If you’ve visited this site at any point over the last year or so, you probably are already well aware that I absolutely love crafting really mean jokes about fucking ugly bikes. Coming up with a plenitude of unique jokes to insult your custom swingarm is my only actual talent, and I’ve gotten some pretty sweet death threats from all those times I lit up all those MAGA-themed bikes. While it would initially seem I might not be a fan of motorcycles, it couldn’t be further from the truth: I love a variety of bikes! I’m just really picky rider with an obvious affinity for the older, simpler, carburetored classics. It’s also worth noting; there has been a pretty massive drought of folks selling ugly Hayabusas on eBay lately, so I’ve decided to try something different and expand my motorcycle musings towards the more positive side of the spectrum. Why such a change of heart?
On a late Sunday evening last summer, some random guy put up an ad on Denver Craigslist for not one, not two, but an ENTIRE SHIPPING CONTAINER FULL OF MOTORCYCLES. My bullshit meter did not detect anything fishy from any of his descriptions, and he had plenty of genuine photographs to back up his offer. His shipping crate held at least two Honda VFR Interceptors, a picture-perfect GSX-R 1100, 4 different Ninjas, some Vulcans, and multiple Harley-Davidsons inside this container. I immediately began trying to call this seller nonstop on redial to see if he would part with the GSX-R by itself, or if I could visit him immediately to hand over everything in my savings to somehow reserve this container, buying me some time to get my ducks in a row.
He only wanted $30,000 for 41 complete motorcycles in various states of storage condition, which is nothing short of the sale of the fucking century. Most of these bikes would only need fresh rubber components, new tires, and the fuel systems cleaned out and synced in order to be functional again. As I continued dialing his number in a state of frustration, I had already begun to transfer funds out of my 401k to have more available capital. I had even enlisted a willing partner who was also scraping up some more of the remaining cash needed in order to ink this deal. After the first hour that the post had been live, he finally answered my phone call just to let me know that some guy in Arizona had already wired him the funds in full and was currently making arrangements for a box truck to pick it up. He said that his phone literally exploded the second he posted the ad, and I had just been too slow on the draw. I was genuinely shattered for an entire week, as my dreams of refurbishing and reselling all these beautiful bikes (but keeping that sexy GSX-R 1100 completely for me) went up like a poof of smoke at a Criss Angel show.
If I had unlimited funds, infinite repair resources, and all the insurance plans/life insurance policies that I could shake a stick at, I too would love to amass a collection of bikes. It would nearly be identical to the one that guy had, but there would be just a few less CHiPs-themed bikes in there. If I had a shipping container of my very own to put my personal collection of “greatest hits” motorcycles inside, it would most definitely have at least one example of the following thirteen bikes:
13. Aprilia RS50
What is it? The RS50 is an itty-bitty moped dressed up like Buffalo Bill in the outer skin of an Italian racing machine. It’s a funny little thing (under 200 lbs.) but it still has all the same basic amenities of the bigger bikes. Bonus: since the motor displacement is just under 50 cc, which (in most states) means that a motorcycle endorsement is not required to ride it around! All you have to do is hop on, start it up and you can begin your own version of Burger King Pocketbike Racing!
(yes, this game was a real thing, set to a soundtrack that contained none other than the Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch Hootie song!!!!)
Why This is a Shipping Container-Worthy Bike– While it’s not a great bike to take onto the highway like, at any time ever, the versatility of being able to go anywhere you want go on this micro bike makes it useful for running simple errands around town or just raising hell along the sidewalks like an insane person. With it’s tiny displacement and six-speed transmission, the RS50 can go forever on a tank of fuel, albeit just not anywhere …very fast. Something this small and nimble would be a blast to push to its absolute limits on curves, not to mention that a 200 pound man riding hard and dirty atop a tiny 200 pound bike would be pretty hilarious anyways. A bike this size would also be a great tool for teaching your kids the basics of riding or how manual transmissions work without having to worry about them being crushed to death underneath that sweet-ass Goldwing of yours.
12. 1987 Yamaha FZR1000
What is it? I’m shifting from silly moped to a liter bike in a single list placement, so enjoy my grading curve that is equal parts steep and idiotic! The classic FZR is a monster liter runner, with a 989 cc inline liquid cooled power plant throwing a mean 136 hp to the asphalt harder than a date night with Ray Rice inside an elevator. The styling, color schemes and giant dual eyeball headlights are reminders of a simpler time in the past. It was also a time when looks were equally as important to us as practicality, which, ironically is the exact same sales mantra as Truck Nutz.
