"Rev Your Engines with These 24 Must-Watch Motorcycle TV Shows for Thrill-Seekers" - RnT
The experience of riding a motorcycle has always been and will forever be exhilarating. The feeling of adrenaline and the liberation you experience while speeding down the open road is indescribable. As riders, we often reminisce about our previous rides while eagerly anticipating the next.
But what do we do in the meantime, waiting for the next ride? How do we maintain our passion and keep our adrenaline pumping?
One option is to watch motorcycle-themed documentaries, which can help us improve our riding style or expose us to different bike cultures. Alternatively, action dramas can provide us with an on-screen source of daily entertainment.
For all the throttle junkies out there, we've compiled a list of 24 must-watch motorcycle TV shows!
American Thunder, one of the longest-running motorcycle TV shows, centers around the American V-Twin chopper culture and the lifestyle that comes with it. The show takes viewers to the hottest events throughout the United States and provides a glimpse of the latest trends in the chopper scene. Additionally, American Thunder introduces viewers to some of the biggest names in the online builder community, such as Arlen Ness of Arlen Ness Motorcycles and Jesse James of West Coast Choppers.
This show serves as an inspiration for all V-Twin chopper fans.
Another reality TV show on Discovery Channel featuring the American chopper community is Orange County Choppers (OCC), an American motorcycle manufacturer and lifestyle brand located in Newburgh Orange County, New York. The show focuses on Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Teutul Jr., who have different creative styles that lead to an interesting contrast. The father and son tandem's unique working dynamic eventually led to a spin-off series called “American Chopper: Senior Vs. Junior," which ran for six seasons.
The American action crime drama series Sons of Anarchy has influenced many younger riders to embrace cruisers. Some bikers' interest in riding began with this show. The series revolves around a fictional motorcycle club, “Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original” aka “SAMCRO,” in the fictional city of Charming, located in California's San Joaquin County.
Sons of Anarchy is about brotherhood and loyalty, redemption and love, as the club faces numerous challenges. The President, Clay Morrow, and the Vice President, Jax Teller, who is the former Club President's son, compete for power. This power struggle leads to an alliance between those who want to maintain their illegal activities and those who seek to go legit and create a brighter future.
The show's creator, Kurt Sutter, wanted to reflect real-life outlaw motorcycle club culture. He brought in members from the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club to take a deeper dive into the culture and develop the storyline. Most of the bikes featured are from Harley Davidson, with several cameos from other brands such as Vespa and Triumph.
If you enjoy action dramas and love motorcycles, especially cruisers, then Sons of Anarchy is a show worth watching.
Buy Sons of Anarchy complete series DVD box
The Mayans held a significant role in Sons of Anarchy as their primary rival motorcycle club. Therefore, the creators of the show have given them their spin-off, Mayans M.C. This action crime drama series focuses on the Mayans M.C. and their prospect, Ezekiel "EZ" Reyes. The show is set two and a half years after the events in Sons of Anarchy, taking place in Santo Padre, a fictional border town in California. If you're a fan of Sons of Anarchy and the outlaw motorcycle club culture, Mayans M.C. should definitely be on your to-watch list.
CHiPs, which is an abbreviation for California Highway Patrol, is an American crime drama TV series. The show follows the daily routine of two state motorcycle patrolmen, Jon Baker and Frank "Ponch" Poncherello, who patrol in and around the freeway system of Los Angeles. Jon is the serious and straight officer, while Ponch is more prone to trouble. Jon was assigned to be Ponch's training officer during his probationary status. Every episode features different incidents, ranging from a stranded motorist to a more serious criminal investigation. They rode Kawasaki Z1-P and Z900-C2 for the first few seasons, which were then replaced by Kawasaki Z1000-C1 with a modified windscreen. CHiPs tried different bikes for and on the show, and you'll expect to see other models too.
Feasting on Asphalt is a TV series for motorcycle and food enthusiasts, led by Alton Brown of Food Network. He created Good Eats and is the main commentator and host of Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen. The series explores "road food" from establishments that cater to travelers, emphasizing niche restaurants and regional cuisine. Brown uses his BMW R1200RT to travel across the country looking for the best road food. During Season 3, he traded his bike for a boat to island-hop throughout the Caribbean, resulting in the show being titled Feasting on Waves. While shooting Episode 4 of Season 1, Brown suffered a motorcycle crash on an unpaved road, injuring his right clavicle, but he recovered soon after. The series lasted for 3 seasons, with Feasting on Waves being the last season.
