Movie motorbikes: Mad Max

It’s a cult classic but, even though the first Mad Max movie was released seven years before general manager Dave Forster was born, the motorbikes have a timeless appeal.

The first Mad Max film, in 1979, made a star of the little-known Mel Gibson as police-officer-turned-vigilante ‘Mad’ Max Rockatansky.

And the baddie biker gang’s Kawasakis have a big role too.

Filmed in and around Melbourne, the bikers kill a police officer, terrorise a town and finally attack Max’s wife and son.

No wonder he goes after them, intent on revenge, in his specially-build supercharged V8-powered black pursuit car.

Dave says: “It’s got loads of bikes in it. They are mainly old Z1000s, with add-on fairings that everyone had at the time, and some Z900s.”

That makes it a bit of social history.

“Mad Max is one of those films that pops up on telly occasionally, so you see it now and again. I first saw it when I was growing up.

“They must have had a good deal with Kawasaki at the time,” adds Dave.

In fact, 14 of the motorcycles in the film were Kawasaki Z1000s, said to be donated by a local Kawasaki dealer and restyled by Melbourne business La Parisienne. One was a police pursuit bike ridden by Max’s fellow officer Jim Goose.

The biker gang was played by members of the Vigilantes, a motorcycle club in the state of Victoria.

So, with all those Kawasakis, Mad Max is a fitting choice with this year being the 50th anniversary of its Z Series of naked motorbikes.