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March 24, 2023

The King of Cool: 20 Amazing Vintage Photographs of Steve McQueen Riding Motorcycles

“A Husqvarna 405 at about 12,000 rpm–that’s music. In bike racing, I specialize; I do rough-country riding, the long-distance kind of thing. With a cycle, you’re dealing with natural terrain, you learn to read the earth... I like being out there in the desert on a set of wheels. You’re really alive out there.” – Steve McQueen, from Star on Wheels, 1972.

When you check out the motorcycles Steve McQueen owned, you understand why he was considered the “King of Cool.” He knew a cool ride when he saw one. Steve McQueen was a legend of cinema, starring in movies such as The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, and The Thomas Crown Affair. And to consider how much Bullitt made at the Box Office in today’s money, we can’t imagine anyone else behind the wheel of that iconic Ford Mustang.

Steve McQueen not only owned and drove some of the coolest cars, but he owned and even raced some very cool motorcycles. Whether it be a 1927 Indian Big Chief, with its own backstory, or a 1951 Triumph Thunderbird, McQueen loved his bikes. Let’s check out the coolest images of Steve McQueen riding his motorcycles.


  1. FYI photos two and seven are actually Steve McQueen's stunt double and friend Bud Eakins.




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