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Old 08-01-2013, 10:09 AM   #1
Monsignore OP
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12 Most Significant Motorcycles of All TIme

What are the twelve most significant motorcycles throughout history?

A friend and I are working on a project that will highlight 12 significant/iconic motorcycles. I could easily just choose 12 bikes at random, or flip thru my copy of the Guggenheim’s “Art of the Motorcycle,” but that would likely anger a lot of folks and overlook any number of bikes. We have an intended audience for our project and want to have a relatively broad appeal. So, I figured that if we want to appeal to as many motorcyclists as possible, I should appeal to as many motorcyclists as possible. This site spans the world and has more opinions than New York City has rats.

“Significant” means what you want it to.

Please reply with a make, model and year. Just stating, “Triumph Bonneville” is pretty vague since Bonnies have been made off and on since 1959. And if there’s a particular bike, like Rollie Free’s record-breaking Vincent, please state that. We want as specific a bike as possible for each of the 12.

There is currently no deadline. In fact, the more suggestions, the better. If 12 of you respond with 12 different bikes, then that’ll be our selection pool. But, if 1200 of you respond with 120 different bikes, well, then, that’ll be a lot more fun.

And if you feel there is a particular reason you chose such-and-such bike, let me know. But, please keep it civil. I don’t want to get punted to the basement on post #4 just cuz y’all can’t act like adults.

Thanks, and happy riding!
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:21 AM   #2
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1974 BMW R90S .. first of the superbikes, first production Superbike bike to come with fairing. spawned a new genre of bikes



1981 BMW R80G/S .. first dual sport adventure motorcycle .. spawned a new genre of bikes

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Old 08-01-2013, 10:33 AM   #3
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I dont know much about bike importance in the past but the RC166 and the Britten needs to be on that list





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Old 08-01-2013, 10:33 AM   #4
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Brough Superior SS100. T.E. Lawrence, enough said.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:35 AM   #5
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Vincent Black Shadow?

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Old 08-01-2013, 10:40 AM   #6
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I haven't been in it long enough to point out 12, but there are 4 bikes that come to mind from a relative 'noob' position:

So, SPECIFIC bikes in terms of significance, in no particular order:




A lot of folks saw Charlie and Ewan and said "Gee. That's pretty cool" -- and were bitten hard by the ADV bike fever. DS bikes are among the fastest growing segment of bikes, and I think at least some of that is owed to the high profile of these two boys. Granted, there are a lot of mud-free GSAs that never adventure past the local coffee shop, and some might complain that it's causing harm to the ADV bike segment -- but this is about significance, and that can be for better or for worse.



Number 2:



Who can't say they vividly remember "the Jump"? That's a pretty iconic and thus, significant moment.

And number 3:



Popularized by Ted Simon, this 500 CC Triumph that he took around the world was documented in Jupiters Travels, and really paved the way for a lot of modern day ADV riders -- his book showed a lot of people what COULD be done from the saddle of a bike; even if the closest one gets to an Around the World adventure is their local forest service road, there's still the spirit of adventure and discovery.

Just my 2 rubles :)
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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a few choices...

1972 Ducati 750SS
+1 on the Britten!
And though I kinda agree with the Brough Superior SS My first thought was for the Vincent Black Lightning
One other bike, OK two… The Honda Hawk GT NT650 and the Honda CBX

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Old 08-01-2013, 11:17 AM   #8
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Honda NR !
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:21 AM   #9
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It all makes sense now!

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Old 08-01-2013, 11:23 AM   #10
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Question

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It all makes sense now!

Jim
What?
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:25 AM   #11
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I would have to say that the '69 Honda CB750 deserves to be on the list. First of the big UJMs and a pretty innovative bike for the time.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:29 AM   #12
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Just few off the top of my head. It's obvious I'm a sport bike guy.

1976 RD 400
1984 GPZ 900R (Ninja)
1988 GSXR 750
1990 RC 30
1992 CBR 900
1998 YZFR1
1999 Hayabusa
2009 YZFR1
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:39 AM   #13
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1909 Harley Davidson model 5-D
first HD vtwin...and not much changed since
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:48 AM   #14
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1985 GSXR 750 was a game changer.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:50 AM   #15
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I don't know anything about Harleys, but at least a couple of them must be on the list.

In no particular order, I nominate:
  • 1969 CB750. OHC, I-4... it launched both the UJM and the sport bike genres.
  • Mini-Trail/Monkey. So many small dirt bikes, pit bikes, and other toys owe their popularity to it.
  • Ducati Monster - introduced an affordable factory naked as a cool sportbike alternative. The Street Triple may have perfected this, but probably isn't top-12 material.
  • 'Busa. It's the Dodge Viper of motorcycles. Bigger is not always better, and yet, in the 'Busa, it might be.
  • Some BMW GS. BMW defines the GS genre, others follow.
  • Honda Goldwing. Often imitated, never quite duplicated. How they make such a monstrous bike handle so capably is beyond me.
  • Ninja 250. Has any other bike started more riders? Dirt cheap, reliable, and "Ninja" is practically synonymous with "sport bike" for most non-riders.
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