Top 10 Modern Classics

History will look kindly on these bikes

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6. Ducati Desmosedici RR

Ducati Desmosedici

Duh. Of course the Ducati Desmosedici RR is on the list. It’s the closest thing to a MotoGP machine most of us will ever know. Welcome to the collectables club.

Yes, the Desmo cost a fortune at $72,500, but look what you got for the price: sand-cast aluminum crankcases and heads, one-piece forged steel crankshaft, titanium con rods and valves, Marchesini forged magnesium wheels, and MotoGP-derived technology, just to name a few. Contrary to some internet rumors, the D16RR is not a repurposed MotoGP bike. It was, in fact, developed alongside the D16GP6.

Riding the D16RR is a unique experience, as one side of the brain is telling you not to crash, while the other can’t resist and begs to open the throttle. Do so and you’re greeted with a rush of acceleration unmatched by anything before or since. It’s equally frightening and addicting. The exhaust note is exhilarating, suspension stiff and brakes stout. It’s the epitome of “racebike with lights,” and it will be remembered for a long time.

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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.