Top 10 Modern Classics

History will look kindly on these bikes

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9. Harley-Davidson VR1000

Harley-Davidson VR1000

If you think trying to find one of the 500 examples of the Yamaha R7 is tough, then good luck sourcing one of the 50 Harley-Davidson VR1000s to roll out of Milwaukee. The VR wasn’t released until late 1993, five years after the project was green-lighted. And only 50 examples were made, just enough to meet the AMA’s homologation requirement, which states a competition motorcycle must start life as a road-legal model.

True to the rules, the VR was road-legal… in Poland! Loophole exploitation aside, the VR1000 was an obvious and drastic departure for The Motor Company, which wanted to reclaim its past roadracing glory. Featuring liquid cooling, four-valve heads, overhead camshafts, and fuel injection, the VR1000 was a technical showcase for Harley-Davidson, despite the fact it never won a race during its seven-year racing career (1994 – 2001). Still, prime examples, if you can find one, have sold for upwards of $60,000 on eBay.

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  • Greg Morris

    I can not believe you guys left out the Suzuki SV-650.

  • Grant Ray

    Even in terms of US-spec bikes, this list is seriously weak. Brand new sport bikes like the S1000R and the 1199 are great, but you guys should really know better than to be so narrow-minded about what makes a classic. No KTM 950/990 Adventure? No Bimota V-Due? No Ducati Sport Classic? No Aprilia SXV? No Honda XR650R? No BMW HP2 Enduro? That’s just off the top of my head.

  • Nils G

    I kept reading through, wondering when the V-Max would show up. So, where is it?

  • Dusty P

    How about any of the Buell XB lightnings? Not only were they technologically unique, but there’s the whole Buell legacy, the fact that the company no longer exists, would be cause for a lot of exclusivity down the road. There’s not a bike in this list more unique than an XB.