Top 10 Greatest Motorcycles Of All Time

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"Desire" means "to express a wish for". An average human being can desire anything. It could be materialistic things to non-materialistic things. Cars and motorcycles fall under the materialistic things that a motorhead would desire. But even to such a person, there are things beyond reach.

To a biker, motorcycles have always been more involving than their four-wheeled counterparts. There have been millions of motorcycles created over the years, but only a few stand out to become a great motorcycle. Lets take a look at ten of the greatest motorcycles of all time.

10. Bimota Tesi 3d

In our list of the top 10 greatest motorcycles ever built, at number ten comes the Bimota Tesi 3D. Just one look at the bike is enough to let people understand the amount of work put in for the design. The hub-centered steering and pull-shock fork are the best parts. It may not handle as good as a regular fork but it served its purpose. A Ducati engine powers the Tesi 3D.

9. Yamaha YZF-R7

The Yamaha R7 was a really interesting motorcycle. This was a proper race- spec motorcycle that had a 749cc, four-cylinder motor. The interesting part though, in spite of the big engine, the R7 produced only 100 bhp.

But when the unused bank of fuel injectors were activated, the motorcycle peaked at 135 bhp. The chassis is twice as stiff as an R1's, and the engine sports 20 titanium valves and nickel-plated forged pistons. Only 500 of these motorcycles were made.

8. Aprilia RS 250

The Aprilia RS250 was designed by Aprilia to resemble the company's GP250 bike to celebrate the success in the MotoGP championship. The RS250 features race oriented motorcycle with technology derived from Aprilia's racing experience.

The RS had a digital instrument panel that gave the rider a variety of information. It displayed maximum and average speed readings in kilometers or miles per hour, an adjustable rev limiter warning zone indicator, water temperature in choice of scale, battery charge indicator a clock, and a chronometer that could remember up to 40 lap times.

7. Honda RC30

The Honda VFR750R, or better known as the Honda RC30 had a 748 cc 16-valve, V4 engine that produced 76 hp at 9,500 rpm. The motorcycle was designed to take part in the World Superbike Championship by the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC).

The motorcycle had a broad power range and mated to a close ratio gearbox which had an extremely high first gear ratio. This made the RC30 untouchable in terms of power delivery on the move.

The RC30 also had a slipper clutch to help enable deliver all that crazy power to the road and make it easier to ride on public roads.

6. Moto Guzzi V8

At the number six spot is an engineering marvel – the Moto Guzzi V8. Built for racing during 1955-1967 for the Moto Guzzi Grand Prix team, the bike had a 499 cc, V8, liquid cooled engine that produced 78 hp at 12,000 rpm and gave the bike a top speed of 172 mph (280 km/h)!

Moto Guzzi V8: Engine

It took 20 years before the speed was reached again in Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Eight carburetors fed fuel to each cylinder.

5. Ducati Desmosedici RR

The Ducati Desmosedici RR is a limited production road-legal version of the MotoGP bike. Only 1,500 Desmosedici models were ever made. The bike had a V4, Double-L-Twin", Twin Pulse firing order, liquid-cooled, DOHC, Desmodromic, four titanium valves per cylinder, and gear-driven camshafts. The motorcycle produced 197 hp at 13,800 rpm.

Ducati Desmosedici RR

What made this one special was the all-carbon fibre bodywork and magnesium racing wheels. The bike had a top speed of 190.78 mph (307.03 km/h). This was a proper GP bike for use on public roads!

4. Vincent Black Shadow

At number four of the greatest motorcycles ever built is the Vincent Black Shadow. Less than 1,700 Vincent Black Shadows were made and they were all hand built. It was an innovative bike, it had a stressed engine and lots of aluminum, and also held the title of fastest production bike ever in the late 60s.

3. Suzuki Rg 500 Gamma

Entering the final three spots of our countdown, at number three is the Suzuki RG500 "Gamma" which was built between 1985 and 1987, inspired by the 1984 Suzuki RG500 "Gamma" Grand Prix motorcycle. The two stroke, rotary valve, twin crank, square four engine displaced 498 cc and had a power output of 93 horsepower.

The motorcycle had an anti-dive system called Posi Damp to control the tendency of the motorcycle's nose to dive when braking.

2. BMW R32

The BMW R32 was the first motorcycle produced by BMW. After they were forced to stop building aircraft, they started building motorcycles. The R32 was the first boxer-twin, shaft-driven motorcycle, which laid the foundation for BMW to use until now.

BMW used shaft drives in all of its motorcycles until the introduction of the F650 in 1994. The German company continues to use it on their boxer-twin motorcycles.

1. Honda NR

The Honda NR was a motorcycle that could put Ferraris to shame. It was a futuristic design with full carbon fibre bodywork and its exhausts tucked under the tail section. Ducati is still being blamed for copying this design.

Honda NR: Engine

Apart from the exterior, the engine was a marvel as well. The NR had oval pistons, which allowed 8 valves per cylinder and connecting two con-rods to each piston, which literally made it a V8 engine. It was one of the most expensive bikes to be sold during its production run, and even till date, the rarity has added to its value.

Story first published: Saturday, October 25, 2014, 14:29 [IST]
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