Gez Kane's Top 3 best sounding bikes

We asked Gez Kane, regular contributor to Practical Sports Bikes, Classic Bike and various other publications which three bikes make him weak at the knees. No rules, no restrictions, any bike goes.


3. 1976 Laverda Jota:

It has to be the original model with the 180 degree crank – at full throttle naturally. A mate of mine owned one in the early 80s and the rest of us wondered why – until we heard it at full throttle. The big triple drowned out our effeminate Jap fours with a glorious, soulful wail. It might not have been any faster than my Suzuki GS1000 from A to B, but to listen to the big Laverda howl past our local at full chat. Memories are mode of this.

Click here to listen.

2. Honda RC166:

Honda’s 1966 RC166 is one of the maddest GP bikes ever built. I’m too young to have heard the originals actually racing, though I’ve heard one start up. George Beale’s faithful replica does the rounds though, so there’s still a chance to feel the noise of a works Honda six. And feel it you will, the shriek of six tiny cylinders revving to an improbable RPM could make your ears bleed and your eyeballs rattle. No wonder so many old school racers are deaf.

Click here to listen.

1.  Any works CCM from 1973-1977:

The delicate sound of thunder... Works CCM engines of the 70s didn’t bother with a kick starter. If you stalled in a race, the car park would have been empty before you got it going again. A push start in the paddock – preferably downhill was the order of the day. With as many as possible pushing, there were usually a few bangs and splutters before the BSA-based four-stroke single rumbled reluctantly into life with a sound like a giant clearing his throat. Warming up the engine made the ground in the holding area shake and, once someone like works star Bob Wright started wringing its neck on the track, the booming exhaust note drowned out the trackside commentator – and any nearby comet strikes. Magic.

Click here to listen.

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