When you ride your chopper... you're king of the road...





Chopper Nostalgia...

This page is at bit messy at present.  It is slowly being upgraded in the near future and will be renamed.  A couple of CA members are viewing and writing reviews of 70's movies especially for this page.  If you would like to review some chopper movies for this page email Prof: andrew@choppersaustralia.com


On this page ...

 Biker movies...

 Movie bits...

 Classic chopper magazines (photos coming)...

 Chopper memorabilia (coming)...

 Other cool bits and pieces (coming)...


Copyright...  No photos or written material on Choppers Australia website may be used with out prior written permission...


The bikie movies...

If you were a teenager or in your twenties during the late sixties you would most likely have seen one or more of the movies below.  Even if you missed out on the movies, you didn't miss out on their influence. 

The clean cut every day motorcycling fraternity was eclipsed by the long haired, greasy, load mouthed drinking bikie... and he (they were often in packs) was not easy to miss on Australia's quiet roads.  The outlaw bikie hit our headlines in spectacular police chases and bikie rumbles in public places.  Their antics were sought after by and created considerable profit for the media.

My generation and the ones following have been profoundly affected by the promotion of the outlaw motorcycle and the individualist's chopper.  "The Wild One" began the image of the  motorcycle riding youth on a crusade against everyone in authority.  "The Wild Angels"  introduced mindless destruction, drugs and free sex as part and parcel of the bikie image.

"Easy Rider" was significant for its portrayal of drug use.  (Remember the early sixties in Australia was still a time when Australian police didn't carry a firearm and didn't need to and a copper could tell off a kid and kick him in the backside and he would head off hoping dad didn't find out).  Easy Rider was also significant in the deep seated longing it left in many of the 60's  generation to get on their bike and ride across country with no time table and no responsibility.  Now in our fifties they are suddenly experiencing that desire once again... and feeling mighty depressed if that dream looks like it might be unfulfilled.

Easy rider also cemented in a generation's mind what kind of bike we should be heading into the sunset on... the chopper... long forks, low seat and shiny chrome and around the world young blokes went to work and then went cruising... and a whole new biking style and motorcycle industry was created and bloomed...

Easy Rider footage... Click on these links for some Easy Rider footage on U Tube.  Some of these pieces may contain some brief nudity... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGt-1TGQHt8   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKa8Dymmloo  

'Stone' was a significant Australian movie and portrayed the aussie bikie scene quite accurately.  It has quite a cult following due to its daring (very daring for the early seventies) visuals.  Over 400  riders showed up for the funeral cortege and as extras in some of the other scenes and if you go to the right places, you  will hear some first hand accounts of the making of the movie.

For choppers, during the 80's and 90's, things went pretty quiet in Australia and most other countries.  However during the last five to ten years, the growing availability of  Harleys and the advent of the 'cruiser' has made 'big bike' motorcycling in Australia more acceptable.  High petrol prices and the laws allowing scooter riding on a car licence are also working in our favour..

In this new century, the media has once more brought the chopper into public consciousness.  And it has  once again stirred those longings of 'freedom' and the open road in the 60's generation...

The  movies...

Wondering what movie it was that you watched...?  Wondering if they are still around...?  Like to revisit...?  Or are you wondering what us 'old cats' got excited about...

Well, here are two lists. (incomplete at present).. chopper movies... &... bike movies or movies with some bikes or choppers in them... If you know of a movie not listed... or have seen one of these recently and can tell us a bit about the story line let us know and we'll put it in.


Chopper Movies...

Born Losers (1967)...

As far as B grade exploitation bikie film's go "The Born Losers" would have to be one of my favourites. 

Released in 1967, The Born Losers introduces audiences to one of moviedom's first action hero franchises out side of 007.  Tom Laughlin is the "star" and director of the film, but used the pseudonym T .C Frank.  The name stands for his children; Teresa, Christina and Frank. 

Laughlin scraped up enough money to create a character that every day people could relate too, rather than being fictitious like James Bond.  He used media stories of the day as a basis for the script, which was written by Elizabeth James, who also used a pseudonym... E james Lloyd. 

James also "stars" in the film as the female lead holidaying college student, Vicky Barrington.  She rides a Honda Dream wearing a white bikini and matching white boot's… Oh yeah Baby!  Vicki is confronted by a group of menacing bikies called the Losers, who want to make her their “mamma”. 

