When it comes to the world of motorcycles, there are few things more exhilarating than hitting the open road on two wheels.
And while countless riders are out there, only a select few have become true legends of the sport.
These riders have pushed themselves and their machines to the limit, achieving incredible feats and inspiring countless others to follow in their tire tracks.
In this blog, we will be taking a closer look at some of the best motorcycle riders of all time, exploring their incredible achievements and their impact on the world of motorcycling.
Top 11 Famous Motorcycle Riders Of All Time
1. Steve McQueen – Best Cool Biker
Terrence Stephen McQueen was an American actor, born on March 24, 1930.
He was known for his roles in movies like “The Great Escape,” “Bullit,” and “Le Mans.” However, he was also a cool motorcycle rider and a skilled one at that.
McQueen was an avid motorcyclist, and he even competed in off-road motorcycle racing.
He often performed his own stunts in his movies, and he insisted on riding his own motorcycle in the iconic chase scene in “Bullit.” Unfortunately, McQueen was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, which ultimately led to his death.
2. Burt Munro – Record Breaker Racer
Burt Munro was a motorcycle racer from New Zealand who became famous for setting an under-1,000 cc world record.
He was born on March 25, 1899, and passed away on January 6, 1978. Munro spent 20 years highly modifying his 1920 Indian motorcycle, which he named the “Munro Special.”
In 1962, Munro set an 883 cc class record of 288 km/h, which still stands today. He accomplished this incredible feat at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, riding a 47-year-old machine.
Munro’s perseverance and passion for motorcycles are truly inspiring, and his story was even made into a movie in 2005, titled “The World’s Fastest Indian.”
Despite being born in different eras, Steve McQueen and Burt Munro shared a common love for motorcycles.
They were both cool motorcycle riders who were passionate about their craft, and their legacies continue to inspire riders around the world.
3. Evel Knievel – Famous Motorbike Stunt Rider
Evel Knievel, an American stunt performer, is one of the most famous motorcycle riders in the world.
He attempted over 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps throughout his career, earning him a place in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.
Despite being diagnosed with diabetes and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, he continued to perform stunts until his death in 2007.
Knievel is best known for his most daring and final jump at Twin Falls across the Snake River Canyon. On September 8, 1974, he attempted to jump the 1,600-foot-wide canyon on his rocket-powered motorcycle.
Although the jump was not successful, it remains one of the most memorable moments in motorcycle history.
4. Guy Martin
Guy Martin is a famous biker all over the world, and his hairdo is instantly identifiable the entire way.
He worked as a heavy vehicle technician before switching careers to become a TV host and motorcycle racer.
Even his first TT victory was disputed since, in his mind, he had really finished second.
Any fan of motorcycle racing should definitely check out Martin’s documentary Closer to the Edge.
The documentary will have you on the edge of your seat as it follows the Isle of Man TT, one of the world’s most hazardous motorcycle races.
5. Ted Simon – World Traveller
Ted Simon is a British travel writer noted for circumnavigating the world twice by motorcycle.
In 1973, he embarked on a journey around the world on a 500 cc Triumph Tiger 100 motorcycle. His four-year adventure was chronicled in his spellbinding book, Jupiter’s Travels.
Born in Germany in 1931, Simon’s love for motorcycles led him on a journey of self-discovery, taking him across five continents and over 100,000 miles.
His travels and experiences have inspired countless individuals to follow in his footsteps and embark on their own motorcycle adventures.
Ted Simon is a true inspiration for any aspiring world-famous bike rider.
6. Nicky Hayden – The Kentucky Kid
Nicky Hayden, known as “The Kentucky Kid,” was an American motorcycle racer who won the MotoGP World Championship in 2006.
Born on July 30, 1981, in Owensboro, Kentucky, he chose the number 69 for his bike as it had been used by his father, Earl Hayden.
In 1999, he won the AMA Supersport championship.
