Cars and Facts

10 Influential Motorcycles from the 1990’s

MV Agusta

As a kid I was always fascinated with anything that had a petrol engine attached to it. Be it a scooter, go-kart, motorcycle or automobile. If it was powered by an engine I wanted a piece of it. It wasn’t until around 1988 or so that I got my first taste of open road freedom by way of a little 50cc Honda scooter called the Spree. It had a top speed of about 35 mph and was, quite honestly, everything that I had built it up to be. The Spree was fun and got me from Point A to Point B, but it wasn’t until college that I really started having fun with motorcycles. I started out with a 1986 Kawasaki Ninja 250R, then bumped to a 1987 Yamaha Radian and then finally, right before I graduated I purchased a 1990 Ducati 750 Sport. Since then I’ve had around twenty or so bikes ranging from Ducati 916’s and 998’s to a Kawasaki KLR 650 and an MZ Baghira. The 1990’s were truly where I had the most fun on bikes which is why I decided to put together a listing of 10 Influential Motorcycles from the 1990’s.

• 1994 Ducati 916
1994 Ducati 916

Power: 114 bhp
Top Speed: 162
Place of Origin: Italy

Significance: Designed by Massimo Tamburini and Sergio Robbiano, the Ducati 916 is still considered to be one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever produced. Items like the single-sided swingarm, under seat exhaust and dual catlike headlamps are still design elements that are mimicked today.

• 1992 Honda NR750
1997 Honda NR750

Power: 125 bhp
Top Speed: 159 mph
Place of Origin: Japan

Significance: The Honda NR750 utilized oval pistons that allowed for eight valves per cylinder thus increasing power output due to the increased air/fuel mixture throughput and compression.

• 1997 Bimota VDue
1997 Bimota VDue

Power: 110 bhp
Top Speed: 165 mph
Place of Origin: Italy

Significance: Two-stroke 500cc 900 degree v-twin that utilized and in-house designed fuel injection system that was built do meet strict U.S. emission laws. These are very limited as only 340 were produced.

• 1999 Aprilia RSV Mille
Aprilia RSV Mille

Power: 128 bhp
Top Speed: 167 mph
Place of Origin: Italy

Significance: Coming on strong in 1999 the Aprilia RSV Mille 1000 was the first real Italian motorcycle to give rival Ducati a run for their money in the consumer market.

• 1994 Harley Davidson VR-1000
1994 Harley Davidson VR1000

Power: 135 bhp
Top Speed: 170 mph
Place of Origin: United States

Significance: Designed to be raced in World Superbike competition, the Harley-Davidson VR-1000 was an ingenious design, but was unfortunately too slow to keep up with the competition.

• 1993 Yamaha VMax
1993 Yamaha VMax

Power: 102 bhp
Top Speed: 135 mph
Place of Origin: Japan

Significance: Even though the VMax or “Mad Max” was released during the 1985 model year, Yamaha’s V4 muscle cruiser was the first bike to take on, and beat sport bikes in straight line comparison tests. Production of the VMax still continues today.

• 1992 Kawasaki ZX7R
1992 Kawasaki ZX7-R

Power: 105 bhp
Top Speed: 149 mph
Place of Origin: Japan

Significance: With massive 43 mm inverted front forks, a lightweight aluminum twin-spar frame, and rear Uni-Trak suspension system, the Kawasaki ZX7-R is credited with 9 AMA superbike championship victories.

• 1998 MV Agusta F4 750S Serie Oro
MV Agusta

Power: 126 bhp
Top Speed: 173
Place of Origin: Italy

Significance: Like the Ducati 916, the MV Agusta F4 was designed by Massimo Tamburini. However where the Ducati utilized a 90 degree V-twin for power, the MV was powered by a liquid cooled inline four cylinder.

• 1990 BMW K1

Power: 100 bhp
Top Speed: 149 mph
Place of Origin: Germany

Significance: Originally designed by BMW as an open road sports tourer, the BMW K1 was more of a technology packed designed study. It utilized a single sided paralever swing-arm, shaft drive, and had a world class leading drag coefficient of 0.38. Styling is of the love it, or leave it variety.

• 1993 Ducati Monster
Ducati M900 Monster

Power: 65 bhp
Top Speed: 128 mph
Place of Origin: Italy

Significance: The first bike that blended open air urban comfort and sport bike handling with drop dead gorgeous styling and full-on hooligan capabilities.

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The monster is still one of my favorite bikes today.


what no ZX11? first street bike with Ram Air induction…. as well as being straight up sweet

J D Stadler

A whole article full of drool-inducing goodness. You owe me a new keyboard.


I always like the look of Ducati’s.

Simple pic I took of one recently.


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