It includes riders from all eras and genres of motorcycling from Isle of Man TT legends Joey Dunlop and John McGuinness, to modern world champions Mike Hailwood and Valentino Rossi and celebrity riders Steve McQueen and Boorman. His partner in the “Long Way” TV series, Ewan McGregor, surprisingly also gets a guernsey.
More surprising is that five-time world champion Aussie Mick Doohan isn’t listed. If you think that’s because it’s a British poll and they hate Aussies you could be right. The list includes many non-Brit riders including Italian Rossi, American McQueen, 11-time Dakar winner (six on a bike) Stephane Peterhansel of France, American stuntman Evel Knievel, 10-time world motocross champion Stefan Everts of Belgium and Hollywood actor Marlon Brando from The Wild One are included.
Of course, no list would be complete without Italian Giacomo Agostini considered the greatest rider of all time with 10 Isle of Man TT wins, 15 World Championships and 122 Grand Prix wins. Other notable inclusions are Ted Simon who wrote the definitive motorcycle travelogue Jupiter’s Travels, four-time World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty and famous Brough Superior fan T.E. Lawrence also known as Lawrence of Arabia.
Four British women make the list: Britain’s most successful female motorcycle trials rider, Becky Cook; Beryl Swain who was the first solo female rider of the Isle of Man TT in 1962; and current TT racers Maria Costello and Jenny Tinmouth.
UK riders will get to vote for the top 20 with the icons taking centre stage in The Motorcycle Story display opening at the National Motor Museum on May 14. Click here to vote for the top 10. The poll expires on April 22.