Pop some corn and settle in for some action, drama and insight into the world of motorcycling with these motorcycle movies; specially curated to tackle the CoronaVirus lockdown.
Our sister magazine, Car India, also prepared a similar list for its readers and followers to help them cope with the CoronaVirus lockdown. Unfortunately, unlike car movies, the number of mainstream motorcycle films is painfully limited and some are quite hard to source in today’s high-definition viewing standards. Film-makers reading this please take note of this unexplored niche and pump your millions into making more motorcycle-based stories for the silver screen. As for the rest of you, gear up to wade through this chronologically-arranged list of some epic (well, most of them anyway) motorcycle movies.
Easy Rider (1969)
Certainly the oldest movie here, we begin the CoronaVirus lockdown list with Easy Rider. It is all about the life of two easy-going motorcyclists, Wyatt and Billy. The duo pull off a successful assignment which rewards them with a large sum of money. From there on, the film is all about their adventures on the road and the people they meet. The ending may not be what you expect but we will leave that for you to figure out. Also a big plus for you if you like choppers.
Mad Max (1979)
Mel Gibson plays Mad Max, a cop who is driven to madness fuelled by pure rage over the tragedy that a motorcycle gang wreaked on his family. Yes, it seems that motorcycles and its riders are the bad guys in this one..hmm. Let’s not dwell on that. The interesting bit is that until a month ago, Mad Max’s dystopian setting may have been far-fetched. Now, thanks to the CoronaVirus lockdown, you will realize that reality may just be rolling unchecked towards a similar apocalyptic setting thanks to a virus. On that scary note, do your bit for the country. Be a hero. Stay at home, watch the rest of these movies and steer our lives away from the impending Mad Max theme.
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
Ever heard of Ernesto Guevara? You may certainly have heard of Che Guevara, I mean at least as a face on a t-shirt. The Motorcycle Diaries is a biopic that is based on Guevara’s motorcycle trip through Latin America. A trip, he says, that transformed him into a man and helped him find his true calling. This is certainly a must-watch during the CoronaVirus lockdown because if Guevara piques your interest, you certainly have enough time on hand to research and learn about his life and activities.
Torque may not be film-making at its finest or fighting for Academy awards but it is a movie that is based on motorcycles. Since those are in short supply, Torque is a must-watch. Even if the storyline and acting do not sway you, the motorcycle sequences certainly will. My favourite part is when the protagonist breaks out the MTT Y2K Turbine Motorcycle or the ‘Y2K Turbine Superbike’ as it is popularly known. Oh yeah, powered by a jet turbine that revved to over 50,000 rpm… That would be one interesting motorcycle to road test! Must add that to our list of things to do after the CoronaVirus lockdown.
The World’s Fastest Indian (2005)
Now here is a movie that will remind you why it is important to dream and persist on achieving them. No need for the patriot glasses yet because the Indian in this movie is a motorcycle, a 1920 Scout, to be precise. Based on a true story, this movie unfolds the life and adventures of New Zealand racer, Burt Munro. After conquering Australia and New Zealand, Munro finally saves up enough money to go set a timed run at the Bonneville Salt Flats; at an age when most people already begin thinking about what kind of harp and wings they will choose when the reach the pearly gates, mind you. Despite all odds, Munro and his Indian Scout make it to the flats and…go on, watch the movie to find out. Similar perseverance is, perhaps, what we also need during this CoronaVirus lockdown.
TT3D: Closer to the Edge (2011)
If you haven’t guessed already, this is a brilliant documentary about the Isle of Man TT that is held annually. Due to the CoronaVirus lockdown, this year’s TT has been cancelled. So make up for it with this epic documentary where Jared Leto narrates the events leading up to the 2010 races and the races themselves. Fast-paced footage, near misses and TT stars will enliven your day and induce new respect for these men who seem mortal but are certainly beyond the thin fabric of reality.
Miss MotoGP 2020 due to the CoronaVirus lockdown? We do too but while we have to wait this one out, there is no reason why we cannot take a ride on the roller-coaster that was the 2010 season. Fastest is a documentary that follows the events of the 2010 season with special focus on the stars of the paddock back then, highlighting crucial moments in the title fight and what may have been a turning point in Valentino Rossi’s career. If you liked it, remember to check out Faster as well.
Hitting the Apex (2015)
If you enjoyed Fastest, then this should be high up on your list. Voiced by Brad Pitt, this one focuses only on six riders, their battles, their highs and lows. The six on the list are Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Marco Simoncelli and Marc Marquez. Prepare for a whirlwind of action and drama when you settle down for this one. If this has got the MotoGP fire going, remember many old races are now available for free on YouTube and MotoGP’s official website should you choose to spend your CoronaVirus lockdown by speeding down this avenue. You’re welcome.
Cops, corrupt cops, heists and most importantly, motorcycles, are the ingredients to this movie. While some may not enjoy the tried-and-tested script or screenplay, Baker’s antics on the motorcycle are sure to make up for it. Ducati Hypermotards are always fun to watch, aren’t they? This should take a couple of hours off your CoronaVirus lockdown.
With that, we have reached the end of this list. Of course, we do realise that this is not going to last the length of the CoronaVirus lockdown, so we have a few special mentions also. Movies that are not motorcycle-based per se but do have memorable motorcycle sequences. Take Terminator 2: Judgement Day, for example, the “terminator” Arnie shows up on a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy to save John Connor as the latter tries to evade another terminator (the T-1000) on his dirt bike. Certainly gave the Fat Boy a cult following after a certain high-flying scene. Similarly, most Mission: Impossible movies also have some radical motorcycle chases, as do the new batch of James Bond movies. While you are at it, check out Nolan’s Batman movies as well.
One thing is for certain, all these movies are certainly going to get the adrenaline flowing and will have you itching to ride. While we understand your predicament, we strictly advise you stay indoors until the pandemic passes and further emphasize on the importance of proper riding gear when you do get a chance to ride. After all, not all of us are terminators like ol’ Arnie. Or did terminators from the future arrive and spread COVID-19 to take out multiple targets? Whoa!
Story: Joshua Varghese