McQueen in The Great Escape Motorcycles | 14 January 2016 Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Rebel actor and motorcycle enthusiast Steve McQueen did most of the riding you see in the classic film The Great Escape. There was one stunt he didn’t perform, however–the epic 60-foot jump over a fence. The jump was actually done by McQueen’s friend Bud Ekins. Interesting piece of trivia. Want to learn more about the bike that McQueen rode? The Complete Book of Classic and Modern Triumph Motorcycles has the story. Steve McQueen with the TR6 used for the jump in The Great Escape. The bike was a 1961 TR6 made to loosely look like a military BMW R12 or Zündapp KS750. As McQueen wasn’t allowed to perform the jump in the movie, Bud Ekins was the stunt rider. Triumph Motorcycles Actor Steve McQueen was an accomplished motorcycle rider, purchasing his first new bike, a TR5 Trophy, from Don Brown of Johnson Motors. Brown told him to get it serviced at Bud Ekins’ dealership in North Hollywood, and Ekins and McQueen soon became great friends. McQueen successfully competed in a number of offroad events, including Hare and Hound Scrambles, and the Mint 400 and Baja 1000 desert races. For the World War II movie The Great Escape, McQueen requested a motorcycle chase scene, and Ekins supplied two 1961 TR6s to the film studio, Mirisch, during 1962. These were modified to look more German by painting them army green and adding a large front fender and pannier racks. The motorcycle chase scenes culminated in the jumping of the barbed wire fence and were shot outside Füssen in Bavaria. As McQueen wasn’t allowed to perform the jump, Ekins undertook it. With a shortage of qualified motorcyclists available as extras, however, McQueen did ride a motorcycle in the chase sequence. The Great Escape was released in July 1963 and was one of the highest-grossing films that year. It made Steve McQueen a superstar, and the motorcycle jump became legendary. When McQueen needed another stuntman for the 1968 film Bullitt, he turned to his mate Bud Ekins to drive the Mustang in the famous car chase through the streets of San Francisco. Take an authoritative, thorough, and heavily illustrated look at Triumph motorcycles, from beloved classics to popular new models! What do Marlon Brando, James Dean, Steve McQueen, Bob Dylan, and Arthur Fonzerelli all have in common? All of these men define the very essence of cool, and all have owned Triumph motorcycles. Originally formed as a bicycle company in 1885, in 1902 Triumph produced its first motorcycle, which was simply a bicycle fitted with a Belgian Minerva engine. From there, the company, in various iterations, went on to build some of the most iconic motorcycles of all time. For the first time ever, The Complete Book of Classic and Modern Triumph Motorcycles 1937-Today collects all of the motorcycles from this iconic brand in a single volume. Written by respected Triumph expert Ian Falloon, all of the major and minor models are covered, with an emphasis on the most exemplary, era-defining motorcycles such as the Thunderbird, Tiger, Trophy, Bonneville, and new machines such as the Speed Triple, Thruxton, and Daytona 675. The Complete Book of Classic and Modern Triumph Motorcycles 1937-Today will also feature important non-production models and non-factory racing and speed-record-setting motorcycles that have become integral parts of Triumph’s stellar reputation. This is a book no Triumph fan will want to be without! Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.