There is no doubt that Italian motorcycles have a unique style and unparalleled elegance. Some of the best sport bikes come from this country. And over the years, these bikes have come with jaw-dropping performance and stunning styling, with brands like Ducati, MV Agusta and Aprilia offering plenty of models to entertain enthusiasts on the road.
These manufacturers have created a market that revolves around fast, sporty road bikes and a rich history of performance-inspired innovation. That said, in no particular order, here are some of the most amazing Italian motorcycles of all time.
9 The Moto Guzzi Otto V8
The Motto Guzzi V8 is one of the most distinctive models of the Moto Guzzi brand. A bike that made motorcycle engineering history and a stunningly beautiful classic bike that all gearheads would love to ride. And while those specs might not mean much today, in 1955 the Otto V8, a racing motorcycle, was way ahead of its time.
The Otto V8 sported a 500cc 8-cylinder engine that generated up to 78 horsepower and reached top speeds of up to 174 mph. Those speed numbers wouldn’t be seen again for another twenty years in another MotoGP race bike. The Otto V8 was much faster – it was equipped with tires and suspension technologies that matched its powerful engine. The Otto V8 is a gem that motorcycle experts still celebrate today.
8 Mv Agusta F4
In the history of motorcycles, many Italian bike manufacturers have never really survived the storm of the Japanese Big 4, and the MV Agusta has also struggled. Thus, after its takeover by Cagiva, it was the F4 that paved the way for the resurrection of the brand.
The popular four-cylinder sports bike was designed by iconic Italian motorcycle designer Massimo Tamburini, who has worked on other brands including Ducati. Moreover, drawing inspiration from Ferrari’s Formula 1 programme, these illustrious origins made the success of the MV Agusta F4 until it was discontinued in 2018 to pave the way for the F4 Claudio. However, being one of the most iconic motorcycles of all time, the CEO of the brand hinted at the return of the bike.
7 Ducati Monster
The Ducati Monster is an exciting masterpiece that wouldn’t complete Ducati history if it wasn’t mentioned. This mighty street bike is popularly known as the model that saved Ducati. Additionally, among the brand’s long list of high-end motorcycles, the Monster is the most accessible due to its affordable price and maintenance.
Besides being Ducati’s bread and butter, it also features its beautiful design and a punchy engine that makes it unmistakably a Ducati. Additionally, most Ducati fans might be happy to know that the current model has increased power, going from a 937cc engine with 111 horsepower to a 1198cc engine with a 147 horsepower model.
6 Laverda 750 SFC
To most riders, the Laverda 750 SFC is an iconic Italian gem that earned its accolade by becoming the first full-fledged factory rider with a massive 744cc parallel-twin engine producing 75 horsepower.
This classic ride was designed as a 24-hour racer to take on models like the MV Agusta 750S and Ducati 750 SuperSport. It took a few years – three generations before it became a world famous motorcycle, but it eventually earned its share to become the iconic motorcycle that purists love today. Only 549 units were produced, and 55 were of the third generation – the most popular 750 SFC model. The third generation Laverda 750 SFC is a good option for riders looking for a rare and exotic motorcycle.
5 Aprilia RSV4
Remarkably fast and powerful, the RS4 is Aprilia’s latest offering and the largest of all RSVs in the brand’s superbike lineup. It features improved aero efficiency, integrated aero fins, a heart-pounding 217 horsepower and more torque than ever before.
And although launched in 2009, the RSV4 has developed quite quickly to become the brand’s model. Maybe it’s because of its V4 engine or the solid success it’s had on international circuits since its launch. All in all, the RSV4 is truly a masterpiece meant to send thrilling experiences.
4 Moto Guzzi V7
Appearing twice in this list, the Moto Guzzi company proves that it makes great motorcycles. The brand was founded in 1921 and since then it has had quite a successful history. The first Moto Guzzi motorcycles were equipped with horizontal single-cylinder engines which won many race victories in the 1930s.
However, in the 1960s the brand evolved into an air-cooled 700cc V-twin with a longitudinal crankshaft. This engine brought glorious fame to the Moto Guzzi V7, making it one of the best Italian motorcycles ever built.
3 Ducati Desmosedici RR
Before the Ducati Panigale V4 hit the streets, the only available V4-powered bike from the brand was the Desmosedici RR. The limited edition Ducati was the first true racing replica, the RR standing for Race Replica. Today, it retails for a hefty $72,500 and is worth every penny for collectors who treasure the 989cc V4 with 200 horsepower and a top speed of 188 mph.
The Desmosedici RR also features the high-end technology expected of a replica motorcycle and was produced in limited numbers, making it a rare model and highly sought after by purists and serious collectors.
2 Cagiva V589
The Cagiva V589 is one of the finest two-stroke racers that dominated racetracks in the 1980s. It contained a 498cc liquid-cooled V4 engine that delivered 150 horsepower, enough to propel the V589 to speeds of up to at 190 mph.
The powerful engine was mated to an aluminum twin-spar frame with an aluminum or fiber swingarm. Additionally, it featured Marzocchi and Öhlins suspension, carbon wheels, Michelin rubber and Brembo brakes. And although the V589 was not a racing success for Cagiva, it goes down in history as one of the most exotic Italian motorcycles ever made.
1 MV Agusta Brutale
It only takes one look to see why most bikers call the MV Agusta the Lamborghini of the motorcycle world. The Brutale is one of the most acclaimed naked sport bikes of the modern era. His unapologetically aggressive looks and ruthless style make him easily recognizable.
The 800 version is one of the brand’s most popular offerings, and it’s easy to see why. The Brutale 800RR features a 998cc liquid-cooled V4 engine that puts out a whopping 208 horsepower. This power pushes it to reach a top speed of up to 186 mph. In general, MV Agusta Brutale is famous for its design and impressive spec sheet, which secures it a spot on this list.
Italian motorcycles are some of the most stylish and sought after models on the market, but some are best avoided when used.
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