Because the script was written by a woman , we see more depth in the characters, rather than some stiff wooden performances.

Jeremy Slate, who you will recognize from other bikie movies, play's the group's leader Danny, who wears those huge white wide framed sunnie's.  Jack Starrett, once again plays the sheriff, as he does in all these films.

The supporting cast is good too, with even an appearance by 40's star Jane Russell, playing one of the victims’ mothers,

As with many of these movies, Born Losers is set in a northern California seaside town, and the bikies have terrorized the local girls, the towns people are afraid and the police are powerless, as the gang threatens the girls into not testifying except for Vicky, who comes under the protection of a lone "half breed" Indian / Vietnam veteran called Billy Jack ,who already has had several confrontations with the "gang", to save the town and get the girl , and pickup a couple of choppers along the way .

 Tom Laughlin first wrote the script for the character of Billy Jack back in the 50's , but no studio would touch it, due to its "overly political" Indian themes (not the motorcycle) and had to wait another decade before he could make The Born Losers.  It became a box office smash, producing enough money to go and make the karate chopping, motorcycle-riding messenger of peace Billy Jack, another smash at the box office.

The soundtrack to the Born Losers, was written by Mike Curb, who also did the score for "The Wild Angels" in 1966 , and who had a minor hit in 1970 with "burning bridges" , which you can hear on the soundtrack of the film "Kelly's Heroes" starring Clint Eastwood.

Visually the film is typical 60's with great scene's of choppers.  I particularly like the club trike with its turn up handle bar's and throttle on the left. Mmmmmmm! .

This movie is one of the best releases on this genre with a good story and performances.

There are no special feature's on the DVD only the original theatrical trailer.  Running time is 113mins colour.

 CC & Company (1970)...

Hyperbolically for my taste, as "the 'Ben-Hur' of the motorcycle pictures," is actually a work of such opportunism, such vulgarity and such old-fashioned, romantic nuttiness that it's impossible not to be charmed by it, at least much of the time, in other word's it's one of the better "bikie" movies to have come out at the time , and no bikie flick is complete without the protagonist (the bad guy) William Smith , and yes he's still around.

Here, at last, is the picture to name when someone asks you to recommend "a good bad movie." It's not very long; it pays attention to every hallowed idiocy of its genre, and its characters talk a marvellously unreal type of movie repartee Truck-driver: "You a student?" She (cheerfully): "No. I'm a teen-age prostitute. Give you any ideas?"). What's more, its images are crammed with advertisements (for, among other things, Hamm's Beer, Kawasakis and Kraft Cheese) that are its own kind of relevant symbology.

Even if that weren't enough (and it almost is), the movie stars Joe Namath (American football star) and Ann-Margret, probably the only two people in the United States who had no identity problems, at the time as, respectively, a nice, clean-cut, long-haired member of "the Heads", and a high-fashion writer for-if I remember correctly-Harper's Bazaar.

Although Joe belongs to a rogue bike gang, the sort that demands the kind of fascist discipline so much of young America seems to find appealing, you suspect he's still essentially a fresh, high-spirited, decent kid from Beaver Falls when he saves Ann-Margret from a gang-rape.

You are positive by the time he and Ann-Margret are enjoying a tryst at "the fabulous Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas" (a direct quote from the movie's credits) and she asks him if his friends wouldn't be jealous if they could see how he was living. "Not how," he answers, "with whom."

Any man who shows that much respect for the objective pronoun simply has to love his mother.

The film is the first to be directed by Seymour Robbie, whose earlier experience has been in television, and produced by Allen Carr , who later made "Grease".  Compared to the gaudy theatrical films of other TV-trained directors, "C.C. and Company" is simplicity itself, even though the screenplay threads its way through all sorts of obligatory things like cycle duels, dirt races, taking your chopper over a MX course , and one love scene in which Joe and Ann-Margret seem to be under the impression that they're in "Hiroshima, Mon Amour."

"C.C. and Company" is actually Mr. Namath's second film (his first, "Norwood," ), He has almost as many changes of wardrobe as his co-star, an easy wit, and the unruffled manner of a guy who'll try anything twice, which means that he's a perfect match for Ann-Margret, who already has, in all sorts of pop movies.

