Chris Martin of AMA Pro Road Racing took on a seemingly impossible task: ranking the top 10 AMA Superbike champions of all time. And with that kind of responsibility comes an unenviable task — leaving some deserving members off the list. In the near 40-year history of AMA Superbike racing, many great racers — and […]
Top 10 Modern Classics
History will look kindly on these bikes
10. Yamaha R7
The Yamaha R7 made a statement when it was introduced in 1999: “I’m here to win races.” Loaded with Superbike technology like fuel injection (something not even the R1 had at the time), five valves per cylinder, titanium con rods, twin injectors, and top-shelf suspension, the R7 is still impressive even amongst today’s sportbikes.
At the time we called it “the best handling bike available”, and even by today’s standards it would probably garner the same affection around a circuit. The R7 fell short of winning a World Superbike championship, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not often a Japanese brand pulls out all the stops in search of glory, so we rightly get excited when one does.
The R7 cost $32,000 when new, and with only 500 examples in existence, it’ll be a dream come true to find one that cheap 50 years from now.