For someone, a motorcycle is a continuation of one's own ego, for others – of parts of the body. When you own a two-wheeled vehicle, it’s like a dream to learn how to fly, that comes true. But sooner or later most of them rot in a dump or serve as spare parts for other bikes. And only a few models go down in history and become true sources of inspiration. I propose the TOP-10 bikes, which, one way or another, influenced the course of events in the history of two-wheeled vehicles.
Start of production: 1924.
Country: United Kingdom
"The fastest, high-quality and indecently expensive motorcycle of its time. For such a balance of qualities, the British takes the 10th place of our celebrity parade. "
The legendary brand of motorcycles Brough Superior was founded by young entrepreneur George Brough in 1919. It was marked by high-speed characteristics and luxury, while it was impossible to expect it from other manufacturers. For its chic finish, build quality and a high price, Brough Superior was named as "Rolls-Royce" among motorcycles. It cost £170 when most people earn £3 a week. For comparison, a decent house at that time was estimated at £130-180. Having a 2-cylinder 1000cc engine, it produced 25 hp. This bike was unthinkably fast and with some skill it was possible to reach its top speed up to 160 km / h.
George could not help using such a huge potential of his cars without participating in races. Therefore, bikes took part in almost every competition. As a result, motorcycles Brough Superior won a whole collection of different victories and records on the racetrack. The company lasted until the beginning of the Second World War (till 1939).
Over the years, about 3 thousand Brough Superior motorcycles were produced. Today they are one of the most popular among collectors. At one of the British auctions, the Brough Superior motorcycle of 1929 was sold for a record $ 454 thousand.
Start of production: 1970.
"Affordable, simple and insanely popular. Created for countries where there are no roads. A well-deserved place in the TOP-10."
In the 70's and 80's, the Jawa motorcycle embodied the dream of a Soviet man about steepness and male dignity. But its path to fame was thorny and long. The history of the company goes back to 1929. The first model was quite complex, expensive and not in demand. Everything changed when the factory mastered the production of a simple two-stroke single-cylinder 175 cc engine. Sales increased, and the motorcycle became more popular day by day. And in 1946 a new model "Java 250" made a sensation of its soft riding, winning a gold medal at the exhibition in Paris.
"Java" motorcycles successfully performed in sports, in particular in motocross and six-day enduro competitions. In the 60-70s, Java bikes with four-stroke engines were among the best in the world of motorcycles for speedway. 250 and 350 models were the last ones to be sold on the territory of the former USSR.
The total number of copies sold already in the 80's exceeded 3 million pieces. Also, "Java" often became a hero of Soviet movies. A real Czechoslovak macho!
Start of production: 1969.
"Set new standards of quality and stirred up the market. Indecently reliable and boring bike, so only the 8th position in our parade. "
In the same year, when the first man set foot on the moon, the world's first superbike Honda CB750 appears. Like the famous cosmonaut Armstrong, Honda also outperformed and dared all competitors from its path. The main advantage was the simplicity and reliability of the design, which allows you to spend minimum on the content. For the first time the motorcycle appeared so viable and reliable, which could pass 150 thousand km without problems. This completely changed the idea of two-wheeled transport. The use of serial disc brakes became a revolutionary solution and stuck it to British competitors.
It was a breakthrough. The motor was perfectly balanced. Earlier it was necessary to accept the vibration and oil leak in the higher gear, but now everything has changed! Today, the number of copies of one of the most significant motorcycles of the 1970s has long exceeded hundreds of thousands. But later spoiled bikers turned the main advantage of "Honda CB 750" into its disadvantage.
Its smooth work started to bother tempted motorcyclists and they began to stare at competitors. They began to miss English, Italian and American emotions. It was too accurate, correct, but a boring motorcycle.
Start of production: 1955.
"Its technology was ahead of its time, becoming an antonym of reliability. For the "raw" stuffing - the 7th place”.
In 1955, in Italy technology that shocked motorsport appeared. Italians managed to divide 500 cc into 8 cylinders and, moreover, to fit all this into the running part of the motorcycle, which was a kind of combination of genius and insanity.
