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Head down and flat out in top gear, the MCN London Motorcycle Show at ExCeL is fast approaching. Between February 1-4 they’ll be plenty to do and see at the show, but make sure these ten bikes are firmly on your checklist. From the beautiful to the brutal, the raw to the race-winning and the virile to the versatile – everyone will have a favourite.
The long wait for a suitable replacement to Ducati’s masterpiece 916 is finally over. Motorcycling’s Ferrari equivalent has looks that’ll reduce a grown man to tears and performance to stir a whole new type of emotion. The Italian-built 1098 is the fastest production twin cylinder bike on the market. You will want one.
The KTM 690 lays tyre tracks over the face of practicality as it roars away in a quest for no holds barred fun. Just look at that exhaust, is this is a bike that takes itself seriously? Well, yes. If bikes were boxers this has the heavyweight punch of Audley Harrison in Amir Khan’s lightweight body – one for the unstable folk who walk amongst us.
The new Z750 combines serious street riding and with aggressive knife-edged styling. Specially designed for high-performance street riding, this new-age street-fighter offers the perfect balance of engine and chassis performance at a price that doesn’t mean the silverware has to appear on ebay.
The Tiger gets sharper claws! The previous incarnation of this British built Triumph had long been a favourite among adventure bike fans, but the all-new model broadens the appeal with abilities that make this handsome bike one of the most versatile machines on the market. Besides, nothing beats the evocative sound of a Hinckley triple on full throttle!
Bikes don’t come more extreme than this. Britain’s most powerful motorcycle features a massive 8.2 litre supercharged V8 monster truck engine. Courtesy of a tank of pure alcohol it kicks out 1000bhp from the ludicrous 8193cc engine. Even more ludicrous is the fact its road legal! It has to be seen to be believed.
6. Harley XR1200
Not actually available to buy – at the moment. The American firm revealed this prototype to the world late last year to much acclaim. At the heart bears a typical Harley engine, but the sporty chassis is less Easy Rider and more ‘speedy rider’. If Harley doesn’t decide to put the XR into production, this might be your only chance to see it in the flesh.
Like something off a futuristic sci-fi film but the Delirio is very much today. Italian firm Bimota use other manufacturer’s engines (in this case a Ducati V-twin) so they can concentrate on wrapping round some of the most original and exotic chassis ever seen. The MCN London Motorcycle Show is the first place in the UK to see the DB6; built strictly in limited numbers with a price tag at the opposite end of the scale, it could also be your last.
This is what happens when bike designers are allowed a free reign - think of it as a supermoto on steroids. The limited numbers Mega moto utilises BMW’s trademark unconventional 1170cc ‘Boxer’ twin engine to deliver arm-wrenching torque through to a lightweight chassis. A whole new class of bike is born and the streets are not safe with the HP2 on the loose.
When the GSX-R1000 was launched in 2001 it instantly became top dog of the 1000cc sports bike pack. The fourth version of this two-wheeled missile does nothing to suggest that form won’t continue. Lighter, faster and with more emphasis on control – a handle bar switch allows the rider to choose from three power settings.
10. Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha M1
So the flamboyant Italian and seven-time world champion lost the title last year onboard this Yamaha. But we all know that he’s still the best. In 2007 MotoGP sees its first major rule change in five years; the engine capacity has reduced from 990 to 800cc. This will be one of the final chances to get close to a real piece of two-wheeled racing history.