The Motorcycle Skills of Daniel Craig’s James Bond Impressed A Moto GP Champion

Daniel Craig’s James Bond loves motorcycles. This incarnation of agent 007 throws his leg over a motorbike in three out of five films. James Bond tailed the Quantum of Solace bad guys atop a Honda Montesa Cota. In the upcoming No Time To Die, 007 will use a Triumph Scrambler to complete a daring jump in the mountains of Italy. But one of Bond’s most memorable motorcycle chases opened 2012’s Skyfall. Craig’s Bond is so handy on a bike that he even impressed Moto GP champion, Casey Stoner. 

Skyfall: ‘They appear to be on the rooftop of the Grand Bazaar’

Daniel Craig's agent 007. The Skyfall James Bond motorcycle is a Honda CRF250R through Istanbul's Grand Bazaar during Skyfall. Bond's motorcycle skills impressed Moto GP champion Casey Stoner. | MGM/Eon Productions via James Bond 007 Youtube
Daniel Craig on a Honda motorcycle during Skyfall | MGM/Eon Productions via James Bond 007 Youtube

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As Skyfall opens, Patrice the assassin has stolen MI6’s list of all known undercover agents from an Istanbul operative. James Bond must catch the henchman at all costs. So he uses a Land Rover Defender 110, an excavator, and even a train to pursue Patrice across Turkey.

Patrice shoots up an Istanbul market and steals a police motorcycle to escape 007. But James Bond does not let him get away. Instead, he leaps onto a nearby Honda CRF250R off-road motorcycle.

Patrice turns out to be a capable rider, racing down alleys and even up a staircase. But James Bond is just as fast. Finally, the two emerge onto the rooftop of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. 

Bond navigates the Honda along the roof peak catwalk. In a pinch, he even jumps his bike over the terra cotta tiles to cut off Patrice’s escape. It is a harrowing James Bond motorcycle chase.

Trapped, Patrice crashes through a window and into the Grand Bazaar proper. Bond chases him through the long, winding space. He avoids pedestrians and dodges tapestries. When they emerge onto the street, Bond pushes Patrice towards a bridge to trap the assassin.

When MI6 corners Patrice atop the bridge, he leaps over the side and lands on a moving train. As the train pulls away, it appears Bond has lost. Instead of giving up, 007 rides his Honda over the bridge rail at full throttle. The bike’s front tire crashes into the fence and catapults Bond through the air. He lands on the moving train’s last car, ready to continue his chase.

Casey Stoner of Moto GP reviewed the Skyfall motorcycle chase

Casey Stoner is a Moto GP champion. He sat down to watch the James Bond motorcycle chase in Skyfall to rate the realism of the stunts in the movie.

Though many fans were impressed by Bond riding the Honda up a flight of stairs, Stoner was not. In explanation, he said, “Going up stairs on a bike, realistically, isn’t very hard at all. Even for myself, who’s not a technical (stunt) rider like this.”

When James Bond and Patrice continued across the catwalk on the rooftop of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, Stoner was wowed. Furthermore, he said, “Riding across the top of that small gap would have been the most difficult part of that whole scene.”

He explained, “As easy as it seems, when you’re going that speed one little mistake can be quite catastrophic. So getting those gaps (between the tiles) would have definitely been a little bit tricky.”

Stoner said of the stuntmen playing James Bond and Patrice, “They were doing a very, very good job on that scene.” Robbie Maddison, X Games competitor, is the talented stuntman who played James Bond during the Istanbul chase scene.

When Patrice and Bond smashed through the Grand Bazaar’s window and fell a story to the market below, Stoner revealed a secret of the stunt. He said, “It’s not that hard to do those sort of drops. Actually, the faster you go, the better it is.” But he admitted that timing is everything, saying, “you can break your wrists, break your ankles,” if you drop a full story at the wrong speed.

The motorcycle skills of Daniel Craig’s James Bond impressed the Moto GP champion

Stoner did laugh about one pet peeve he has with most action movies in which the hero steals a bike. When Bond grabbed the Honda 250, Stoner said, “Of course, there’s always a key in the bike.”

The champion said the action film reminded him it is “pretty incredible what people can do on bikes.” Overall, he rated the realism of the stunts in this James Bond motorcycle chase with a nine out of ten.

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