As important as motorcycles to bikers, they are to the popular culture. TV shows and movies have been using them since ages to depict a number of storylines. From the spirit of a free man to the life of outlaw bikers, to the charisma of a popular character, to the prowess of the protagonist in an action movie, motorcycles have been used in varied manners by creators. While some of them use pretty normal motorcycles, others have had motorcycles specially created for their productions. Here are 10 of the most iconic motorcycles to have graced the silver screen.
1. The Akira Bike
The bike is the focal point of the very popular manga series Akira and its spinoff productions. While no production model was ever required to be made, for it always featured in animations, fans have created pretty close real-life renditions!
2. The Batpod
It’s among the most badass things ever to be driven on two wheels. The rider, too, was no less badass at all. It’s after all the ride of Batman! One of the props used in the movie was auctioned in 2016, and the listing noted a puny 750cc Honda motor for the massive bike. Apparently, only Jean Pierre Goy, one of the stunt riders, on the sets could ride the damn thing.
3. The Tron Lightcycle
If the Batpod isn’t the most badass form of a motorcycle, the Tron Lightcycle definitely is! The lightcycles have come a far way since the 1982 renditions, thanks to modern computer graphics!
4. The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy in Terminator 2
Unlike most others on the list, the one used in the 1991 movie was an off-the-shelf motorcycle. Most of the stunts in the movie were performed by Peter Kent.
5. The World’s Fastest Indian
This is one bike where the bike wasn’t made for the movie, but the movie was made for the bike! The film tells the legendary story of Burt Munro transforming his 1920 Indian into a speed record-breaker.
6. The Silver Dream Racer
The ridiculously unlikely storyline and some cringe-worthy parts apart, the David Essex motorcycle in the movie became a cult favorite! The bike was built by Barton using a 750cc two-stroke engine. Interestingly, in order ensure some proper footage for the movie, the 1979 British GP allowed the bike to compete in the 500cc segment. Roger Marshall was tasked with riding the thing through the tracks.
7. The Triumph Thunderbird 6T in The Wild One
The photo of Brando posing in Village People Costume next to the bike is perhaps among the most popular motorcycle photographs in the history of motorcycling. The bike was apparently destroyed after the movie was filmed in 1953.
8. The Billy Bike
Featuring in the Easy Rider, one of the most iconic biker movies ever to be made, the bike was ridden by Billy, the lead character, played by Dennis Hopper. The motorcycle was actually a Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide which formerly did duty with the police, was modified by Ben Hardy and Cliff Vaughs.
9. The Triumph Trophy TR6 in The Great Escape
Casting a 1961 Triumph Trophy TR6 to play the part of a a 1940s German military BMW R75 was a rather poor casting decision. No matter how green paint you apply, the British Triumph never looked like the German BMW. However, thanks to “that” jump scene by Steve McQueen in the movie, the bike became massively popular. After the screening, it apparently went to some farmer who used it to herd cows! Eventually, the bike made its way to collector Dick Shepherd in a restored-to-movie-condition.
10. The Captain America Bike
The bike is based on a 1952 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide police motorcycle. This one too, like the Billy Bike, was heavily modified by Ben Hardy and Cliff Vaughs. Two motorcycles were built for the movie. One got wrecked and burned down during the shooting. The other was one stolen, right after the shooting wrapped up!