Why This is a Great Bike To Store Away– Stylistically, this bike is a stunner, and this beauty translates directly to the race track with a responsive suspension setup, ensuring that not one ounce of the raging fire the engine spits out isn’t wasted. It’s tasteful, classy, and looks like an old GP bike you would see modeled for a sit-down arcade cabinet in the late 1980’s. The red on white vinyl graphics look a lot like another familiar old-school bike, but it would probably be easier to find replacement parts for this motorcycle than it would for a Honda Hurricane. From a distance, this bike looks like a pissed off candy cane, which would be a perfect fit for the annual Santa-themed charity motorcycle rally every December!
11. Kawasaki H2R
What is it? Death on two wheels. The apex of modern technology has arrived, with a turbocharged 998cc motor that can propel you forward fast enough to remove all skin forcefully and instantly from your body with nothing more than a simple twist of the throttle. They’ve even drag raced this bad boy against a fucking F-18 fighter and (**SPOILER ALERT**) it fucking won. I still can’t figure out how that dude still managed to get across the finish line before all those other vehicles with his massive balls clanking along the tarmac behind him. This bike is not a toy by any stretch of the imagination, and if you think you’re gonna be riding this around town wearing shorts and a tank top, please be sure to leave me some cool shit in your will.
Why This is a Great Bike to Put In Your Collection- Not only is this one of the most aesthetically pleasing bikes ever crafted from the carbon fiber of the earth, but owning one of the fastest production land vehicles ever made gives you some pretty bitchin’ bragging rights. Even veteran riders who climb aboard a H2R and take it for a lap or two can rightfully attest that this riding this bike changes you. While this $45,000 bike has some serious street cred, it still has one real nagging problem: it can’t be parked anywhere in public without every idiot passing it within fifty miles of not constantly fucking with it, taking selfies with it, or trying to haphazardly procreate with it.
I don’t know how much I would actually ride this bike around if I owned one, as constantly avoiding instant death for the entire duration of picking up a gallon of milk from the store doesn’t place too highly in my top ten favorite activities, but having a H2R sitting in your garage is still gonna make you feel like a baller.
10. Ducati 1098
What is it? Adriaaaaaan!!! It turns out that there’s another Italian stallion on my list, and it’s none other than the Ducati 1098. This bike is a V-twin, 160hp 1098 cc freak of a sportbike, and was only produced for three years – from 2007 to 2009. Rare, mean, and beautiful make this bike sought after by anybody with discerning taste. I found this one on Craigslist with a few mysterious scuffs and a sweet ass Decepticon sticker on the stator for only $9,000.
Why This is a Great Container Bike: Ducati bikes are made for one thing: flawless handling. This is the premier curve-hungry bike you can use to rip up the mountainside at the absolute highest possible speed with complete control as you lean hard and confidently through blind corners. At the time of production, this bike had the highest torque-to-weight ratio of any motorcycle ever made, making this bike quickly rip though all gears before you even knew what was happening. The only downside to Ducati ownership is that Ducati bikes are extremely technical machines that require almost near-constant fiddling. The valves need adjustment every 36 miles or so, which usually requires dedicating an entire weekend to tuning up your ride into something that isn’t running like total shit. This isn’t a great bike for someone who can’t handle a lot of downtime.
9. Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer
What is it? The V7 is an Italian cafe racer style bike, with an air cooled 744 cc V-twin motor. It may not have the most horsepower on the block, but what it lacks in power, makes up for with buckets of style. It’s also worth noting that there’s also no backseat on this bike, so if you ride this around while wearing your “IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THE BITCH FELL OFF” t-shirt, you can be assured that will indeed look like an idiot.
Why this is a Great Bike for Your Collection: Just look at this stunning chrome bastard! It’s both streamlined and beautiful while having only minimal bells and whistles. This bike just looks like it is hungry to find the nearest racetrack during the Summer of Love. It’s also worth mentioning that these bikes are extremely rare, as only around 750 per year are produced. I can only imagine how much these cost when directly purchased from the dealership. The older-school air cooled engine contains simpler mechanics and has fewer moving parts, meaning that this bike can easily handle more idiotic punishment than more fragile bikes (See Ducati 1098 above).
8. 1989 Kawasaki ZX-7R
What is it? The ZX-7R is a 748 cc sportbike with a massive front fairing with beautiful curves that end up funneling into a weird boxy mess at the ass end of the bike. The color schemes used on these bikes are gorgeous, yet still manage to feel uniquely classic at the same time. This is one of the few bikes I would buy from any craigslist rest stop murderer in any state of disrepair, as these can be absolutely stunning when they are restored back to showroom condition.
