Detailing the history of the superbike from the Honda CB750 in 1969 to 2001's ground-breaking Suzuki GSX-R1000
Superbike, supersport, superpole, superstock, superteen, super blackbird, super dream, supercross........
It's probably fair to say that the word 'super' is somewhat overused in motorcycling circles. But it wasn't always so.
It's easy to think that superbikes have been around forever because they dominate the market today but the truth is they've only been scratching round our roundabouts and pulling wheelies down high streets for three decades.
In the 1960s (just like today), the biggest Grand Prix class was for the 500s and it wasn't until the Americans started racing 750cc two strokes in the early 1970s that superbike racing began, culminating in today's World Superbike championship. But the first time the term was really used had nothing to do with racing. It was used by the world's press to describe a revolutionary new bike unveiled by Honda at the end of the swinging Sixties.The Beatles were still together, Elvis wasn't fat yet and a new decade was looming which would lead to more fashion disasters than even the flower power era of the Sixties had managed.
The year was 1968 and as far as motorcycling was concerned, it was one of the most significant in history - it was the year the superbike was born.
The term has been used for so many purposes relating to bikes, from those mentioned above to your granny just saying you're bike looks 'super.'
So, in the absence of an official dictionary definition (the word isn't listed in the English dictionary), let's make our own for the purpose of this feature.
superbike n. a standard production motorcycle with a designated engine capacity of 750cc or above and which offers ground-breaking sports performance.
Okay, now we've established that, you'll understand why there's no Yamaha RD500s or Kawasaki H1s in here so no emails or threatening phone calls please.
Posted: 19/05/2009 at 13:07
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