Some of the Coolest Motorcycles Ever Made
There are thousands of makes and models of motorcycles out there these days. From sky-scraping handlebar choppers to sleek and speedy sport bikes, there’s no end to the variety and artistry available in these two-wheeled wonders. But from within the mountains of machines throughout history, which are truly the coolest? Here’s our list of favorites. From classic-cool to mind-bending futuristic creations, we’ve collected a range of cool bikes that we feel pretty much sums it all up.
2008 Honda CRF450R
Let’s start with a couple of bikes specific to niche groups who have built entire lifestyles around their vehicles. First, the motocross crowd: We’d be shooting ourselves in the foot if we didn’t pay homage to this dirt-breathing, risk-taking, ramp-jumping community. And amidst the roar and hum of the motocross track we’ve heard plenty of cheers for the Honda CRF450R as one of the best dirt bikes ever made. The last Honda 450 to have a carburetor, there were more 2007 units of this bike made — more than any other model in Honda’s track record up until that point. The 2008 model was a step up, and the 2009 a step back. Many claim the 2008 is still the best dirt bike ever created.
Another incredible motorcycle for a rare breed of velocity-junkies: the superbike. You won’t want to take one of these super-charged machines out on your regular neighborhood errands, but if you are looking for a racing career they’ll be the perfect fit. Motorcycles competing in MotoGP racing are like the Formula 1 vehicles of the motorcycle world, and some of these bikes can get up to around 250 mph. Ross and Ralph Hannan were the first to introduce the superbike in the 70’s, and from there were born several world-class professional motorcycle racing series. But before you quit your day job, just remember some superbike races can last as long as 24 hours.
Ducati Panigale 1199
If you don’t belong to the motocross or superbike racing world, you may be interested in something a little more accustomed to everyday streets. This bike doesn’t need dirt-ramp tricks or a race track to turn heads (though it wouldn’t be out of place on the latter). The Ducati Panigale 1199 is like the Ferrari of a motorcycle lover’s dreams. Introduced at the 2011 Milan Motorcycle show, it has an impressive 1,198 cc engine and can reach a top speed of 177.6 mph. Named after the town of Borgo Panigale, its Italian heritage is forged into every part of its muscular makeup.
But come on now, we are talking about the coolest motorcycles ever, not just those you see on a track, or that you drool over as they pass you by on your drive to Gramma’s house. This next bike has graced the big screen in one of the most famous action movie series of all time:_ Mission: Impossible_. (_Mission: Impossible – Fallout_ to be exact.) And the bike is the BMW R nineT. Our pulses raced as we watched Tom Cruise finally spark this beast to life and launch into a high speed chase through European streets. Weaving in and out of congested roads and even evading a police vehicle barricade, the BMW R nineT almost stole the show from the longtime film star.
Harley Davidson Softail Slim
We have to squeeze a classic looking bike into our list. Classic, yet anything but ordinary, the 2012 Harley Davidson Softail Slim even scored a highlight role in The Avengers movies. The Slim first emerged as Harley’s most minimal Softail in 2012, and has become a staple in the motorcycle community. Cruisers are one of the most common styles of bikes you’ll see on the road, and this one continues to draw a crowd of motorcycle enthusiasts, as well as movie-goers who want to see it in their favorite films.
Harley-Davidson Street 750
Continuing on the Harley theme, you can probably recall the Softail Slim’s sleek younger cousin that carried one of our favorite heroes out of harm’s way countless times. Captain America never looked better than when he rode the back of his Harley-Davidson Street 750.
It’s Harley’s first lightweight rider since 1974, has a 60-degree SOHC, 749cc water-cooled V-twin engine, and 53 horsepower. We all know Harley-Davidson is an American institution as well as a true icon in the motorcycle world; it’s one of only a couple of motorcycle companies to survive the ravages of the Great Depression. If you keep that in mind, it is certainly fitting that the hero best known for his American patriotism would fly on the wings of a Harley-Davidson machine.
Ducati Scrambler 1100
On the slightly darker side of the hero world you’ll find the Ducati Scrambler, which kept our eyes glued to the screen in the edgy, action-packed Venom movie, and Tom Hardy was the perfect pilot for this thrill ride. The Ducati Scrambler was first introduced in 2015, but Ducati has taken the earlier versions of this bike and added extra size and power to the already beautiful styling. The retro headlamp lights the way for our hero in the Venom movie, while the chrome and gold accents make its breathtaking exterior truly stand out.
Harley Davidson Live Wire
While Tom Hardy may have been mesmerizing the female population on his rugged Scrambler, Scarlett Johansson was lending her perfect curves to the sexy Harley-Davidson Live Wire in _Age of Ultron_ as the Black Widow. If you haven’t seen that movie yet, you’re missing out. The Beauty and the Live-Wire-Beast almost seem like one stunning organism as they race through the Avengers timeline. The Live Wire’s display of sleek and purely electrical power was a heck of a commercial for the not-yet-launched new addition to the Harley-Davidson fleet. The Live Wire is Harley-Davidson’s first all-electric bike, and has just had its official release as part of Harley’s 2020 model lineup. And don’t let the “all-electric” phrase fool you. This baby will still get you from 0 to 60 in just 3 seconds.
One of the coolest and most…imaginative…bikes of all time was ridden by Nick Cage. You may have guessed it: it’s the Ghost Rider bike. There may have been more detail put into this ghastly art piece than most sculptures in Rome. The front of the motorcycle features a massive protruding skull (wouldn’t want to see that charging toward you on the street…or in your nightmares) and the rest of the bike has an equally chilling, skeletal essence. Bony fingers reach up from the engine and the back has a jagged spine that looks more dinosaur than human. This movie artifact weighs over 500 lbs and is eleven feet long. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about seeing it on the road with the Grim Reaper aboard, seeing as it isn’t actually street legal. Regardless, it has to be on the dream-bike list for all the top biker gangs of the world.
It may be fictional, and just as illegal for normal street use as the Ghost Rider bike, but the Bat Pod will forever be branded in our memories as one of the coolest movie motorcycles ever imagined. The very fact that it launches out of the already impressive Tumbler like a steroid-injected smaller self is just the beginning of its moto-glory. The wheels on this thing are the size of a normal car, and they roll in seemingly infinite directions. And even the Ghost Rider bike didn’t have guns to shoot obstacles out of the way, or the ability to stand on its back tire and spin around vertically. It is truly a motorcycle that feels limitless in its capabilities. Which, come to think of it, makes it the perfect extension to Batman’s utility belt of endless abilities. It may only be fully functional in the movies, but it’s the bike on our list that’s the most versatile, the most intimidating, the most powerful, the most mind-bending, and therefore, pretty much the coolest motorcycle ever made.