Top 10 Awesomest Movie Motorbikes

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Some characters are iconic. Some actors are legendary. Some films are classic. And some motorbikes are masterpieces. Occasionally, all these factors come together to form cinematic magic that help define the film, and, sometimes, the pop cultural zeitgeist. But which are the best movie motorbikes? Who are the silver screen stand outs? From virtual vehicles and ingenious inventions to real world rides you can buy today, here are the top ten bikes in film history.


1. The Batpod (The Dark Knight, 2008)

When Bruce Wayne reappeared for the follow-up to Batman Begins, he brought some new toys. Among his gorgeous gadgets was the Batpod – a chunky beast of a bike, incorporating 20” tyres and armed with grappling hooks, cannons and machine guns. Ridden by an infamous comic superhero, it’s a top contender for the coolest ever bike created for a movie. Reappearing in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, the Batpod would be an amazing real-life ride; traffic jams would be a thing of the past – although road rage could get devastating.


2. Harley-Davidson (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, 1992)

When Arnie returned for a Terminator sequel in the early 90s, he needed your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle. Specifically, he wanted a 1990 Harley-Davidson FLSTF. Thematically, the biker identity works well: the terminator is an anti-establishment figure. An outsider. A rock star. And sitting atop the purring engine of the Harley, Schwarzenegger is almost too cool for school. Along with the shades, the leathers and the shotgun, the Harley-Davidson has become synonymous with one of cinema’s most memorable characters.


3. The Power Bike (Akira, 1988)

Akira is one of the most celebrated anime exports of all time, and the slick red modified motorcycle ridden by central character Kaneda is central to the look and feel of the whole film. Set in a surreal dystopian future, the red bike is a symbol of status and power, and coveted by one of the story’s other main character’s – Tetsuo. The film and its red mechanical star have achieved cult status among film geeks, and a fan-made replica of Kaneda’s amazing bike has even made it onto the road.


4. Triumph Thunderbird (The Wild One, 1953)

Marlon Brando’s gang leader Johnny is the star of the show in The Wild One. Well, he is the wild one; rebelling against anything and everything established society throws in his way. While Brando’s 6500cc Thunderbird isn’t the most visually stunning bike on this list, the sight of Brando sitting atop it is a classic cinematic image. Incredibly, this film was banned for 14 years in the UK. But while the violence in the film seems timid today, the shots of Brando as a rebellious biker still resonate.


5. Tron Light Cycle (Tron, 1982)

Tron has an aesthetic style and feel that is unlike anything else in the history of film. Simultaneously naff and cool, Jeff Bridges’ adventures literally inside the digital game world (as imagined by Disney in the early 1980s) provided cinematic visuals and excitement that still look awesome today. The star of the show is Bridges’ Light Cycle bike, a fluorescent and super sleek ride used to compete in death races. From a film geek perspective, the Light Cycle is up there with the Batpod in the battle for über cool points.


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