The Best Arcade Motorcycle Games
The Best Arcade Motorcycle Games
Unlike car games that see you sit behind a cool steering wheel, these bikes need you to shift your body weight around to make corners. This is what makes them so fun to play.
Clare Edgeley in the February 1987 issue of Sinclair User reviewed Hang-On, which launched “an unsuspecting world into a whole new dimension of gaming”. You straddled a plastic motor cycle which you could tilt to corner the bends.
1. Manx TT SuperBike
The Sega Model 2 saw its fair share of arcade conversions and Manx TT Super Bike is one of the best. The game recreates the high speeds and tight turns of the Isle of Man TT circuit. The gameplay is quite challenging as it requires precise control to win, making the game difficult to play with a Dpad or keyboard. However, if played with an analog controller it will be a breeze to master.
Aside from the controls the game is visually impressive, featuring a 3D rendered racer and environments. The background also changes according to the player’s position on the track, adding to the realism of the game. The in-game sound effects are good, but the music is not very memorable.
Gameplay is standard motorcycle racing fare with accel, brake and steering controls. The cabinet was innovative for its time, using a physical “bike” that tilted to maneuver the on-screen bike (pioneered by another Sega game, Hang-On). This made it feel more real, compared to most arcade motorcycle games that simply used the player’s feet on the floor to shift their weight and thus the bike.
Manx TT Super Bike was a hit in the arcades, and it is quite fun to play with friends, though a single player will quickly become bored of the game’s lack of content. There are only two tracks besides the mirrored version of the same track, which makes it hard to find long-lasting enjoyment with the game.
The Saturn mode adds some variety to the gameplay with practice, challenge and a super bike mode that play out over four tracks. The challenge mode has a unique feature where the track is populated with civilian cars that the player must maneuver around; successfully doing so awards a speed boost for the rest of the race. There are also several bike customization options, including color, wheel type and exhaust, with additional options unlocking through successful challenge mode trials.
In a review for IGN, Ed Lewis gave the game a score of 6.7/10. He said that the game was “a decent racing game” and praised the in-game physics and opponent AI, but faulted the game for its “decent” graphics and its “lack of originality”. A few unsold Manx TT Super Bike cabinets were converted into Motor Raid, a futuristic motorcycle racer released in 1997.
Harley-Davidson is one of the world’s most iconic motorcycle brands and their bikes are often featured in movies and TV shows. They have a strong value on tradition and offer models with heritage designs from their own history as well as modern technology and features.
The company’s roots go back to the late 19th century when the Harley brothers first began working on bicycles, eventually turning their focus to motorcycles. Their first motorcycles were sold on a limited basis in January of 1905. The following year, they placed small ads in the Automobile and Cycle Trade Journal selling bare engine parts to do-it-yourselfers.
During the Great Depression, the Harley-Davidson motorcycle business was not affected by the economic downturn as other manufacturers struggled to stay afloat. In the early 1940s, production shifted to war work and they produced 90,000 WLA military motorcycles for Army escort, courier, and patrol duties in North Africa and Asia. The company also designed a new model of military motorcycle, the XA, for use by the Navy and Marines in desert operations.
After the war, Harley-Davidson continued to expand their manufacturing facilities and they grew into one of the most famous motorcycle companies in the world. Their popularity Motorcycle Game Machine increased in the 1960s with the rise of the American counterculture movement and they started offering custom bikes for sale.
Harley-Davidson continues to push the boundaries of innovation with their motorcycles and they became the first major manufacturer to produce an electric bike with the Livewire. This halo project was meant to show the world what they could do with an electric motorcycle and they hope that their efforts will inspire other companies to produce more electric vehicles.
In terms of their regular production, the brand’s newest motorcycle is the FXDR 114. This model has drag-inspired styling and is able to accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds. This makes it faster than a Porsche 911, Chevrolet Corvette, Lamborghini Aventador, and Ferrari Portofino.
For their touring models, Harley-Davidson offers a variety of technology and comfort features. These include a 103CI High Output motor, anti-lock brakes, cruise control, a 6-US-gallon fuel tank, and a Boom! Box Infotainment system with touchscreen functionality, Bluetooth (media and phone with approved compatible devices), SiriusXM, text-to-speech capability, and GPS navigation.
3. L.A. Riders
Harley-Davidson & L.A. Riders is an open world motorcycle racing video game developed by Sega AM1 and released in 1997 for the Model 3 Step 2.0 arcade hardware. Licensed by and starring vehicles from the American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson, it takes place in a fictional open world map of recreated Los Angeles, California, where players can drive one of five different models (FLSTF Fat Boy, FL Panhead 1948, FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide, or a police bike).
The game’s gameplay centers around driving between three to five checkpoints in the city of LA under a time limit. The CPU randomly determines the checkpoint location and course route, while the player must also collect many hidden items (tokens that resemble the Harley-Davidson logo) scattered throughout the city in order to earn bonus points. The player can also use the horn in order to warn other vehicles of their presence.
While the gameplay is fun, this game Motorcycle Game Machine suffers from some serious pacing issues and unreliable collision detection with cars, especially when driving in busy traffic. It also has some pretty mediocre graphics, but it’s still better than most of the other motorcycle games on this list.
Bob Courtney is a long-time television journalist who specializes in motorcycling. He founded the popular weekly television show LA Rider, which airs in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Lafayette as well as other Louisiana stations. The show has specific and significant appeal to motorcycle tourists, but it also features stories about local attractions and entertainment.
TW Robinson, Tammi Arender and Bob Courtney are the principal personalities of LA Rider. While they do ride motorcycles, they are not your stereotypical “Harley riders” – Robinson is tall and slim, while Arender and Courtney are both short and blonde. Nevertheless, they are all committed to the sport and travel on their motorcycles across the state in search of new destinations. They often visit restaurants, out of the way places and tell stories about Louisiana’s rich culture. The show is a hit with both motorcycle tourists and non-motorcycle enthusiasts alike. In the fall of 2012, they will debut a 13-week series with a new focus on Louisiana destinations.
4. Road Redemption
The spiritual successor to Road Rash, this brutal bike racer wears its inspiration on its sleeve with bone-crushing combat and high-speed races that are more Twisted Metal than Mario Kart. Its thumping metal soundtrack and old school four-player split screen co-op are a real treat, but it’s the over the top carnage that really makes this game stand out from its peers. The physics in the game allow for some truly ridiculous wipeouts, decapitations, and pile ups; it’s almost impossible not to smile at a racer getting flung 500 feet in the air by an armored car with actual health left.
The game also features a great combat system that rewards precise play with a satisfyingly deep set of moves including grabs, kicks, counters, and critical strikes. The fact that you can upgrade your character, bike, and weapons as you collect loot is a nice touch too. The roguelite elements of the game, such as randomized items, minor track changes, and losing a race lowering your maximum health by 25 percent, keep things feeling fresh even when you’re constantly starting over.
In the campaign mode you take on a series of missions across several territories that culminate in a type of boss fight with a gang leader. The story takes place in a post-apoclyptic world ruled by a brutal dictator, so fans of Mad Max will feel right at home.
Road Redemption is an entertaining ride that will bring back memories of the classic series it’s based on, while adding enough new content to justify its price tag. Its graphical update is a little rough around the edges and it could do with a bit more multiplayer options, but overall this is a must-have for any fan of the genre. Just remember, it’s dangerous to go alone in this one – death is only a few hits away. Luckily, you’ll retain all of your experience when you die. So, if you’re going to be racing at 100 miles per hour while trying to hit someone with a pipe, be sure to bring some friends along.