Lots of fans would probably kill me for placing the hallowed MV AGUSTA Brutale at #9 position, but the thing is that when we talk about 'Naked' bikes, usually, we think about 'metal' bikes typically reminding bikes of 80s styling. The Brutale is naked, but not actually metal. No doubt, this is one of the finest looking bike for any generation and any category, but sometimes the bike looks too edgy and of course it still looks very very good, just that to repeat myself, it is not all metal. With the finest carbon, aluminum, titanium and other metals used, Tamburini has created a visual delight. Look at any part of it, from the alloy wheels to the beautiful exhaust, every indivisual part is a treat and every part of the bike compliments each other resulting in a product that is so stunning to look at that it can just be used as a piece of decoration for any exhibition. Performance wise, it can stand up to any competition and in total this is purely and completely an Italian motorcycle. Period.
This is the Ducati GT 1000 from the Sport Classic range. Surprisingly, the model has been closed for the 2012 models. Yes, Ducati is synonymous with elegant styling, unmatched by any brand now or ever and to choose just one model is a crime, but to be fair to motorcycles world over, I had to choose one Ducati and you can very well guess, how hard it can be, especially since the last new model launch of Ducati, the Diavel, has been bestowed with honours after honours for its look itself, let alone performance and to choose. If it is one bike which every motorcycling fan will like to add to his garage, it has to be the GT 1000. After all, it is firstly a Ducati, but the better part is that it is unlike other naked Ducatis, you do see the tubular trellis frame, but like other Ducatis, it doesn’t immediately evoke the ‘Wow! Ducati!’ effect, but rather, a ‘OMG! A DUC from the 70s” and then your heart starts palpating and before you know, you start drooling. The model you see here is the Biposto, that came out during the mid-2000s and there was also a Paul Smart L.E model in 2006. Do not get fooled by its looks thinking it is as a tribute to the 70s with its air cooled engine and all, because although it is a tribute, that is only superficial, beneath those awesome good looks is a fire breathing Marelli electronic fuel injected, 92 bhp producing engine aided by a 6 speed transmission and as you can see Ducati still gave it an air cooled engine keeping the ‘spirits’ of the gone era.
Without any shadow of doubt, the Honda CB1100 is one of the most beautiful bikes that have been launched in recent times. Launched? Well, at least in Japan and although we have been hearing it will be worldwide launch, we are still waiting for its launch anywhere outside Japan. But, nevertheless, this is one piece of machinery that is probably ‘truest’ to its predecessor, the famous lineage of Honda CB series from the 60s to 80s and still continuing in some modified form. There has been sublime changes from the 80s model especially at the belly (side panels) and thereafter, but the engine is just the same… look wise. If you are a sucker for UJMs of the 80s, this bike is Godsend. And to add to it, the CB1000F (there is a CB1000R model with fairings and all) has a variant, a Café racer version, with a bikini fairing and a small rear seat. The bike with the inline 4 air cooled engine and the double cradle frame will definitely remind you of your first or second bike when you were in your teens and the bike you grew up with. The body lines and simple but very definite, the angles are subtle but delicate and all ends up in a very beautifully made very proportionate motorcycle which actually looks better than its predecessor.
If it was not for the fact that this bike would probably never see production stage, I would have gladly put it in the numero uno position. This Vincent Black Shadow contains the most legendary name in the world of motorcycle and although this is not the original product, Bernand Li has made something which cuts across any time period. You can place this bike in any era and this will never look outdated. Although the legendary engine is missing, doing duty here is another legendary motorcycle, the Honda RC51. And maybe we talk about it in a hush manner, but we do need to admit that the Honda RC51 engine is better than the Vincent original. Yes, the originality is not there, but the product outcome is nonetheless a continuation of the original brand. Legendary British brand, revered Japanese engine and what a looker. From the projector headlamps to the tail light, Bernand Li has really recreated magic. But alas, due to numerous patent laws and the untimely death of Mr. Li last year, only time will tell if this bike would ever see production stage. Just imagine, Mr. Li had even priced it as $25,000 onwards, at such a price, getting a factory produced Vincent would have been a dream, unfortunately, a dream is just what remains as of now.
Well, the most gorgeous bike today on planet earth is most definitely the Norton Commando. It is neither Japanese, nor Italian, nor German, it comes from good’ol England, is overpriced, is not the most technology savvy which by the way makes it even more overpriced, and when you look at it in the flesh, every logic just vaporizes, as if it never existed, you get smitten by it just as we as kids got smitten by Brook Shield in the 80s and Gabriela Sabatini in the 90s. When you see it in the pictures, a most definite second look with a willy smile on your face thinking, man, I got to see this bike… and then you look at a video of the bike running and then the sound… and then your evil inner twin rises to tell you that all those savings and bank accounts, it is time to use them, after all what good use is money if it cannot buy you happiness? Then you land up at a showroom and before you come to terms to realize that your savings probably are not enough to buy this machine, your evil twin and even the one dressed in white with a halo over the head will tell you the nearest and most easily accessible (read easy to rob) bank. When the Commando was launched in 1983 with a 750cc air cooled engine, it was ‘the’ bike with an attitude. Not much has changed in the last 2 decades. If you have $21,000, I believe you will somehow fancy this bike to the ultra-modern Ducatis, MVs and Japanese. That is what beauty can do to a human being. Like I said, sometimes there is just no logic.