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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?