Biking Icons – A Personal Take

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  • This topic has 23 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by Radar.
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  • #10680
    Radar
    Moderator

    My Personal take on the most significant bikes from 1980 to 2010

    1980. Yamaha RD350LC:  Took two stroke lunacy to a new level, in neat and fantastically well styled package.  The little brother 250cc variant even triggered a change in the law

    A modified LC. The bike really lends itself to this treatment

    1981. Suzuki GSX1100 Katana. A radical styling departure and a bike that formed a bridge from the bruisers of the 1970’s to the race reps that came in the 1980’s. It’s influence on bike styling remains to this day.

    A modified Katana – so many were.

    1984. Kawasaki GPz900R. First of the new generation hyper bikes, and the start of a blood line that can be traced directly to the likes of the ZX10R today.

    Gpz900R. The most quoted fact…’it was a 750 in Top Gun you know…’

    1984. Suzuki GSXR750. The first of the true race reps. The ‘Gixxer’ as it soon became known, quickly established itself as the nutters tool of choice. Many have also been “fightered” and are at the start of a whole new biking sub culture: The Streetfighter The GSXR is also the granddad of the GSXR1000. Enough said I think!

    1984. Yamaha RD500LC.  Perhaps the high water mark for the two stroke road bike, we will not see the like of this again. Some say it is overrated and the RG500 was a better bike. However the RD was on the market first and so it gets the ond over the Suzuki

    Yamaha RD500LC

    1985. Kawasaki GPz600R. The start of the superb 600cc sports bike wars. This class has seen some of the finest bikes to ever turn a wheel.

    1988. Honda RC30. A seminal machine, that even now can hold it’s head high with the very best sports bikes. Racing technology and bespoke build quality mean this is a two wheel engineering master class.

    Honda RC30. This example was on show at the 2005 Festival of Speed, Goodwood

    1990. Kawasaki ZZR1100. The bike that launched the arms race for the top speed between the big Jap factories. The Honda CBR1100XX joined the fray  soon after. Ultimately this led to the 201mph straight from the crate Suzuki GSXR1300 Hayabusa of 1999.

    This very bike was owned by a journalist when new. It was in his hands it hit 175mph on the runway at Bruntingthorpe 

    1991. Triumph Trophy 1200. Not a particularly iconic bike in itself, but it was the bike that saw the proud Triumph brand back in the market place.

    1992. Honda CBR900R Fireblade. 1,000cc power, 600cc weight and size, the Blade blew the FZR1000 and GSXR1100 into weeds and moved the game on several paces in one huge leap. Now in 2006 it is turning up on the covers of classic bike mags. A classic and the bloodline continues to this day

    Still a stunning bike 

    1994. Ducati 916. The best looking and sounding bike of all time. Revived the fortunes of once great Italian marque and became the Ferrari of biking. Spine chilling!

    1998. Yamaha R1. Like the Blade the R1 took the sports bike on to a new level that some thought would be hard to beat. Or would it…

    The mighty 1998 R1

    2001. Suzuki GSXR1000. 1 bhp per kilo. Performance only James T and his crew can relate to.

    Suzuki GSXR1000R K2

    Where do we go from here?

    Well the 2009 Yamaha R1, with it’s incredible ‘cross-plane’ crank and V8 like howl indicate that the great bikes are going to keep coming for a while yet.


    The 2009 R1

    I think we need to reflect that while the roads become ever more crowded and watched over by the dreaded ‘scameras’, we are actually in the midst of a biking Golden Age. The bikes we can choose from have breathtaking capabilities and it is still possible to get out there and use your bikes on some fabulous roads.

    So lets keep positive about our biking as we pay Fiesta money for our Ferrari humbling performance!!


    Look in the Forest if you want to find trees


    #34553
    Digger
    Participant

    Brilliant choice Radar,I too grow up in the early eighties bike revolution,the Gpz11 was the dogs dangly bits,also when I was about 13 I was gobsmacked at the beauty of the Yamaha RD 250E coffin tank,what a gem.

    Take it easy out there

    #34554
    Radar
    Moderator

    quote:


    Originally posted by Digger

    Brilliant choice Radar,I too grow up in the early eighties bike revolution,the Gpz11 was the dogs dangly bits,also when I was about 13 I was gobsmacked at the beauty of the Yamaha RD 250E coffin tank,what a gem.

    Take it easy out there


    I had a coffin tank 1980 RD250E in 1987. Mint and only 5,000 miles on it. Wish I had never sold it.

    bikepics-432631-800.jpg



    Look in the Forest if you want to find trees


    #34555
    Digger
    Participant

    Nice one Radar,the 400 was even more awsome.

    Take it easy out there

    #34556
    Radar
    Moderator

    https://bikemeet.net/forums/topic/yamaha-rd250e/

    A more detailed review of the RD



    Look in the Forest if you want to find trees


    #34557
    Digger
    Participant

    Is that the 400,coz it did`nt half move.The way things change.

    Take it easy out there

    #34558
    Radar
    Moderator

    A mate had a tuned RD400E in silver and black. Went like [email protected] for the time. Mine was just a humble RD250E



    Look in the Forest if you want to find trees


    #34559
    prezzo
    Participant

    R7 best handling bike ever

    Paul

    Talk is cheap

    Dont forget to Donate !!!

    #34560
    GSXR1000
    Participant

    Sounds corny, but I owned almost all those bikes at some stage.
    The 999R was the purest sportsbike I ever owned, with the most incredible sound as the huge vee motor went past 10,000 rpm, an unheard of engine speed for a big twin until recent times.

    So many favourites really, the Honda CBX, the Kawasaki Z1300, RD500LC (pretty much the first one sold here), Ducati 916, Honda VFR1000R (gear-driven cams model), so so many great bikes.

    #34561
    Radar
    Moderator

    Lucky man, I am especially envious of the RD500!!



    Look in the Forest if you want to find trees


    #34562
    GSXR1000
    Participant

    A guy called Stan Stephens tuned the RD500LC for me. He said it was a good engine but not particularly easy to improve without lots of work. He got it from the standard 95 bhp to around 115 bhp, which at the time was a lot, especially as the bike was much lighter than other machinery with the same power, like a Honda CB1100, Kawasaki 1100 or whatever.
    I had 170 mph out of mine on the clock, probably a true 160 mph.
    It certainly looked radical for the time and everyone wanted to see it and talk about it!

    Confession though. When I tracked it for the only time, it was blitzed through the turns by a guy on a bike I later owned, a Suzuki RG500. The Suzuki was lighter and nimbler and the rider was an ex-professional!

    #34563
    Radar
    Moderator

    Bump

    #34564
    Radar
    Moderator

    bump

    #34566
    HippoDrones
    Participant

    oh and forgot this one:

    Yamaha%20R7%20%205.jpg

    The Yamaha R7, needed about £5k spending on the road bike to make it good on top of a stupid expensive RRP (they made it so it could be sold in all markets and Germany ment we were restricted to under 100bhp, the race zorst alone cost around £3.5k!)

    One of my mates has one owned from new in his garage the lucky bugger. It only comes out on very very special days tho!

    #34567
    Radar
    Moderator

    Some great coices there Pete, the Norton, Senna and R7 are all beautiful looking bikes

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