For me, the emotions and feelings that a motorcycle delivers are quite evocative. And if one is able to transcend the said emotions on reel, I am truly gaga over them. While we have had some horrendous movies where motorcycling is the central theme (which is a post for a later date), we are fortunate to have some great ones as well. Obviously, movies are subjective, but I can guarantee that you will have fun watching these flicks.
1. WHY WE RIDE –Walking West Entertainment and Gnarlynow Entertainment
No motorcycling film has managed to quite capture the essence of any and every form of motorcycling quite like “Why We Ride” has. In the 89 minutes of run time, director Bryan H Caroll has delivered a documentary like none other. Although a majority of the film focuses on the American motorcycling scenario, the ethos can be drawn to any and every part of the world. Plus there are some great insights as well as untold stories like the creation of the Daytona 200 race, a ‘Why We Ride’ featuring bikers across the spectrum and much more. From King Kenny Roberts, multiple times 500cc champion, to Keith Code of the hallowed California Superbike School, and even the current crop of AMA SX riders, everyone gets their due in the movie.
2. HITTING THE APEX – The First Movie Company LLC
This one is for the die-hard MotoGP fanatics. The movie covers the life of six MotoGP riders in the paddock as it picks up from its prequel – “Fastest”. The main protagonists of the movie are Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez and the late Marco Simoncelli. In the documentary, these ‘superhumans’ and their family members share the experiences they’ve had over the course of the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Hitting the Apex also narrates the rise of Marc Marquez as well as the untimely death of Simoncelli. It puts things in a perspective as to how these warriors are not invincible as they may seem, but their legacy definitely continues forever. The team of Mark Neale, MotoGP commentator, and Brad Pitt have taken the franchise to another level as they make use of the vast video bank of Dorna while Pitt’s voiceover manages to bring out the purest of emotions.
3. ON ANY SUNDAY – Solar Productions
Another documentary set in the United States of America, On Any Sunday came out at a time when motorcyclists were considered social outcasts and biking was given a bad name. But as the movie reached the corners of the USA, it became one of the reasons why people aspired to ride motorcycles. And to top that, legendary actor and racer Steve McQueen played a huge part in the movie, as he was a part of the racing community back in 1971, while producing the film. On Any Sunday was also one of the first to use helmet mounted camera-shots by making use of the production spec cameras of that era and not the GoPros that we so enjoy taking footage with. While the riders were made to ride with bulky equipment and tackle obstacles with them, some of the footage recorded still puts many of the current ones to shame.
4. ROAD – Double-Band Films
There never has been and never will be another Joey Dunlop. The man was one of the Isle of Man TT’s Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T.) with 26 wins, a record that still stands to this date. Road portrays the careers of the two Dunlop brothers Joey and Robert, as well as the latter’s two sons, William and current lap record holder of the course – Michael.
The famed TT is known for its unforgiving nature with a certainty of at least a single death of a brave-heart taking place over the course of the event. Both Joey and Robert were taken away from us in tragic accidents with the former being involved in a 125cc pile-up in a race in Estonia with his brother dying on a small-displacement motorcycle during the practice session of the North West 200. His son Michael went on to win that race, dedicating it to his father. Michael now has 13 wins to his name. With four of them being won in 2013, he earned the Joey Dunlop TT Championship Trophy that year.
This movie is a must-watch as fans of the Isle will be treated to another movie in the coming year, tracing the roots of Joey Dunlop himself.
5. THE WORLD’S FASTEST INDIAN – OLC/Rights Entertainment
Based on the grit and determination of a man whose sole aim was to set the fastest land speed record aboard his 1920 Indian. Anthony Hopkins plays the role of Burt Munro as we get to travel along with him on his journey from Invercagill, New Zealand to the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. Playing the eccentric old Burt, Hopkins delivers a masterclass as motorcyclists were left spellbound by the story of this man who, despite his heart disease, was allowed to hit the salt flats on a motorcycle with makeshift tyres, no brakes and no chute. Munro’s children were left teary eyed after having seen the final cut of the flick, but we are sure it’ll leave you reaching for the tissues as well.
Think we missed out on any great movies? Tell us your favourite biker flicks and we’ll be happy to add them.
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