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4 Iconic Bikers of the 20th Century

4 Iconic motorcycles of the 1900s

Many a great man has had a romance with a motorcycle. It’s the modern equivalent of the love a man used to feel for his horse in the old days. Here are 4 of the most iconic motorcyclists of the 20th century. Some were musicians, some fighters, and some actors. However, they were all united by their love of great motorcycles.

1.    Lawrence of Arabia (T.E. Lawrence)

The first scene of the majestic epic, Lawrence of Arabia, shows T.E. Lawrence preparing to go for a rid on his old Brough Superior. In reality, the iconic soldier of the Great War was a great lover of motorcycles. His Brough Superiors were considered the Rolls Royce of Motorcycles at the time.

He named his motorcycles George I, II, III, etc. His last, which was likely riding at top speed when he met a fatal accident, was the George VII. He was awaiting delivery of the George VIII, his eighth Brough Superior at the time.

2.    Marlon Brando

Not only of the greatest actors of all time, but also one of the iconic motorcyclists of the 20th century. Marlon Brando said he loved riding his motorcycle in the middle of the night around New York.

He particularly enjoyed cruising at 2 or 3 in the morning in the summer, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Of course, the only thing that made it better was a girl on the seat behind him. He reminisced about leaving it outside his apartment and finding it still parked outside in the morning.

3.    James Dean

The tragically late James Dean was a hot rod enthusiast alright. Riding motorcycles from an early age, he got his 1947 CZ 125-cc at the age of 15. He was the only kid in his small Indiana town with a motorcycle, and so he rode it full throttle. He eventually lost 2 teeth in the fall. He became famous as “One Speed Dean” among the locals, who knew him as a speed demon.

He would trade and buy many bikes in his life. He eventually got a Triumph TR5 Trophy late in his short life to emulate Marlon Brando. This was to be his last motorcycle companion.

4.    Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen is perhaps the most iconic motorcycle enthusiast of them all. He was the King of Cool and a daredevil himself. He regularly took part in weekend motorcycle races and win most of them before he made it in Hollywood.

He collected over 100 motorcycles in his life; his favorites were Vintage Indians. He would regularly go out for rides when the weight of celebrity got him down. His TR6 even made an appearance in The Great Escape.

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