The movie has some great riding scenes , mostly through the desert, and the choppers are classic period pieces.  I added the American Film rating in to give you an idea how anal they where about bikie movies.  Currently available on DVD

The Cast... C. C. AND COMPANY, directed by Seymour Robbie; produced by Allan Carr. Running time: 94 minutes. (The Motion Picture Association of America's Production Code and Rating Administration classifies this film: "R—restricted, persons under 17 require accompanying parent or adult guardian.")

C. C. Ryder... Joe Namath, Ann McCalley... Ann-Margret, Moon... William Smith, Pom Pom... Jennifer Billingsley, Eddie Ellis... Don Chastain, Pig... Teda Bracci, Rabbit... Mike Battle, Crow... Sid Haig.

Angels, Hard as They Come (1971)...


I consider it one of the better biker movies of the time for a number of reasons.  It has a credible story line, it features some interesting personalities and has some great choppers and some cool chopper riding footage, plus some humour most notably the stink bomb episode.

This was the first biker movie for the producer and director who assiduously researched current literature including Hunter Thomson’s book in an effort to understand the biker culture .  Their genuine effort to portray the relationship between the biker and his bike comes across in the movie although much of the dialogue is somewhat stilted.

The Plot... A drug deal being conducted by couple of angels is foiled by the cops, so an alternative location in the desert is arranged.  On the way they are invited by another chopper club, The Dragons, to join them at a hippy commune they have moved in with just up the road.  This provides plenty of opportunity for the film makers to comment on the two lifestyles and show flesh and drug use. 

Then a hippy girl is murdered and the three Angels are accused and tried in a kangaroo court.  Their punishment is quite appropriate and viewing fun if you are into alternative uses for choppers such as replacing the horse for dragging around the good guys and using them as polo pucks.

Well one guy escapes and is rescued (some more commentary on opposing lifestyle attitudes) and goes for help.  Meantime, the hippies, upset by the violence, help the other two Angels escape and some more blood is drawn.

The Actors... The actors do all their own riding except for the hairiest of the stunts .  A number of the actors were involved in quite lasting movie careers including Scott Glenn (our hero, Long John), Charles Dierkop (The General), Gary Busey (Luke leader of the hippies) and Gary Littlejohn.

Gary Littlejohn.. One especially interesting aspect of this movie is that the bikes (17) were built and maintained by Gary Littlejohn, a respected chopper builder at this time.  We specifically owe him for the invention of the ‘coffin tank’.  He also acted (The Axe) in the movie as well as coordinating the motorcycle scenes and stunts.  He is involved in the stunts of more than 30 movies (up to 2004) including Easy Rider, Devils Angels, Wild Angels and Hells Angels on Wheels.  He acted in over 20 movies (till 2000) including CC and Company, Bury Me an Angel, Angels Die Hard and Hells Angels on Wheels.

Charles DierKop was a noted character actor appearing in many movies including The Sting and Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.

Gary Busy, was very young in this movie which was his feature film debut.  He went on to become a well know actor and motor cycle enthusiast.  He played the lead role in The Chrome Soldiers, a 1992 bike movie.

If you want to see some genuine classic choppers, this movie is worth a look.

The Hard Ride (1971)...

1971’s "The Hard Ride" marked the beginning of the end for legendary B studio American International’s involvement with the biker film.  The studio had kick started the minor craze with The Wild Angels in 1966.  After this, they went on to release two other minor efforts in "Chrome & Hot Leather" and "The Dirt Gang" in 1971, but their lack of interest in the genre meant that they just weren’t rolling the cash in anymore.

The Hard Ride starred TV actor Robert Fuller (Laramie, The Wagon Train) and Sherry Bain, who would also feature in two other cycle films that year; "The Wild Riders" and the obscure "Ride The Hot Wind".

The story... Fulfilling a promise to his dying black buddy in Vietnam to look after ‘Baby’ and make sure his biker friends attend his funeral, Fuller accompanies his coffin home to find out that ‘baby’ is in fact a seriously extended Knucklehead smoke stacked chopper!  Helped by his buddy's friends girl he tracks down the gang to find they really only tolerated him because of the bike, which everyone wants to get hold of.

Quite radical for the genre the film has a not overly handed message of racial harmony as well as the usual brawling and chop riding.

