The best motorcycle games for PS3

A motorcycle racing game for Playstation 3
Recommended: MotoGP 14 on PS3
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There are a number of motorcycle games for the Sony PS3 (PlayStation 3). The most well known video game that features motorcycles on this platform is Grand Theft Auto IV, and while it’s not specifically focused on bikes there are a wide variety of models that can be acquired in the game and ridden around the huge, detailed city environment.

There’s also an add-on pack for GTA IV called “The Lost and the Damned” which features a complete story line based around a biker gang, so there are obviously plenty of bikes to ride in that. Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete is a pack which includes both the full game and the Lost and Damned addon pack.

The gameplay in GTA IV revolves around missions which usually involve shooting and driving/riding vehicles around the city, and while it’s a lot of fun it might not be what you’re looking for if you want a game in which you can race motorcycles around a track.

Motorcycle racing games for PS3

SBK X – Superbike World Championship – released in 2010 this is the most recent of the motorcycle racing games on the PS3 platform. It allows players to participate in the World Superbike Championship and features all of the most famous riders, manufacturers and tracks. Although it’s a fairly recent game, it includes a “legends” pack which lets you play as some of SBK’s most famous riders of the past, including the legendary Carl Fogarty on his 1999 Ducati 996. The game offers an arcade mode for players who don’t want to take things too seriously, or a simulation mode for those who want a more realistic challenge, and career mode lets you work your way up through the ranks, starting in the Superstock class.

There are several great motorcycle games for PS3

If you’re more of a MotoGP fan, the most recent motorcycle racing game for PS3 featuring that series is MotoGP 10/11. The reviews for this game aren’t as good as SBK, but it is still rated as a perfectly playable game for fans of MotoGP. There are various game modes including full season, one off race, time trials and an multiplayer online mode which allows up to 20 players to race against each other.

Fans of dirt riding might want to take a look at MotorStorm which allows players to race across some of America’s best known desert scenery on off road bikes and cars too. Alternatively MX vs ATV Alive gives you the choice of racing motorcycles or ATVs around motorcross tracks – this is the fifth version of this popular franchise and has got pretty good reviews from players.

Custom motorcycles

Although the phrase custom motorcycle might suggest a unique bike that has been custom made, the term is more widely used to describe any motorcycle that mimics the cruiser style popularised by Harley Davidson. However, just to confuse matters, the phrase can also be used to describe a special, one-off bike built to the owners’ specifications, but generally speaking it means a Harley style bike. Most of the big Japanese bike manufacturers, as well as Triumph in the UK and an increasing number of the low-end Chinese factories produce “factory custom” style motorcycles these days, although for most bikers Harley Davidson will always be the most desirable brand for this type of bike and everything else is seen as little more than an imitation.

So, why are they called custom motorcycles when they’re really standard production models and they have not bee customised in any way? The style we tend to think of most when we talk about custom bikes is the chopper style – which features low seats, tall handlebars, forward mounted footpegs, etc. All of these styles came about in the post war era, when it became popular to strip down motorcycles of any unnecessary components to reduce weight and improve the speed and handling of the bikes. The result was a look that endures in modern custom motorcycles, although ironically these days this style is not considered sporty when compared to superbikes, but is seen as more of a comfortable cruiser look.

Not all custom motorcycles are choppers

Harley Davidson wrote the book on custom motorcycles

Another irony about modern factory custom motorcycles is that we have seen a resurgence of many of the unnecessary, heavy decorative components, such as footplates and large fenders, for style purposes. Again, this is kind of ironic since the original motivation for customizing motorcycles was to get rid of all that ornamental stuff to improve performance. Generally speaking, custom style motorcycles are based on a large capacity v-twin engines, which is probably due to the influence of Harley Davidson in this sector, since the company almost exclusively uses this engine configuration. Triumph, known largely for its three cylinder engines, provides several custom motorcycles based on a parallel twin motor, while the leading Japanese manufacturers build custom bikes on a variety of engine configurations – the cheaper Japanese customs tend to be based on modified engine designs borrowed from other models already in production in order to keep costs down, while the high end bikes are usually based on v-twin engines designed specifically for that model.

Custom motorcycles provide a more relaxed riding style than other types of bike, although some riders find the combination of a low seat and high handlebars uncomfortable for long rides. It’s also worth bearing in mind that they are really designed for style rather than practicality, and compared to more modern motorcycle designs they can often handle and perform quite poorly, as well as being quite uneconomical with fuel consumption. But the bottom line is that none of that stuff really matters, because nothing in this world is as cool as cruising down the road on a chopper.