Why This is a Great Collector Bike: Timeless good looks, and being one of the oldest true sportbikes in the Kawasaki livery make this bike a cornerstone of any true motorcycle collection. It also has it where it counts, as this bike can top off in the range of 168 mph, making it a must-have collector piece that can also propel you to losing your driver’s licence in less than twenty seconds. I’ve only seen one of these bikes for sale in my three years of scouring the ‘list and I still regret not picking it up to this very day.
In case you were wondering about all the recent interest in the ZX-7R, it’s because some internet jagoff mocked up a modern Z900 with 1989 style and colors, and then proceeded to parade it around online as an “exclusive new model ZX7R”. This reveal made everyone on YouTube lose their collective shit. Even I ended up falling for it, as this fake actually made me physically go into a dealership the very next day and ask to test ride the “30th Anniversary Edition”. Nope, it was nothing but bullshit. Really embarrassing bullshit.
Bonus Fun Fact: The ZX-7R is the model of crotch-rocket that Vanilla Ice used to woo his love interest in the critically acclaimed film Cool As Ice. His version of the bike could jumping over fences from a dead stop like some sort of anti-gravity humping machine. They don’t make ’em like they used to.
7. BMW R1200C
What is it? This is the only “true cruiser” bike on my list, but it still has enough attitude and curve to it to keep a sportbike guy like me happy. This bike utilizes a two cylinder “boxer” motor which means that the cylinders are horizontally opposed across from one another, like a teeny tiny little Subaru engine. For such a large displacement (1198cc), the bike only puts out a modest 61 hp, but all the same, it’s a totally bitchin’ 61 hp.
Why This is a Great Bike To Pick Up: James Bond rode around on one of these classy bikes in Tomorrow Never Dies, and any vehicle that gets the Bond treatment automatically drips sex appeal by sheer proxy. When started, this bike sounds like a classy and refined V-twin, and nothing at all like a dorky Harley. This bike looks comfortable to ride all day, while still retaining badass visual credentials. The only downside to this weird engine layout is that running it while it is leaning on the side stand will push all the oil to one side of the engine, drowning it in oil. On the other side, the piston will be starved of oil, so it will begin tearing itself apart. In retrospect, the boxer layout might not be the smartest choice when it comes to motorcycle application.
6. Suzuki GSX-R 1100
What is it? An early attempt to win the Great Sportbike Displacement War during the 80’s and 90’s gave us the GSX-R 1100, which is an absolute beast of a bike, pushing out a vicious 155 hp. It’s got mad style with the twin bug-eye headlamps and super aerodynamic fairings.
Why This is a Great Bike For Your Box: The GSX-R 1100 an unrefined monster that has a giant unrefined well of power, and really only works best whenever it sticks to ripping down a straight line. This bike laid the beginning groundwork for the Hayabusa, but as far as handling is concerned, and it’s canyon carving abilities are less than ideal. The heavy weight and weird center of gravity makes riding this bike though some curves something that may test both your skills and your religious fortitude. But the trust issues this bike might give you with are totally worth sporting all those bitchin’ splashy lines sticker graphics.
5. Suzuki SRAD GSX-R 750
What is it? The GSX-R SRAD is a forced-air induction 4 cylinder 750cc sportbike. The power band feels decently strong at low revs, but once the induction system kicks in at higher speeds (i.e. higher airflow going in), this bike literally explodes across the pavement as it quickly barrels towards redline.
Why This is a Great Bike To Collect: Simply put, this is the most perfectly balanced bike on this list as far as power, torque, suspension and curb weight are concerned. If you are looking for a classic daily rider, you’ve found the perfect bike that you will never, ever tire of. This bike is the complete package in every one of these categories, and the only thing that can hold you back are the limits of your own riding abilities. This bike is also absolutely gorgeous in Suzuki blue and white, with all those crazy angular lightning bolt pattern things going on all over the place, and can hold its own when ridden alongside all the liter bike owners in your silly little gang.
4. Honda Blackbird CBR
What is it? This motorcycle was Honda’s answer to the very same sportbike displacement and power war of the the late 90’s. For a very brief moment in time, it was the fastest production bike ever made, until the infamous Hayabusa stole its place. The Hayabusa then remained king for a long time, giving idiots everywhere more speed then they really should ever have along with a bike that they could have free reign to fuck up with stupid modifications beyond recognition.