The chopper... Designed and built by Frank Charolla of Downey Custom Cycles in California, 'Baby' is the true star of the show.  She is surely one of the most incredible bikes ever to grace the silver screen, pictures can’t do it justice as it truly roars.  Baby shines in the many scenes against the picture perfect California mountain backdrop.

One of the better movies... Although like most other efforts of the era, the film is badly dated, it still holds up really well largely in part to the riding scenes.  The opening scene alone features the bike gang riding in formation across a desert to a great version of Swing Low Sweet Chariot by Righteous Brother Bill Haley.  The soundtrack which was released at the time is something of a collectors item for that piece alone, but also features some wonderful Davie Allen fuzz guitar work by the aptly named Harley Hatcher (which turned up recently as part of the score for Hell Ride).

The people... This was director Burt Topper’s only bike film (though he did produce "The Devil’s Angels"), which is a shame as he certainly knew how to film the choppers right.  The film also features biker regular William Bonner (with 8 other bike films to his credit) as the lead heavy and in an hilarious cameo, Mr Sheen himself (and real life biker) Robert Tessier.

Fuller does all his own cycle riding.  At the time said that going from westerns to the Hard Ride “was just a case of switching saddles”).  He is largely excellent in the lead role, but it's funny to note that every time he's on the road with ‘Baby’ there's no other traffic, ever!

Release... Only ever given a VHS release in the 80s on the now defunct Orion label, this film is crying out for a proper DVD release.  Though no classic of film making, its knuckleheads are above the usual bike trash and a must see for fans nostalgic for way cool 70's choppers.

Still out there?... One thing I’ve always wondered about these old chopper films is what became of the bikes.  I know the Easy Rider bikes were stolen, never to be seen again, even before the movie was even released, but you have to wonder that ‘Baby’ just might be still out there somewhere, waiting to be rediscovered like the film she starred in.


Cosy Cool (1977)...

We all remember one of Australian cinema’s greatest successes at making a non-conformist film... STONE... it broke new ground and captured the imagination of the entire country.

So with that in mind another young Aussie film maker, Gary Young, decided to make his own bikie movie .

Released in 1977, Cozy Cool was directed by Gary Young and written by T.C. Fields and Alan Bond (yes THAT Alan Bond).  The colour quality is very definitely 70's colour!

What is most noticeable about this movie is there is absolutely NO script or continuity.  In fact, there is very little of anything, except that two mates scam a car show and are chased by some more dodgy characters who are out to get them, although we  the audience are never told why.

The opening scene is a direct knock off of Jack Nicholson’s character from Hells Angels on Wheels in 1967. The ending has redneck's with a shotgun on the back of a pick-up truck.  Sound familiar?!.

With no script, the dialogue is adlib , and it shows.  The scenes are made up as the lads travel about the yet to be developed western suburbs.  And the Satanist scenes? What was that all about?  Just nonsense at best...

You'll find mistakes all thru this film…one scene going from daylight to dark , then light again , then dark again ... At another point they take their bikes onto an MX track , and trash them, and then suddenly they’re back on the road to nowhere.

There are some good riding shots.   About the only decent scene in the film is when the film's namesake Cozy Cool played by the Director, pop's a wheelie on his Triumph and almost comes a gutser , but manages to save it, side-saddle style and with the throttle still open.

The two bike's are standard choppers from the time, both swingarms and with bolt on 70's goodie's.  The "goat" bar's on the Sportster were all the rage at the time.

The worst aspect of this movie, is the way they have marketed it.  Claiming that this film was directly responsible  for the Milperra Massacre (that’s what they say on the back sleave of the DVD) is an outrageous porky. The club in the movie was just one of the clubs involved in the later incident.  They were paid $50 and a couple of slab's to appear.

Other than that the movie... well... it sucks. The gringe factor is right off the Richter, and I have seen some gringer's!!!!

Regardless of how bad it is, one still must have a copy of the "other" Aussie bikie film, as it has a cult following amongst the B grade movie enthusiasts.

Running time 80min and this DVD has NO extra feature's, only a commentary from Actor / Director Gary Young.

Mask (1985)

This is not strictly a ‘biker movie’, because its focus is on a young fellow’s positive attitude in an adverse situation.  However, his mother is a biker chick and his ‘family’ are their biker friends, so the movie is very much about the biker scene in the 80’s.

