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Motorcycle Movies

Updated on August 6, 2014

A List and Review of Some of the Best Motorcycle Movies... and maybe a few not-so-best.

If you're looking for a list Motorcycle Movies and Motorcycle Movie Reviews, you've come to the right place.

Here is an ever-growing list of notable movies of/by/for bikers, including a few words about each. **Warning**: movie reviews may contain spoilers. Let's face it, we don't watch most of these movies for the story line - and Biker Movies aren't known for their surprise endings.

We watch to see our cinematic heroes and the machines that they ride. Of course, the occasional pretty, young passenger doesn't hurt.

image: Easy Rider Movie Poster

Motorcycle Movie - The Wild One
Motorcycle Movie - The Wild One

The Wild One

Where better to start than the one that started it all?

The Wild One is a cheesy 1950s subculture movie, but it's a really well-done cheesy 1950s subculture movie. That alone is worth the price of admission.

A great movie, 5 bikes out of 5.

Motorcycle Movie Rating Key

Great movie, 5 bikes out of 5.

Good movie, 4 bikes out of 5.

Fair movie, 3 bikes out of 5.

Poor movie, 2 bikes out of 5.

Bad movie, 1 bike out of 5.

Motorcycle Movie - Easy Rider
Motorcycle Movie - Easy Rider

Easy Rider

Where The Wild One made people sympathetic toward Bikers, Easy Rider made people want to BE Bikers.

Easy Rider was and is the quintessential Biker Movie for Baby Boomers. It's dated but in no way stale.

A great movie, 5 bikes out of 5.

Best Biker Movies of the 70s

In the early 1970s, filmmakers were cranking out Motorcycle Movies by the dozens - most were pretty bad; some were OK; very few were actually good.

The three Best Biker Movies of the 70s are:

Easy Rider - for the life style

Psychomania - for the bizarre

The Hard Ride - for the Choppers

Motorcycle Movie - Wild Hogs
Motorcycle Movie - Wild Hogs

Wild Hogs

You just don't run across very many good, comedy movies with motorcycles.

I didn't have very high expectations for Wild Hogs. I like my Biker films to be kind of rough-and-tumble - something that these four main characters are not. Not to mention that they're kind of on the back side of their popularity curve. It's not that I don't think an actor can make a come back, it's just that, since this plot seemed so unusual for these actors, I was afraid that they may have become desperate. I was wrong; this is probably my favorite comedy motorcycle film.

Good movie, 4 bikes out of 5.

Motorcycle Movie - Biker Boyz
Motorcycle Movie - Biker Boyz

Biker Boyz

Biker Movies enter the 21st Century.

It was inevitable - just as Import Tuners have largely replaced Detroit Muscle Cars in today's films, it was just a matter of time before Rice Burners moved in on Custom Cruiser Bikes' turf. Biker Boyz has lots of bikes, lots of action, good cinematography... If this is the future of Motorcycle Movies, I'm OK with it.

Great movie, 5 bikes out of 5.

Motorcycle Movie - Ghost Rider
Motorcycle Movie - Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider

There's a flaming skeleton, riding a motorcycle and it stars Nicholas Cage. What could be better, right?

That's what I thought when I saw the preview for Ghost Rider. What I realized as I was watching this film is that it's not really a Motorcycle Movie; it's a comic book Superhero Movie - and as a general rule, I don't like comic book Superhero Movies. Ghost Rider's motorcycle is more like Spiderman's webs than like Batman's Batmobile. Even Superhero Movie fans will agree that there shouldn't have been a sequel.

OK movie, 3 bikes out of 5.

Motorcycle Movies - The Motorcycle Diaries
Motorcycle Movies - The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries

A Motorcycle Movie with English sub-titles.

I enjoyed Motorcycle Diaries more than I thought I would. It definitely doesn't follow the testosterone-pumping pattern of typical U.S. Motorcycle Movies:

- First, it's a bit unsettling for me to see two men sitting so closely together on one motorcycle... on purpose... and it was only a 500cc motorcycle at that. I know, Jack Nicholson sat behind Peter Fonda in Easy Rider, but at least they weren't spooning!

- Second, there is no motorcycle in the second half of this movie.

Just as in Easy Rider, this movie is about a journey of discovery; the motorcycle just makes the trip more fun.