Charity motorcycle rides

Bikers are a good natured bunch and one of the ways bike clubs around the world contribute to their community is by organizing charity motorcycle rides. While many charity rides are designed purely to raise money for a particular cause, some clubs organise ‘toy runs’ to collect toys for underprivileged children. Generally speaking charity rides are organised by motorcycle clubs, so if you want to get involved it’s a good idea to get in touch with your local club to find out if they’re planning such an event.

If you want to organise your own event, you’ll need to publicise it to encourage other bikers to get involved so, again, getting in touch with a local motorcycle club is usually going to be the best way to do this. The events raise money in different ways, but usually participating rides will ask people to sponsor them for every mile they ride, and some sort of event with entertainment and refreshments is often organised to mark the end of the run, where further money can be raised by inviting members of the public to participate and donate.

World’s largest charity motorcycle ride

Charity motorcycle rides are a great way to have fun and help a good cause

The largest of the charity motorcycle rides on record is the Annual SFPC (South Florida President’s Council of Motorcycle Clubs and Oranizations) Christmas Toy Run in the Sun, which takes place in Fort Lauderdale every year and sees over 30,000 motorcycles completing a 26 mile parade which takes over 3 hours. The event has been running for twenty years and raised over $7million for sick children as well as thousands of toys for needy kids.

There are thousands of similar events taking place all over the world every year, although for obvious reasons most of them take place in the summer. And you don’t need to round up 30,000 bikers to organise your own charity ride – just getting started with a dozen or so participants will be enough to generate some interest from your local newspaper and start raising some donations for whatever charity you decide to support.

Some bikers go one step further and organise epic charity motorcycle rides across entire continents to raise money for good causes, like one rider who recently rode all the way from London to Bangkok in aid of rare diseases. While organising such a trip by yourself isn’t impossible, it does take a lot of work, planning and logistical support, which is why most people who decide to do this will instead work with one of the many companies which arrange these trips for a fee, leaving you to focus on enjoying the ride and earning the money.

How to find a cheap motorcycle

In these tough economic times lots of people are having to make sacrifices and while a shiny new ride may now be out of the question for many bikers on a budget, it’s still possible to have some fun with a cheap motorcycle. The first, and most important point to bear in mind is that you’ll almost certainly be looking at a used bike rather than a brand new one. Like most vehicles, brand new motorcycles lose a large chunk of their resale value the moment you ride it out of the showroom, so you’ll always get a lot more bike for your money if you buy used.

One of the best places to find a cheap motorcycle is eBay, although you will often have to spend a bit of time researching and digging around the site for a bargain. The first rule of buying a motorcycle through eBay is to decide on the maximum amount you are prepared to pay for the bike and never be tempted to bid over that amount – a lot of people get caught up in the excitement of the auction and will talk themselves into bidding more than they planned to, which can mean that a bike that would have been a bargain eventually ends up being quite expensive.

Buying cheap motorcycles

Buying a cheap motorcycle might mean you have a little work to do on the bike

For most people a cheap motorcycle means an old motorcycle, so it’s more important than ever to pay attention to how well the bike has been looked after by previous owners and what kind of condition it seems to be in. Take a good overall look at the bike to find out what kind of physical condition it’s in – does it look as though it’s been regularly maintained and cleaned? Is there a full service history or any other documentation to demonstrate that the owner has taken proper care of the machine?

If the bike has lots of aftermarket parts and the engine has been tuned, this is often a sign that it will have been ridden hard in the past and will almost certainly be in more delicate condition that a bike which is still in standard condition. Remember, modifications (especially engine tuning) almost always decrease the resale value of a bike and very rarely add to its value. Look for signs that the bike may have been raced – things like the sump-plug and oil cap may have been drilled and lockwired, the fairing panels may be in very good condition but the frame and other parts will look tattier (racers often take the original plastics off and use cheap race fairings, replacing the originals when they want to sell).

If you’re going to buy an old cheap motorcycle, it’s a good idea to pick a popular model that sold well when it was launched as this should mean that there are plenty of spare parts available. It’s also worth trying to find a servicing and repair manual for whichever model you buy, although the internet is always a useful resource when trying to find information about working on older bikes since there are usually plenty of forums dedicated to the more popular bikes, where experts will be happy to share their wisdom.

