Mark Graham Production Editor
1. OSSA/BYRA MAYOR It’s 1972. Spanish factory Ossa have a 250cc single. So, they make a 500cc twin, the Yankee. Now they have a 500 twin, the next step is a 1000cc four – a 115bhp air-cooled transverse twostroke four. How mad? They didn’t make many.
2. SUZUKI GSX-R750RK
I’m a sucker for GSX-RS, and this is a peach. They only made 500 of these with the (socalled) long stroke engine and 40mm carbs, but aside from the Japanese-market Hyper Endurancer model, nothing looks better.
3. MAICO 440
OK it’s an MX bike, but I’d still have one, even though I couldn’t even jump a puddle on it. Check out the radially-finned head, the coffin tank, the low-level pipe – one of the bestlooking of the early open class beasts.
4. KAWASAKI H2C Yes, the earlier ones were slightly lairier, but they didn’t come in Candy Purple. It would have to be utterly stock with the twin front disc option. Nothing sounds quite as good as these, especially on stock pipes.
5. DUCATI PANTAH
TT2. This would have to be a Verlicchi or Harris-framed version. I lusted after one of these when there was no way I could afford even a cooking Pantah. Still do. Light, nimble, simple, and just so desirable still. 6. KAWASAKI Z1-R TURBO
Not officially sanctioned by Kawasaki and only 1500 produced. A raw, fast, nasty, fantastic-looking thing with the gold TC on the sidepanels the icing on this space cake of a motorcycle. Really neat turbo installation too. One day.
7. HARLEY-DAVIDSON XR1000
Used to gawp at one of these in Fred Warr’s shop window every day on the way to work. Genuine XR heads, Dellortos, high pipes, it just looked so cool. Especially when you were sitting there on your MZ ES250 ding-dinging away in wonder.
Saw one of these at at the 1976 Silverstone F750 round, and was transfixed by the red suede seat. It looked so exotic. You’d want the ’74 over the ’73 for the twin front discs instead of the drum. Probably awful to ride, but sure is good-looking.
SUZUKI GSX-R750 SRAD
And it has to be in the Koffee ’n’ Kreme colours too. These were the kiddies in the late ’90s and are still so sharp to ride. Loved the styling then and still think it’s standout today. Only thing that comes close is a first gen 1100 Slabbie. 9.
10. TRIUMPH T150V
Gotta be the five-speed, has to have the square UK tank and the Raygun pipes. These sound fantastic. Sure, you’ve got to keep on top of them mechanically, but I’d have one of these over anything else British every day. Even over a first gen. Bloor Daytona.
“Aside from the Japanese market Hyper Endurancer model, nothing looks better”
Not that great, but oh-so-exotic The first – and the best