Good movie, 4 bikes out of 5.

Motorcycle Movie - The World's Fastest Indian
Motorcycle Movie - The World's Fastest Indian

The World's Fastest Indian

A 70 year old man, on a 40 year old motorcycle and a shoe-string budget, doing 200 mph on The World's Fastest Indian - and it's a true story!

Great movie, 5 bikes out of 5.

Motorcycle Movie - Beyond the Law
Motorcycle Movie - Beyond the Law

Beyond the Law

A police officer goes under cover to take down an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang from within - and it's a true story!

Beyond the Law has a lot going for it: the whole good-guy-flirting-with-the-dark-side thing, motorcycles, action and the old, less flaky, Charlie Sheen. Hairstyles are a little dated and there are conspicuously few tattoos, but over all this is a pretty realistic-looking movie.

Good movie, 4 bikes out of 5.

Motorcycle Movie - Psychomania
Motorcycle Movie - Psychomania

Psychomania / The Death Wheelers

A Biker Flick, British Horror Movie and Zombie Movie all in one! It's a one-of-a-kind.

Psychomania (1973) is a great movie and should be better known.

The Living Dead, a gang of young motorcyclists, unlock the secret to immortality and, literally, Raise Living Hell in a sleepy little town. Great action, great British and Japanese motorcycles, great story line and a weird cinematic flavor that could only come from a 1970s era film (think Clockwork Orange meets Grind House).

Great movie, 5 bikes out of 5.

Genre:
Horror Movies

Directed by:
Don Sharp

Starring:
Nicky Henson

Mary Larkin

Ann Michelle

Roy Holder

Denis Gilmore

Miles Greenwood

Peter Whitting

Rocky Taylor

John Levene

Beryl Reid

George Sanders

Motorcycle Movie - Priest
Motorcycle Movie - Priest

Priest

Motorcycle-riding, martial-art Priests that battle vampires in a post-apocalyptic, steampunk, spaghetti western setting?... Awesome!

It's like watching "Road Warrior", "the Matrix", "Iron Monk", "the Good the Bad and the Ugly" and the good parts of "Van Helsing" all at the same time.

So, what kind of motorcycles do the Priests of the future ride? Flat black, rechargeable, turbine powered one-offs with nitrous, off course. Yeah, I know, but it is a fantasy movie after all (remember the whole vampire thing?). They look cool - kind of like an engine with handlebars and two 300-series tires tires attached.

I know what it sounds like, but you're just going to have to trust me - Priest is a pretty good movie.

Good movie, 4 bikes out of 5.

Motorcycle Movie Poster - The Hard Ride 1971
Motorcycle Movie Poster - The Hard Ride 1971

The Hard Ride

The Hard Ride is one of the truly great Biker Movies to come out of the 1970s. The story was fresh and the cast was mainstream but the real stars of this movie today are the bikes.

This movie has about 20 of the best looking 70s-era Choppers that you've ever seen, complete with:

  • Candy metallic-flake custom paint
  • King and Queen seats with 6' high sissy bars
  • Up-Sweep Exhausts that are just as high
  • Crazy-long, twisted fork Springer Front Ends
  • 2, sometimes 3, headlights - square of course
If you like looking at Choppers from the 70s, this movie is better than a year's subscription to Easy Rider magazine. The only bad thing is that you can't buy it anywhere.

Great movie, 5 bikes out of 5.

Motorcycle Movie - Motorcycle Movie
Motorcycle Movie - Motorcycle Movie

Motorcycle Gang

So... why am I reviewing this Motorcycle Movie that nobody has ever seen nor heard of? Honestly, three reasons:

  1. because it's been too long since I've updated this post.
  2. because I'm a big Busey fan (usually Gary Busey but Jake Busey will due).
  3. because Carla Gugino has actually become a legitimate actress, despite this role.

Motorcycle Gang isn't really a bad movie, but it was a made-for-TV movie released by Showtime in 1994. In other words, you've never seen, nor heard of it before.

  • The good: Busey kick-starts a Harley V-Twin and smoothly opens a Balisong Knife
  • The bad: the whole, bizarre "Almost-Rape Scenes" where you're not sure if the "virgin really wants it, or not." That kinda' went out in the 1930s.
  • The ugly: The simple truth is that you're probably never going to see this movie unless you have Netflix.
If you don't have Netflix, don't worry about it; your not missing a cinematic masterpiece. If you have Netflix - why not see it?; you've already paid for it.