When you’re buying a cheap motorcycle remember to factor in the cost of repairs into your budget, which could cover anything from a basic service to a complete overhaul. If you’re not confident that the engine is in good running order and you’re not able to repair it yourself, the bike may not be the bargain you think it is.

How to find the cheapest motorcycle insurance quote

First the bad news, because of the inherently dangerous nature of biking and the relatively higher number of accidents riders are involved in, it is always going to be difficult to find cheap motorcycle insurance quotes. But the danger is all part of the fun, right? So higher insurance costs are just the price we pay for that risk.

Now the good news. While it’s always going to be an expensive game, there are some things you can do to make sure you always find the cheapest motorcycle insurance quote available. First of all you need to understand that there are two factors about your bike that will affect your insurance costs, it’s power and its value.

Large capacity, high performance motorcycles are involved in far more accidents than smaller, slower bikes, and this means that insurance companies charge a higher premium to cover them. Likewise, high-value motorcycles are often targeted by thieves because they are relatively easy to steal and resell so, again, the insurers will charge more for these bikes.

So, the lesson to take from this is that if you really want to keep your insurance quote down, consider choosing a smaller capacity, lower performance bike. Most riders are unlikely to use all of the power offered by today’s largest sports bikes, so why not consider a 600cc instead of a 1000cc? Another thing that has a big impact on costs is the rider’s experience – if you’ve been riding for a long time and have had no accidents, you will usually get much cheaper insurance quotes than riders who are relatively new and/or have had several accidents. Stick to smaller, cheaper bikes for a while, and eventually you’ll be able to get cheap quotes on larger, faster bikes.

What can you  do to get cheaper motorcycle insurance quotes?

Regardless of what type of bike you’ve got, there are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of insurance. The first is simple security – make sure you bike is kept garaged at night, if possible, or at least stored off-road, as both of these things will significantly reduce the chances of it getting stolen. Also, speak to your motorcycle insurance company about whether they offer discounts if you use any approved security products, as they will often provide a list of locks, chains and other items from approved manufacturers which will help you to get a cheaper quote.

Other ways to lower the cost of your motorcycle insurance are to opt for a limited mileage policy (which might be ideal if you don’t use your bike as everyday transport) or to exclude passengers, which will suit many riders who never carry a pillion. Finally, the most important thing you need to do to find cheap motorcycle insurance quotes is shop around – compare the quotes from different providers, and don’t be afraid to tell them if you’ve got a cheaper quote somewhere else, because quite often they’ll be happy to undercut their competitors to win your business.

Great motorcycle quotes

There’s something about riding bikes that sings to the soul, so it’s no surprise that lots of famous people of given us some great motorcycle quotes that try to sum up their feelings about these awesome machines. We’ve collected some of our favourite motorcycle quotes below, and if you know of any more please share them with us in the comments:

“You live more in five minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in a lifetime.” – Burt Munro, from the movie, The World’s Fastest Indian

“Driving a motorcycle is like flying. All your senses are alive. When I ride through Beverly Hills in the early morning, and all the sprinklers have turned off, the scents that wash over me are just heavenly. Being House is like flying, too. You’re free of the gravity of what people think. ” – Hugh Laurie, actor.

“I really love to ride my motorcycle. When I want to just get away and be by myself and clear my head, that’s what I do.” – Kyle Chandler, actor.

“Riding a motorcycle on today’s highways, you have to ride in a very defensive manner. You have to be a good rider and you have to have both hands and both feet on the controls at all times.” – Evel Knievel, stuntman.

“You see, I don’t know how to ride a motorcycle, actually.” – Henry Winkler, actor.

“Endless motorbike talk can and does bore me.” – Barry Sheene, racer.

“Riding a race bike is an art – a thing that you do because you feel something inside.” – Valentino Rossi, racer.

"I try to have a different relationship with the bike. I don't give it a name, but I always speak with it. I don't know if the other riders do the same. This is not only a piece of metal - there is a soul." - Valentino Rossi

More motorcycle quotes

 

“But I was very, very lucky, and it was a wake up call as far as motorbikes are concerned. I never flirted with death on the bike, but now I’m totally convinced they’re death machines.” – Liam Neeson, actor.

“Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” Hunter S Thompson, writer.

“A motorcycle functions entirely in accordance with the laws of reason, and a study of the art of motorcycle maintenance is really a miniature study of the art of rationality itself.” – Robert M. Pirsig, writer.

“Roadracing motorcycles makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty.” – Peter S. Egan, journalist.