How to build the perfect motorcycle.

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Most modern bikes are really good. In fact some are almost perfect… but none of them are. So it got me thinking. Could the perfect motorcycle be built? If you could take the very best motor ever produced and put it in a bike with the best suspension, best brakes, best electronics and best chassis, what would it look like? Well, if it was up to me, the perfect motorcycle would look like this…

The engine

It needs to be something fast. In fact it needs to be something really fast so there’s only really one option. The perfect motorcycle needs to be powered by Kawasaki’s H2R motor. I know 320-odd bhp and 165Nm of torque is probably bordering on overkill. The throttle works both ways though, doesn’t it? With all that power, you’d struggle to find anything quicker in a straight line this side of a military airbase, so you’d have no bother beating your mates to the seaside for your bi-weekly bacon sandwich. And you’ll struggle to find anything that sounds as sexy as the supercharger spinning up. That sort of power isn’t for the feint hearted, though. We’ll need a seriously good electronics package to keep things in check.

The electronics

Power’s nothing without control, apparently. That’s why, for the perfect motorcycle, we’ll rob all of the electronics systems off the current BMW S 1000 RR. Yes, I know there’ll be a few algorithms that need adjusting to cope with the extra hundred or so ponies, but I’m sure that can be addressed. It’s got to be the BMW system because it’s the only one that you genuinely can’t feel working underneath you; wheelie control and traction control not only help keep you safe, but make you faster at the same time. In fact it was once said that the ‘Double R’ is impossible to crash (by Baron, who then crashed it). Cruise control will make road rides that little bit easier and the big, fat dash will help you keep an eye on how everything beneath you is set up. Winner.

The brakes

We need the perfect motorcycle to be road legal, so unfortunately we’re going to have to give it ABS, but don’t worry, you’ll be able to turn it off. Hardware-wise, it will be kitted out with Brembo’s top of the range Stylema callipers. In fact, we’ll graft the entire braking system from the Ducati Panigale V4 R SP onto it. Why not? I know there are quite a few bikes using Brembo Stylema stuff these days, but there aren’t many that seem to be able to match the strength, sharpness and the longevity of the anchors on the Panigale.

The chassis

This has got to be another BMW jobby. But no ordinary BMW jobby. I’m talking about carbon fibre, baby. For the perfect motorcycle, we’ll pinch a carbon frame from an HP4 Race, and we’ll have some carbon wheels, whilst we’re at it too. The HP4 frame weighs a minuscule 7.8kg so it ought to be able to hustle round a track as fast as any superbike, and be a piece of piss to ride on the road too. Because the chassis is so ‘racey’, there will obviously be the facility to raise the handlebars and lower the footpegs slightly, to make for a slightly more comfortable riding position on the road.

The suspension

We’re not going to rip the suspension off another production road bike for the perfect motorcycle. We’re going to go to Öhlins and order some proper MotoGP spec stuff. It will have the same FGR 250 forks that half the World SBK and Moto2 grid use. And it’ll have a TTX GP shocker will all the adjustment you could ever wish for. The bike will also come with a direct line to Öhlins HQ, where there will be a feller all too happy to tell you what knobs to twiddle when you’re at the circuit and want to go faster. Or you’re planning a road ride with the missus on the back, and you want some extra comfort and support.

If you could magically squeeze all of these parts onto one bike, I think you might well end up with the perfect motorcycle. I doubt it’ll ever be built though. And even if it was, there wouldn’t be many that could afford to buy our fictitious steed. So really this was a bit of a pointless exorcise. And besides, it probably wouldn’t be perfect for everyone. What would yours look like?


11 Responses

  1. Mine would essentially be a moto3 or moto2 bike but street legal and an engine that wouldn’t need a rebuild every 1000 miles. The sound of the moto3 engine couple with the lightness of it makes it the perfect bike for me. It’s also fast for what it is. As for the moto2, it’s a 600 and the lack of new 600s is disappointing even for the US.

  2. I drew mine as a comfortable Tuono V4 with a large full fairing, negligible pillion accommodation and flat bars. When I’d finished, I realised I had drawn a GSX-S1000F, so I went out and bought one. (Yeah not a V4, but that wasn’t a critical factor to me).

  3. And a top box! And heated grips and aux outlet near the handlebars so I can power stuff, and a comfy seat, and adjustable rearsets.
    Please and Thankyou

  4. Sooo… “Supercharge the M1000RR”

    I got…
    BMW R1200GS, yes;air cooled, Nani Roma’s Dakar plastics and tanks, proper working shiftcams and Christini system to drive the front wheel

    ..and upon googling this, Wünderlich has already built something like this.

    “Triump Rocket 5”.
    Same engine layout, two more cylinders, 2.602cc, slightly longer frame, five glorious pipes out at one side, torque curve like the Tafelberg near Capetown, 10′ wide rear wheel, electromagnetic suspension make it squat on launch and the option of hydraulically operated/assisted transmission…

    No wait.
    “Suzuki GSX-V800RR”
    Supersport, looks just as retro as the current Katana and V-Strom, square-four engine, hydraulic valvetrain, direct fuel AND air injection, magnesium three-spoke wheels, 4-2-4 nickel-chromium exhaust system and a weird oriented analog (but digitally driven) rev-counter that starts 3000rpm…

    Too late for this, BUT.
    “Ducati M250X/M450X”
    YES. Stainless steel tubular scuderia rosso-red frame (unlike some Austrian manufacturer did that used to rust from the inside out and snap in half when you overshot your landing), 249cc or 448cc single cylinder, tilted 22.5 degrees forward, desmodromic 4v valvetrain, two exhaust ports at front, headers go left and right of the cilinder, collect in an underseat silencer like the Arrow one on the Aprilia SXV. Has an electric starter, launch control, six-axis sensor, and steering damper. A prototype will have a variable intake stack, but will prove to be negliable during testing. Conventional multi-link suspension is done by Showa. Decent, but cheap enough to chuck into the bin and make way for an A-kit, something Öhlins or WP Cone-valve springy boys. Will come in red. Just like Honda. And GasGas. The MXGP team will sign Antonio Cairoli and take him on a Valentino Rossi-esque journey; two years of a handful of podiums, two event wins and no world title…

  5. Tongue in cheek but… Those might be tasty in isolation but five sandwiches doesn’t make a picnic.

    Particularly the emphasis on more power (super charger) being better without taking into account weight and mass centralisation.

    Will will see ever see useful hybrid (petrol/eV) tech or is it not a nice package for two wheels?

  6. Only way to get the perfect motorcycle is to build it yourself which is admitily is getting harder to do with the complexities of electronics. I have loved the GSXR 750 since it was interduced (I’ve had 3 so far) and finally built one up just how I wanted. The final, I’ll call it a modern Cafe, weighs in at 360 pounds street legal ready to ride and is putting down 130HP at the wheel. It’s a dream to ride plus I have the statisfaction of knowing it’s one of one that is exactly what I want.

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