World's first Superbike?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by panorton, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. panorton

    panorton Charming as F**k

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    I've noticed a lot of posts refer to many different motorcycles as the "first superbike". It seems it is usually one which is a favorite of whomever makes the claim. I personally like Nortons and remember reading that the first time "superbike" was used in print was in reference to a Norton Commando. I don't know if this is true, but i'd like think so.:wink:

    So the question is.....Who said it first?:ear
    #1
  2. Contevita

    Contevita Cigar Adventurer

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    From Wikipedia:

    Superbike
    <sup id="cite_ref-CW09-2008_18-2" class="reference"></sup>, liter-class, or literbike, i.e. 1,000 cc (61 cu in).<sup id="cite_ref-Domino2009_4-5" class="reference"> </sup>As with supersport, many of the models in this class compete in superbike racing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superbike#Superbike
    #2
  3. GrouchyGeezer

    GrouchyGeezer Not a Long Timer

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    I had a Norton Commando (750 cc) and I don't remember the expression "superbike" being in use at that time. "TT Bike" for Tourist Trophy Racer (or in my case Tavern to Tavern) would be used; or "road racer" if it had clip-on handle bars and a very uncomfortable seat.

    I think the prefix "super" became popular in the late '70s when everything was super, or claimed to be.
    #3
  4. kbasa

    kbasa Roubaix! Super Moderator

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    Kawasaki Z1. That was the first one.

    :gerg
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  5. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    z1r i reckon but round there,gs1000,cb900,xs1100
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  6. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer

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    +1

    1973 Z1 - happen to have one in the garage. :D
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  7. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    It is true that Norton used the term first in advertising, in fact they went a step further by using the word "superplus" .

    As to the first superbike made, of course this was 50yrs before the term was first used, but without question, the Brough Superior SS100 Alpine Sports was the first .
    #7
  8. Racersteve

    Racersteve Adventurer

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    I would definitely call a Norton Commando a superbike, and a Kawasaki H2 750, being the fastest production bike in the world in 1972. The Honda 750 would qualify, and, of course, the mighty 900cc Kawasaki Z1. My .02
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  9. panorton

    panorton Charming as F**k

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    What publication and what date?
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  10. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    Are we forgetting Vincent? Certainly a strong contender, although Brough is in the running also.
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  11. Scratch33

    Scratch33 Fugawi?

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    Crocker.
    #11
  12. kbasa

    kbasa Roubaix! Super Moderator

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    My opinion. It was the first bike of the modern era that was all about hp. There were earlier bikes that were strong, but the Z1 was a whole different ball game.

    And I generally despise Kawasakis, so it's not a fanboy thing. :lol3
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  13. panorton

    panorton Charming as F**k

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    I'm curious when the term was first used by someone independent, like a journalist, in a publication. I'm sure we all have different opinions as to which qualifies, but i'd like facts today.:deal

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. BanjoBoy

    BanjoBoy Been here awhile

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    ^THIS^
    /thread

    The '72 Z1 wuz actually a 900 that totally dominated that era; it t'wuz the shiznit! :D Them others came much later.
    #14
  15. zuma

    zuma Been here awhile

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    Brough Superior.
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  16. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    i know,but imho that was the start of the one up man ship era
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  17. omeoxlv

    omeoxlv Been here awhile

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    Dont know who said it first but my clear memory from back in the 70's was that a "superbike" had to 750cc or more and capable of more than 160kmh (100mph).
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  18. BruceI

    BruceI Been here awhile

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    1973 was the first of the Z1s, I had serial # 3707. I agree the Z1 dominated that era.
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  19. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    This is it here, the bikes that were a big step up from just a fast bike like a Bonnie or Lightning. Really it was the BSA/Triumph triples, the Commando and the CB750, the Mach III was a nasty smelly noisy thing that would fly past any of the others in a straight line. They are the line in the sand for the serious performance bikes of the '70's.
    #19
  20. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    To me there were no superbikes until there was a class of production racing introduced by the AMA called "Superbike". The first Superbike champion was Reg Pridmore and he won aboard a BMW R90 boxer in 1976. The next championship winning machine was a Ducati 750SS called the 'California Hot Rod'.

    :D
    #20