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Jamie Gibbs

11 films any self-respecting biker should have watched

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To satisfy your hunger for epic bike chases and magnificent machines, put these flicks on your ‘must watch’ list now.

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What first made you want a motorbike? The iconic photo of James Dean posing with his? The outlaw appeal of The Hell’s Angels? Films have played a large part in shaping the cool image of bikers over the past few decades.

Here are some of the most exhilarating.

1. Easy Rider

easy rider

The first film that usually pops into people’s minds when they think of an iconic biker film, this tale of two hippies road-tripping across America has it all:

huge choppers, incredible scenery and some of the biggest names in cinema – Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson.

Nicholson also played a motorcycle-loving outsider in Hell’s Angels on Wheels (1967), one of his first appearances on film.

2. Terminator 2

terminator 2

The ultimate motorbike chase scene? It’s up against tough competition, but we think "Arnie" nails this one.

From shotguns to the most inconceivable airborne leap, there’s plenty here for envious daydreaming.

3. James Bond (various)

James bond

What would Jimmy B be without a classic motorcycle chase?

It’s hard to pick a favourite between the ones from For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, Never Say Never Again and Tomorrow Never Dies…

But if we’re going for adrenaline levels, it has to be Daniel Craig zooming through the souks and rooftops of Istanbul in Skyfall. Go get ‘em, James!

4. Stone

Stone

One for the more nostalgic among you – this lesser-known Australian cult film tells the tale of an undercover cop trying to find out who’s assassinating members of a local motorcycle club.

5. Why We Ride

why we ride

If you’re in the mood for something more factual, check out this 2013 documentary on the culture of motorcycling in the US.

If you’re not aching for a long old road trip before you watch this, you certainly will be afterwards.

Other good biker docs include Closer to the Edge (2011) and Dust to Glory (2005).

6. The Great Escape

the great escape

Not just one of the most iconic motorcycle scenes ever, but one of the most iconic movie scenes, full stop.

Steve McQueen’s escape from the Nazis on his trusty Triumph T60 has got to be one of the most popular chases ever committed to film.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has its own tribute where Indie rescues his dad from the clutches of the Nazis (complete with sidecar) – not quite as seminal, but still good fun.

7. On Any Sunday

on any sunday

Possibly responsible for creating more motorbike aficionados than any other film of the generation, this documentary delves into the question of why people are so obsessed with motorcycle racing.

It also manages to get into a lot deeper into the psyche of those who live for their bikes.

8. The Motorcycle Diaries

motorcycle diaries

We came for the story of a young Che Guevara, we stayed for the gorgeous scenery and bike envy. Road-tripping across South America with his best buddy, Che encounters the highs of lows of the continent which then went on to influence his politics.

It’s one of the most beautifully-shot road films out there.

9. The Matrix Reloaded

the matrix reloaded

From a rustic buddy movie to a frenzy of special effects – the motorcycle scenes in this film may not be the most true to life, but they’re as exciting as hell. One for a high-octane, fantasy bike-chase film night.

Also see Tron and The Dark Knight Rises if dystopian bike porn is your thing.

10. Akira

akira

If you’re asked to think of animation and motorbikes, our guess is you’d go for Ghost Rider… But we reckon Akira has that bit more adrenaline and pace, which gets across the exhilaration of riding.

Plus, how cool is his bike?

11. Mission Impossible II

mission impossible 2

Explosions, helicopter gunfire and some serious manoeuvres mean this film boasts one of the tensest bike scenes we can think of.

It’s even tenser than the pursuit in Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave – and that’s saying something. Tom Cruise even manages to keep his sunglasses on throughout… What a badass.

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