Top 10 Motorcycles Ever

An article from dmv.ORG

As with any list that compiles the best of the best, a list of the Top 10 Motorcycles Ever is going to depend upon your personal preferences. You might be partial to that Yamaha YZF-R1 you bought back in 2004. You remember the one. It had 180 horsepower and handled better than ever before.

Or, you may expect to list the first-ever Harley-Davidson FXS Low Rider born in 1977, with its raised tires and lowered seat.

In any event, the bikes we like the best don’t necessarily cut it for a list as prestigious as the Top 10 Motorcycles Ever. We need bikes that cover all breeds of riders; bikes that can race or cruise with best of them. We need COOL bikes.

Most importantly, we need the bikes that started it all, which is how we’ll begin our list of the Top 10 Motorcycles Ever.

The First

It’s not surprising that the majority of the motorcycles included in our list of Top 10 Motorcycles Ever come from the first motorcycles invented.

  1. The First Gas-powered Engine

In 1867, American inventor Sylvester Howard Roper created the first bicycle powered by a steam engine. Roper was also the creator of the first car using a steam engine. However, we can thank German inventor Gottlieb Daimler for the first motorcycle ever created using a gas engine.

Daimler was the assistant of Nicolaus August Otto, the creator of the four-stroke internal-combustion engine in 1876. In 1885, Daimler combined the engine with a bicycle.

Sure, the bike was wooden, but it was the first time in history that a bicycle and a gas-powered engine were joined together. It was the bike that started it all. It’s just too bad that it didn’t have a cool name.

  1. The Orient-Aster

The first motorcycle production in America was the Orient-Aster, named after its engine, in 1898. The Orient-Aster was built in Waltham, Massachusetts by the Metz Company, and started the engines of American-produced motorcycles for the rest of time.

  1. The 1901 Single

Few youngsters today are aware of the Indian Motorcycle Company, the company that was first founded in 1900 as Hendee Manufacturing Company and took the position as Harley-Davidson’s fiercest competitor until 1953.

The Indian Motorcycle Company, as it came to be known in 1901, built its first motorcycle during the same year―the 1901 Single―which could reach 25 mph.

Because of Indian’s success and ability to keep Harley-Davidson on their toes, it’s only natural that the first be included in our list.

  1. The First Harley-Davidson

And of course, we can’t close out a compilation of the best firsts without including the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

In 1903, William Harley and Arthur and Walter Davidson joined together to launch the Harley-Davidson Motor Company and the very first “hog” was born, selling for a whopping $200 and beating the 1901 Single by reaching 35 mph.

The Fast

Speed isn’t the most important factor to look at when considering motorcycles; however, we must admit it’s definitely alluring. Let’s take a look at the bike that claims to be the fastest ever built.

  1. The Hayabusa

The 1999 Hayabusa, also known as the Suzuki GSX1300R, is noted as being the fastest motorcycle ever built, with recorded speeds measuring up to 261 mph.

Starting in 2001, the Japanese companies starting including electronic speed limiters on the models in order to help stop the speed wars; therefore, no bike has rivaled the speed of the 1999 Hayabusa.

The Smooth

Many Harley-Davidson enthusiasts will jump at the chance to promote their favorites as being the smoothest cruising motorcycles out there―and they may be right.

However, it wouldn’t be fair not to include the smooth-riding number six in our list of Top 10 Motorcycles Ever.

  1. The Kawasaki GPz1100

The Kawasaki GPz1100 has a long wheel base, which helps it to feel more grounded and balanced when riding, and provides a comfortable ride due to its large seat and practical riding position. Manufacturers set out to lessen vibration and gear noise, and they succeeded.

Plus, plastic panels are strategically placed in order to keep the heat of the engine from affecting riders on particularly hot days.

A comfortably sturdy ride that doesn’t rattle or melt the rider? The Kawasaki GPz1100 is a smooth ride indeed.

The Cool

Numbers seven through 10 might be the coolest, or kookiest, motorcycles on our list―it all depends on how you look at them.

  1. The 1951 Harley-Davidson Panhead

Perhaps some of the coolest motorcycles earn their coolness rating due to their riders? This could definitely be the case for number seven on our list.

This flag-bearing, 1951 Harley-Davidson Panhead was made famous by “Captain America” Peter Fonda in the 1969 classic Easy Rider.

Although the bike is classic, Fonda’s character, Wyatt, who along with his friend Billy, “went looking for America but couldn’t find it anywhere,” made it one of the coolest, and most-lusted-after, motorcycles ever.

  1. The Big Toe

Tom Wiberg of Sweden spent six years designing and building Big Toe, the gigantic 7 ft. 6 in. tall motorcycle.

