Top 12 Bikes of 2016

Ok, a little poetic license maybe however I thought I’d do a post about my favourite bikes and more specifically the bikes I’ve featured on my coolbikesofharrogate Instagram feed.

To make this more interesting I’m going to try and do this in reverse order. The sharp eyed amongst you will notice a dominance of Norton and Ducati.

12. Ducati 998 Matrix Reloaded – in no way swayed by the presence of Carrie-Anne Moss clad in full skin tight black leather, honestly. Interestingly the bike in the movie is a 996 however the bike for sale which you see about from time to time is actually a 998 as the model run had finished when the movie was released. Looks very cool in dark green!


11. BSA Rocket 3 – XTR Tribute – I only came across Pepo Rosell in the last few months. The founder of Radical Ducati and now more recently XTR Pepo is an absolute genius at building one off ‘extreme’ bikes. I absolutely love the fact that this is a tribute to Dick Mann’s 1971 Rocket 3 which won at Daytona and it’s slick clean lines are beautiful.


10. BSA Rocket 3 (1971) – and the bike itself that XTR Pepo modelled his tribute on is potentially more beautiful still. Simply gorgeous!


9. Interceptor BMW R100R by XTR – This is the first bike I came across by Pepo Rosell and it made me want a BMW cafe racer police bike. It’s pared back and lean.


8. Seeley Norton – a one off project build as tribute to the Seeley Norton race bikes. The clean lines, the race exhaust, the basic fairing, the small flat tank. Staggeringly beautiful!


7. Ducati 916 – the 916 would make my all time top 5 favourite bikes and most other peoples’ too. This bike for me broke the mould. And at the same time set the standard for Ducati for many years to come. I can still see the same basic set up in my 848 EVO although the Panigales now have a very different frame arrangement. Bellissimo!


6. RC30 – you wait all day for a bus to come along and then two come at the same time – well ok, the RC30 and RC45 are a bit more interesting than a bus to wait for however you get my point. Saw these two in Craig’s Honda in Shipley – had to scrape my tongue of their lovely hard wood flooring 🙂


5. Norton Dominator – makes the list for sheer presence alone! What a stunning bike. The polished aluminium tank alone looks worth the £25,000 (if you could buy one) price tag. One of these features in the background in M’s lab in Spectre and if you look closely you can make out Stuart Garner, Norton’s owner polishing it. Britishness personified.


4. Ducati 848 EVO in white – Ok, so this is my Ducati, the Duchess so inevitably I’m biased about the bike’s inclusion. Just look at it though and tell me it wouldn’t make your Top 5 too. MCN ran a feature a while back on the most beautiful and cool paint jobs on production bikes and this made the Top 5 – understandably. Love looking at it (constantly)!


3. Norton SG5 race bike – made even more cool by the fact that you can’t buy one of these. There are only five Stuart Garner (SG) race bikes in existence and they all still belong to the man himself at Norton. This one raced to 7th at the 2016 TT and heralded the launch of the new V4 race bike. I’d certainly buy one of these if they were for sale.


2. Ducati 748R – always considered the baby brother to the bigger 916 bikes, I think this is a bike who’s time has come. The R is the top of the tree for 748’s I believe and this one had been restored ground up by the technician at Ducati Leeds. On the day I saw it and spoke to him he was MOTing it for sale. Some lucky punter had just bought it for £6,500 – wow!


Wait for it, imaginary big drum roll……..

1. Manx Norton – I’ve had a love affair with Norton since I was about 2. if you’ve checked my BIO you’ll know that my dad had first a 350 Manx race bike and then a larger Commando 750. Somehow I now have an unshakeable fascination with all things Norton. If I could find a good one, or even a decent replica, I’d have one of these in a shot.


So that’s it, watch out for more coolbikesofharrogate in 2017

Have a happy New Year!


4 thoughts on “Top 12 Bikes of 2016

    1. Totally agree with you there. Personally I didn’t know much about them at first. Still don’t to be honest however my dad raced one in the late 60’s so I feel a special connection. Would love to have one one day. What would be in your Top 12?


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