Rocky is a sixteen year old with face made grotesque by ‘lionitis’ a rare disease that Doctors say will kill him within 3 to 6 months.  His mother, Rusty, a pretty wild drug taking ‘modern’ woman has never let him feel sorry for himself and has fought against the medical profession’s gloomy forecasts since he was diagnosed as a baby, so he has a very positive attitude which affects everyone with whom he comes in contact.

‘Mask’ which was made in 1985, is inspired by the real life story of Rocky Dennis and his mother Rusty.  Considerable dramatic licence has been taken in the making of the movie, but the basic facts are there. 

Rocky is played by Eric Stoltz, his first major movie.  Cher plays Rusty and does a beautiful and entertaining job of it.  Sam Elliott is Rusty’s current boy friend.  Laura Dern whose father Bruce Dern played the lead in a number of 70’s Biker movies also has a part.  Cher received the 1985 Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actress and the movie won the Academy award for Best Makeup.  In fact the makeup was so good that Eric Stoltz had to wear a name tag at parties as none of his fellow actors recognised him!

Rusty and his mum’s life is bikes, so there is plenty of bike action and some neat bike riding scenes in the movie.  The bikes are customised and mildly chopped.  If you keep your eyes open, you will see a copy of the Fonda bike as well as a couple of other very wild extended fork choppers in the back ground.  If you are a male wanting to watch an eighties biker movie, Mask will not disappoint you. 

At the same time your women will enjoy it just as much for the human drama and the positive example of a single woman determined despite her flaws to get the best of life for her son.  As the boyfriend ‘Gar’, counsels the boy, “ Your mum might not do every thing right, but she does it for the right reasons”.

Viewers will enjoy the humour and fun that continually comes through especially Rusty’s quick temper and habit of calling a spade a spade.

The version I have watched (three times so far in the last two weeks) is the Director’s Cut, which has a number of scenes (including burying the bike with its deceased rider) which were left out of the original.  The music of Bruce Springsteen who was the real Rocky’s favourite was not used in the original due to a copyright dispute but features in the Director’s Cut version.  In fact, the director, Peter Bogdanovich originally took the studio to court over this change.

Rocky’s mother died in 2006 as a result of complications from injuries received when she crashed the motorcycle trike she was riding.  She was aged 70!  Now there’s a biker for you.

Buy this movie... (You’ll find very reasonably priced copies on the net).  I am sure you will not be disappointed.



Date Cast & comments...
Angel Unchained... 1970 ... Story line ok.  Angel leaves the gang and joins a hippy commune.  Local rednecks harass hippies  and Angel calls in his buddies. Mayhem results.  Some brief shots of some nice choppers and some good solo riding sequences...
Angels Hard as they come... 1971 Scott Glenn, Charles Dierkop,  Gary Littlejohn, Gary Busey...  Story line ok. A couple of angels join another gang controlling a commune.  Fights and bloodshed.  Some nice classic choppers and good initial riding sequences including stink bombs in a patrol car.  Interesting sissy bar on the hero's bike...
Beyond the Law...(also "Fixing the Shadow") 1992 Charlie Sheen, Linda Fiorentino...   Good story line.  Mainly modern custom Harleys.  Cop goes under cover to catch drug running biker club. Has to "be a biker" first so builds his bike... watch the old rigid frame and sprung seat transform into a modern Harley soft tail!
CC & Company...   Anne Margaret, William Smith & Joe Namath... Minimal violence, reasonable story line and some good classic choppers on the road.
Chrome & Hot Leather...    William Smith...  Soldiers on trail bikes defeat chopper riding gang, (boo hoo)
Easy Rider...   Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper & Jack Nicholson... Great chopper riding scenes on the open road.
Born Losers... 1967 Elizabeth James, Jeremy Slate...   
J C...                    Awful story line, Some good shots showing the fun of riding classic choppers
Hells Angels on Wheels...   Jack Nicholson...  Lots of chopper riding and horsing around on the bikes.  These blokes (Oakland chapter of Hells Angels) could really handle their bikes.
Hells Angels 69...   ... One of the better 70's chopper story lines.  Two wealthy guys plan the ultimate rush... using Hells Angels as a decoy to rob a casino.  Some genuine Hells Angels and their choppers.  Some road riding scenes... Classic biker music with Jerry Garcia and Willie Nelson...
Hells Angels Forever...   Willie Nelson, Jerry Garcia & Real Hells Angels... Documentary style.  A lot of good classic choppers on the road
Masters of Menace...    
The Glory Stompers... 1967 Dennis Hopper, Jody McRea...   
The Hard Ride...   Robert Fuller, Sherry Bain... Story line had great potential, but let down in the end.  Good shots of some very nice classic choppers on the road.  Great riding scenes with the principle chopper a very extended Knucklehead...
The Losers...    
Rebel Rousers...  
Jack Nicholson, Cameron Mitchell, Dianne Ladd & Harry Dean Stanton . The promo line is "They laid waste to the flesh and blood of America's Daughters. " Bikie gang invades a small desert town ( with a beach nearby ) local sheriff and monk, yes, a monk, want them gone. Bike races up and down a deserted beach.  Strangely, there is a long pier and town in the distance and the scenery is verdant green not arid desert as it is supposed to be. Jack Nicholson seems to have developed his lunatic grin in this movie ( remember The Shining ). Straight guys get beaten on , damsels get distressed, officials are ineffective. Most of the main character bikes are 60s choppers with a mix of Brit and US machinery. Lots of riding shots but the way some were swaying in the breeze I don't think all were very experienced.
The Wild Angels... 1966 Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Dern, Dianne Ladd...     Woeful story line, but some good chopper riding shots.  Choppers mostly pre extended fork era, but some nice looking bikes ridden by the San Berdoo chapter of Hells Angels.


