3. 2004 Moto Guzzi MGS-01

Moto Guzzi MGS-01

When you think of an Italian V-Twin with Ohlins suspension, forged pistons, forged wheels, dry clutch and gorgeous styling, it’s usually a Ducati that comes to mind. But don’t overlook the Moto Guzzi MGS-01. Only a handful of these machines were ever made, but the lucky few who own one have something special in their possession.

Powered by a 1225cc Twin, the sporty Guzzi has eight valves, Marelli fuel injection, forged pistons, and produced somewhere in the ballpark of 120 horses and 83 ft-lbs. of torque. All delivered to the rear wheel via shaft drive, in typical Guzzi fashion.

The MGS-01 was an impressive performer, capable of holding its own against other sporty Twins of its time. It surprisingly excelled in the twisty stuff thanks to its sharp 23.5-degree rake, 95mm trail and 55.9-inch wheelbase. Finding one today won’t be easy or cheap, but if the opportunity comes to get a hold of one, don’t pass it up.

  • 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.