1990-2020 the most beautiful and significant racing bikes of the last thirty years
Let’s start with the second part in which I will insert four more beautiful and meaningful racing bikes. In this part another ten years, the bikes that go from 2000 to 2010 yourmotobro.com!
Honda VTR 1000 Sp-2 2002
Iconic like few others, the Honda VTR 1000 in the two versions Sp-1 and Sp-2 is also known, more specifically, with a single name, RC51. It represents the show of strength of the giant Honda, who when he decides to get serious, trouble comes for others. So it was that in 2000 something new came out of the HRC laboratories, with a semi-original 90° V engine whose architecture had been taken from the VTR 1000 f firestorm in production since 97. The two bikes did not even have a screw-in in common. and in fact, the Sp was completely new, the economic effort made was huge. the Japanese evidently tired of a regulation that favored twin-cylinder engines, built what was the demonstration that on equal terms the winged house can compete with anyone and win anywhere.
Even if the production bike, in the end, had nothing striking in terms of technical data and above all with a decidedly high weight for the times (and not even exclusive as the previous RC 30 and RC 45 produced in limited series) it was undoubtedly beautiful. and the version that raced in SBK with high exhausts stuck to the tail, deprived of the demodé light, enhanced the beautiful aluminum swingarm (even more beautiful in the SP2) while streamlining the entire rear part of the bike. Everything was finished by the wonderful Castrol color of Texan Colin Edward, the driver who was the fulcrum for the victory of the two SBK world championships won by Honda in 2000 and 2002. The VTR 1000 will remain forever among amateurs and enthusiasts, the beautiful Honda protagonist of one of the most beautiful duels in the entire history of motorcycle racing. Imola 2002 which saw protagonists, Edwards and Bailyss.
DUCATI 999 F03 / 04 (2003/2004)
probably many will turn up their noses when seeing the criticized (in the lines) Ducati 999 designed by the Frenchman Pierre Terblanche, the designer who with his ideas completely changed the face of the Ducati of the early 2000s, but also created models that had a fair success and sequel, such as the Hypermotard. The 999 was not received in the best way, on the other hand, it was a very difficult task to fill the void left by the fabulous and now legendary 916. but if the 999 road version was not as beautiful even in part, due to the choice of some lights, mirrors, and a very “horizontal” sideline, the version that raced in SBK was really something else.
The 999, unlike the 916, was first developed by the drivers on the track and subsequently approved for the road, not surprisingly it immediately won at its debut. The surprising thing was that the Borgo Panigale manufacturer again imposed itself in SBK even with the new regulation that no longer benefited the twin-cylinder in terms of cubic capacity since 2003 also the four-cylinders were 1000cc. This was an act of nice revenge on all the criticisms and Ducati proved to have developed the twin-cylinder taking it to a very high level. For all these reasons and for the absolute domination it had in the first two years, it is considered the most effective Ducati ever in Superbike. In 2003 Ducati won all 24 championship races between 999 and 998R. History repeated itself in 2004 but with only the Ducati 999 F04 that in the four races that did not win, came second. Amazing.
KAWASAKI ZX-RR MotoGp (2006)
Another really nice bike from the first decade of the 2000s was the Kawasaki Zx-Rr MotoGP. Although it never achieved significant results, this bike was synonymous with courage on the part of the Japanese company which, after years of absence from the world championship, decided to return by taking advantage of the birth of MotoGP in 2002 which represented the zero point for all manufacturers, in terms of evolution. . The line was among the most compact and streamlined ever built in the premier class and the sound of the 4-cylinder in-line, which reached a very high rpm, was beautiful and among the most powerful of the time with over 240hp. To date, it has been the last engine with this architecture in MotoGP. The ZX-RR Strictly dyed a flashy green, it wasn’t hard to distinguish from the rest.
To design and build the bike, the Akashi company exploited the great experience gained in SBK and as a basis chose a double-beam aluminum frame and a double-sided boxed swingarm. The technology was very refined but despite the commitment and high performance, it was not easy to set up the bike, and perhaps it was precise because of that four-cylinder in-line with bursts in screamer mode and with a delivery curve too sharp, the main problem. In any case, it remains one of the most beautiful bikes that have been seen in racing, and listening to it spinning on the track was a thrilling experience for me.
Aprilia RSV4 (2009 / 2010)
It is quite impressive to think that a bike from the last decade could have passed 11 years practically unchanged in its lines and still remain very current and beautiful. In fact, the RSV4 at its debut had really anticipated the times by becoming part of those bikes that have made an evolutionary leap such as to age everything else. 2009, the year of the debut, was the prelude to a golden period for the Italian house, which hired Max Biaggi, won the Superbike world championship in 2010 and 2012, and once again in 2014 with Guintoli bringing the first laurels to the Venetian house of history in Superbike.