Legends never die and some motorbikes prove it. They are still a sight to behold and just as desirable today as they were back in the day. These evergreen designs, now powered by ground breaking technology have become iconic. Legends in their own right.
The 1936 Harley Davidson EL set an example for today’s heavyweight motorcycles. The 61-cubic-inch Knucklehead V-twin was the focal point of the bike. The loping exhaust cadence, teardrop fuel tank, mounted speedometer control and many other aspects set the bike apart, and it’s imitations are still used by competitors today.
The 1959 Triumph T120 Bonneville, the bike that defined style for British motorcycles, achieved the speed trials world record at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. In 1963, actor Steve McQueen rode a Bonneville in the movie The Great Escape. A twin-carb performance version of Tiger T110, The Triumph T120 Bonneville could easily top 100 mph.
The 1969 Honda CB750 Four brought in a new standard of performance and made the English and American Twin-cylinder bike obsolete. Introducing the electric start feature to the market, it was also affordable to manufacture. The CB750 could cruise all day and carry a passenger. Creating the format of the universal Japanese motorcycle, the bike featured disk brakes and was capable of travelling a quarter of a mile in 13 seconds.
The 1970 Honda CT70 Trail, has been the first of many bikers, inspiring their passion for riding. The Trail 70 was small enough for kids but powerful enough to carry adults. Its production design was unchanged till 1994, Honda claims that it sold 100,000 units in 1970 alone.
The 1975 HondaGL1000 Gold Wing, claimed to be the best automotive made by the brand, the bike boasted a liquid cooled flat-4 1000cc engine that offered a completely new level of power without any compromises as far as reliability was concerned. The GL1000 was received by the public as a long-distance touring bike given its capability of covering 1000 miles a day. Honda later added a few touring amenities, giving rise to a completely new class of bikes.
The 1977 Harley-Davidson Low Rider sported a wrinkle-black trim and a scooped out seat, giving the bike its name. This bike sought to express the raw, bare-bone aesthetic of drag racing. This look was what inspired the first cruiser models from Japan. In 2015, the model was revived once again, bringing back the badass attitude.
The 1981 BMW R 80 G/S established the concept of the adventure biking, as BMW came up with a touring bike with off-road capabilities. Agile on mountain trails, its sturdy tyres and suspension could handle unpaved and treacherous roads. The 80 G/S inspired the notion to travel the globe on a bike. It soon became the bestselling BMW model.
The 1984 Kawasaki ZX900 Ninja sported a 16-valve head, liquid cooling and shook the motor biking world when it was unveiled. 113 Horsepower in a light weight chassis, the original Ninja was the fastest bike that could be owned at that time. Tom Cruise’s character Maverick rode a Ninja in the movie Top Gun and that added to the allure of the machine.
Setting new ground rules and standards as these bikes hit the market, they have been an inspiration to the biking community. If you ever find your inspiration to ride ebb, visit Trails Of India at www.trailsofindia.com to connect with fellow bikers and to keep up with the latest buzz in the fraternity.
Download the Trails Of India App from Google Play Store and App Store to see the coolest and most popular bikes that bikers are riding these days. You can even create your own profile and showcase the beauties you own.