7 Superbikes From The 1980s That Are Now Worth A Fortune - SUV VEHICLE

7 Superbikes From The 1980s That Are Now Worth A Fortune

[ad_1]

If the 1970s were the period when the Japanese asserted their authority on motorcycling, then the 1980s were a period when the sports bike concept developed into what we know today: fully-faired, with ever-increasing power outputs and epic chassis dynamics. At the same time, Italian manufacturer Ducati really got into its stride and signaled a challenge to the Japanese hordes that, along with many other European manufacturers, continue to this day. If the sports bikes of the 1980s seem crude by today’s standards, they are very much the best of their time and, as a result, are becoming increasingly collectible. That’s our focus for today and here are 10 of the best ones.



In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites and other authoritative sources, including www.cycleworld.com, www.hagerty.com and www.motorcyclspecs.co.za. They are ranked in ascending order of price.

Related
How The 1985 Suzuki GSX-R750 Shattered The Mold In Sport Bike Engineering

The Slabside that took the center stage in the 80s sports bike segment

7 Suzuki GSX1100 S Katana – 1982

Price Guide: $3,000 – 4,000

Suzuki Katana 1980
Suzuki

The Suzuki GSX1100 S Katana was nothing out-of-the-ordinary for the time, with a large,1,075cc, 111 horsepower, inline four-cylinder engine. But it was the skin that was so remarkable. In 1980, Suzuki’s motorcycles suffered from – in the company’s own words – ‘warehouse styling,’ with little company identity differentiating it from other Japanese motorcycles. Suzuki then turned to Hans Muth, the styling genius behind the BMW R90 S, R100 RS with its sculpted fairing, and the original R80 GS, which had turned around BMW’s fortunes.


What Muth came up with for the Katana looked like nothing else in motorcycling at the time. All straight lines and angles, with a rectangular headlight, and a seat that formed part of the overall style, rather than just being an afterthought. Opinion on the styling was, and still is, divided, but there’s no denying it was distinctive. What wasn’t in doubt was its performance; it was the fastest 1,000cc production motorcycle Cycle World had ever tested to that point.

Performance Specifications

Engine

1,075cc inline four cylinder

Power

111 horsepower

Torque

70.9 pound-feet

Weight

535 pounds

(Specs sourced from www.motorcyclespecs.co.za)


6 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo – 1984

Price Guide: $6,000 – 8,000

Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo Brochure shot
Kawasaki

Sports motorcycle design is largely centered around the pursuit of more and more power and, in the early 1980s, that meant bolting a turbocharger to an existing engine to boost power. And reduce the development costs of an entirely new engine, of course. Kawasaki was behind its Japanese rivals in bringing a turbo bike to the public, but this delay served it well. By mounting the turbo in front of the 738cc, four-cylinder engine, close to the exhaust ports, turbo lag was kept to a minimum and a power output of 112 horsepower was excellent for the time, giving the GPz750 Turbo performance on par with its own GPz1100. If the rest of the bike was largely conventional, and the turbo added 30 pounds to the weight, an additional 35 horsepower more than made up for it.


Performance Specifications

Engine

738cc inline four-cylinder, turbocharged

Power

112 horsepower

Torque

73 pound-feet

Weight

531 pounds

(Specs sourced from www.motorcyclespecs.co.za)

5 Suzuki GSX-R750 – 1985

Price Guide: $7,000 – 8,000

1989-Suzuki-GSX-R750RK-1
Iconic Motorbike Auctions

Perhaps the most obvious entry in this list, the Suzuki GSX-R750 was arguably the motorcycle that set the template for every sports bike to come. It was one of the first road bikes to utilize an aluminum beam frame, giving unprecedented chassis stiffness, essential for good handling. This is something Japanese motorcycles had not always been known for at the time.


The fairing and bodywork design was distinctive and efficient, but it was the engine that was the real talking point. A 749cc inline four-cylinder, featuring air- and oil-cooling and developing an impressive-for-the-time 106 horsepower, giving a top speed of 145mph. Derived directly from Suzuki racing bikes, the ‘Gixxer’ was on its way to becoming a legend.

