Well, I really wasn't planning on doing a Top 7 or a Top 7 on Kamen Rider Bikes, but here we are... I am doing this list because it's probably been requested the most in recent times and because I have been uploading a string of Figuarts bike reviews to my Youtube Channel. I've done Battle Hopper, Road Sector, and now Acrobatter. Suddenly it makes a bunch of sense for me to be writing this list.
I previously drafted a Top 7 of Tokusatsu vehicles, but that is going to have to wait a little while. No, I'm not making a place for that butchered Honda NSX that will be featured in Kamen Rider Drive (that show hasn't even started yet and FUCK THAT SHOW), I just don't think I've gone through the Tokusatsu library well enough to do a thorough job on my list. That will be coming soon...
I will say this before I get started... I am not really a motorcycle guy. If Tokusatsu didn't have any motorcycles, I probably wouldn't be into them at all. That said, I can't really identify what bikes the Rider versions are based on. Well, except for the obvious ones like Super 1's V Machine pictured above--it's obviously a Harley-Davidson.
So here we go~
07. Hardboilder Kamen Rider W (2009)
Admittedly I don't know shit about Kamen Rider W. People tell me all the time that I should watch the show, and I might have to one day--but that's beside the point. I'm here to talk bikes.
Hardboilder has the same kind of cool that the 1989 Batmobile has. It's pretty drab, having a simple green and black paint scheme, yet it has a certain superhero flair to it. The interchangeable part thing is a pretty cool idea too, but I like the original the most.
06. Machine Tornador Kamen Rider Agito (2001)
Machine Tornador is kinda the start of an annoying turning point in Kamen Rider history. First, they ditched Suzuki for Honda, and then they really started trying to make the bikes match the Rider suits. Sure, it was done in the past with Jungler and Z Bringer, but now it seems to be every bike. While the bikes in the past were made to handle stunts and become toys second, the new ones are pretty much toys first and foremost...maybe they'll end up in the show.
Machine Tornador is a pretty off-the-wall design compared to the pretty basic Agito suit...well, the Agito Ground Form atleast. Even though it is a lot more detailed than Agito, it still retains a similar feel to the Agito suit through it's matching gold accents and organic look.
On top of that, it can transform into a Slider. Not a Cyberslider, but hey...atleast it was cooler than Megasilver's.
05. Gaika Kamen Rider Hibiki (2005)
This is one of those things that made me simultaneously scratch my head and nod in agreement. Hibiki's
04. Sky Turbo Kamen Rider [Skyrider] (1979)
Sometimes basic is best. As I mentioned earlier, there was a time when Rider bikes didn't always look like the Riders. Showa era Riders had a habit of being paired up with their bikes by Mr Magoo. Sometimes, the bikes were over the top designs like Jungler and V Machine, other times they were thinly veiled bog-standard dirtbikes like Sky Turbo.
Even though there isn't much flair in the design of Sky Turbo, there is no denying that there was a strong emphasis on it's use in the show. That footage of Sky Turbo busting through a window is etched in my brain forever despite many Rider bikes breaking through many things over the years. Hell, it was even immortalized on the cover of the Skyrider Music Collection.
Sure it may have been a take on the original Kamen Rider artwork of Cyclone jumping...but Cyclone wasn't breaking through a random window. Oh, and sorry BLACK...nice try, but no.
03. Battle Hopper/Acrobatter Kamen Rider BLACK/BLACK RX (1987/1988)
This isn't really cheating since, well, they're the same bike.
Abilities-wise, Battle Hopper wins out. It's a very capable bike for performance and was featured in a lot of spectacular stunts. Even as Road Sector was added to Kotaro's garage, Battle Hopper was still the main bike.
Looks-wise, I have to go with Acrobatter. Sure, it did perform some pretty big stunts...but Acrobatter eventually had to share screentime with Rideron and it's alternate forms Roboizer and Mach Jabber. It just looked cooler than Battle Hopper with a more shapely head and the power-clashing color scheme.
02. Cyclone Kamen Rider (1971)
How can you not love the original?
There are many reasons why Kamen Rider has survived throughout the years. Chief among which are the bikes that he rides every year. While it might have taken a few films for James Bond to get his famous Aston Martin DB5, Kamen Rider probably wouldn't have been given the luxury of time if he didn't have an iconic bike immediately. Cyclone is that bike, and atleast part of the franchise's survival should be credited to it.
Something about the perfect proportions and shoddy quality of the build make this one of my favorite bikes. It's DNA seems to reappear throughout the years in various other bikes also.
It's kind of a bummer the original design was replaced by New Cyclone after a somewhat short run. But hey, it'll live on forever as the first bike.
01. Z Bringer Kamen Rider ZO (1993)
The Z Bringer is about as close to perfection as I can think of for a Rider bike. It's incredibly slick looking with it's awesome paint scheme and tight lines. Maybe it would've been a little bit tighter looking if they swapped some of the silver for some off-white, but who cares.
This isn't really a bike set up for great stunts (though it did get ridden off a building in the film), but it's large role in Kamen Rider ZO was proof-enough that they were also proud of that design. I mean, it was even part of that kick-ass Henshin scene. J might have been the more bike-stunty Rider of the movie trio, but that bike was a bit dorky and wasn't given much screentime as a result.
It's hard to believe that such an awesome bike has the same underpinnings as Tyrannoranger's bike in Zyuranger.
It's rare that I call out Bandai...but gimme this damn bike to go with the upcoming ZO Figuart!
THE ABSOLUTE FUCKING WORST: Ride Shooter Kamen Rider Ryuki 2002
That is my Top Seven list for Rider bikes! Be sure to check out my other Top 7 lists and then voice your displeasure with me on Twitter.
See you next time,