Women on Wheels: Iconic On-Screen Riders and their Motorcycles

More often than not, people associate motorbikes with big, burly men clad in leather or denim jackets due to the existence of popular and controversial motorcycle clubs. However, in reality, men aren’t the only ones who make up famous bike groups — women do, too. Women also joined these groups as competent riders instead of passengers. They rode bikes in organisations such as the Motor Maids, which was established by Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s Arthur Davidson, as well as the US military unit Women’s Army Corps.

Nowadays, female biker clubs may not be as prevalent, but we can still see a lot of women charismatically riding big bikes — especially on-screen. That said, here are some of the most iconic on-screen female riders and their motorcycles.

Lara Croft in the 2001 Tomb Raider and her Yamaha TRX 850

Before making it to the big screen, Lara Croft first debuted in an iconic game called Tomb Raider in 1994. She was played by Angelina Jolie back then in the first movie adaptation of the game in 2001. Swedish actress Alicia Vikander later on took over the role in the latest instalment of the movie franchise, but the character has also made her way to comic books and even TV series. It is because of all this that Foxy Games describes Lara Croft as an instantly recognisable heroine and one of the most pioneering female characters in video games. The character even holds a Guinness World Record for being the best-selling videogame heroin

She’s truly one of the groundbreaking female figures in video games, whether that’s in the original console titles or the many mini-games she’s inspired, like Secret of the Sword and Temples and Tombs. In the 2001 Tomb Raider movie, Lara Croft rides a Yamaha TRX 850 in the famous mansion shoot-out scene. The Yamaha TRX 850 was a sports bike built from 1996 to 2000. It has an 849cc parallel-twin engine that produces 79 horsepower. The TRX also boasts a top speed of 217 km/h and torque of 85 Nm.

Trinity in Matrix Reloaded and her Ducati 996

As one of the most influential sci-fi films of all time, the Matrix also gave birth to one of the coolest and most powerful female characters in the history of science fiction — Trinity. Trinity served as the force that guided Neo to his “salvation” and commanded him to rise up from his apparent death. Because of this, she was often considered as a character that can be paralleled with God.

In the second instalment of the popular movie franchise, Trinity, who was played by Carrie-Ann Moss, was a scene-stealer in the well-curated escape scene with her Ducati 996. The Ducati 996 is a superbike built between 1999 and 2002. It has a 996cc V-twin engine with 112 horsepower. With a fuel capacity of 17 litres, the Ducati 996’s top speed is 259 km/h and its torque is 93 Nm.

Max Guevara in Dark Angel and her Kawasaki ZZR 250

After talking about two action-packed films, we now move on to a television show that also featured a motor-riding heroine. The cyberpunk science fiction television show Dark Angel, which aired from 2000 to 2002, chronicles the life of Max Gueverra. Max Guevarra, who is played by Jessica Alba, is a runaway genetically enhanced super-soldier trying to lead a normal life and escape the government.

In the series, Max Guevarra rides a Kawasaki ZZR 250. The Kawasaki ZZR 250 is a sport-touring bike that was in production from 1990 to 2007. It has a twin-cylinder 250cc engine that has a maximum power of 40 horsepower and a maximum torque of 23 Nm. In 2013, Kawasaki ZZR 250 was renamed Ninja 250. From then on, it became one of the most popular entry-level sports bikes in the world.

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