Big Toe includes a CD player, a 1975 Vintage Type E Jaguar SOHC 2 valve 60 degree 300HP 5.3L 12-cylinder engine, and a cute little set of training wheels to keep the rider from tipping over.

Although Big Toe has since been overshadowed by American Gary Dunham’s enormous 11 ft. 3 in. tall creation, it still remains on our list of Top 10 Motorcycles Ever.

  1. The Kawasaki Ninja

This bike’s claim to fame is odd indeed. In 2003, motorcycle stuntman Billy Baxter of Great Britain rode his 1200cc Kawasaki Ninja at a speed of 164.87 mph―without sight―setting the Blindfold Motorcycle Speed Record according to the Guinness World Records.

Baxter wasn’t just another blindfolded competitor―he is actually blind. And the bike that helped him safely set this record is definitely cool.

  1. The Honda Gold Wing

This sturdy motorcycle is just about as cool as the rider who took it on a journey that lasted longer than 10 years.

In 1985, Emilio Scotto of Argentina left home, taking his Honda Gold Wing on the longest motorcycle trip ever―10 years. During the trip that covered 214 countries and territories, Scotto used 9 seats, 12 batteries, 86 tires, 700 liters of oil, and 42,000 liters of gasoline.

So, if you’re ever planning a drive around the world, don’t bother with a plane ticket―just hop on a Honda Gold Wing.


Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2015

Here it is another year gone by and it’s time again for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. But the real thrill to going to Sturgis this year 2015 is that it is the 75th anniversary and it also has the potential to be one of the greatest and hands down the largest gathering of motorcycles of all time. A rally on steroids!

But the rally itself is only one of the reasons to go. Grant it that the people watching rivals any venue or thriving metropolis in the world, but then there are also the roads. Yes roads and incredible roads they are. Roads like The Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, The Wildlife Loop, Vanocker Canyon Road, Spearfish Canyon Road and Nemo Road to name more than a few that if you don’t twist your throttle on them, you will miss the best riding of your life.

The other advantage of getting on these roads is that they lead to amazing destinations. Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, The Badlands, Crazy Horse Memorial, Bear Butte State Park and Devil’s Tower National Monument which is a short drive over the Wyoming State Line. Each of these destinations comes rich in history, animal life, and amazing stories that, if you’ve never been out west, will leave you wondering, WTF, where have I been my whole life?

Once you park the bike for the day, the evenings will make you feel like a kid in a candy store. You will discover great concert events, together with plenty of food, fun and motorcycle activities and of course, Vitamin A (alcohol). While you are in Sturgis, you will discover plenty to amuse you with all of the places to hang out. Places like The Full Throttle Saloon, EasyRiders Saloon, One Eyed Jacks to name a few.

But also beware that there are regulations to follow due to the large volume of people that attend. You need to be ready for this and just know that there are fines for fighting, public intoxication, indecent exposure, disorderly conduct and careless driving. Personal injury attorneys warn that the consequences of careless driving can be unpredictable, so both drivers and videos should be extremely careful. Check out to learn about legal consequences of careless driving. With regards to drugs there is a zero tolerance law, and you are going to be arrested and prosecuted, no matter the drug or how much.

The other comment I would make about riding in Sturgis and the surrounding area is that you should leave the alcohol consumption to the evening hours and only after you park your ride. All the great roads have more than abundant amount of curves and twisties. If you’ve never ridden them, you will find them exhilarating and some say, better than sex. But after a few drinks, you may find yourself overly confident and possibly in a ditch or a wheat field from taking that curve a little too hot. Ride safely and responsibly and you will save yourself from a visit to the hospital and your bike from a visit to the body shop.

Here are a few tips from experienced riders on riding in general and you can apply them getting to and being in Sturgis. These are not to insult anyone’s riding ability, just a reminder. There will be all levels or riders around you with many of them young and inexperienced. BE CAREFUL!!!


  • Ride with people who know how to ride and that you trust
  • Be seen
  • Wear the right gloves
  • Never ride tired (or hung over)
  • Keep at least a two second space between you and the bike in front
  • Feather your clutch on slow, tight turns
  • Into a curve, use the outside, inside, outside path of travel
  • Leave room for an escape route
  • Always look where you want to go
  • Ride your own ride but be considerate and follow the speed limit
  • Stay away from semi trucks

When you are in the “zone” you need to remember safety first and that will insure you coming back in one piece with great memories and pictures of the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Northbrook provides hero’s welcome home

Northbrook provides hero’s welcome for returning soldier

BY PAT KROCHMAL | June 23, 2013 11:30PM

Story Image
Major Christopher Hillman, left, receives a special welcome home from Northbrook police officer Chip Hulne, upon his arrival at his home in Northbrook Friday evening 6-21-13. | Kevin Tanaka for~Sun-Times Media.
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Article Extras

Updated: June 28, 2013 1:17PM

NORTHBROOK — Amid blaring sirens, honking horns and flashing squad car lights, Major Christopher Hillman returned Friday from Afghanistan to his Northbrook home.

