The Brain Bucket

The Best Motorcycle Movies: Are They Keeping it Real?

Apr 27, 2019 3:00:00 PM / by Jo Kelley

9 Motorcycle Movies That Set My Teeth on Edge

I’m a reasonable person; I know when to let a few things slide. And I’m okay with breaking the rules occasionally. But there are some things I cannot, in good conscience, ignore.

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In particular, when I watch motorcycle films, I try not to focus on the “Could this really happen?” factor and enjoy the brief respite from reality. But, every now and then, I get caught up in the logistics of a scene. It’s to the point that some of my friends refuse to watch motorcycle movies with me.

In my defense, I’m just doing my due diligence as a responsible biker pointing these blunders out. In fact, let’s take a quick look at some of the best biker movies to date. I’ll show you which mistakes I see and let you decide for yourself whether I’m being a conscientious observer or an insufferable worry wart.

I’m going to list these in the order of ‘least cringe-worthy’ to ‘most cringe-worthy,’ starting with the ever-popular, and oh-so charming,

9) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

There are two scenes in this beloved RomCom that make me crazy. The first is Ben’s riding lesson with Andy. It’s very sweet, but I’m not sure the boardwalk is the most practical (or safest) place to practice. Not to mention, with the exception of Andy’s helmet, neither of them is dressed for the ride!

A little later, the duo is engaged in a “romantic” motorcycle chase across the Brooklyn Bridge. While it isn’t the most dangerous chase I’ve seen, c’mon Ben: “Are you trying to get yourself killed??” Great question, Andy.



Video Source: SweetInnocence YouTube

8) Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade

I love me a little Harrison Ford as much as the next person, but every once in awhile I catch myself barking at the TV screen, “Why, Indiana, WHY??” Specifically, when Indy and his father (Sean Connery) are in the midst of fleeing German soldiers, Indy uproots a flagpole and tilts it in the direction of his pursuers like a knight out of hell. I’d hate to be the recipient of a splinter from one of those things, yeesh.

Seriously, this man has as much a knack for getting himself out of precarious situations as he does for getting himself into them. Oh, Indy.



Video Source: Movieclips YouTube

7) The Great Escape

Far be it from me to deprive this film of its ‘best motorcycle movie’ status, but there are just some things I can’t bear to see, even from motorcycle legends like Steve McQueen. When McQueen is racing a 1961 Triumph TR6 Trophy through an unpaved field to escape a German prison during World War II, I was praying his front wheel wouldn’t get caught in something like a critter hole and send him cascading forward.

As for jumping that barbed wire fence completely unprotected? Let’s just say a cold shower was in order after witnessing that gem.



Video Source: Cloud9bikes YouTube

6) TRON: Legacy

If not for the acting, this motorcycle movie deserves a shoutout (and some light reprimanding, perhaps) for its butt-puckering high-speed chase scene. In it, the studly protagonist Sam Flynn decides to outmaneuver a cop who caught him speeding. He steers his bike into the unrelenting path of a semi, dodging death (and a pricey speeding ticket, mind you) by the skin of his teeth.

My forehead is beading just thinking about it.   



Video Source: Tufan VARDAR YouTube


5) The Matrix Reloaded

As motorcycle films go, The Matrix Reloaded offers audiences some pretty compelling (albeit unrealistic) riding feats. Most notable, perhaps, is Trinity’s scene with the elderly Keymaker, when the pair tries to escape Merovingian's Twins and three Agents on a Ducati in prime-time traffic. I wasn’t sure which part was most concerning, though: The lack of helmets? Or Trinity’s decision to whip the bike around and ride against traffic.

Don’t even get me started on her latex suit. Sexy? For sure. ATGATT-approved? Not a chance.



Video Source: bulletproof YouTube


4) Terminator 2: Judgement Day

I think what makes this motorcycle movie such a difficult pill to swallow is the fact that a minor is involved. Sure, little John Conner might be able to hold his own on a dirt bike, but is that thing even street legal? It certainly isn’t equipped to be jumping concrete overpasses.

Daredevil or not, Johnny Boy wouldn’t be much use to civilization as a piece of road meat now would he, Mr. Terminator? “I’ll be back”? More like “He’ll be flat.



Video Source: Joe Ginetto YouTube


3) Skyfall

Two words: reckless riding. Skyfall ranks pretty high on my list for this reason, especially when secret agent James Bond, suit-clad and perched atop a motorbike, chases an assailant through a crowded Istanbul marketplace, putting several pedestrians’ lives at risk. Mr. Bond, for the love of motorcycle-safety followers everywhere, get the heck outta that stairwell!

As for 007’s assailant, let’s just say he must be one of those ‘I had to lay ‘er down’ types...



Video Source: TheSupererogatoryGuy

2) Captain America: Civil War

Okay, this is a superhero movie, right? So I should just sit back, accept the improbable, and keep my mouth shut. Ignore the incredibly dangerous chase scene through the street tunnel, close my eyes when Bucky swipes a moving rider’s bike out from under him, and slap one hand firmly over my yapper when Black Panther slashes Bucky’s back tire to thwart his escape.

Tried. Can’t. Bucky, you may have a bionic arm, but your head is still tender FLESH.   



Video Source: #MARVELS fight YouTube

1) Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

When stakes are high in motorcycle movies, do the protagonists have time to dress properly for the ride? Probably not. Still, Ethan Hunt might as well have been riding stark naked for all the good his button-down shirt and denim jeans were doing while he was pursuing the Syndicate through some gnarly twisties. I know how tempting those roads look, guys, but riding unprotected has got to be THE most foolish thing I’ve ever seen!

And since when did the bad guys become rule-followers? Because their motorcycle gear is putting Mr. Hunt’s to shame.



Video Source: Movieclips YouTube

Anything in these clips set your teeth on edge that I left out? Let me know in a comment! 


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Topics: Articles, Motorcycles, The Brain Bucket

Jo Kelley

Written by Jo Kelley

I cover the history of motorcycles, motorcycle news, and tell the stories of some of the most popular brands.