12 Most Significant Motorcycles of All TIme

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Monsignore, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. Monsignore

    Monsignore Plunger Boy

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    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!
    #1
  2. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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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

    [​IMG]

    1981 BMW R80G/S .. first dual sport adventure motorcycle .. spawned a new genre of bikes
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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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

    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/eaRop_ZMwo0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. Prettyboy

    Prettyboy BFLB

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    Brough Superior SS100. T.E. Lawrence, enough said.
    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    Vincent Black Shadow?

    [​IMG]
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  6. IronJackWhitton

    IronJackWhitton Been here awhile

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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:


    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

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

    And number 3:

    [​IMG]

    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 :)
    #6
  7. L84dinr

    L84dinr Timing is Everything

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    1972 Ducati 750SS<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    +1 on the Britten!<o:p></o:p>
    And though I kinda agree with the Brough Superior SS My first thought was for the Vincent Black Lightning<o:p></o:p>
    One other bike, OK two&#8230; The Honda Hawk GT NT650 and the Honda CBX<o:p></o:p>
    #7
  8. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    Honda NR:deal !
    #8
  9. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    It all makes sense now!

    Jim :brow
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  10. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    What?:huh
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  11. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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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.
    #11
  12. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Just few off the top of my head. It's obvious I'm a sport bike guy. :lol3

    1976 RD 400
    1984 GPZ 900R (Ninja)
    1988 GSXR 750
    1990 RC 30
    1992 CBR 900
    1998 YZFR1
    1999 Hayabusa
    2009 YZFR1
    #12
  13. motorat

    motorat TBD

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    1909 Harley Davidson model 5-D
    first HD vtwin...and not much changed since:D
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  14. HooliKen

    HooliKen Awesome is a flavor

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    1985 GSXR 750 was a game changer.
    #14
  15. Auto-X Fil

    Auto-X Fil Been here awhile

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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.
    #15
  16. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    From the modern era, I'd pick these nine:

    1938 Triumph Speed Twin
    1948 Vincent Black Shadow
    1957 Harley Sportster
    1958 Honda Super Cub
    1968 Yamaha DT1
    1969 Honda CB750
    1975 Honda Gold Wing
    1980 BMW R80G/S
    1986 Suzuki GSX-R750

    I'd pick three more from prior to 1938, but I'm not enough of an antique bike guy to be knowledgeable.

    - Mark
    #16
  17. AustinJake

    AustinJake TE450-KLE-FXDWG

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    There were no dual sport motorcycles before 1981???
    #17
  18. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    The Z1 Kawasaki beat it to the Superbike label and the Ducati 750SS was fully faired.
    #18
  19. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    1-12 Honda "Cub" C50 C70 AKA "Passport". Gavel sounds X3. Case closed.
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  20. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    Ok .. perhaps I should have stated dual sport Adventure bike instead. before dual sports bikes were enduro bikes like Yamaha DT series.

    belongs on this list because BMW R80G/S spawned a complete new genre of Adventure bikes that could go round the world. capable on the road or off.

    Gaston Rahier wins the Paris Dakar with R80G/S
    [​IMG]
    #20