Wait until your wife's gone to bed, grab your favorite adult beverage and enjoy.

Good movie, 4 bikes out of 5.

Motorcycle Movie - Mask
Motorcycle Movie - Mask

Mask

A movie full of sensitive emotions, big hairy Bikers and... Cher - what does it sound like to you?

Well, despite what it sounds like, Mask is not the Brokeback Mountain of Biker flicks. It is a reasonable blend of biker culture and chic flick. Unfortunately, "reasonable" very often parallels bland.

OK movie, 3 bikes out of 5.

Motorcycle Movie - Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
Motorcycle Movie - Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man

I didn't want to include this movie, but reader demand dictates that I should. Here goes...

This is not a motorcycle movie. This is a movie about two handsome guys playing a game of macho dress up. The story line is a jumble of tired scenes that movie writers turn to when they have no original ideas of their own. The interaction between the characters is awkward - annoyingly so - with pauses in the dialogue that lead me to believe that the actors didn't spend much time working on their lines.

Suggestion to the Hollywood powers that be: STOP MAKING MOVIES WHERE A HELICOPTER WITH MACHINE GUNS SHOOTS UP A SKYSCRAPER IN A MAJOR CITY! Just because it worked once in The Matrix doesn't mean that it will ever work again.

An old friend is having money problems. Harley and Marlboro decide to rob the bank that's causing those money problems. The bank turns out to be a front for a major drug dealing operation. All of Harley's and Marlboro's friends are killed by the drug lord's henchmen. Harley and Marlboro get even, get away and, somehow, everyone that's still alive leaves with a smile on their face.

Poor movie, 2 bikes out of 5.

Genre:
Action Movies

Directed by:
Simon Wincer

Starring:
Mickey Rourke

Don Johnson

Tom Sizemore

Motorcycle Movie - Stone Cold
Motorcycle Movie - Stone Cold

Stone Cold

History has not been good to the mullet. Likewise, Hollywood has not been good to the Boz (or maybe the Boz hasn't been good to Hollywood).

Brian Bosworth was a big name in the 80s and Stone Cold tried to cash in on the name. Unfortunately Bosworth wasn't a great actor and his old performances haven't improved with the passing of time. Still, this movie is not without its fans (there was even a sequel: Cold Stone 2 - Heart of Stone); I'm just not one of them. If you want a cop-infiltrates-biker-gang movie, I suggest Beyond the Law.

Poor movie, 2 bikes out of 5.

On Any Sunday - Motorcycle Movie
On Any Sunday - Motorcycle Movie

On Any Sunday

On Any Sunday is a documentary covering all types of motorcycle racing in the early 70s (back when 650cc was a big engine). While not the typical motorcycle drama, it is fun to watch - especially if you like older bikes. Very reminiscent of The Endless Summer - not surprising once you've realized that Bruce Brown directed both. According to the feedback that I've received from my readers, this is a really popular movie - much more popular than I would've guessed.

OK movie, 3 bikes out of 5.

Genre:
Documentary

Directed by:
Bruce Brown

Starring:
Steve McQueen

and a bunch of Motorcycle Racing Champions from the 70s

The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Runaway Ralph
The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Runaway Ralph

The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Runaway Ralph

Motorcycle Movies for the Kids

Animated movies based on children's books of the same names - rated for ages three through nine but I'd say closer to three than nine. The production quality is low and they're so old (Runaway Ralph stars Ray Walston and a very young Fred Savage), that I just can't imagine these movies successfully competing against anime and modern video games for a nine-year-old's attention. Buy the books instead.

Bad movie, 1 bike out of 5.

Motorcycle Movies from the 60s and 70s

The late 1960s and early 1970s were a great time for Motorcycle Movies - not great movies, but a great time. There were literally dozens of movies released over a 5 year period; most of these were completely unmemorable. They were kind of like Anime is today - hundreds of titles, but few that are actually any good. The movies from this period that I consider worthy of being singled out are reviewed above. To the rest, I give a general...

OK movie, 3 bikes out of 5.

.

