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What is the best year?

25 mayo, 2021

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The decade of the seventies is considered the one of the emergence of the super sports, but the truth is that Honda began to market its CB750 tetracylindrical in the United States in 1969. That same year the Moto Guzzi V7 Special arrived, accompanied by three three-cylinder engines: the Kawasaki h1 500cc 2T and the British Triumph T150 Trident and BSA Rocket 3. That season there was a high-profile launch, but not in dealerships, but on screens: “Easy Rider”, the motorcycle story of Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, debuted , which put the two wheels in the spotlight like never before.

During the next two years, memorable motorcycles came onto the market, such as the Guzzi V7 Sport from 1971 and the Japanese 750 cc 2T Kawasaki h2 (aggressive in design and air-cooled) and Suzuki GT750J (a larger, less sporty bike), which were released in 1972. The fierce Kawasaki Z1 arrived the following year, with a 903cc DOHC engine that raised the bar. of benefits. Also in 1973, the 981 Laverda 3C debuted, a three-cylinder that hit stores at the same time as the sleek BMW R90S boxer supercar.

That same year the amazing Yamaha twin cylinder 2T RD350 (a bike that was very much based on the previous YR-5). Ducati also increased its range with the attractive 750 Sport. Unfortunately, 1973 will also be remembered for that tragic day in May when Jarno Saarinen and Renzo Pasolini lost their lives in Monza.

The year 1975 brought many more contrasts to the market: from the very racing Ducati 900SS until Honda GL100 Gold Wing, the horizontal four cylinder that gave birth to the famous tourer saga. In 1976, Moto Guzzi presented the 850 Le Mans, surely the best model in the history of the brand. The variety of models increased in 1977, with the arrival of the first Suzuki 4Ts: the excellent four-cylinder GS750 and GS550. That same year, the Kawasaki Z650 was released, a mid-range four-cylinder that created its own segment. The Yamaha three-cylinder XS750 It promised a lot, but it had too many flaws. The amazing Bimota SB2 (with GS750 engine) and the nice but slow Harley-Davidson XLCR Café Racer emerged as two interesting alternatives to the usual saddles.

More turns of the screw

In 1978 there were even juicier novelties. Suzuki raised the bar for supersports again with the superb GS1000. Honda gave him the replica with the spectacular CBX1000, six-cylinder.

For its part, Kawasaki launched the angular Z1-R and Yamaha conquered some stalwarts with the XS1100 4-cylinder. Laverda continued its powerful 1,000cc three-cylinder Jota with the 1,116cc Mirage La Honda CX500 V-twin engine paved the way for a new segment of medium-displacement motorcycles. The two cylinder Suzuki GT250 X7 – two times – became an object of desire for adolescents. On the other hand, Mike Hailwood returned to racing on the Isle of Man and claimed his famous Formula One TT victory on the back of his red and green Ducati. The year also brought some negative news: MV Agusta ceased production of its magnificent but unprofitable tetracylinders.

The 1980s brought even more spectacular developments. The first years there were very notable mounts, such as the trail boxer BMW R80G / S, the Yamaha RD350LC with liquid cooling and three innovative compressor motorcycles led by the Honda CX500 Turbo. But in 1984 there was much to highlight and the main protagonist was the Kawasaki GPZ900R Ninja. Other notable novelties were the also Kawasaki Z750 Turbo, Honda V4 VF500F and VF1000F, Yamaha FJ1100 and RD500LC, four-cylinder BMW K100 and K100RS and Harley-Davidson Softail with Evolution engine (After the arrival of this Harley, the Milwaukee brand was purchased, which would determine the future success of the company).

Interestingly, 1985 would bring even more juicy news. The impressive Suzuki GSX-R750 kicked off the replica racing supercar revolution. It was also closely followed by the Suzuki RG500, a brutal four-cylinder engine in frame. The three-cylinder Honda NS400 was an attractive 2T that tried to rival the Suzuki.

