Hollywood legend Steve McQueen has been voted the most iconic biker of all time.
The 1960s all-action film star took polled 25% of the 2254 votes registered on Yahoo.co.uk. McQueen, who died of lung cancer in 1980, saw off a list of motorcycle racing legends, actors and stunt riders in the New Year poll.
In second place was double grand prix world champion and 70s sex symbol, Barry Sheene, closely followed by seven-time MotoGP champion, Valentino Rossi. Daredevil, Evel Knieval, famous for his spectacular bone-breaking crashes was ranked fourth while Marlon Brando, star of one of the quintessential biking films, The Wild Ones, managed seventh.
Languishing at the back of the table, compiled in the run-up to the MCN London Motorcycle Show, with only 2% of the vote were Mission Impossible actor Tom Cruise and Long Way Round star Ewan McGregor. Both are well-known for their love of riding motorcycles, on and off screen.
As well as being a successful racer, McQueen preferred to do many of his own film stunts. His most notorious motorcycle moment came from a sequence in the film The Great Escape where, as a prisoner of war, his character’s escape was foiled by one last jump over a barbed wire fence. The BBC recently mimicked this stunt as part of its Christmas schedule.
The survey is a revealing insight to the biker’s mind. Despite numerous celebrities currently riding motorcycles, a 44-year-old image of McQueen sat on a Triumph is instantly recognisable by many generations, rivalling that of The Beatles on the Abbey Road zebra crossing.
The MCN London Motorcycle Show runs from February 1-4 at ExCeL. Entry costs £13 in advance or £16 on the door. To book tickets in advance, call the ticket hotline number on 0870 730 0049 or visit www.londonmotorcycleshow.com