Top 100 Ugliest Motorcycles - 10 Older Cruisers
1) Suzuki Madura - Here it is ladies and germs! The motorcycle that set a standard likely never to be duplicated. The front wheel and fender are acceptable. Everything to the rear of the fork tubes needs to be dumped into a crusher. Any motorcycle manufacturer that allows a design like this to come off the drawing boards should be sold off and the executives set to working in coal mines. I can't even begin to list everything that is a visual violation on the Madura. All I can do is gaze slack jawed at its unimaginable, untenable, unbelievable, unthinkable ugliness!
2) Moto Guzzi Nevada - Just to prove that the Italians could compete with the Madura in the Uglistakes, the Nevada proves just how wrong a cruiser can go. First of all, let's extend the forks without changing the rake so that the bike looks like it's going uphill, then let's flow the tank into the side covers in a parody of Craig Vetter's Triumph Hurricane, then let's top the whole thing off with scoops and whoops and the Nevada logo which just may be the most awful logo in motorcycling history. It just went to show that Italians understood cruisers as well as I understand how to pilot the space shuttle.
3) BMW R1200C - Here is the scene that should have been in the 007 movie: "Good day, Q, what do you have for me today?" "James, here is your new motorcycle, the R1200C." Bond takes one look, pulls out his Walther PPK and plugs Q right between the eyes, walking away as Q's corpse slumps over the bike, his blood dripping all over the bizarrely misshapen inexplicable and inexcusable ugliness of the worst design ever to escape from the Bavarian Black Forest.
4) Ducati Indiana - Did the Duck execs take a look at the Moto Guzzi Nevada and decide to clone it? Were they all suffering the after effects of LSD bummers? There are entire sections of this bike that are lifted from the Nevada, and that's definitely not a credit to either manufacturer. The enormous black plastic triple clamp cover, however, sets the Indiana apart as not even Guzzi had the sheer bad taste to foist that element on the bike. Well, at least the Duck doesn't have fork tubes so extended that it yaws the whole bike back!
5) Harley Davidson Sportster Boattail - What would any discussion of ugly be without including the famous Boattail that Harley besmirched both the Sporty and the Super Glide with? They had to dig deep within the junk pile of bad design to come up with this massive, extruding butt with a deeply inset taillight. Match it up with a bulky and flabby tank and you have a bike that just begs to be stripped and chopped!
6) Honda Magna - You have to stare at the Madura for a very long time and then the Magna doesn't look quite that bad, but confess... it's really close, isn't it? Arising from the core of horrendous Japanese pseudo-cruiser design, this scrap heap on wheels has enough bits and bobs and incongrous elements to put the warehouse shelves at NAPA to shame. If I were forced at gunpoint to have to pick out the absolute worst element, it has to be how that retch-inducing rectangual headlight leads into that vast expanse of exposed triple clamp and then into a tank that looks like it's sliding into the rider's crotch. Yuck!
7) Excelsior Henderson Super X - Fortunately the new Ex Hen factory was only around for a very short time, just enough to forever sully the great marque and then disappear into bankruptcy court. By looking at the Super X, you can certainly agree that it was their rightful due. Although I love the oversized engine cylinders, I can't stand how they cut into the bottom of the tank, and how the huge front springs on that cantilever fork look like they just got pulled out of a Serta. But a total of four fork elements cutting through the front fender seal the deal. Goodbye Super X, and good riddance!
8) Kawasaki Vulcan 750 - Sure, the vertical twin Vulcans are just as ugly, but the 750 V-Twin takes the prize for its unique blend of underfinned sanding block cylinders, horrible take on a peanut tank, and that chrome and black inset oval thing that is stuck on the front of the frame for no reason whatsoever. Why anyone would pass over Yamaha's much cleaner XS Special series of cruisers (not the icky Viragos) for this aberration is beyond me.
9) Yamaha Virago 1100 - Yamaha had done Japanese pseudo-cruisers right with its XS Special series, especially the 650 vertical twin. Sure, you can argue with a few of its lines, but generally, that bike looks as righteous as hell. But when they went V-Twin, they threw out everything they had learned and followed the Madura into the styling inferno with acres of chrome, pointless doodads, weird sausage mufflers, and a V cylinder angle that all through the decades of its production always looked like it was way too wide.
10) Kawasaki Vulcan 88 - This first generation Big Twin did everything wrong, while its second generation version seemed to do everything right. This bike is a horrendous mess, with that big chrome coffee can just hung on the front of the frame like they had nowhere else to put it, the overbulbous chrome tumor on the top of the tank, and a plain jane engine that looked like it was half its displacement. But the biggest violation has to be the exhaust port on the rear cylinder. It's on the wrong side, and makes the entire exhaust system snake around like it lost its way!
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