Tragically, Nicky Hayden passed away on May 22, 2017, at the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy, after being hit by a car while training on his bicycle. He was a great loss to the motorcycle racing community.
7. John Britten – The Mastermind Engineer
John Britten was a New Zealand mechanical engineer who designed a world-record-setting motorcycle.
He was born on August 1, 1950, in Christchurch, New Zealand, and died on September 5, 1995, in the same city.
He developed innovative methods using composite materials and designed the Britten V1000 motorcycle. Only ten Britten V1000 bikes were ever produced.
Britten’s V1000 bike used unconventional methods and materials that made it stand out.
One of the two Britten bikes retired with a broken clutch, and the other was overtaken by a factory Ducati. Britten’s designs continue to inspire engineers worldwide.
8. Mick Doohan – The Five-Time Champion
Mick Doohan is an Australian former Grand Prix motorcycle road racing World Champion.
Born on June 4, 1965, in Gold Coast, Australia, he won five consecutive 500 cc World Championships. Despite retiring after breaking his leg in several places, he is now a multi-millionaire businessman with global interests.
Doohan’s success in Grand Prix motorcycle racing made him one of the best bikers in the world. His dedication and technical skills helped him dominate the racing world, making him a legend in the sport.
9. Charley Boorman & Ewan McGregor
Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor are perhaps the best-known biking duo in the world.
They journeyed across South and Central America on the backs of prototype electric Harley-Davidsons, showcasing the possibilities of eco-friendly technology in the world of biking.
Charley and Ewan first met on the movie sets of Serpent’s Kiss in 1997, but they truly became famous through their motorcycle adventures.
“The Long Way Round” and “The Long Way Down” are two of their most popular journeys, where they travelled across continents, facing challenges and adventures along the way.
Although they’re two different people, their love for motorcycling brought them together, and they continue to inspire bikers worldwide.
10. Joey Dunlop – Stylish Rider
Joey Dunlop was a Northern Irish motorcyclist from Ballymoney who secured an impressive 26 victories at the Isle of Man TT.
He had a total of 24 wins at the Ulster Grand Prix, including several hat-tricks. He was born on February 25, 1952, in Armoy, United Kingdom, and died on July 2, 2000, in Tallinn, Estonia, while leading a 125cc race.
Dunlop was famous for his incredible riding style, which made him one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time. Despite his tragic death, his legacy continues to inspire bikers worldwide.
11. Valentino Rossi – The Doctor
Valentino Rossi is an Italian former professional motorcycle road racer and nine-time Grand Prix motorcycle racing World Champion.
Nicknamed “The Doctor,” he is widely considered one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time.
Born on February 16, 1979 (age 44 years), in Urbino, Italy, Rossi has signed up as a BMW M works driver.
Rossi’s technical skills and his ability to navigate challenging terrains make him one of the most successful motorcycle racers in history.
His incredible racing legacy continues to inspire a new generation of bikers worldwide.
Famous Motorcycle Riders FAQs
Some CEOs who ride motorcycles include Harley-Davidson CEO Jochen Zeitz, former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
The most successful motorcycle rider in history is Giacomo Agostini, an Italian racer who won 122 Grand Prix races during his career.
The most famous motorcycle in the world is arguably the Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which has become an icon of American culture and is widely recognized around the globe.
Musk said he used to ride motorcycles when he was a kid, but was almost killed by a truck.
Famous motorcycle riders have left an indelible mark on the world of motorbike riding.
Their skill, courage, and passion have inspired countless enthusiasts to take up this thrilling sport. From the iconic Steve McQueen to the legendary Valentino Rossi, these riders have achieved incredible feats and earned a place in history.
Their stories are a testament to the thrill and excitement of motorbike riding, and the importance of safety measures such as intercom systems for motorcycle riders.
As you embark on your own motorbike riding journey, remember to always prioritize safety and respect the road.If you’re a motorbike enthusiast, what famous rider has inspired you the most and why?
And have you considered investing in an intercom system for motorcycle riding to enhance your safety and communication on the road?