Performance Specifications

Engine

749cc inline four cylinder

Power

100 horsepower

Torque

53.8 pound-feet

Weight

408 pounds

(Specs sourced from www.motorcyclespecs.co.za)

Related
5 Reasons Why The Suzuki GSX-R750 Is A Supersport Legend (And 5 Models That Prove It)

Here’s what makes the Suzuki GSX-R750 so important and which models really stand out

4 Ducati 851 – 1987

Price Guide: $8,000 – 9,000

Ayrton Senna Ducati 851
Pinterest


By the 1980s, Ducati was in financial trouble, while its range of V-Twin-engined motorcycles was losing out in the performance stakes to the Japanese manufacturers. A buyout by Cagiva gave the injection of cash Ducati needed to completely revamp its model line-up and the first point of order was to get more power out of the engine. New four-valve desmodromic cylinder heads were designed, along with liquid-cooling for the whole engine, and this bumped power output to 93 horsepower.

The resulting 851 model began the turnaround in Ducati’s fortunes, helped by Raymond Roche winning the 1990 World Superbike Championship on one, kicking off a decade of dominance of the series by Ducati. The 851 set the template for every Ducati superbike from that moment on with its powerful, fast, and utterly beautiful character.


Performance Specifications

Engine

851cc V-Twin

Power

102 horsepower

Torque

52 pound-feet

Weight

408 pounds (dry)

(Specs sourced from www.motorcyclespecs.co.za)

3 Honda CB1100R – 1980

Price Guide: $12,000 – 13,000

Honda CB1100 R static shot
The Bike Specialists

This was the first homologation special from Honda. Based on the CB900F, the CB1100R (‘R’ for racing) was a fully-faired road-legal model built in sufficient numbers to classify as a production model eligible for racing in Europe, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Three versions were built – B, C, and D – which were sufficiently different in the fairing departments for none of the fairing parts to be interchangeable between them. The inline four-cylinder engine produced 115 horsepower, a very good figure for the day, although its weight was a slightly porky 518 pounds. If it didn’t have any of the exotic materials that mark out homologation specials in the 2000s, it was still an important stepping stone on the way to the immortal Fireblade.


Performance Specifications

Engine

1,062cc Inline four-cylinder

Power

120 horsepower

Torque

72 pound-feet

Weight

513 pounds (dry)

(Specs sourced from www.motorcyclespecs.co.za)

2 Yamaha FZR 750RR (OW-01) – 1985

Price Guide: $20,000 – 30,000

Yamaha-FZR-750RR-(OW-01)
dawsonsauctions.co.uk


A homologation special built in order to go head-to-head with Honda’s RC30 and Bimota’s YB4 in World Superbike racing. 1000 FZR 750RRs were built and, if they cost a fortune at the time, it was a price many teams were prepared to pay for a ready-to-race sports bike. If it has lights and mirrors, these are merely there as window dressing. Remove the lights and mirrors, fit the optional race kit, and you have a bike that can compete against the best in the world. Fitted with Yamaha’s EXUP (Exhaust Ultimate Power Valve), the torque curve was remarkably flat for an engine tuned for top-end power and torque, while the chassis was optimized to be stiff and quick-steering.

Performance Specifications

Engine

749cc inline four cylinder

Power

121 horsepower

Torque

51.3 pound-feet

Weight

474 pounds

(Specs sourced from www.motorcyclespecs.co.za)

Related
Why The Suzuki TL1000S Was Called ‘The Widowmaker’

A stunning motorcycle from Suzuki that would (tank) slap you harder than a slap fighting champion.

1 Honda VFR750R RC30 – 1987 (Japan); 1990 (U.S.)

Price Guide: $40,000 – 45,000

Honda VFR750R Motorcycle
Iconic Motorbike Auctions


Once the World Superbike Championship was inaugurated, the manufacturers saw an opportunity to properly use racing to promote their road-going bikes in a way that Grand Prix racing never could. There was a series that raced bikes just like the ones you could buy in a showroom. Honda, never a company to do things by half, built the RC30 as a homologation special for the series and only 3,000 were ever built.

The V4 engine featured gear-driven double overhead camshafts and titanium connecting rods, producing 120 horsepower and driving through a close-ratio gearbox, with first gear good for 82mph! It worked perfectly, with American Fred Merkel winning the first two editions of the World Superbike Championship in 1988 and 1989. Rare and expensive when new, it is even rarer and more expensive today, if you can find one.


Performance Specifications

Engine

748cc V4

Power

120 Horsepower

Torque

56.4 pound-feet

Weight

520 pounds

(Specs sourced from www.motorcyclespecs.co.za)

[ad_2]

Source link

Leave a Comment

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
Best Wordpress Adblock Detecting Plugin | CHP Adblock