Why This is a Great Shipping Container Bike: It’s pretty hefty, it’s as black as midnight, and it certainly didn’t come here to fuck around. Honda bikes are just as reliable as their cars, which means this is a motorcycle that will run forever and won’t leave you stranded at the worst possible moment. For a bike that can keep up with pretty much anything on the road and outlast any of them makes for a pretty strong sales pitch for the discerning sport bike collector looking to go the distance, or at least get their money’s worth.
3. Kawasaki ZX-10R (Tigershark Variant)
What is it? The ZX-10R is the 998cc Kawasaki Ninja literbike, and can have a power range anywhere within the realm of 160 hp to 195 hp. Lightweight construction and specialized oil sumps and coolers keep this bike run cool and composed as you quickly approach the sound barrier wearing your finest “Bear Whiz Beer” T-shirt, looking as classy as possible for the ensuing free ambulance ride.
Why You Need This Bike For Your Collection: Stupid fast and built to be as lightweight as possible, the ZX-10R is a king of the road, the center median, and even the emergency lane since ain’t nothing gonna stop you or catch up to you anyways. It’s a mean bike, but out of all the bikes I’ve seen that attempt this custom Tigershark motif, it fits the bodywork of this machine the best. I normally love factory colors and factory vinyls, but this is one custom variant that is far and above anything that can be purchased stock. Seeing results like this make me almost think custom painting my own fairings is a possibility, which is the best bet, since most of the bikes with the tigershark look are unfortunately given the “Hayabusa Custom Mechanic Special Yo I Got A Can Of Spraypaint” treatment.
2. Kawasaki ZRX
What is it? This green/purple/white ZRX is better known as the “Eddie Lawson Edition”, which is a modern adaptation of a classic Kawasaki racing bike from the early 80’s. It’s anchored by a powerful 1200cc motor that pushes around 120 hp, but it also carries a solid heft at nearly 500 lbs. Eddie Lawson was famous because he rarely ever crashed, so let’s keep his sterling reputation intact, mmm’kay, stupid?
Why You Need This Bike: This bike encompasses the best qualities of at least three different worlds. It’s a cruiser that has a comfortable riding position that means it can be ridden all day with little fatigue. From far away or to the casual observer, this almost looks like a simple dirtbike on all the steroids. Lastly, the minimal fairing and body work have some mild sportbike touches to them and it has a big motor strapped to it to round out the package. It’s like getting three bikes for the price of one, and it’s also a big ‘ol bastard to boot, which is a perfect fit for a rider of my size.
1. Kawasaki ZX-12R
What is it? The ZX-12R is my personal white whale of bikes, and one of the craziest bikes on this list (excluding the H2R, of course). It’s another forced induction, 1200cc sportbike that as a funny joke has an insanely ridiculous top speed. The only speed ceiling you can hit on this bike is only limited by your own stupidity, which is probably my strongest argument to never attempt to ride one of these incredible machines in my lifetime.
Why You Gotta Get This Bike: the ZX-12R has it all. The monocoque construction and fairing are stunning and perfect, and are scientifically designed to be painted granny apple Kawasaki Green. If you are planning on getting one, it’s helpful to know that for some bizarre reason, insurance companies consider these bikes “touring bikes” and not “whoopsie-daisy-now-I’m-ground-beef-bikes”, which is pretty handy loophole for saving you at least a couple of bucks before you die. The ZX-12R is also infamous for having an extremely irritating riding position, so this bike is not the greatest choice of bike for making the long trek out to Sturgis with your boo hanging onto you like a koala awaiting the sweet embrace of eternity.
Far and away, the biggest obstacle to ZX-12R ownership is trying to find one that hasn’t been dropped to hell or blasted through a telephone pole ten minutes after signing over the title. This bike attracts customers that have invincibility complexes, and the amount of these bikes that exist in the wild diminish with every passing day. RIP, all you stupid ZX-12R owners, may you avoid those mail trucks, concrete barriers and parked cars up in the sky this time around.
Seriously though, anybody wanna invest in my new business, “Giant Container O’ Bikes”? It’s guaranteed to be 100% more lucrative than the GoJo Hands Free Phone Adapter!
Teh Ben is a veteran motorcycle rider and Hayabusa insulter, and has spent the entire winter trying to create and breed atomic ants, with mixed results. Follow all of his failed ant-tics on Twitter, Youtube, or Podbean!