Warriors’ Watch members and Northbrook police provided the hero’s escort, which was only magnified by neighbors who greeted him with American flags, yellow-ribboned trees and applause.

“This is outstanding! I couldn’t ask for more. After being away for a year from my family, friends and community, you want to know people remember what you’ve been doing. It’s been a tough year,” Hillman said.

“And it’s awesome to have a wife who can arrange all this with less than a day’s notice.”

Kristine, Christopher’s wife, had only hours to pull it off, but she totally surprised her husband from the time he stepped off the plane at O’Hare International Airport to the time he was chauffeured to their home on the 1900 block of Milton Avenue.

When Christopher arrived, he was saluted by members of the Chicago Fire Department. Then, in typical VIP fashion, he was whisked past the airport’s endless lines instead of waiting in them, Kristine said.

And when Kristine and their children – Jake, 8; Ryan, 6; Amy, 5; and Colin, 2 1/2 – drove Christopher to Northbrook, Kristine said she had to stop for diapers and pulled their SUV into the a shopping center parking lot at Phingsten and Willow Roads.

There Christopher found several members of the Warriors’ Watch Riders and Northbrook police waiting to accompany him on the last leg of his journey.

Christopher warmly embraced each of the Warriors, and they hugged him back, not one having to say a word.

The Warriors may not have met Christopher before, but they knew everything they had to know to be there.

Christopher was born in Chicago and grew up in the

Rogers Park neighborhood. After attending Notre Dame High School for Boys in Niles, he graduated from Loyola University in 1995, then enlisted.

He served as a non-commissioned officer until 1999 when he went to officer candidate school. He served briefly in Iraq in 2003, then left the Army to begin a career.

Four year ago, while working for Grainger, he joined the Reserves. And on June 7 of last year, he was sent to Afghanistan, where he earned the Bronze Star – the fifth highest combat decoration – awarded for acts of heroism, acts of merit or meritorious service in a combat zone.

Mark Grothe of Rolling Meadows, a founding member of the Road Warriors, said he was part of Hillman’s welcoming committee because it was important for the American people to recognize and honor the military after they’ve fought to maintain the country’s freedom.

U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Steve Michaels of Hoffman Estates, another Road Warrior, noted that a proper welcome is what every returning military man deserves.

“These guys need to know they are appreciated. That’s why we are here,” said Dennis Pignatari, who lives in Gurnee.

Steve Mosias, president of EMS ROADDOCS of Illinois, noted that it’s just the right thing to do. Nancy Wells of Lake Villa, a retired member of the army, said she didn’t want a member of the military coming home again to be disrespected.

“Never again will an American warrior be scorned or ignored,” said Matt Wodzinski of Lake Bluff. “It’s Americans helping Americans. For some of us who haven’t served, it’s our way of giving back.”

They were all pleased when the entourage pulled up in front of the Hillman home, which was decorated with a large, welcoming banner.

Neighbors came from everywhere recording Christopher’s arrival on their cell phones.

Kristine, a seventh and eighth grade math and science teacher at East Prairie Elementary School in Skokie, especially thanked her parents, Bernadette and Carl Carlson of Northbrook, and everyone else who helped her while Christopher was gone.

“Thank you, Northbrook!” she called out as the crowd began leaving quietly. “I’m looking forward to a whole month just being with my family.”

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Legal Considerations

1. All state laws and requirements for carrying a passenger must be followed.
2. Some states have specific equipment requirements.  Examples: the motorcycle must have passenger footrests, passengers must be able to reach the footrests, and a motorcycle must have a separate seating area for a passenger.
3. The decision to carry a child, assuming all safety and legal factors have been considered, is left to the parent or guardian.  Ensure that the child is mature enough to handle the responsibilities, tall enough to reach the footrests, wears a properly fitted helmet and other protective gear, and holds onto you or the passenger hand-holds.  Check your state’s laws; a few states have set minimum ages for motorcycle passengers.
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Arrive prepared.  Arrive on time with a full gas tank.

Hold a riders’ meeting.  Discuss things like the route, rest and fuel stops, and hand signals (see diagram below).  Assign a lead and sweep (tail) rider.  Both should be experienced riders who are well-versed in group riding procedures.  The leader should assess everyone’s riding skills and the group’s riding style.

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• At a BAC of 0.08% or above, judgment and reasoning powers are severely hampered, and the individual cannot complete common simple tasks without error.

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