A documentary series follows actor Charley Boorman's journey into the 2006 Dakar Rally from Lisbon to Dakar. Boorman was teamed with Simon Pavey, who manages BMW Off-road school, and Matt Hall, a British Enduro racer with a BMW F650RR rally bike, with Hall's bike serving as a backup. Boorman had to withdraw from the race due to injuring both of his hands, but he continued the journey as the team's on-ground manager. Hall withdrew from the race, leaving Pavey as the only member of the group to finish the rally. The series offers a glimpse into the mental and emotional battles that riders face, pitting against each other and extreme terrains.
An American reality TV show on the History Channel focuses on a road trip via motorcycles to explore hunting, cooking, and eating habits across America. The show is based on the British show Hairy Bikers of BBC, which aired in 2004. The biker duo is composed of Chef Paul Patranella, a classically trained French Chef, and his buddy Bill Allen, a renowned motorcycle mechanic. Together they share their passion for food and bikes, immersing themselves in local American traditions and history by interacting with locals along the way. They participate in activities such as preparing and cooking meals with locals, camping, attending local biker events, and stopping at tourist attractions.
A British book and TV series documents Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's 19,000-mile journey from London to New York City on their motorcycles.
Between April 14 and July 29, 2004, the duo, accompanied by their cameraman, journeyed from London to New York via Western and Central Europe, Ukraine, Western Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia, Canada, and New York City. The show's producer, director, cameraman, security advisor, and a doctor traveled in two off-road vehicles, which typically followed a day late or when needed for challenging obstacles.
Ewan and Charley encountered diverse cultures and faced numerous challenges. The documentary series captured all aspects of the journey, from exciting adventures to unfortunate events such as injuries and unexpected external factors.
Trivia: The team considered different bikes for the series, including BMW, KTM, and Honda. McGregor favored BMW, while Boorman preferred KTM. The pair agreed to choose KTM due to its off-road capabilities, but the brand declined to sponsor them. Instead, the team got three R1150GS bikes from BMW. The success of the Long Way Round and BMW prompted two more sequels: "Long Way Down" and "Long Way Up."
The Long Way Down, the first sequel, saw Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman travel from the top of Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa, through 18 European and African countries. The journey took place from May 12 to August 4, 2007, and the duo rode BMW's R1200GS Adventure. As with the first documentary series, viewers were treated to the unique blend of exciting adventures, challenging hurdles, and experiencing new cultures.
The final sequel, Long Way Up, saw Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman ride from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Los Angeles, covering 13,000 miles and 13 countries in South and Central America. The route passed through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and California. They rode prototype Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycles, which are modified as adventure bikes. As well as showcasing different cultures and overcoming challenging terrain, the series addressed the issue of electric motorcycles' viability for long-haul rides.
In a reality television series narrated by Greg Berger, five rival custom bike builders competed to create the best custom bagger motorcycle. The rivalry began when Paul Yaffe of Paul Yaffe Originals learned that his competitors were stealing his designs. He challenged them to a "real build" contest, where all five builders competed in the series developed for the History Channel.
Baggers refer to cruisers installed with saddlebags positioned on their tails, enhancing their touring capabilities. The program showcases a build-off challenge with Brian Jenkins of Hatred Customs, Kody McNew of VooDooo Bikeworks, John Shope of Dirty Bird Concepts, and Len Edmondson of Azzkikr Customs, all based in Phoenix, Arizona, competing.
The show heads towards unique challenges in the custom motorcycle building reality space as it becomes relatively easier to present a bike that looks great but tougher to make it roadworthy.
A program hosted by a skilled custom builder Russell Mitchel provides a culmination of tools and parts required to build your custom motorcycle, and he will then judge its construction after contestants are given a month to complete their build. Build or Bust aims to demonstrate how seemingly easy it is to build a particular bike but highlights the different standards they keep their builds to.
A reality program based on freestyle motocross focuses on the Crusty Demons of Dirt, recognized as the founders of this biker sport. Participants compete in various physical and physiological tests to show their aptitude to become part of the Crusty Demons of Dirt team. These individuals then perform intense motorcross stunts, displaying talent, and skill, and at the program's end, only one joins the demons.
Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, South Dakota, USA, is the world's largest biker bar. The program shows the operation of the bar throughout the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, as the team aims to serve thousands of Motorcyclists each night. The bar's epicenter received numerous guests averaging 20,000 per night, with its indoor and outdoor bar, parking, stages, tattoo parlors, and various other establishments. After a devastating fire in 2015 that ruined the bar, the program allows us to witness Full Throttle Saloon's glorious past.
A Canadian-American factual-based drama series based on the memoir of Charles Falco portrays the lives of outlaw bikers in a world where fear brings respect. The program showcases Falco's story as he turns from a meth dealer to an ATF informant.
Falco invested three years infiltrating the infamous motorcycle gang, Vagos, to seek justice for his own vendetta. The storyline took shape and developed into a quest for personal redemption.
This American TV miniseries narrates the tale of the legendary American motorcycle maker, Harley-Davidson, and its origins. It sheds light on how Arthur Davidson, his brothers, Walter Davidson Sr., and William A. Davidson, alongside their childhood friend, William S. Harley, created the company. Despite several trials, Harley and Arthur shared a common dream and ambition to build their bike brand, risking their fortunes to make it iconic. The show also illustrates the intense rivalry between Harley-Davidson and Indian, portraying their various marketing tactics, races, and clashes.
A group of young motocross riders, selected for the first-ever MaveriX academy in Alice Springs, are at the epicenter of this Australian based drama TV series. They harbor the goal of clinching national titles through whatever means possible, whilst making new friends along the way. Directed towards younger riders or parents looking to initiate their juniors, MaveriX is a compelling motocross series to watch.
A stunning show, perfect to convince your loved ones to ride motorcycles, featuring Norman Reedus, known for his role in "The Walking Dead." Reedus embarks on a journey of exploration around the country on his motorcycle, participating in various bike cultures with collectors, mechanics, and builders. Every episode features different bikes, where he rides with fellow actors, musicians, or local bike enthusiasts, visiting custom bike shops, tattoo parlors, and other establishments that allow them to perform some impromptu motorcycle maintenance.
An American superhero TV series, featuring Christopher Lloyd (of "Back to the Future" fame) and focusing on Jess Mach, an ex-motorcycle cop injured in the line of duty. Mach is later recruited for a secret government mission to ride the Street Hawk, an all-terrain motorcycle capable of speeds up to 300 mph, designed specifically to fight crime. The bikes used in the show are mostly Honda, including the 1983 XL500, a turbocharged CR250, a CX500, and an XR500. Geared towards motorcycle enthusiasts who like fictional storytelling, this superhero-themed series with a motorcycle as its main tool is a delightful treat.
This American action-adventure series aired from 1990 to 1992 and is another superhero fiction story about a former astronaut-turned-cop who battles crime with his exoskeleton and motorcycle, which made him practically unbeatable. The events take place in a fictional city named metroplex in the year 2020.
"Then Came Bronson" follows a journalist named James "Jim" Bronson, who becomes disillusioned after his friend Nick's suicide. Previously having sold his 1969 Harley-Davidson Sportster XLH 900cc to Nick, Bronson decides to purchase the bike back from his widow, whom he later rides throughout the series. This show focuses on Bronson's search for the meaning of life and his experiences along the way, sharing his values with the people he encounters and offering a helping hand wherever he can. The series comprises of 26 episodes.
This Australian drama miniseries covers the tale of biker gang violence and features the story of the Milperra massacre. The conflict started after a group of Comancheros formed a brake-away group and initiated the first Bandidos Motorcycle Club chapter in Australia. The two groups immediately became rivals and declared war on Father's Day, September 2, 1984, resulting in multiple casualties, including innocent bystanders. Each episode's opening quote is stated by Justice Adrian Roden when the clubs went before the New South Wales Supreme Court, stating, "As patriotism can lead to jingoism and mateship can lead to cronyism, bikie club loyalty can lead to bikie club war." This series is based on the book "Brothers in Arms" by Lindsay Simpson and Sandra Harvey.
Riders' ideal worlds would be joyous and carefree, allowing them to jump on their bikes and ride wherever their hearts desire. However, the reality is that we have daily responsibilities to which we must attend. This list offers an assortment of activities to keep the rider's passion alive until their next adventure. Remember to ride safe and savor the journey.
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