James Bond motorcycles: Great bikes that were overshadowed by Aston Martins and Jaguars

James Bond films have been about the cars, guns and girls, and of course, the vodka martini that's shaken not stirred. But the motorcycles Agent 007 are never glorified as much. Hence, we pay a tribute to the unsung heroes.

By: | Published: May 3, 2018 3:46 PM
Seems Agent 007 likes bikes that can off-road. Seems Agent 007 likes bikes that can off-road.

James Bond films are all about the glamour of the world's greatest spy and what better way of portraying his elite character than a fancy set of wheels. Over the years, Aston Martin has been the preferred choice for James Bonds films and somehow, the baddies picked Jaguars. There are other cars that were glorified after appearing in one of the films from this franchise, like the Lotus Esprit which could also transform into a submarine. However, there was a range of other vehicles that never saw any of the glory as much as the cars did - the motorcycles.

You see, James Bond is a polished rider as well and, well, he is quite the best in everything he does. Hence, we've put together some of the most iconic appearances by motorcycles in James Bond films. Some weren't ridden by the man himself but played an important role.

Honda CRF250R in Skyfall

Daniel Craig in Skyfall (Image: Sony Pictures)Daniel Craig in Skyfall (Image: Sony Pictures)

The dramatic opening scene of Skyfall in 2012 featured a high-speed chase, but this time between motorcycles. A sharply dressed Daniel Craig is seen on a Honda CFR250R and the baddy too happens to be riding the same bike. Riding across the rooftops of Istanbul, the modern bikes are disguised as old things, but the capable machines were just right for the scene, also because world record-holding bike jumper Robbie Maddison did much of the riding.

Honda Montesa Cota in Quantum of Solace

Montesa Cota used in Quantum of Solace was modified to look like a scrambler.Montesa Cota used in Quantum of Solace was modified to look like a scrambler.

It won't be a surprise if the audience had a hard time recognising this bike featured in Quantum of Solace in 2008. What looks like an old scrambler, the motorcycle Daniel Craig is seen astride is a modern, aluminium-framed, four-stroke Montesa Cota 4RT, used mostly for extreme adventure riding. The Montesa Cota 4RT was also used a year before Quantum of Solace in The Bourne Ultimatum, with a similar disguise.

BMW R1200C in Tomorrow Never Dies

BMW R1200C (Image: Bond Museum)BMW R1200C (Image: Bond Museum)

The scene from Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997 where Irish actor Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007 is seen riding a BMW R1200C with Michelle Yeoh as the pillion with their hands cuffed together.

The stunt rider in the film managed to wheelie the R1200C, which BMW said was impossible. (Image: Bond Museum)The stunt rider in the film managed to wheelie the R1200C, which BMW said was impossible. (Image: Bond Museum)

So, James Bond had the throttle and the Bond girl had the clutch in her hand. The R1200C, a then-new boxer-powered cruiser, was ridden by John-Pierre Goy, who managed to wheelie it when BMW thought that it was impossible.

Cagiva W16 in Goldeneye

The Russian military perhaps never used Cagiva motorcycles, but do we care? (Image: Flickr)The Russian military perhaps never used Cagiva motorcycles, but do we care? (Image: Flickr)

It was after about a dozen years that a motorcycle was featuring in a Bond film. The opening scene of the Goldeneye in 1995 shows Agent 007, played by Pierce Brosnan, nicking a Cagiva from a Russian soldier and then riding it over a cliff. Apparently, the time the movie was set in and the existence of the Cagiva motorcycles didn't match and the fact that the Russian military perhaps never used Cagivas. Details, details, bah!

Kawasaki Z900 in The Spy Who Loved Me

The sidecar was rocket propelled, of course. (Image: Flickr) The sidecar was rocket-propelled, of course. (Image: Flickr)

After a six-year hiatus from Bond films, a motorcycle featured in a Bond film in 1977 – with a new Bond too, Roger Moore. This was the film which had fans swooning over a Lotus Espirit which also worked as a submarine. While the main man drove the iconic Espirit, he was chased by a henchman on a Kawasaki Z900 with a sidecar – the longest Bond chase scene to date. Oh, and the sidecar on the Z900 was rocket-propelled, of course.

Honda ATC90 in Diamonds Are Forever

Probably the slowest chase scene ever. (Image: pinimg)Probably the slowest chase scene ever. (Image: pinimg)

Perhaps the most comical chase scene in the history of Bond films, featuring a three-wheeled Honda and Bond evading it in an electric 'moon buggy'. Bond, played by Sean Connery, is also seen riding an ATC90 later in the scene. Considering how fast a moon buggy could've gone and ATC90s’ C90-derived engines, it just may be the slowest chase in the history of Bond or the history of humans. It mustn't have worked very well for the crisp creases on his suit.

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