a toss up between Easy Rider and On any Sunday.

Chesapeake, VA
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Editor Response Have you seen Born to Ride. I ordered a copy for the author.

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