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The best straight-liners of all time
The Yamaha V-Max has opened up a whole new segment of bikes that will take your breath away in a straight line. Here are some of the most vicious accelerators off the line
TRIUMPH ROCKET III
This was the machine that nobody expected a bike maker like Triumph to come up with. Ridiculous ideas packaged and delivered in the most delightful manner — that’s what the Rocket III is all about. It carries the largest engine on any production bike to begin with — 2,294 cc distributed amongst three massive cylinders. That makes it deliver unearthly torque, which is one of the most basic ingredients in making a great drag bike. Its light and easy steering, coupled with its affable looks make it a complete package.
SUZUKI GSX1300R HAYABUSA
Don’t get fooled by its soft and curvy styling — the famed falcon from Japan is known around the world for its stratospheric top speed and hypertouring manners, but it also is one of the top choices for drag racers around the world. The massively grunty engine, its seemingly endless power delivery, the long wheelbase and low centre-ofgravity all come together to make this bike the king of the straight line, around the world.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON VRSC NIGHT ROD
The Night Rod is a special version of the Harley-Davidson V-Rod — the bike which proved to the world that Harley-Davidson was not just a lazy cruiser stuck in its past. Its thoroughly modern V-twin engine was developed jointly with Porsche, and marked many firsts for Harley including fuel injection, overhead valves and liquid cooling. All that came together to create a manic machine with roaring torque, that has now made a name for itself on drag strips.
KAWASAKI ZX-14 R
Also known as the ZZR1400 in some markets, Kawasaki’s answer to the Hayabusa came with an even larger engine that made more power, more torque — but most importantly put it down on the tarmac in a much more ferocious way (and thereby thrilling to hordes of speed-crazed bikers). While it never caught on with the masses and made a big name for itself like the ‘Busa did, it always has been the dark horse of a drag race — and a statement of wildness on the rider’s behalf.
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