10 of the best bikes for different types

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Ben Cope's picture
Submitted by Ben Cope on Wed, 22/08/2012 - 12:16

BMW HP2 Sport

The essentials: 1,170cc, air-cooled, 8-valve boxer twin, 128bhp, 84ftlb, 178kg, 160mph

Why is it different: It's arguably BMW's first proper sportsbike. Only 150 were brought into the UK. Don't be fooled by the flat-twin engine, this isn't a tweaked R1200S. The HP2 Sport is what happens when BMW gave their technical boffins in the R&D department carte blanche and an open cheque book. Based on BMW's 24-Hour Endurance Racer; a higher compression ratio, forged pistons, a quickshifter and close ratio gearbox are just the start. The HP2 Sport is dripping with techno-porn; carbon fibre fairings, self-supporting seat unit, milled aluminium calipers and forged alloy wheels. It was the bike that paved the way for the S1000RR and is as exotic as a Brazilian lap-dancer sipping a Pisco Sour on a zebra-skin rug on the deck of your solar-powered catamaran.

Definitely buy one if: You're a speed junkie who can speak fluent latin.

Price: £14,495 new. From around £11,500 second hand.

Read BMW HP2 Sport review

Track T-800 CDI

The essentials: Three cylinder, 800cc turbo-charged diesel, 50bhp, 80ftlb, 214kg, 110mph

Why is it different: It's a diesel motorcycle and that, should just about be that. But it's not. The Track is Dutch-made, so that's another tick for your individual list. It's shaft-drive and uses a CVT, automatic gearbox - no clutch levers here. Track claim the T800 can deliver 140mpg. The only counter to that is the asking price.

Definitely buy one if: You'd rather put on another jumper than turn the heating on.

Price: £15,995

Brammo Empulse

The essentials: Permanent Magnet AC (PMAC) - Water Cooled, 270A, 47ftlb, 213kg, 100mph

Why is it different: It's an electric motorcycle, which means you're already different to 99.9% of other bikers, but you'll also be different to most other electric motorcycle owners too, as the Empulse is the first electric motorcycle to feature a water-cooled power train. The mechatronic propulsion unit has been designed to emulate the feeling and performance of a traditional internal combustion engine and it's not automatic either; it has a clutch and six gears. It'll cover 120 miles in the city or 56 miles flat-out before the battery needs charging and the juice costs around 1p per mile.

Definitely buy one if: You sort your rubbish into at least 5 different bins.

Price: £11,000 new

Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 8v

The essentials: 1,151cc eight-valve v-twin, 100bhp, 80ftb, 214kg, 140mph

Why is it different: It's Guzzi's answer to the GS but really it's the GS for people who don't want a GS. The Stelvio comes in two flavours, the 1200 8v and the Stelvio NTX. The NTX is more of a GS rival, with wire wheels and the whole adventure look. The 1200 8V is actually closer to a Tiger 1050, with its off-roady looks but road rims. The Stelvio features build quality to rival the Germans but the Stelvio makes the GS - and most other bikes of this ilk - look about as exciting as a tax return. It isn't trying to be cutting edge, it just does what it does. It's got masses of old-school charm and you can't buy that in a BMW showroom.

Definitely buy one if: Your CD collection contains: Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, St. Germain and Erykah Badu.

Price: £10,549 new. From £9,000 second hand.

Read Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 8V review

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