Top 100 Ugliest Motorcycles - 10 Tourers
1) Honda Pacific Coast - Sure, Honda has reached radical extremes of fiberglass bodywork on its Gold Wing series but they had never before or since attempted to completely obviate the entire engine bay, replacing it with a single expanse of slab. All it needs is a bit of an indent where the fuel tank is, and you've got a Silver Wing Scooter! There has never been another Honda where the only mechanical part you see is just part of the wheel spokes! This isn't a motorcycle, it's one half of an Accord!
2) Vincent Black Knight - I had to dig way down in the archives for this one, the historical monochrome predecessor to the Pacific Coast. At least the Vincent had some pipes sticking out, although they look like they were worms escaping from a pile of manure. On the other hand, at least the Honda had some form of detail on its hindquarters other than a single yellow pinstripe that follows no particular path other than just drooping down at a single undefined point. The engine shroud is particularly stomach-turning and doesn't even seem to fit the contours properly! As for the fairing, did it run into a raised forklift and get dented in? This is one nostalgia bike that I'm not nostalgic for at all!
3) Victory Vision - Take a Victory Kingpin, get it up to speed, then ride it right through a suspended wall of heated plasticine... and there you have it! The Victory Vision! By far the most outrageously misshapen tourer ever to originate in the USA, the Vision will give you nightmares for years to come. Although the engine is standard Victory and thus quite attractive, the rest of the pulled waaaaaaaay back bodywork is simply repulsive. The extended teardrops on the rear end are completely inexplicable: It's the only bike that you can back up to a telephone pole and completely envelop. These is the kind of Vision you need lots of peyote for!
4) Yamaha Stratoliner - Other than the superlative V-twin powerplant, nothing on this bike makes any styling sense whatsoever. It makes you really wonder how the Yamaha stylists could mess up the memorable Road / Wild Star this badly. The greatest violator has to be that front fender that doesn't at all follow the line of the wheel and seems to actually run into the tire at the brake lines. The Art Deco triple lines from the tank running into the triple clamps is just plain repugnant. Then we have the piece de resistance: the poo-into-one exhaust that completely goes insane below the side covers and becomes an uncircumcised chromed John Holmes edition.
5) Kawasaki 1400 GTR - Oh Kawi, Oh Kawi, what have you done to the Concours? You took a perfectly serviceable sports tourer and turned into this fat falcon-beaked sportsbike wanna-be with an entire bathroom cabinet full of shelves on the side of the fairing and corrugated Chrysler Crossfire stripy lumps on the slab sided saddlebags! The bodywork looks like a jigsaw puzzle and the exhaust cannon is also pieced together from chrome and black. I think that Kawi's stylists must have been peeking through the windows of Yamaha lately!
6) BMW F800ST - This is a tourer like I'm an Olympic decathlon champion. Before we get to the ugly bits (and there's plenty of them) could you please tell me how you're going to straddle that mustang bicycle seat all day with that weird NASCAR fuel cap sticking in the side of your butt and be able to walk straight ever again? By then you won't even care that what you're riding is a hideous P.O.S., with a double hunchback tank, an illogically multi panel fairing, and triple strapped on saddlebags. And what kind of flying bug collector is bolted onto the swingarm? Anyone stupid enough to buy this crap pile deserves to tour right off the end of the continent!
7) Yamaha FJR - I rode its predecessor, the FJ1100 across the continent many years back and thanks to its unadjustable girder low handlebars, I still have sacro-iliac spasms. Therefore you can imagine that I'm not likely to cut this model any slack, and there is no reason to. Although the chunk of bike down from the rider's seat tries to maintain styling continuity with the earlier FJ series, the rest of the styling is just another in a long series of slotted Yamamesses, made much worse by the unfortunate choice of navy blue and silver racing stripe that even Chip Foose couldn't pull off. I wouldn't tour this monster down to the 7-11!
8) Amazonas - The only reason this steaming pile of compost didn't make it any higher on the list is that I've never actually seen one in the stinking flesh, thus I could have reason to believe that it exists only as a Photoshopped fantasy. Fantasy or not, whatever Brazilian engineer dreamed it up had to have a very active imagination as taking a VW Beetle engine, shoehorning it into the biggest frame this side of a Boss Hoss and then sparing no expense on fiberglass panels proves that they probably suffered sunstroke on Ipanema Beach!
9) BMW R1200RT - Write 100 times on the blackboard, BartMW, "Bikes Should Not Be Brown..." Unfortunately the color choice is not this model's most significant fault, as there is barely an angle that you can approach that isn't profoundly wrong. The tank kinda becomes a sidecover but not really since there's a black panel there that does nothing and there's a whole bunch of brown coming in from the tailsection. The fairing is actually three, three, three fairings in one. First there is a top section that resembles a minifairing from a sportsbike, then there is an overly bulbous lump in the middle, and then there's the lower fairing... it isn't bad enough that it looks like the protruding boxer cylinder melted through the plastic, but why don't we paint it silver? Oy Vey!
10) Suzuki GS Tourer - Although Suzuki did a reasonable job at their GS versions of the Universal Japanese Tourer, when it came time to outfitting it for touring they decided not to spend more than $20 styling it and thus created one of the true monsters of the UJM era. Would it have been possible to incorporate any more pointless manta ray slots into the Vetter Windjammer ripoff fairing? Could the backrest be any squarer and flatter? Would it have pained the company to design a new tank so that from the side you didn't think that it was a SUZ? File this one under Trash!
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