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Seminal Bikes

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by hornet, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. Apropos of nothing in particular, I was thinking the other day about bikes that have significantly influenced those that came after them, the market, or motorcyling in general, in the last 40 years or so.
    The list is not exhaustive, and because I've been away from the scene for a few years, there's a bit of a hole in the 90s. But it should provide for discussion anyway.
    http://www.realclassic.co.uk/profiles.html This web-site has a wealth of info about all of these and many more.
    1. 1969 Honda 750/4. SOHC 4 cylinder engine, front disc brake, 5 speed box, reliability, the first modern superbike, and the template for every manufacturer to follow for the next 30-odd years.
    2. 1972 Kawasaki Z1. DOHC 4 cylinder engine, 903cc. Kawasaki were ready to go to market with a 750 but got trumped by the Honda, so they went back into R&D and came out with the Z1, which became the ultimate street bike and the father of thousands of racing bikes.
    3. 1978 Ducati 900SS desmo. V-twin, desmodromic valve gear, racing seat and pegs, awful electrics, but the greatest sound of its era, even with standard pipes, and legendary after Paul Smart's win at Imola and Mike the Bike's win at the TT.
    4. 1980 Suzuki Katana. The "what the heck is that???" bike of all time. Radical styling wrapped around proven components provided the template for today's street/racer styling.
    5. 1978 Yamaha XS-1100. The "excessive elephant" brought shaft drive sport/touring down from expensive to available, and stunned all comers with a Castrol Six-Hour race win in Australia.
    6. 1975 Honda Gold Wing. Flat four water-cooled shaft-driven tourer of epic proportions and weight, sent a generation of Americans out "to look for America" with a chance of finding it clean, fresh and not covered by grease from roadside repairs (the riders, that is, not the country)
    You'll probably disagree with some or all of these, and maybe have your own list of much more worthy nominees; please do!!

  2. Surely this thread should be read in conjunction with the "White stuff on the seat" thread????

    Will give the list some thought and reply when I have done so!
  3. 85 - gsx-r750 - spawned a whole era of street registered race bikes. This is the Adam of the modern sports bike

    86 - gsx-r1100 - not quite as significant as the 750 the year before, but took possible and accepted power levels to a new plane

    94(?) - Fireblade - Made power to weight the driving factor behind sports bikes. It still influences bikes to this day.
  4. and where is the VFR750??
  5. late 70's yamaha rd series has to be in there (some of the technology on this bike has been adapted and is now used on today's inline 4's - such as the ypvs valve (which led to the exup, and other manufacturers made similar systems for their bikes today too)
  6. Boz, didn't want to include the legendary RD series because I thought it might look biased; my first bike was a '74 RD-250!!!
  7. Top of the list, of course!!! :p :p :p
  8. More recently the first of the R1s. Not a huge fan myself, but I have to concede they made a storm when they come out.

    Agree with the RD. I was trying to think of a Stroker that had stood the test of time. Guess thats the one.

    Guzzi Lemans mk1 I suppose. BMW R90s
  9. What about the good ol' Triton?
  10. Are you talking about the old Trumpy's?

    I would have thought the motorcycle industry would want to forget about this sad attempt of the British motorcycle industry in it's final death throws.

    If you are talking about the first of the new series, then possibly.
  11. No I'm talking about the Triumph/Norton Featherbed hybrids the cafe racers built.

    They were a Featherbed frame with a T120R Triumph engine (from the Bonneville) in it.
  12. 1935 BMW R12 & R17. Why? First bike with telescopic forks. I think it could arguably be said that they "significantly influenced those that came after them", more than any other bike on the original list.
  13. Oh. I was thinking "Trident".
  14. Funny thing is BMW then tried everything in it's power to avoid Telescopic folks all the way untill the early 70's
  15. 1955 - BMW R26, R50 and R69 first bikes with swinging-arm suspension.....anybody detecting a pattern here?
  16. Gottlieb Daimler invented the first IC-engined motorcycle in 1885, which was an engine attached to a wooden bike. That marked the moment in history when it all began.....a winner I believe
  17. I reckon the 1985 Yamaha FZ250 Phazer probably deserves a mention. Don't think it was sold outside of the Japanese market but was the first production 250 with a DOHC 16-valve engine and a power output comparable to 250cc 2-strokes of the time.
  18. Can't remember which model.....but Honda put the first disc brake on a production motorcyle in the early seventies's.
  19. Nah! The VFR750/800 is the end of the line. That much was certain the moment they wheeled the first CBR1000F of the assembly line. If this thread is about bikes that spawned a new class, you'd have to vevise your nomination to theVF750 butter-cam model circa 1983
  20. Really? This doesn't sound right. Lockhead led the field here and they were british. Also it seams the italians had them pretty early too.

    Interesting though