Yamaha released the 20-valve FZ750, An excellent bike that inaugurated the modern in-line quad range of the fingerboard’s signature. In the United States, Yamaha marketed the V-Max. The compact Kawasaki GPZ600R kicked off the compact mid-displacement super sports car segment. For his part, that same year Freddie Spencer won the Motorcycle World Championship twice in 250 and 500 cc

Technology and many new features

In a short time, impressive technological advances were seen: four valves per cylinder, liquid cooling and rear monoshock became standard features. The frenetic pace of novelties was also maintained in 1986, with models such as the sublime sport-tourer Honda VFR750F, the fearsome Suzuki GSX-R1100, the Yamaha FJ1200 and the magnificent Bimota DB1 (with Ducati engine). Another of the most important Honda of the decade appeared in 1987. It was the CBR600F. In 1988 the Honda RC30 arrived, so spectacular that it overshadowed the also new Ducati 851 and its mind-blowing liquid-cooled eight-valve V-twin engine. The V4 replica of Honda’s factory racing bike claimed the first Superbike world title at the hands of Californian rider Fred Merkel.

Although the pace of progress slowed relatively with the turn of the decade, in 1990 there were notable developments, like the powerful Kawasaki ZZ-R1100. Triumph’s spectacular rebirth with its modular tric and 4-cylinder was the highlight of 1991. Surely the most notable bike of the 90’s is the Honda CBR900R Fireblade, a light and compact sports car from 1992. Its rivals that year were limited to the liquid-cooled Suzuki GSX-R750W and the Bimota Tesi, a revolutionary bike without a fork but with too many weak points. In 1993, Ducati marketed the influential M900 Monster and BMW reborn its range of boxer models in line with the R1100RS. In 1994 there were even more exciting new arrivals: the magnificent Ducati 916, the first Triumph Speed ​​Triple, the exotic Honda RC45 and the vintage Harley-Davidson Road King.

On the other hand, the BMW R1 100 GS It was an evolution for trail-type boxers. Two sports cars made 1997 memorable: Triumph’s first sports car, the 955cc T595 Daytona, and the spectacular F4 750 that the reborn MV Agusta presented at the Milan Motor Show that year. At the same EICMA we could see two models that would stand out in 1998: the original Yamaha YZF-R1 and Aprilia’s newcomer RSV Mille supercar.

In the XXI century

After the turn of the century we have seen more refinement of existing technologies than revolutionary technological advances. In 2001 a wonderful GSX-R1000 that four years later it would lead to the K5, the base of the Gixxer that have survived to this day.

The birth of MotoGP In 2002 it also deserves a separate mention, with Valentino Rossi becoming champion riding the Honda RC211V five-cylinder in V. Without a doubt, the most influential bike of 2004 was the BMW R1200GS, which took the adventurous trail segment to a new level. totally new level. Also from BMW, the four-cylinder supercar S1000RR surprised everyone in 2010 with a revolutionary combination of power and electronics. That same year, Ducati launched an equally advanced and powerful model, but in trail form: the Multistrada 1200. These two models could make 2010 the highlight of the 21st century …… so far, because 2015 has brought us some great new motorcycles . Without a doubt, the Ninja H2 and the even more brutal H2R do the most to make this an excellent biker vintage. Sales are up in many markets and firms that had struggled to get ahead (such as Indian, MV Agusta, Norton and Royal Enfield) are running from strength to strength with their ‘alternative’ frames, which is certainly also very positive. However, the truth is that 2015 does not get my vote as the best motorcycle year in history.

For me, the combination of novelties from 1985 is second to none: the GSX-R750, the GPZ600R, the V-Max and Freddie Spencer’s double victory in the World Cup are decisive in my vote. The year 2015 would see him contending for second place with 1978, when the GS1000 and the six-cylinder CBX hit the market and Mike the Bike’s Man TT triumph with Ducati took place.

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