Coolest Motorcycle Riders In Movies Or TV

By Kurt Santas

Motorbikes and bikers are one of the quintessential icons of Hollywood movies and have captured the imagination of movie goers and directors alike from the teen gangs of the 50s to the free spirits of the 60s and of course the Hell's Angels growing throughout the 60s and 70s. American cinema has always been fascinated with coolest motorcycle riders in movies or TV as loners in the mold of cowboys or as terrorists in the mold of Indians.

The first awesome guy on a bike, and many still say the unchallenged leader of the pack, is Marlon Brando in the seminal movie 'The Wild One'. In the film Brando and his gang ride their bikes into a town where they come up against a mean sheriff who has it in for the rebellious young punks after Brando defiles his daughter. As the drama plays out the audience is left in wonder at the sheer coolness oozing out of the screen.

Cool bikers don't have to be clean and tough though, a double act with designs on Brando's crown came along in the two Easy Riders Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in the 1967 classic Easy Rider where they play two filthy hippies travelling across America on massive motorbikes carrying not only drugs in their gas tanks, but the idealism and freedom of the rainbow generation. They die at the end.

The 70s saw the role of bikers in movies change, rather than peaceful warriors they more and more became menacing gangs. Although this role had always existed, the 70s love of movie excess saw bike gangs become more and more dangerous. This represented a turning point in America in many ways as old social mores began to disappear.

The ultimate movie about dangerous biker gangs would probably be Mad Max 2. The first Mad Max had depicted a future world where society had broken down and murderous biker gangs terrorized the countryside. Mad Max 2 ran with this and staged a full on war between a massive biker gang and a makeshift army of survivors. The bikers were a kind of tribal gang of killers.

Che Guevara the Argentinian revolutionary deserves inclusion in this list for the excellent adaptation of his autobiographical novel 'The Motorcycle Diaries'. His travels with his friend around South America before his conversion into Marxist Guerilla both in his book and the recent film are not only thought provoking and enlightening, but also incredibly cool.

The overall winner though has to be Marianne Faithful in the equally controversial and ridiculous art movie Girl on a Motorcycle where the star escapes from the eve of a wedding that she does not want to ride a powerful motorcycle around the highways of Europe while fantasizing about steamy sex scenes and wearing nothing but a leather jumpsuit. If you don't know why that is cool, no one can tell you.

The biggest problem when deciding on the coolest motorcycle riders in movies or TV is the fact that there are so many. Popular culture is loaded with cool people riding motorbikes and there is probably a book with all of them in, this is just the tip of the iceberg that you are seeing right here.

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