Thousands of motorbike models have been developed over the years, but only a few have risen above the rest to become genuinely famous. Each of these vintage motorcycles had a unique feature, such as a mechanical advancement here or a stunning design there. Some simply have the right combination of characteristics at the right moment in the appropriate market. They all contributed to the illustrious history of today's top speed machines.
So, without further ado, here are the most popular vintage motorcycles in the history -
When the Vincent Black Shadow, the world's first superbike, debuted in 1948, it seemed like something out of a nightmare. Because of its massive 900cc engine and then-unheard-of top speed of 125 mph, it generated quite a sensation. The bike was written into Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, the ultimate aficionado of the extreme, as part of the book's madcap haze of excess.
The Ninja has been Kawasaki's principal sport bike platform for well over 30 years, and it's no exaggeration to say that it's seen all the format has to offer over that time. It has established the benchmark for entire market segments in ways that are still relevant today as a result of this approach.
The Honda Gold Wing revolutionized what it meant to cruise in style. The Gold Wing began life as a huge sport bike intended to be a follow-up to the CB750, but it swiftly morphed into the king of the full-fairing "couch on wheels" baggers. In fact, vintage Honda motorcycle parts also became quite popular in the industry.
Although the Softail may have a little advantage over the classic Harley V-Twin, the Harley-Davidson Sportster is the bike that has introduced one generation of riders to the hog's enchantment after another. It's been in production in some form or another since 1957, and it's one of Harley-best-selling Davidson's models.
A motorcycle is a daily transportation vehicle for many people around the world, providing access to food markets, medical facilities, and other essential requirements. The Honda Super Cub is the undisputed monarch of this utilitarian market, as evidenced by its 60-plus years of continuous manufacture and legendary sales figures of more than 100 million units sold over the model's existence.
The Triumph Bonneville is living proof that you can't keep a good bike down. Triumph has survived despite frequent ownership changes and a tragic factory fire, thanks in part to the classic design of the Bonneville. The Bonneville is a just-minimal-enough roadster with the sleek appearance of a cafe racer but a somewhat more comfort-first design, named after the popular proving area for land speed record attempts.
Remember to revere the Honda CB750, the great-granddaddy of them all, if you adore your Kawasaki Ninja or Suzuki Hayabusa (two bikes we'll explore later). Thanks to its original design, the CB750 established the inline four engine configuration that gives sport bikes their distinctive power today and became an instant bestseller.
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