Stan Stephens' Top 3 best sounding bikes

We asked expert two stroke tuner Stan Stephens which three bikes make him weak at the knees. No rules, no restrictions, any bike goes.


3. Triumph F750 Trident

Throughout the 1970's, BSA and Triumph made race bikes from triples. I remember them racing over Easter weekend being helmed by top riders like Tony Jefferies, Paul Smart, John Cooper and the other boys at the top. Back in those days if you were watching them from Paddock Hill bend you were practically touching them. There was no run-off area or safety barriers, none of that health and safety rubbish in those days, people had a job and didn't worry about silly things like that. Firing once every 120 degrees and running a 3 into 1 megaphone exhaust with no silencers made a noise totally different to anything else, the sound was unique.

Click here to listen.

2. Yamaha RD56

Most guys from my era who were into racing are now deaf. Everybody's heard the scream of an inline four or the barking of a loud Ducati but it doesn't nearly compare to the noise made when 20 of these bikes line up on a grid. A swarm of multi-cylinder machines that sounded like rifle shots going through your ears. I'm slightly deaf but I can still hear them...

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1. Hailwood Honda 6

I have early memories of Hailwood and other GP riders bringing back their priceless machines and racing big meetings like Mallory Park Race of The Year and Race of The South. When people like Hailwood raced, it brought other racers along and upped the prize money. They would turn up with their crew of Japanese mechanics and fire up the six cylinder machine. It would wail through open exhausts, if I remember correctly it would rev to around 18,000rpm and delivered an ear-splitting shriek.

Click here to listen.

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