The size of engine parts turned out so small that their safety reserve was at the limit. In disassembled form, the motor resembled a watch. Each cylinder had its own carburetor. All this was synchronized and worked, which seems surprising for everyone who understands ICE and nowadays.
But the result was naturally unstable. Motorcycles either showed the best time on the circle, or they left the race for technical reasons. As a result, the project was too costly and after 3 years it was closed. Moto Guzzi V8 remained in history as the most exotic racing motorcycle, too ahead of its time.
Its V-shaped, eight-cylinder water-cooled engine equipped with a gas distribution system DOHC, was, on the one hand, a genuine masterpiece of engineering, and on the other hand a victim of imperfect technologies of that time. Moto GuzziV8 cost one million lira, which is equivalent to about $ 55 thousand today.
Start of roduction: 2000.
"If you ride a motorcycle and are still alive, then it was not Y2K. A dangerous and useless bike. 6th place for its courage. "
The American motorcycle of the Marine Turbine Technologies company is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most powerful and expensive serial motorcycle in the world. Unofficially, it is recognized as the most dangerous and controversial of the existing ones. The Y2K is equipped with a Rolls-Royce helicopter gas turbine engine, which operates on diesel fuel, kerosene, gasoline, aviation fuel and even alcohol, it means practically on everything that burns. The same ICE raises the BELL helicopter with six paratroopers on board and a full set of weapons, which weighs about 2 tons 300 kg, against 230 kg of bike.
Now try to calculate the ratio of power to mass. Is it impressive? 320 hp is reached at 52 thousand rpm, and the maximum speed can overcome the mark of 400 km / h. Everything is great, but at this speed it is impossible to turn. The American bike accelerates to 350 km / h in 14 seconds. Probably, this is the most racing motorcycle, which is not designed for racing.
Its price is $ 185 thousand, and the exhaust temperature is one thousand degrees. So be careful when driving up to the Y2K at the traffic lights. Most experts believe that this is "technological masturbation." But how many emotions can you get!
Start of production: 1947.
"The ancestor of the family" of scooter-like. The legend. Therefore, honestly took the 5th place.”
If every city on the planet gives its sound, then Rome will have the sound of a buzzing bee, the sound of Vespa. Piaggo Vespa is the ancestor of the European design school of motor scooters and the first successful scooter in the world. Without it, a two-wheeled world would be different. In 1947, the machine was designed from scratch without looking back at traditional motorcycles. There were other, aviation, principles: the combination of functions and the rejection of all unnecessary. Despite the advanced age, the scooter is still produced in the style of "retro" and looks out of time. After the war, it was a fashionable modern accessory not only for work, but also just for fun.
Today it is seen as a fashionable toy with a beautiful history. Vespa was so popular that it became a household name. Nobody said: "I'm on a scooter." Instead, they said: "I'm on Vespa." Today it is a philosophy of mobility. It can be safely considered the king of city roads.
For all the time, more than 10 million of these over-popular scooters have been produced. In addition, many English, German, American, Spanish and French factories bought Vespa production licenses. In the USSR in 1957 a motor scooter "Vyatka VP-150" was produced - an exact copy of "Vespa". The license was not acquired.
Start of production: 1991.
Country: New Zealand.
"Assembled in the garage, while more technologically than factory competitors. But the production has not received a continuation, so it can’t get on our podium. "
It was created not in Japan, Europe, or the USA, but in a garage in New Zealand in 1991. Then, a group of enthusiasts, led by designer John Britten, designed and built a motorcycle from scratch, which for its technical characteristics and design solutions was ahead of the entire motor industry for many years.
Let's just say, the appearance of a completely homemade motorcycle in the early 90's event is unique. The Power of V-twin engine of its own design was about 170 hp, but the success in numerous races was not hidden in the engine, but in the revolutionary design of the whole motorcycle. When creating this bike, John tried to minimize the total number of parts, so he completely abandoned the frame. The pendulum, suspension, front fork of a motorcycle and other equipment were attached directly to the engine by carbon brackets. Most of the parts were made of carbon fiber, so the weight of the bike did not exceed 145 kg.
