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Old 08-16-2013, 03:11 AM   #76
fallingoff
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carcass always said the first was the Honda 450 twin, modern era, beat the larger capacity pommy bikes, did not leak oil or break down.

2c
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:15 AM   #77
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:05 AM   #78
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no question CB750 was a ground breaking bike. come with one disc in 69. it did a lot of thing well and was affordable. but have never thought CB750 was a superbike. your mileage my veri ..
Big thanks to panorton for posting that article. Wonderful read. Takes me right back, even if it was from a few years before I started reading bike titles (I'd have been about 12 when that came out). Gee they did a nice job, so thorough, and so confident their readers wanted all the detail, all the background, all the assurance that nothing had been fudged.

FWIW on the CB750 Honda: I have a strong memory of killing time in a bookshop, waiting for a ride on the way home from school, and looking through one of those colour-plate books about motorcycles for the merely interested (as opposed to the enthusiast), and finding a featured pic of the CB750 over the caption: "A superbike: four cylinders, 750cc." Would have been early '70s, likely '71 or '72. Point being: by then the term had migrated into general currency, and the author chose the Honda four as the iconic example.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:17 AM   #79
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74 R90S came with dual disc brakes .. does anyone know of a production bike that came with dual disc earlier?
'73 Ducati SS, triple discs.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:07 AM   #80
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'73 Ducati SS, triple discs.
The Suzi GT750K had 'em in November '72 in Australia.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:51 AM   #81
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... 73 MG 750 V7 Sport while a beautiful/fast bike doesn't come close to putting it all together like 73 R90S. ...
Ok, discount the 750SS. Pushing them both hard, the 1972 Duc 750GT and 750Sport would run rings around the 90S as well

I rode both the Guzzi V7 Sport and 90S when they were new. Imo the Sport is a better handling bike that seemed to go just as fast, stop just as well, and was as comfortable as the 90S.

Iirc, there were two head to head comparisons of the bikes (along with the Ducati) in the 70's. Motorcyclist where Bob Greene gave the nod to the V7 as "the quicker bike up and down your favorite mountain road"; and Cycle with the June '74 great cover of of the 90S, V7, and Duc Sport which had the "Year Of The Sport" title, so even they separated it from superbikes.

Cycle didn't declare a "winner", they just described which bike would make which kind of owner most happy.

Ducati-- for the "backroad thoroughbred seeker"
Moto Guzzi-- for the "low slung long-winded gran tourismo machine" seeker
BMW-- for the person who wants the "most exclusive, most luxurious, sports-touring machine"

It's a really great issue, btw.


BTW2-- no one has come up with a more logical argument than that expressed in post #67
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:14 AM   #82
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wasn't the 1200 the fastest bike for a while in the 70's. early busa, just kept accelerating ?

The 78 Jota 1000 was the king of the pack until the 79 CBX came along.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:16 AM   #83
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if that's the case, then there's LOTS of full on race bikes that had it all put together decades before R90S. powerful brakes/engines, super handling, windtunnel fairing, etc

this 1950 MV Augusta 500 GP Moto GP bike certainly qualifies as a Superbike




OK, we need to decide something here. We ARE talking street legal motorcycles are we not????
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:29 AM   #84
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Just for the sake of conversation-- follow this line of thought. I believe the first widespread use of the defined term "Superbike" was in the Cycle magazine article. They recognized that fast bikes had come out earlier at different times, but this was the time when the term joined the general motorcycling lexicon. From a personal pov, I was around back then and I never heard anyone use the term before then, but it's almost all I heard afterwards when fast bikes were discussed.

So, if we accept that time-frame and Cycle's definition, and we accept that Cycle made the right representative choices, the strongest case could be made for the Norton Commando as the first: since of the bikes tested it came out in 1967-- at least a year before any of the others.

Ipso facto, the Commando was the first superbike.


Of course, if you don't accept the Cycle reference, I guess you can argue your favorite to your heart's contentment back to the 1st motorcycle.
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BTW2-- no one has come up with a more logical argument than that expressed in post #67
My dad, who rode motorcycles as a teenager in the 1950s, always referred to the Vincent Black Shadow as THE superbike.

People have frames of reference. At the time he was riding small Indians, the Vincent was the pinnacle.

I don't believe Cycle created the term out of thin air. I believe it was a word being tossed around in moto converstations for years before they printed it, or AMA sanctioned it.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:40 AM   #85
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...I don't believe Cycle created the term out of thin air. I believe it was a word being tossed around in moto converstations for years before they printed it, or AMA sanctioned it.
I don't know if they did or not. All I know for a fact is what I stated-- possible sporadic use before the article, widespread general use after the article.

How about this: the Brough, Crocker, Vincent, et al. were super bikes in their times, but superbikes as a genre are children of the 60's? Or is that just another example of baby boomer exceptionialism?
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:53 AM   #86
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My vote goes to this just being more Baby Boomer "Exceptionalism".


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Old 08-16-2013, 10:07 AM   #87
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uh in my world the first superbike was the 1977 yz250 I had as a teenager...
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:59 AM   #88
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Kawasaki Z1. That was the first one.

I've always thought of the Z1 as the first superbike.

When I was a young feller, I rode one on Montana's notorious Hwy 89, and almost bought the farm on a 90 degree left hander about 10 miles south of St. Mary.

I still think about that everytime I go through that corner.
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:30 PM   #89
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:21 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by wpbarlow View Post
I don't know if they did or not. All I know for a fact is what I stated-- possible sporadic use before the article, widespread general use after the article.

How about this: the Brough, Crocker, Vincent, et al. were super bikes in their times, but superbikes as a genre are children of the 60's? Or is that just another example of baby boomer exceptionialism?
1950's Vincent Black Lightning at 150mph top speed would still be a Superbike today. Brough SS100 had a top speed of 100+ mph but that was in 1924.
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