Take it to the Limit: A Motorcycle Documentary with No Bounds

Above all others, Take it to the Limit and On Any Sunday are considered motorcycle documentary classics today.

The original movie poster.

On Any Sunday probably registered first in your mind as one of those films, but if you weren’t part of the motorcycle scene during the early 1980s you may not be familiar with the other title, Take It To The Limit, produced and directed by expatriated Englishman Peter Starr.

Peter Starr and Arlo Guthrie, who was also in the film.

Starr’s film focuses on what could be described as motorcycle racing’s Golden Era — the mid-to-late 1970s. Limit’s opening scene features an aerial view of the late Dave Emde riding a 1978 Yamaha XS1100 at speed on California’s Highway 150 along the Casitas Pass. The speedometer needle registers 130-plus mph before the film cuts to Kenny Roberts gracefully road racing his Yamaha TZ750, then cuts back to Emde on the street bike before showing a nasty crash by racer Bob Endicott at Ontario Motor Speedway. The stage is set for the rest of the film, and what follows is a litany of scenes, commentary and interviews with racers, among them American speedway star Scott Audrey, Steve Baker’s unforgettable 1976 Race of the Year win at Mallory Park against Barry Sheene and other greats of that era, and more.

Steve Baker at the 1976 Race of the Year at Mallory Park.

The point-of-view perspective, mixed with racers’ commentary, puts the audience up close and personal with legends such as Roberts after his historic Indy Mile win in 1975 aboard a TZ750-powered flat tracker, a gut-wrenching quarter-mile 199-mph ride with Russ Collins aboard his Sorcerer twin-engine (Honda 750s) drag bike, and a reckless jaunt in a Southern California desert race with offroad master AC Bakken, who wore an eight-pound helmet camera (sorry, no GoPro back then!) for a rider’s perspective of dodging desert pucker bushes at breakneck speeds while overtaking slower riders.

10/2/2020 12:35:50 AM

Is there any way to see this online? I have zero chance to see it at any dealer.

The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5.00 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $29.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $34.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter