I am an ordinary guy who enjoys riding motorcycles. I love riding all makes and models. I love short rides, long rides, and multi-day road trips. I post reviews about motorcycle gear, motorcycles, roads, restaurants, sights, gadgets and more. The Motorcycle Facts,Trivia and History page has a lot of good info. Be safe and enjoy the ride, Oz.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Seven Best Motorcycle Movies - a nonprofessional critic's list

Motorcycle Entertainment

I enjoy a good motorcycle related movie or documentary.  I am NOT talking about shows that include motorcycles in it but isn't about motorcycling i.e. Mission: Impossible-Fallout or CHIPS.  

I have watched quite a few, but by no means all of them.  Upon reflection I probably have not watched even a majority of the possible motorcycle movies and/or documentaries, but I have seen enough to make my "Best Motorcycle Movies" list.

With the greatly scaled back social life due to restrictions and respect for health concerns of others I had addition time to watch more shows, movies and documentaries, exceeding my yearly average.  There are some I had seen before and I watched again because I enjoyed them and of course many I had not seen.  The older documentaries have a difficult time living up to the newer one in production and visual quality.

Types of motorcycle movies

I watched movies that were "based on a true story" as well as straight fiction movies.  Documentaries recorded "as it happened" and historic documentaries were part of my viewing catalog. Sometimes the subject of the show was a rider, an event, a brand. a racing season or fictitious characters.  Each one had its own positives and negatives, although some had a lot of negatives :)

I enjoyed the variety of purposes of the movies/documentaries.  Sometimes just entertainment was the focus of the show, other times education was the focus and some seem to have a combination of purposes.

My list of favorite motorcycle related movies and/or documentaries may surprise you, either by the inclusion or exclusion of certain movies.  There is at least two motorcycle movies that are considered classics, and they are classics, but are not shows I want to watch again, so I did not include them on my "Best Motorcycle Movies" list.  In the comments you can let me know if notice which movies are missing and share some of your favorites with us.

My List of the Best Motorcycle Movies

Here is my list of seven motorcycle movies and documentaries I would recommend and I would watch again:

Out of Nothing - Released in 2014 this documentary follows four determined men on their journey to build a land speed record setting motorcycle and to run it at the Bonneville Salt Flats.  We get insights into their motivation, thought process and depth of relationships.  We get to see their runs on the salt, both the good and the bad.  It is a fun movie and has raised my interest in goin to Bonneville even more.      1hr 33min.  -  Trailer                    

Wild Hogs - This 2007 movie uses stereotypes and misinformation to tell an outrageous and, at times, totally unrealistic tale of four friends' cross-country motorcycle trip.  I know it does not help the "motorcycle image" but it is funny.  Not cerebrally funny, more like slap-stick funny.  I mean how else would we have learn about the fun game of "Slap the Bull?"   The underlying truth of  how fun and refreshing a long trip with friends can be is something riders understand.  It also seem each riding group I know has a "Dudley" in the group.   2hr 32min  Trailer    

Harley and the Davidsons is a 2016 three episode miniseries based on the true story of the beginning Harley Davidson motorcycles.  Great action shots of motorcycle races and quality time-period setting.  The docudrama chronicles some of the early advancements and challenges that were face.  There are some obvious Hollywood speculation and dramatization, but the series is solid and well worth the time.  4hrs 6min Trailer   

Fastest - Even if you are not a motorcycle racing fan the 2011 MotoGP documentary is exciting and enlightening.  Watching riders hit 200mph and take hairpin corners at amazing speeds, sliding the rear end and/or raising the front wheel all within inches of each other is a testament to riders' abilities and the machines' amazing performance.  All the riders compete trying to win the world championshipe and be the fastest.   1hr 50min  Trailer

Hitting the Apex - This is another great film from the world of street bike racing. The documentary highlights six MotoGP riders during the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons.  It shows the intensity, the talent and the tragedy of the three seasons.  Watching these men ride $1,000,000  machines at breathtaking speeds is intense 2015.  You don't have to love racing to enjoy this movie.      2hr 19min  Trailer    

World's Fastest Indian - Based on a true story with some Hollywood flair and great acting by Anthony Hopkins, this show is great!  The adventure of New Zealander Burt Munro's journey to Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats is both entertaining and heartwarming.  Burt's dream of setting a land speed record on his 1920 Indian motorcycle drives him to come to American for a opportunity for rewrite the record books.  This is a fun and family friendly movie.   2006   2hr 7min  Trailer     

Why we Ride - Released in 2013 Why We Ride is more than just a documentary.  It comes as close to explaining to a non-rider why riders ride.   The thrill, challenges, adventures and joy of riding is told by professional racers, builders, and everyday riders providing the audience with insights to the passion and love of motorcyclists worldwide.  When you are asked "why do you risk so much and ride a motorycle?" have that person watch this movie.    1hr 29min  Trailer  

I realize my taste in movies is different than a lot of riders and your Best Motorcycle Movies list is probably different.  I love motorcycle movies and I realize I have a lot more to watch and then my list will probably change. 

I hope you will leave a comment and share your favorite motorcycle movies.  I am always looking for something to good to watch that isn't Hollywood glam and propaganda or politically charged nonsense.  

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