When you are choosing a motorbike to buy, you are faced with a decision that is based on all sorts of practicalities. You must consider the bike's construction, your build, your budget, day to day use, comfort, reliability and all manner of boring realities. However, when you are choosing a list of the 5 coolest motorbikes ever, you can let your inhibitions go and pick purely on sentiment, attitude, looks and lust. Based on these whimsical criteria, here is a list of the 5 coolest motorbikes ever to have graced the planet.
Triumph TR6 Trophy
Steve McQueen immortalized the Triumph TR6 in The Great Escape, ensuring it was destined to feature on every 'Motorbike Top 5' list for the rest of history. McQueen himself was an avid bike fan, who was indeed inducted into the Motorbike Hall of Fame. Sure, he may not have escaped the Germans during his high speed chase, the bike was disguised as a BMW during the film, and he did end up tangled in barb wire, but the Triumph TR6 made him look cool whilst he made arguably one of the most iconic motorbike jumps in cinematic history. Thanks to its Four-stroke Parallel-twin engine and gritty sex appeal, the 650cc TR6 Trophy will forever be one of the coolest motorbikes ever.
Captain America a.k.a Easy Rider
The iconic film Easy Rider brought choppers to a whole new generation. Epitomizing coolness and freedom, Peter Fonda's stars and stripes Captain America led the way for petrol head enthusiasts to turn their hand to customizations and the trend for choppers was born. The chopper in the film was a Harley Davidson, comprised of four ex police Panheads. Two 1951 models, a 1950 and a 1951 were used and customized to make the bikes that featured in the movie.
1991 Harley Davidson Fatboy
From what has to be one of the coolest films of all time, comes one of the coolest looking motorbikes. The 1991 Harley Davidson Fatboy featured in Terminator 2, and was ridden by a leather jacket clad Arnold Schwarzenegger as the movie protagonist, the T-800 Terminator. The big budget film needed a bike that really looked the part and the 1991 Harley Davidson Fatboy was that motorbike. Following the famous “I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle” quote, Arnie drove off on the 1991 Harley Davidson Fatboy to the soundtrack of 'Bad to the Bone'. The motorbike chase scene is one of the most watched of all time, and never has a cyborg, or motorbike, looked cooler. And Harley Davidson, based on Oxford Business Park, are popularly considered one of the coolest motorbike companies around.
Kawaski GPZ 900R
There are few bikes as memorable as the Kawaski GPZ 900R (or GPZ 750R in Europe), which featured heavily in the 1980s Hollywood blockbuster, Top Gun. Scenes of Tom Cruise zipping from one source of drama to the next on his GPZ 900R were eclipsed only by those featuring his F-14 Tomcat. Although not equipped with missiles, the GPZ 900R, with its 4-stroke, 4-cylinder 908 cc engine and top speed of 158mph, was about as cool as bikes could be in 80s and 90s.
You cannot have a list of coolest motorbikes, without including a superbike. The RC30, also known as the Honda VFR750R, won the World Superbike Championship two years in a row. Released in 1990, the RC30 has a 748 cc V4 engine, 5-speed transmission and swingarm rear suspension. The Honda RC30 can also be credited with paving the way for the Honda RC51, which took Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden to victory in the World Superbike and AMA Superbike Championships.
Rachel is a freelance blogger on a variety of subjects, from motoring to healthy eating.