Bikes are amazing, well-known machines. These are mechanical interpretations of form meeting function with personality. They are both simple and sophisticated. Motorcycles are more than just a mode of transportation—whether it’s the chrome that gleams in the sunlight, the skillful engineering that is put into a single-sided swingarm, or their uncanny ability to outrun anything—they suffocate attention. Here are the most iconic motorcycles that you need to know.
When you ride a bike along the street, you can observe children pointing and grinning in the middle of whimpering. You can also observe dogs running around; happily, moody teenagers fighting, mouth curling, and elderly biker types nodding in complete understanding. Nonetheless, certain motorcycles generate more attention than others. Here is our ranking of the ten recognizable and most iconic motorcycles ever.
10 Most Iconic Motorcycles Of All Time
1. Honda CB750
Honda popularised the transverse-mounted, inline-four engine in 1969. The CB750, considered one of the first real “superbikes,” was Soichiro Honda’s fixation on conquering the American market.
Because of its race-proven inline-four configuration, the CB750 offered exceptional value for money and could easily reach 120 mph. Another popular innovation that transformed the motorbike market was front-mounted disc brakes. The cherry on top included an electronic start, a kill button, an overhead camshaft, and simple maintenance.
2. Honda Super Cub
The Honda Super Cub is the motorbike that sells the most worldwide. It can be attributed to more than five decades of manufacture, a durable single-cylinder engine, and minimal ownership costs. The Super Cub, ubiquitous in Asia, Africa, and South America and several variations, has been compared to the Volkswagen Beetle and Ford Model T for its impact on motorized transportation.
There won’t be a sudden disappearance of the Cub. Honda produced its 60 millionth vehicle in 2008 to commemorate its 50th anniversary, and sales haven’t slowed since; the 100 millionth Super Cub rolled off the assembly line in 2017.
3. Kawasaki Triple
The amazing power-to-weight ratio of the Kawasaki Triples produced during the disco period won them widespread acclaim. Within two blocks of the dealership, quarter-mile times under 13.1 seconds could be achieved. That was if riders could keep the front wheel on the ground and travel straight; the three-cylinder engine’s torquey, free-revving nature made it notorious for wanting to run up on one. They had terrible handling from the start, even when the front wheel was on the ground, earning them the moniker “Widowmaker” of the 1970s.
Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Kawasaki Triples remain in high demand and fetch high prices when they appear.
4. BSA Gold Star Clubman
Riders who lapped the Brooklands track at an average speed of more than 100 mph received the Gold Star pin. The BSA Gold Star was created in 1937 when Wal Handley emerged from retirement, hopped on a BSA, and recorded a lap speed of 107.5 mph.
BSA rededicated their efforts to support the brand name printed on their tanks, and they dominated the Clubman TT until it ended in 1956. The hand-built 500cc single-cylinder Gold Star was sold with factory test data indicating the horsepower amount. Even a first gear capable of reaching 60 before shifting can be added to later models. Because of this, the factory catalogs claimed that this bike was intended primarily for racing and was unsafe on the road. (Fortunately, this would only increase their popularity.)
5. Ducati 900SS
Ducati created the 864cc “square case” powered 900 Superlight in the 1970s to nibble at the Japanese-dominated supersport market. The larger Desmodromic L-twin, which resembled the powerful 750 SS Paul Smart rode to victory at Imola, became instantly popular. With its modified shifter (now on the left side of the bike) and iconic spoke wheels, the 1978 model is regarded by Ducatisti as the most desirable variant. Before gently bidding farewell at the top of its class, the 1978 model will also triumph in the famed Isle of Man TT.
6. BMW R60/2
The BMW R60 was the go-anywhere, do-anything tourer of the 1960s and was available for 13 years. Its punchy flat twin engine and Earle’s fork design, originally intended for sidecar duty, make it a capable bike both on and off the road. The R60 was so powerful that Dan Liska traveled 95,000 miles from the Arctic Circle to South America. He then traveled from Northern Europe to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa without a support crew, satellite phone, GPS, or foreign fixers. This was to clear the way for Boorman and McGregor.
7. 1940 Indian Chief
The 1940 Indian Chief, built with a sprung frame, caught eyes by easily outperforming Milwaukee’s finest in ride and handling. But India’s signature fenders were what really got people talking. The Chief’s flowing skirted fenders, which were more than just basic pieces of steel, gave the bike an unmistakably stunning stance and presence. A reformed breed has emerged, and they’re not half right either, more than 60 years after the last real Chief came off the production line.
8. Harley Davidson Electra Glide
The Harley Davidson Electra Glide has long been the domestic motorbike of choice for riders desiring to travel interstate. It may be recognized by the “Batwing” fork-mounted fairing adopted in 1969. Milwaukee’s flagship twin always has prioritized rider comfort while having enough luggage room to ensure riders do not need to dress as often as they do. It is huge, stylish, and offers comfort for two.
The Electra Glide is now Harley’s first tourer with twin liquid cooling, electronically-linked brakes with ABS, and a touch-screen infotainment system, after more than 50 years, four engines, and countless kilometers. Born to be wild.
9. Honda Shadow VT1100
Images of a low-slung gunfighter seat, vintage style, and a powerful V-twin usually circulate when people think of Milwaukee. While it may have copied the Wide Glide’s attractive appearance, the Honda Shadow VT1100’s shaft drive and off-key exhaust note reveal its lineage. Honda’s engineers put in a lot of effort to ensure that being at the top of the Shadow family heap would cause prospective Harley purchasers to hesitate. In the process, they developed a cult following of a sort.
10. 2007 Aprilia SXV
The Aprilia SXV is recognized as the motorbike that made the supermoto-type motorcycle a reality, even if the idea has always existed in off-roaders’ minds and garages. The SXV, essentially a dirt bike with street shoes, exposed the general public to the very off-center world of supermoto. It’s dirt-track racing on asphalt, and it’s stunning to watch: the cars drift around corners with the inside heel rather than the knee contacting the apex, and the bars are fully locked in the opposite direction. The strong and lightweight Aprilia is courteous and simple to ride on the road, which helps it gain a following from commuters and enthusiasts alike.