HELP... Send us any info you have on these and other movies

Any movies we've missed... contact us...

Movie bits...

The Wild One... Although he was the primary rebel, Marlon Brando actually rode a Triumph not a Harley and it was his own personal bike...

Easy Rider... Ever wonder how Hopper  was able to wear his wide brimmed hat while riding? Sequences were done at 30mph maximum to ensure the scenery wasn't blurred.  How comfortable were Fonda's high bars?  At the end of the first night's familiarisation ride, he apparently had to get a friend to hold his beer to his mouth 'cos his arms were so stiff!  How well did Fonda's forks work?  Watch the whole front end bounce over a  bump in one of the sequences.

Happy Days... (Don't laugh... the Fonze in this series was an influential character) We all know he rode a BSA! Or did he?  In the first episodes he's riding a black rigid knuckle with with pinstriped mustang tank, chopper rear guard, narrow front wheel extra chrome etc... an old school chop!  But he wasn't allowed to wear a leather jacket until a compromise was reached... he's only wear it while on his bike. No doubt the knuckle was a bit too close to outlaw stuff and had to be toned down!

Woodstock... Check out this movie and watch for some footage with a chopper in it. About 15 minutes in there is a panaflex camera being carried amongst stop and go traffic. They focus on a chopper with Z bars, long forks and custom paint work. The rider is wearing a Nazi helmet. The camera man follows the bike and rider for a while as they move slower than walking pace in the traffic heading into Woodstock.  Suddenly the bike stops and the camera whacks into the riders helmet. The metallic clang is clearly heard. The rider looks over his shoulder and I think that if it was anyone other than the cameraman that hit his helmet it would have got very interesting. This snippet set in by George Hamilton...









Bike Movies...

 On Any Sunday (1971)...

 For some of us in our more mature year's it was the film that inspired us to trade-up our trusty Malvern Star for a Honda QA50 and a long love affair with motorbike's.

The year was 1971; Easyrider was two years on the drive-in circuit.  Holden released the HQ, petrol was around 20 cents a gallon , and the 1st Hungry Jacks opened in Perth and...

..."On Any Sunday" was the surprise hit movie the year.

Not so much a movie , but rather the quintessential documentary on motorcycles (at the time).  From the opening scene, where neighbourhood kids are jumping their dragstars over dirt piles on a vacant block to the closing shot's of three of the top rider's Mert Lawwil, Dave Evans, and the "king of kool" Steve McQueen having a "slide'n" time on the beach, this film captures everything that was "good" about motorbikes.

Bruce Brown, the director, was a close friend of Steve McQueen, and he, along with other mates including Bud Ekins , (the chap who doubled for McQueen on the Triumph , in "The Great Escape" for the leap over the barb wire scene) used to hang-out together when McQueen was between working on movies.

