Top 10s

Top 10 worst motorcycle names

'You ride a what?' The names that they really should have thought twice about…

WHILE picking the best names in motorcycling is quite a tricky job the list of potential candidates for this ‘top 10’ is as long as your arm.

Simply put, there are enough terrible naming decisions in motorcycle history to fill a decent-sized book, let alone a mere top 10 list. So we’re pretty sure you’ll be able to come up with plenty of other suggestions.

So consider this a starting point rather than a definitive selection. The chances are there are even worse ones out there that we’ve forgotten.

10. BMW K1200R Sport

What could go wrong with adding the word ‘Sport’ to the title of an existing bike? Not too much, unless that bike already has a title that ends in the letter ‘R’. At which point it becomes ‘Arse Port.’ The short-lived. 2007-2009 K1200R Sport was actually a pretty awesome machine, combining the best bits of the K1200R with a level of wind protection from a fairly handsome half-fairing, but that name always raised a titter. BMW still hasn’t caught on, though, as now you can add a ‘Sport’ package to the S1000R to make it into a brand new Arse Port.

9. Yamaha Thundercat

Back in the 1990s the Honda Fireblade made it fashionable to come up with a catchy name for sports bikes, and to be fair, Yamaha’s immediate retort – the Thunderace – had a certain something to its title. The smaller Thundercat, though, had a problem. Sure, some of its riders were probably fans of Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro et al from the 80s kids TV show of the same name. But most probably weren’t.

8. Most cruisers

We were going to give some cruisers their own spots on the list, but it would soon have been dominated by strange titles that sound like stage names for gay porn stars. V-Rod? Or worse still, V-Rod Muscle? Or how about Dragstar? Or Intruder? Even Boulevard somehow seems to gain dubious overtones in that company. And Virago sounds far too much like a little blue tablet that they might use in their line of work.

7. Honda Deauville

It’s hard to make a case that the Honda Deauville is an exciting bike, even though it’s great at doing its job. But that name just seems to emphasise that it’s pretty much the direct opposite of everything that’s interesting and thrilling about motorcycles. It must have taken all of 10 minutes after the bike’s launch before it started being referred to as the Dullville, and that title has stuck ever since.

6. Gilera Fuoco

In Italian, Fuoco means fire and as the Honda Fireblade and Firestorm proved, that works really well on a bike. But in English it sounds like it could well be an insult…

5. Suzuki Gladius

Suzuki did well with the Katana, named after a Japanese sword, so when it named the Gladius after the famous Roman legionnaires’ weapon, it probably made sense. But it manages to look and sound a bit too much like Gladys, and that really isn’t a good name for a bike.

4. BMW Funduro

BMW usually sticks to letters and numbers for its bike titles, and perhaps that’s a good thing as when the firm opts for names instead, things tend to go awry. Scarver, for instance, was a made-up name, but had the firm Googled it (or, given it was launched in 2001, they might have opted to Ask Jeeves instead) they’d have noticed the top result was the surname of an American murderer who gained notoriety for slaying serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in prison in 1994. Or there was the BMW Montauk, which sounds like a better name for a battleship than a motorcycle. But the worst was surely the Funduro, which just smacks of forced jollity: 'You will have fun, whether you like it or not!'

3. MBK Doodo

Presumably it’s pronounced doo-doo? Unless playground humour has changed a lot (yes, it probably has) that isn’t something you’d want to call a bike.

2. Buell Ulysses

Buell had some brilliant bike names. Lightning, Cyclone, Thunderbolt, even Blast was a great name, despite being attached to a pretty awful bike. But Ulysses was just far too easy a target; long before the press launch was over, it was already being referred to as the ‘Buell Useless.’

1. Suzuki Burgman

Why? Just why would you call a bike this? OK, so it doesn’t mean anything, but somehow the name Burgman conjures up all the wrong images. It’s a bit like Slough or Staines, regardless of how nice they might be as places, they’re forever struggling under ugly-sounding names. The weird thing is that the Burgman is known as the Skywave in Japan, which sounds about a trillion times better.

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