All-Time Legendary Motorcycle Riders


From Kenny Roberts to Valentino Rossi, there have been many great motorcycle riders, but who stands above all others as the greatest of all time?

Anointing one particular racer as the best ever is difficult, given the wild differences across eras. The quality of the field and level of competition varies from era to era, while advancements in technology and sports science tend to tilt the argument towards the modern-day campaigners.

Despite all of these, we have done our very best to pick out the greatest riders in history, and we present them to you in no particular order.

Giacomo Agostini

Going by mere numbers, Italian great Giancomo Agostini is the greatest motor racer ever. Agostini won 15 World Championships during a stellar career, 8 of which were at the highest level (MotoGP/ 500cc). He leads the field in both of those categories.

Agostini also has the most motor racing wins, with 122 victories, including 68 in the 500cc class.

Agostini dominated the motorbike road racing field through the 1960s and 1970s, and is forever stationed amongst the greatest riders of all time.

Valentino Rossi

Running Agostini very close in the battle for the motor road racing GOAT tag is his fellow Italian, Valentino Rossi. Rossi is the only rider in history to win 125, 250, 500 and MotoGP. He won the 500cc title in 2001, before the premier class transitioned into MotoGP.

Rossi is a nine-time World Champion across the different categories, with 7 of his titles in the premier MotoGP class (MotoGP replaced 500cc as the top racing division in 2002).

While Agostini has more world titles, Rossi has by far the most wins in the premier class, crossing the line in first place an unbelievable 89 times. He has also completed more races than any other man in history, totaling over 400 finishes.


Rossi was more than just a racer. Nicknamed “The Doctor”, he brought a great personality to the circuit, and is seen as the pin-up boy of modern day racing. He was almost unbeatable in the early 2000s, and was odds-on favourite to win every single race he entered during that period. If he was still competing in today’s world of online betting, Rossi is the sort of sportsman that would have won a lot of bets for motorsports punters!. Given the prevalence of special sportsbook promotions targeted at top athletes in their respective sports, offers on Rossi would have featured prominently amongst the long list of betting bonuses in the US!

Marc Marquez

At just 20 years old, the incredibly talented Marc Marquez won the MotoGP title in his debut season in 2013, becoming the youngest rider to win the premier class of motor racing.

Marquez is also one of four riders with titles in three different categories, having already won titles at Moto3 and Moto2 level prior to his grand arrival at the biggest stage.

The Spaniard would go on to win six MotoGP titles (and eight titles across all levels), just behind Italians, Agostini and Rossi.

Mike Hailwood

We return to the 1960s for the next name on our list- Mike Hailwood. Affectionately known as “Mike The Bike”, Hailwood is another driver with world championships across three different categories (500cc, 350cc and 250cc). The only other men to manage such a feat were Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez and Phil Read.

Between 1962 and 1965, the British racer won four consecutive titles at 500cc- the highest level of the sport back then.

As if all of that was not enough, he also had a decent career in Formula One car racing, competing in 50 Grand Prixs and managing two podium finishes.

Hailwood unfortunately died at the age of 40 following a road accident when a lorry that had made an illegal turn collided with his car. His nine year-old daughter, Michelle, also lost her life in the accident.

John Surtees

While Mike Hailwood was cruelly denied the chance to have a proper go at Formula One, one Brit that did manage to crack F1 and motorbike road racing was John Surtees.

First, the motor racing part: Surtees won seven world championships, including four in the premier 500cc level and three in the 300cc division.


After winning his seven motorbike titles (including three successive 500cc and 350cc doubles between 1958 and 1960), Surtees crossed over to F1, and in 1964, became the first and only man to world titles on both two and four wheels.

Honourable mentions for Australian great, Michael Doohan, who won five consecutive 500cc titles between 1994 and 1998, while four-time 500cc champions, Goeff Duke and Eddie Lawson also deserve special shouts.

Kenny Rogers also gets a shout out for his revolutionary driving style. The American three-time World champion was one the first riders to employ the cornering technique of hanging off the bike with his knees extended.