Thus, on the racetrack this motorcycle made to swallow the dust of the most famous rivals among the leaders of the motorsport industry. It was lighter and with its 170 hp. more powerful. In the first race, the Britten V1000 drove significantly faster than the factory Ducati. Also there was an onboard computer in the motorcycle, which led a log on 6 parameters of the engine - a unique option for that time. The existence of the Britten V1000 is a kind of romantic story about a person, who is able to withstand huge plants with their limitless resources and capabilities.
However, this story has a tragic end. In 1995, the engineering genius John Britten died of brain cancer and took all the secrets of production on the grave. There are only 10 copies of the Britten V1000 in the world.
Start of production: 1994.
"Unique success in motorsports and a unique design. Civic versions. 3rd place.”
In 1994, Ducati produced a motorcycle that shock the imagination of both riders and people far from motorcyclism. The highest achievement of the design idea of his time. They talked and dreamed about it. A motorcycle in which the best design was combined with phenomenal technical qualities and great sound. It has everything! It became a racing icon, after three consecutive victories in the world SUPERBIKE championships. Revolutionary ideas were observed in its appearance. The exhaust pipe was placed under the seat, which not only emphasized the uniqueness of the style, but also improved aerodynamics. But the main thing is the ICE. At that time, all Japanese competitors worked on 4 cylinders, and Ducati returned everything to normal. The V-twin 2-cylinder engine was developed for a specific task - smooth acceleration in corners.
This bike has won a record number of titles at world championships. Nobody has been so long on the pedestal. There was also its improved, stylized version the Ducati 916 Senna.
In the showrooms of the dealer centers, the civil versions of the Ducati 916 were selling like hot cakes. But the key to this success was winning the race tracks around the world. Ducati 916 and its derivative models - 996 and 998 - won six World Superbike titles.
Start of production: 1936.
"Without it, we would never have seen bearded men on huge motorcycles. A living legend and a worthy vice-champion of our review."
Progenitor of motorcycles with an elongated frame and front fork, which first appeared in the United States. The legendary choppers began to made on the basis of stock Harley Davidson in the 50's. But “Harley” became world famous not only for its unique style. Knucklehead was the fastest motorcycle of its time in America. Without it, the image of Harley Davidson would have been different. It was faster than any car, so it was loved only by "bad guys", which made this motorcycle SEX-symbol of the 30s. A symbol of freedom.
Riding such a motorcycle today, you control the history that becomes a part of you. Bikers gave him the nickname Knucklehead, because its valve covers are like fists with two protruding knuckles.
Motorcycles of this model are still popular and in demand, despite their age. Today they are bought because of the image of "daredevil".
Start of production: 1975.
The safest, functional and comfortable modern motorcycle. A legend worthy of victory in our TOP-10."
At the dawn of the 70s, the motorcycle world became interested in "great tourism". In 1975, the dealer network received a motorcycle, which really impressed most of them. It was a Japanese cruiser Honda Gold Wing GL1000. By 1982, it acquired the features of a modern, all-familiar "tourist". And by 2008, the luxury Honda Gold Wing 1800 already had a chic seat, an audio system, a powerful engine, integrated satellite navigation and cruise control. An ideal motorcycle for a long-range riding! At the same time, its price in the US market started from $ 20 thousand, which is not much for a luxury motorcycle.
Thanks to its expressive appearance, unique oppositional 6-cylinder engine and modern technologies of creating comfort and safety, Gold Wing still retains the title of the most perfect and multifunctional touring motorcycle in the world. But most importantly, Honda began to equip the "Gold Wing" with the world's first airbag for serial motorcycles, which is installed between the handlebars and has a volume of 150 liters.
For its technical characteristics, comfort, safety and relatively affordable price, Honda Gold Wing becomes the winner of our TOP-10 list!