1- Peraves MonoTracer
From the land of the cuckoo clock comes the cabin motorcycle, a two seater machine that encloses its passengers like a, er, car. Using a BMW motor, the MonoTracer has a top speed of over 200kph, but has its own unique feeling when it comes to bends. To slow or stop, stabilisers pop out – and you thought you were done with those by three…
2 – Aprilia 6.5
Getting Phillipe Stark to design a motorcycle is like getting Posh Spice to pen a car. What do you mean, she designed that new Range Rover? Anyway, the 6.5 was designed to within an inch of its life, and consequently it ended up looking like some new kitchen appliance, but not as useful.
3 – BMW C1
Sticking a roof on a moped sounds like some wacky eccentric Englishman’s idea – especially given our inclement weather – but no, the Germans surprisingly came up with this one. And do you know what, it kinda caught on, with BMW doing pretty good trade out of it. There are even rumours of it being resurrected. Hands up who wants one…
4 – Quasar
This feet forward, Robin Reliant powered machine was the future back in the seventies. Quite what future it represented, we’re not sure. A kind of crap Tron? 21 were produced, proving its success. Here’s an odd fact. Phil Read rode to Buckingham Palace on one to pick up his MBE from the Queen.
5 – Norton Nemesis
If you think Norton had a chance of winning the TT this year, then you probably also thought the Norton Nemesis was a good idea. A V8, 1,497cc motor developing 280bhp sounds bonkers, but not as mad as the rest of the accoutrements – camera mirrors, magnesium swingarm, and a £30,000 price tag back in 1998. Bonkers.
6 – Unocycle
For as long as most of us can remember, two wheels are best when it comes to bikes. These have been traditionally been places at both ends of the bike, but the Unocycle puts them together for some reason we’ve yet to fathom. It looks amazing but is surely as much use as a chocolate teapot.
7 – Dodge Tomahawk
Just because you’ve got access to a Dodge Viper V10 motor, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. This is what Dodge did in the States, transplanting the mean motor into a bike. Well, we say a bike, it’s actually got four wheels – we imagine just two couldn’t support its near 700kg weight.
8 – BMW K1
Forget the S 1000 RR, this is what BMW originally thought a superbike should look like. The K1’s shtick was that it was super aerodynamic – thus making it butt ugly. Using a longitudinal four engine, the motor was good for 150mph, but thanks to enclosing the lump, it got hotter than the sun’s surface. The turning circle was also very poor and it was pricey. It’s a wonder nearly 7,000 were sold.
9 – Bimota Tesi 1D
Thankfully there are companies about that are prepared to say bollocks to convention – and none epitomise this more than Bimota in the good old days. Taking a theory and running with it produced the Tesi 1D and subsequent versions (we’re up to the 3D now), it’s main USP being the centre hub steering. There’s a reason why most firms have stuck to forks…
10 – Can-Am Spyder
Why have two wheels when you can bolt another one on. This is what sidecars have been doing for a century, so Can-Am got in on the act to create the Spyder with an extra wheel at the front. It’s loaded with all the tech you expect from a modern machine, and the Rotax motor is fairly healthy, but if you’re a fan of filtering…Click here to subscribe.