Steve McQueen's passion for motorcycles is legendary, and one day after an afternoon out dirt squirtin , they where sitting around drinking beer when they came up with the idea to combine their love of motorbike's and make a film about it.

So they decided to not make a feature film , but rather a film of what they liked.  They used McQueen's own production company, (uncredited) and handed the task of producing, writing, narration and direction to Bruce Brown. 

The doco takes us across the tortuous mayhem of the Mexican 1000 off road track down the Baja peninsula (there are some staged scenes), up and eventually over the "widow maker" a hill climb race that ain't for the faint hearted.  American flat track racing on XL Harleys, trials riding (both American and European) , and of course moto-crossing, or "scrambling" as we called it back then.  And it was all done on a Sunday.

Watching this special edition DVD with extra "tribute to Steve McQueen" is a must see for any kids to see how dad used to "do in the dirt".

The Special Edition DVD should be available at most stores or you can get one online at www.dukevideo.com.au. It is in colour.  Running time is 96 minutes.


Wild Hogs (2007)...

When I first saw this movie, I thought how corny it was, but after watching it again the other night, I thought that it could relate to any of us.

I mean, we’re not getting any younger, but our love for motorcycles will surpass any age barrier, and we go to any length and any excuse to go for a ride.

Some scenes in the film reminded me of my times on the road  Ah, fond memories.

Walter Becker (NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VAN WILDER) directs this tale of four friends who hit the open road.  Woody (John Travolta), Doug (Tim Allen), Bobby (Martin Lawrence), and Dudley (William H. Macy)...  are middle-aged suburbanite buddies stuck in a rut.  Doug, a dentist, yearns for respect from his pre-teen son and everyone else in his life.  Bobby is a henpecked husband and unhappy plumber.  Computer programmer Dudley is a flop with the ladies, and Woody, who seems to have it all, has just lost everything.

Each weekend the foursome takes to the streets of Cincinnati on their motorcycles as the "Wild Hogs."  With his world secretly falling apart, Woody hits on an idea: a "Wild Hogs" road trip to the Pacific Coast.

Soon, the four are embarking on the adventure of their lives.  When they stumble upon a roadside dive in New Mexico filled with "real" bikers and raise the ire of Jack (Ray Liotta), who is the leader of the Del Fuegos, the Wild Hogs discover that they are in for a greater adventure than they expected, including a showdown in the sleepy New Mexico town of Madrid.

Travolta, Allen, Lawrence, and Macy have fun here, from the verbal barbs to the physical comedy.  Liotta works surprisingly well as a "real" bikie who is disgusted and insulted by these weekend wanna be's.  The perpetually effervescent Marisa Tomei appears as a Madrid local who catches Dudley's eye, and John C. McGinley is an overly enthusiastic highway patrolman repeatedly encountered by the foursome.

Watch for an all too brief appearance from EASY RIDER star Peter Fonda, and an amusing segment from Ty Pennington of EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER.  Despite the star power in this film, which was shot on location in New Mexico, it's the custom bikes and open road that really shine... 

 Wild Hogs II is in the wind though currently put on hold by Walt Disney...

Girl on a Motorcycle (1968)...

Starring Marianne Faithful and Alain Delon

Based on the novel “La Motocyclette by Andre De Mandiargue, Girl on a Motorcycle was filmed in France.  It was directed by British director Jack Cardiff and released in 1968.  It’s American title was “Naked Under Leather”.

Marianne Faithful was the girlfriend of Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones) and considered a sex symbol at the time of this movie.  As such, a bit of flesh was given.  Pay attention as the glimpses are few and far between.  I’ve never heard of Alain Delon before, but I believe he was popular in France at the time.

Any student of cinema should watch this, as it has just about every type of symbolism and visual effect used in the 60s.  Dream sequences, psychedelic flashbacks and a swag of clichés thrown in for good measure. 

The story… A girl marries a quiet and dull school teacher after leaving her outgoing lover who, amongst other things teaches her to ride a motorcycle.  As a wedding present the lover gives her a Harley which the husband has no interest in.

