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…

Fast Bikes - - CONTENTS -

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.

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