The greatest motorcycles in history

Five legendary bikes that will go down in motorcycling folklore.

Peter Iantorno December 28, 2014

There are so many different ways that a motorcycle can be special, from being leaders in technology or achingly beautiful, to having famous fans or being devastatingly fast, so picking a top five is an almost impossible task.

The machines we've chosen aren't necessarily the fastest, or the most beautiful or even the most iconic (although some of them undoubtedly are), but they've all got something special that, in our book, makes them among the greatest ever.

The word 'legendary' is drastically overused in today's hyperbolic society, but these motorcycles are truly deserving of the term. Here are EDGAR's greatest motorcycles of all time:

Brough Superior SS100 Brough Superior SS100

Designed and built by George Brough in 1924, each Superior SS 100 was guaranteed to be capable of 100mph (160km/h), making it a pioneering motorcycle for its time and a favourite of the great explorer Lawrence of Arabia.

Not only was it fast, but it was also so luxurious that it was dubbed the 'Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles', and even obtained explicit permission to use the term for its marketing after a Rolls-Royce executive toured the factory it was made in.

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Ducati 916 Ducati 916 In 1994, a genius motorcycle designer named Massimo Tamburini developed a new sports bike for Ducati. Boasting less power than many bikes of the time, it managed to deliver a far superior performance by virtue of its silky smooth torque spread.

The bike won four Superbike World Championships for Ducati - one for Troy Corser and three for Carl Fogarty (pictured) - and to many racing fans, it's considered as the best superbike there has ever been.

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Vespa Vespa OK, we know it's technically a scooter rather than a full-blown motorcycle, but we defy any two-wheeled aficionado to dismiss the Vespa in a list of all-time greats.

It might not be quick, and it would certainly land you in hot water if you took it on Sheikh Zayed Road, but when you ride a Vespa, you're not just riding a cheap, efficient mode of transport, you're riding a work of art - a thing of true beauty.

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Honda Super Cub Honda Cub Selling an eye-watering 87 million units since the first model rolled off the production line in 1958, the humble Honda Super Cub is by far and away the most popular motorcycle of all time.

It doesn't come close to the Vespa for beauty and it's got nowhere near the speed of a superbike, but the beauty of the Cub isn't in its looks or performance, it's in its all-enduring, all-encompassing appeal.

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Triumph Bonneville triumph bonneville. The Triumph Bonneville may have changed and grown over the years (it started as a 650cc with carburetors and is now 865cc injection), but the iconic outer shell has always remained the same.

Ridden by some of the greats, including Marlon Brando, James Dean and, of course, Steve McQueen, the Bonnie is a true icon among motorcycles.

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