Motorcycles named after racetracks are usually the special ones. They may not have the latest technology of the current crop of superbikes, but they do imbue a certain kind of cool, since they are named to commemorate a historic event at a certain track.
Here they are in alphabetical order.
1. Ducati 750 Imola (1972)
Ducati 750 Imola - Courtesy of www.topspeed.com
Ducati had built their first Desmo V-Twin in the 750 GT touring motorcycle, which was then was modified for racing. Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari rode the bike in the 1972 Imola race and finished one-two respectively, beating Giacomo Agostini on the powerful MV Agusta into third. Ducati was over the moon with the result and launched the race replica called the “750 Imola.”
2. Honda FT500 Ascot (1985)
Honda FT500 Ascot - courtesy of cx500forum.com
Honda may conquer all the racetracks around the world, but they’ve only named one of their bikes after a racetrack. The FT500 Ascot was named after the famous dirt oval in California.
3. Laverda Jarama (1977)
Laverda Jarama - Courtesy of rmsothebys.com
The Laverda Jarama was named after the Spanish racetrack. However, it was also sold as the 3CL in Europe. Laverda was also selling the Jota side-by-side with the Jarama, prompting dealers to upgrade the Jarama to the Jota’s higher specs.
4. Laverda Montjuic (1979)
Laverda Montjuic - Courtesy of motoborgotaro.com
The Laverda Montjuic was probably the rawest bike produced by the Italian maker. Not surprising, since it started life as a Formula 500 racing motorcycle. The British importer Slater Brothers created a road-going version of the race bike and named it after the famed Spanish Montjuic racetrack. It was the most exotic middleweight of its time, hence expensive.
5. Moto Guzzi Le Man (1975)
Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans Mk I - courtesy of www.motorcyclespecs.co.za
This is Moto Guzzi’s most famous model, hands down. Being Moto Guzzi’s very first sportbike, it was built upon the 1971 750cc V7 Sport. As Guzzistas will tell you, the V7 Sport was the first production motorcycle to feature a five-speed gearbox and hit 200 km/h. As for the Le Mans, it was given an 850cc engine and new disc brakes were installed. In fact, the 1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans (the Mk I) is most collectible Italian motorcycle today.
6. Moto Guzzi V50 Monza (1980)
Moto Guzzi V50 Monza - courtesy of www.madeinitalymotorcycles Under the new management, Moto Guzzi figured that smaller and less expensive bikes were the solution, resulting in the V50 and V35 in 1977. Unfortunately, they didn’t sell, and Moto Guzzi reworked both bikes to produce a more powerful versions. The V50 called the V50 Monza and V35 went on to be called the V35 Imola.
7. Triumph Daytona
Triumph Daytona - courtesy of www.bikesrestored.com
Triumph’s first win at the Daytona 200 was in 1966 with American racer Buddy Elmor riding the Tiger 100. Triumph decided to commemorate the victory by launching a 500cc, twin-cylinder roadster called the Daytona in 1974. That name became the lineage of Triumph’s sportbikes until the Daytona 675 in 2017.
8. Triumph Thruxton
Triumph Thruxton R - Courtesy of Triumph Motorcycles
The Thruxton and Thruxton R are the flagships of the current Triumph Bonneville retro classic lineup. “Thruxton” was the name used for the 52 limited production race bikes, produced for the 1965 Thruxton 500 production endurance race. It was these bikes that created the café racer era.