TAKING A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH THE BEST OF THE NOUGHTIES!
At the turn of the 21st century, Tony Blair’s Labour government was in charge and terrorism, as we know today, commenced. No need to panic though; the supersports segment was hotter than a witch’s tit in a brass bra…
The beginning of the 21st century brings fond memories (and mammaries) for myself. Tony Blair aside, I enjoyed life entering my twenties, filled with the stupid stuff one does at that age and revelling in an automatic full bike licence. And then there was the racing: Rossi on a 500, Edwards, Bayliss and Haga starring in WorldSBK’s glory years, and Walker versus Hodgson in BSB.
Back then, supersports sales were booming. Every Tom, Dick and Harry had one, and we were about to witness the litre bike revolution. While the likes of Honda and Kawasaki were late to the 1000cc party, Suzuki and Yamaha went willy-waving in the shape of the K1 and R1 – two bikes that shaped road-legal superbikes for years to come.
Talking of Suzukis, the GSX-R750 has been (until very recently) the perfect middleweight choice in a saturated field of litre bikes. Its only genuine challenger in recent times has been the odd Italian beauty, but Suzuki – unlike any other manufacturer – persisted with the Seven-Fiddy despite the rampant 1000cc insurgence.
At the polar opposite end of the glamour and hooligan spectra, Ducati’s 748 was the mild and meek little brother to the iconic 916, yet still offered those same sexy looks and an abundance of ownership appeal. And finally, something a little more Lidl, Honda’s longserving CBR600F is also drastically more affordable.
Having called in some serious favours from friends of FB, we assembled a selection of Noughties sportsbikes and spanked them around the leafy roads of Lincolnshire. Not everyone boasts the readies to own the latest 200bhp techno queens, so with a 2001 Yamaha R1, a Suzuki GSX-R750 K4, a 2000 Ducati 748S and a Honda CBR600 F4 in this line-up, there’s something to cater for every taste and budget.