She wakes up one morning and decides to go back to her lover.  As a side note, she wears a fur lined black leather jump suit, nothing else except boots and a strange helmet. Remember the ol' flying boots?  Remember the whiff when you took them off?  Surely taking that jumpsuit off has got to be off putting!  She heads off into the thick morning fog to ride across Europe.  (This is no Charlie & Ewan story) Every male she meets tries to hit on her, but she only has thoughts for her long lost lover. 

Lots of indistinct riding footage, flashbacks and dream sequences fill the movie to the point of tedium.  She seems to really, really enjoy the throb of her V twin and that creates more dream sequences. 

The end is a copy of the end scene from Easyrider except that instead of gun toting yokels there is one of those really happy, big smile, lots of vibes moments followed by a truck pulling out.  Bang!  Then the helicopter pull back.

At least she died with a smile on her face.

I thought "Girl on a motorcycle" rather strange, but worth watching once. If you own the same model Harley, maybe twice.






Date Cast & comments...
Chrome Soldiers...   Gary Busey...  Good story line, no choppers just big Harleys,  watch for the inserted wheel standing Sportster.
Don't tell her it's me...   Quite a good story line.  A reasonable amount of riding footage of the hero's Soft talil
On any Sunday... (documentary)   Steve Mc Queen etc... Documentary of off road motorcycle sports.  Made a big contribution to the  popularity of motorcycling in USA.  No choppers, two Harleys!
Running Cool... 1993 Andrew Divoff, Tracey Sebastian...   
Stone...   (Australia)  Brief glimpse of one chopper.  Mostly Kwaka 900's with fairings and flat bars.  Some quite good riding shots, good story line.  Norman Gunson is "The Mechanic".
The Loners...    
Then Came Bronson... 1969 Michael Parks, Bonnie Bedelia... Parks is on a custom Sportster.  Intelligent story line.
The Wild One... 1953 Marlon Brando, Lee Marvin...  Classic pre chopper era, reasonable story line. Some interesting shots of bikes doing donuts and racing in the streets.  Marvin rides a stripped panhead and Brando is on his own Triumph.
Motorcycle Gang... 1994  
Electraglide in Blue...   Awful story, very slow, miserable ending and not much riding by the two police bikes.
Return of the rebels...   Barbara Eden, Don Murray, Patrick Swayze...  Very light weight fun, Old ex-bikers remount and take on young van gang

Movies with bike or chopper sequences

Any which way but loose...


 Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke... Very dumb classic chopper riders defeated at every turn by Clint and the chimp, some chopper shots
Any which way you can...


Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, William Smith...  Very dumb classic chopper riders once again defeated at every turn by Clint and the chimp, some chopper shots
Cobra...   Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen...  Very stupid bike group mown down by Sy towards end of movie.  Sy and girl ride captured Harley off into sunset!
Harley Davidson & Marlborough Man   Mickey Rourke... great introductory footage of Micky jamming his chopper across the country, with a funny scene of his thrashing a couple of hoods in a servo at his destination.  Rest is just mayhem and no bikes...















The  chopper magazines...

With the popularising of choppers by Hollywood, chopper magazines began to appear.  Big Daddy Roth in the USA I believe was one of the first with his magazine, 'Choppers'.  It  didn't take long for the band wagon to be mounted by more magazines and colour and gloss quickly increased .  Magazines that followed 'Choppers' and hit the Australian bookshelves included 'Big  Bike', 'Street Chopper' and 'Custom Chopper'

Home building choppers became so common place that it became profitable for the magazines to bring out regular additional special issues devoted to chopping how to's for particular marques or special issues on paintwork, sissy bars, forks etc. Some of the advice was pretty dodgy to say the least  but we ate it up, they made good money and we built some pretty cool head turning bikes. 


Mainline bike magazines even included choppers features and test rides. When 'Easy Riders' magazine hit the book shelves in the early seventies, it departed from just displaying choppers and how to chop, by focussing on and heavily promoting the 'alternative' biker lifestyle... parties, booze, drugs and unclad women... oh... and choppers.  It obviously hit the winning formula as it is the only magazine from this period to my knowledge that has had an unbroken run and flourishes today. 


'In the Wind ' started as a couple of pages of riding shots sent in by readers in Easy Rider magazine, but soon came into its own as a regular magazine.

To be continued... including a couple of English magazines and  a heap of photos of magazine covers...






























Click to top of page