Motorcycle road racing is a dangerous sport. Hurtling yourself around a course at 200mph is not done by the fainthearted and these racers are purposefully seeking out danger with the pure intention of beating it. It is a sport that today mainly survives in Europe, with the Isle of Man and Ireland hosting the biggest events. Done on closed country roads this sport makes ordinary vehicles and ordinary driving look entirely pedestrian. Instead they race death and each other to the finish line attempting to avoid the unforgiving obstacles of trees, telegraph polls and stone walls that line their circuit.
This sport, though ruthless, is addictive and can become ingrained in people. This has never been truer than in the case of the Dunlop family, arguably a biking dynasty; these two sets of Dunlop brothers have taken the motorcycle world by storm. It is their story that has been documented in the film Road. Recounting the story of these two generations of the same family, it shows us how they have been united by the love of this sport, the successes they have gained at the hand of it – but also the tragedy they have faced because of it.
To celebrate the release of ROAD available digitally on 7th October 2014 and on DVD & Blu-ray from 13th October 2014 we take a look at ten other great motorcycling films.
On Any Sunday (1971)
This Academy Award nominated documentary follows a host of motorcycle racers and enthusiasts, including the actor Steve McQueen who was a racer in his own right, looking at why it is they risk their lives for this sport.
The World’s Fastest Indian (2005)
Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins this film tells the true story of racer Burt Munro as he modifies an Indian Scout motorcycle and travels half way across the world to beat the land speed record.
TT3D: Closer to the Edge (2011)
A film narrated by Jared Leto, this 3D documentary takes a look at the annual Isle of Man TT motorcycle race and follows the intense and intriguing racer Guy Martin as he puts his life on the line in an attempt to win.
The Motorcycle Diaries (2005)
A little less about racing and more about the bikes and a journey, this film is a Che Guevara biopic following him on his motorcycle expedition across South America.
The Wild One (1953)
With Marlon Brando famed for his performance here, this is arguably the original motorcycle film. It tells of the story of motorcycle gang rivalry as two clubs terrorize a small American town.
The Great Escape (1963)
Although not a motorcycle film at all it does feature one of the most famous motorbike stunt scenes of all time: Steve McQueen’s character leaping to freedom on the run from a German Prison of War camp.
Mad Max (1979)
A film bursting to the brim with bike chases and explosions Mel Gibson plays Max who, due to rivalry with a motorcycle gang, loses his best friend, wife and baby all in one day and goes on the rampage looking for revenge.
Easy Rider (1969)
Starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper this road movie recounts the story of two motorcyclists riding their way from Los Angeles to New Orleans and all the things they encounter on the way.
Wild Hogs (2007)
Very different to the other titles on this list Wild Hogs takes a much more comedic stance on motorcycling: four middle-aged men who are disillusioned by the lack of adventure in their lives take to their motorbikes for the ultimate road trip.
Another documentary film about motorcycle road racing, Faster tells the story of MotoGP. Going inside the closed ranks of motorcycle sport it dares to wonder how you become the best without making the ultimate sacrifice in this dangerous sport.
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