Top 10 Best Looking Engines

Best looking? It’s always going to be slightly contentious this one but, if nothing else, it’ll give you something to shout about. Here’s our office’s top ten pretty engines in no particular order

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MF's picture
Submitted by MF on Tue, 05/10/2010 - 16:13

1. AJS 7R

With a fifteen-year production span the 350cc AJS 7-R was a racer with more than just a pretty engine. The first six years of that production run was for factory race bikes only. It wasn’t until 1954 that parent company AMC made the bike available for customers to buy and race when the single overhead cam engine became uncompetitive at International level against a hoard of more exotic offerings from around the World.

As a reliable, sweet handling club racer the 7R hit the spot and took a brace of Manx Grand Prix victories and numerous short circuit races and lap records. It may only produce 32bhp but it sure is purdy…


2. Honda CBX-6

You don’t have to be small to be pretty and Honda’s iconic six cylinder 1047cc lump is nicely proportioned. It may look wide but even with an extra two cylinders it was still narrower than the firm’s CB900-4 engine even though it took a tape measure to convince people.

With 100bhp, appalling handling and terrible brakes and tyres, it was a lively ride but the noise made it all worthwhile.

3. Triumph Twin

Not exactly a paragon of reliability, but there’s no doubting that the fruits of Edward Turner’s toils at Triumph are very good looking.

In either unit or pre-unit trim, the distinctive timing case, angular cylinder and barrel finning means there’s no mistaking the silhouette of the pushrod parallel twin.

4. Moto Guzzi V-twin

Stylistically, it may not have aged well in recent years but as a visual representation of 1970s biking Guzzi’s V-twin motor is the Daddy.

With it’s cylinders sticking out into the breeze to keep them cool (an idea adopted from aircraft know-how), those famous alloy rocker covers and finned, deep sump you can’t accuse the big Guzzi of being ugly.

5. Victory V-twin

After a short office scuffle over which Harley motor would make it into our top ten lookers, we agreed to disagree and chose the Victory motor. Co developed with Cosworth this gargantuan 1731cc 50 degree V puts out an incredible 113ft-lb of torque. At tickover.

But look at it will you? That’s art-gallery beautiful. Clean and simple.

Continue for the final five prettiest engines

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