The 15 Best-Ever International Motorcycles

For over a decade, Motorcycle Connoisseur and PT’s Expert Columnist, Kerfegar Eduljee, has been one of the foremost names in the Motorcycle and Two-Wheeler Circuit. A judge by special invitation at the prestigious, annual Vintage and Classic Car Club of India (VCCCI) event for the Motorcycle and Two-Wheeler Segment, Kerfegar has been honoured with numerous felicitations, including by the VCCCI. No points for guessing then, what would comprise an integral part of his definition of ‘Parsipanu’! Here’s Kerfegar Eduljee’s take on the world’s Best-ever 15 Motorcycles!

I’m certain that every passionate motorcycle aficionado, will know most of these motorcycles, if not all. Should any of us get down to making our own lists – they would differ every single time, albeit with plenty of overlaps from the below mentioned makes and models. Here is my homage, to what I feel, were and continue to be, the Top 15 best-of-the-best international motorcycles ever…

  1. BMW R1200GS: The best adventure touring motorcycle ever? Sure gets my vote!
  2. BMW R69S: With love from Munich, it came with Earles type forks and a smooth 600cc, ‘Boxer engine’. A recipe for a successful and sought-after motorcycle.
  3. BROUGH SUPERIOR SS100: The ‘Rolls-Royce’ of motorcycles that did a record 210kph in 1927! Don’t see the need to elaborate…
  4. BSA A10 ROCKET GOLDSTAR: A superb pre-unit 650cc twin cylinder motorcycle. My steed of choice to be seen on, outside Ace Café!
  5. BSA GOLDSTAR DBD34: The epitome of British production road-racing, single-cylinder motorcycles.
  6. HONDA GOLDWING: The ultimate expression of a touring motorcycle. There are wannabes and there is the Goldwing!
  7. HONDA NSR 500: A V-4 2-stroke and its spiritual successor, is the V-5 RC211V. Unarguably one of the most successful Grand Prix motorcycles ever!
  8. HONDA RC30: Still looks contemporary, even three decades after its debut! A motorcycle, which many would testify, was one of Honda’s highest forms of technical prowess then, showcased to the world.
  9. HRD VINCENT BLACK SHADOW ‘SERIES C’: A production 1000cc V-twin from England, this one went on to secure the ‘Fastest Motorcycle In The World’ record in 1955, in the guise of a souped-up ‘BLACK LIGHTNING’. It clocked 297.64 kph at Christchurch, New Zealand.
  10. KAWASAKI H2: Speed! Speed!! Speed!!! A super-charged, 1000cc production motorcycle from Team Green. All rise to the mighty!
  11. MATCHLESS G50 / AJS 7R: The only competition to Norton Manx in the TT races were these beautiful 500cc / 350cc motorcycles.
  12. NORTON MANX ‘MODEL 30’: The legend of the Isle of Mann Tourist Trophy. Successfully ridden by TT legends – Geoff Duke, John Surtees and Mike ‘the bike’ Hailwood, to name a few. As Norton’s popular punchline goes, the Manx then, was truly, ‘The Unapproachable’.
  13. SUZUKI HAYABUSA: So popular is its name, and synonymous to Superbikes, that that many an Indian novice you encounter, still refers to any superbike – that passes him or her – as a Hayabusa! One of the best Sport-Tourers of our times!
  14. VELOCETTE THRUXTON: A production 500cc. single-cylinder engine machine, with successes in road racing, as well as the Isle of Mann Tourist Trophy.
  15. YAMAHA VMAX: In production since 1985, it now produces 1700cc from its massive V4 engine. A blend of brute power and brute looks!


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