Why OK? If you're a nostalgic motorcycle enthusiast, these movies are good enough to see. If you're not into old school, these aren't for you. Most are on Netflix.

The standard 1960s/1970s Motorcycle Gang Movie plot: a gang of bad-guy bikers does something bad to 1 good-guy biker. Then the good-guy biker gets his revenge.

Angels From Hell - 1968

The Glory Stompers - 1968, starring Dennis Hopper

the Peacekillers - 1971

The Hard Ride - 1971

Devil's Angels - 1971

Chrome and Hot Leather -1971

Cycle Savages - 1969

The Miniskirt Mob - 1968

Angel Unchained - 1970

Upcoming Motorcycle Movie Reviews

The Great Escape

Streets of Fire

Torque

City Limits

Mad Max

Hell Ride

Machine Gun Preacher

Biker Videos

Watch some great videos at Biker Squids.

What Should I Add to the Motorcycle Movies List? - What Do You Think About the Movies Already Listed?

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    • profile image

      Anon 3 years ago

      Try freebird, a novel & amusing look in to British biker life

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Motorcycles in movies is a great topic, two of my favorite motorcycle movies are Every Which Way But Loose & Any Which Way You Can, These movies aren't thought of as motorcycle movies but the goofy Black Widows make them both that much better.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      There's a great one you missed with Anthony Daniels called "I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle".

      Cafe racers galore!

      I don't know what it is about motorcycles & priests....

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
      Author

      ToTheBrimm LM 4 years ago

      @bikonic: Nostalgia is one big reason why old-movie lovers love old movies.

      Bela Lugosi makes a pretty un-scary monster by today's standards, yet for many people, he's still the gold-standard that all new Vampire roles are judged against. Likewise, for many, Peter Fonda will always represent the ultimate biker.

    • bikonic profile image

      bikonic 4 years ago

      Ok, I've been a motorcycle guy my entire life. I agree that as far as pop culture significance, Easy Rider is a must watch movie, but can anyone tell me why it's a great movie? Other than the bikes, of course.

      Wild Hogs is just a funny damned movie because it makes fun of both the "weekend warrior" stereotype and the "tough guy 1%er" stereotype, at the same time.

    • JimMcD profile image

      JimMcD 4 years ago

      Found a friend with "beyond the law" and watched it.

      It was actually a pretty fair movie, glad I saw it on this list and decided to try to find it

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 5 years ago

      Easy rider was the best. I remember seeing it back in the theater. I has a poster of Fonda's bike in my room as a teenager.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: But still I Like easy rider.

      http://www.celebswear.com/products/Easy-Rider-Leat...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Good list like your commentaries how bout checking out some Steve Mcqueen stuff.

      The Great Escape

      Steve Mcqueen

    • MillBucks profile image

      MillBucks 5 years ago

      I have to say that I enjoyed Wild Hogs very much but there's nothing like the classic Easy Rider.

    • profile image

      daniel1956 5 years ago

      For Me - Easy Rider Is the Best

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      I've seen a few of these movies and found some on your list I will make time to see. I really enjoyed The World's Fastest Indian and The Motorcycle Diaries. Wild Hogs had its moments. Need to see a few more of the classics. Thanks for providing some options here.

    • sue826 lm profile image

      sue826 lm 5 years ago

      You have a couple listed I've never heard of - gotta check them out - thanks for the helpful lens.

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 6 years ago

      I like your selection of motorcycle movies!

    • squidshe profile image

      squidshe 6 years ago

      Loved Wildhogs, I must've seen it at least 5 times.

    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 6 years ago

      great movie list.. :)

    • youthministry profile image

      Paul Turner 6 years ago from Birmingham, Al.

      You could add the movie Torque, it's a terrible movie but heck, you have Stone Cold up here. Oh, maybe add a poll where we could vote :)

    • GypsyPirate LM profile image

      GypsyPirate LM 6 years ago

      Well, since I am a Don Johnson fan, I would have to say "Harley Davidson and The Marlboro Man". Decidedly not an Oscar winning movie, but as I said, I'm a Don Johnson fan. :) And I see you have "The Mouse & The Motorcycle" already on your upcoming list. so I won't mention that one.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I know there's a lot of them out there but can't think of them right now, you probably have the best here. Nice jog on your reviews and I love the cycles.