These days, you don’t see motorcycle receiving appreciation in films that they deserve, but over the years we have saw some iconic motorcycle moments in films. Supplier of motorcycle clothing Custom Lids, rank some of their top bike moments in Bond films following the news that Daniel Craig will be returning as Bond in the next movie. How many can you remember?
Skyfall When it comes to Bond, you either love or hate him. But you can’t deny that in Skyfall 2012, that bond was unstoppable in the opening motorcycle chase sequence. They used the Honda CRF240R in the film, which fitted perfectly with the Istanbul backdrop, as he chased down a henchman who was also riding the same motorcycle – They both had different skins, Bonds looking more rustic and the henchman’s in the style of a police motorcycle.
Throughout shooting the scene, they used twenty bikes: Gary Powell, who has been a stunt coordinator for a number of films within the Bond franchise commented with: “We needed a highly versatile and quality off-road motorbike that could be easily modified, without compromising performance or safety, for the opening sequence of Skyfall. Honda CRFs are probably the best off-roaders out there so it’s great that we’ve been able to partner with Honda as the bikes, whilst heavy modified, were superb to work with.
Tomorrow Never Dies
In 1995, Pierce Brosnan became Bond, but it wasn’t until 1997 when we saw that epic bike chase in Tomorrow Never Dies. They used the BMW R 1200 C Cruiser in that scene, which they used 15 of them to be exact. Twelve of which were destroyed when trying to capture the perfect scene – maybe it had something to do with that helicopter explosion?
They used a stuntman through the scene because the tricks were too difficult and dangerous, that risked injuries if not carried out by professionals. Apparently, the stunt man drove 60 mph to make the successful 44-foot leap from one building to another. The bike is now displayed at the National Motor Museum in the UK, as part of their Bond collection of vehicles and props. BMW offered a promotional to Film Fans upon the realise of the film, so they could own the same bike!
Agent Fiona Volpe rode the BSA 165 in the 1965 film Thunderball. The motorbike was fitted with missiles with golden skin and the scene was filmed on the Silverstone racetrack in England. They used Bill Ivy who was a professional Grand Prix motorcycle road racer as the stunt man in the film. They made him wear a blonde wig so that he looked more like the character in the action sequence. The scene involved 3 vehicles; Bond and his car, a chasing vehicle and the motorcycle that blows up the car that is following Bond. The BSA then gets disposed of into a lake.
Starring Pierce Brosnan again, riding the Cagiva 600 W16 in one of the most dramatic motorcycle scenes in Bond. James is trying to escape from General Ourumov and his army of villains and to make sure that he does not remain in their capture. A small plane is about to take off from a landing strip on a mountain., which Bond runs for it whilst he is being chased down by soldiers riding multiple Cagivas. He manages to take procession of one of the bikes and proceeds pursuing the plane and as it falls off the landing strip, he leaps off the landing strip with his stolen bike and air swims into the plane that is diving nose first. Luckily, he survives. Producer Michael G Wilson, had said “The motorcycle jump was again done in Switzerland. We built the ramp in the fall, and then we had to wait until it snowed. We had Jacques Malnuit (stuntman) go off on his motorbike and open his parachute. We did that for real.”
For Your Eyes Only
Starring the late great Roger Moore in the 1981 movie For Your Eyes Only, it included yet another awesome motorcycle chase – only he was the only one being chased as he skied. They used the Yamaha XT 500 for filming on the snowy sloped but were modified to suit the theme of the film. Bond manages to knock both villains off their bikes and escapes – although in anger, one villain throws the motorcycle down the slope at him.
The bikes above and more can be found at the London Film Museum Bond in Motion exhibition. It’s well worth checking out if you’re a big James Bond fan!
Do you have a favourite Bond motorcycle scene? There’s plenty to choose from – let’s hope that they include the ultimate motorcycle scene in the next Bond Film.