Top ten bikes we wish they had made... page five

Bikes that nearly made it to the road but no cigar...

2: Laverda SFC 1000

When Aprilia bought Laverda back in 2000, it killed off the chances for the Lynx to reach production, but it simultaneously opened a new possibility for Aprilia-engined Laverdas.

And that was the plan, too, with a range that would have been headed by the lovely-looking SFC1000, shown in 2002 in race form and 2003 as a road bike. It was later spied in near-production form, but Aprilia itself hit financial problems before the RSV Mille-powered SFC 1000 project could go any further. When Piaggio snapped up Aprilia and its subsidiaries, the SFC – and Laverda – disappeared.

1: Honda CBR750RR

The CBR750RR is a bike that few people ever saw but that we owe a huge debt to, as it sacrificed its life to bring us not one but two of the greatest Hondas there ever were.

It was developed in the late 80s as a potential runner in the upcoming World Superbike Championship. One Honda faction wanted to run a mass-made inline-four cylinder machine in the series, so derived the CBR750RR from the engine used in the rarely-seen CBR750F. Another faction preferred the idea of a more extreme racer – with a V4 engine – derived from the RVF endurance prototypes. The second group won, so the fabulous RC30 was born.

Later, Tadeo Baba, who’d worked on the project, dusted off the CBR750RR and pumped out its engine to 893cc. The result was the FireBlade.

So had the CBR750RR actually reached production we might have been robbed of two wonderful Hondas. But we’re still left wondering whether it might not have been pretty fabulous itself.

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