The 10 Greatest Motorcycles Of The Last 100 Years You Must Know | XYZCTEM®
Motorcycle history dates back as far as 100 years, with yearly improvements. During this period, several iconic bikes and manufacturers have left trademarks worldwide, leading to how we perceive them today.
Many of the fantastic sophisticated features in the 21st-century motorcycle, including the horsepower, are advanced products of hundreds of motorcycles released over the past century.
Considering the large number of motorcycles produced 100 years back with their factors such as revolutionary designs, style, speed, bikers’ recommendations, and many others, we have come up with the 10 greatest motorcycles you may consider for a fun-filled road trip. In no particular order, Let’s explore the best bikes in the world.
10 Best Bikes in the World
The BMW R32 was the first ever motorcycle produced by BMW after they were forced to halt production due to the ban on German aircraft manufacture by the Treaty of Versailles.
BMW R32 was born out of the decision of Frank Josef, the general manager of BMW, and Max Friz, the design director, in 1923 to redesign Helios’ motorcycle for high market-drive.
The motorcycle has an M2B33 494 cc side-valve air-cooled flat-twin engine, a fuel capacity of 14 liters, a 95km/h top speed, and a 3-speed manual transmission.
Triumph Bonneville is what bikers call a timeless crown jewel. It became an emblem in the world of motorcycling, making it one of the best bikes to reckon with decades back. Bonneville has been the most successful bike model that Triumph has manufactured.
Historically, this iconic motorcycle got the name “Bonneville,” also known as “Bonnie,” from “Bonneville Salt Flats,” the salt desert in Utah, USA, called where the bike was first adopted. The production of the motorcycle began in 1959 and has been manufactured in three generations and still stands, coming back each time with better design and speed. Amazing!!!
The Ducati 999R combines the significant aspects of the 916, 996, and 998 into one bike. The production of the bike was set into motion in 2003 before coming to a stop in 2006. The bulky and heavy was a turn-off for most riders. But its speed, power, and function was enough reason to give it a second thought compared to other motorcycles.
It has an L-twin desmodromic valve, and its design orientation was considered one of the best. Ducati 999F has a 998-999 cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 90-degree L-twin DOHC, 4 desmodromic valves per belt-driven engine, and A 6-speed transmission.
The Britten V1000 motorcycle was designed and built from scratch by John Britten and his friends in New Zealand, South Island. Undoubtedly, hand-built bikes are produced using engines and wheels from external manufacturers, while bodywork and frames are hand built.
However, it's a different ball game with Britten V 1000. John built almost every single component from scratch. Interestingly, the shed-built bike outshined the best twin-cylinder machines worldwide, shattering four FIM world speed records in the 1000 cc class, the New Zealand Grand Prix title, and the Battle of the Twins in Daytona.
Britten was a rare bike recognized by the art world as only 10 were produced and are now displayed in museum collections.
Indian Chief is another iconic motorcycle designed and built by Hendee Manufacturing Company. It was produced from 1922 -1953 and was discontinued during World War II. There was continuity in the production from 1999 till date. The Indian Chief was called the Indian scout’s “Big twin” because of their similarities.
Despite the similarity, the chief is larger and more potent than the scout. The Chief has a 1200 cc motor to reach 85mph in just the third gear. The bike is a symbol of vintage and classy and has been recognized as one of the best bikes of all time.
Harley Davidson XR750 was introduced in 1970 by Harley Davidson to compete in the AMA Grand National Championship with bikes from Japan and Britain. Amazingly, Harley-Davidson XR 750 became the bike with the most wins in racing history. In addition, Davidson XR750 became the legendary stuntman Evel Knievel's choice of bike motorcycle to make his death-defying jumps and stunts easier. However, the XR750 retired from competition in 2016.
The Kawasaki Z1 started as a project under the name “New York Stead.” The Z1 was birthed after Honda unveiled their CB750, causing Kawasaki to scrap their initial project. The Z1 was considered the most powerful and modern 4-cylinder 4-stroke superbike, with its speed topping the charts.
The Kasasaki ZI won the Motorcycle News Machine of the Year from 1973-1976 and set the world's FIM and AMA record for 24-hour endurance at Dayton. The Z1 has a four-cylinder, air-cooled, double-overhead camshaft and a maximum speed of 130 -132 mph.
The Honda CB750 is tagged “the greatest bike of all time” and is often called the original Universal Japanese motorcycle. This air-cooled, 4-cylinder engine motorcycle produced by Honda was the first bike to offer disk brakes and was designed using a computer in 1969. The Honda CB750 is included in the AMA motorcycle hall of fame bikes.
The Triumph Speed Twin was designed by Triumph’s Chief designer, Edward Turner, and launched in 1938. It was classed as a top-of-the-line sport bike. The vintage motorcycle comes with a 498 cc 360-degree Parallel-twin OHV four-stroke engine. Edward used bits and transmissions from other models to make this bike pocket-friendly. However, Edward's design became a footprint for other British motorcycle manufacturers.
The Honda Super Cub is tagged as the most-produced motorcycle in history. This four-stroke single-cylinder motorcycle has been in production since 1958 till date, selling over 100 million Super Cubs in 2017 and still counting.
These bikes embody the heights of motorcycle engineering and the mark they have made in the last century. Of course, many great bikes could have been on this list. Is your favorite bike on the list?