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Top Ten Best Sounding Motorcycle Engines


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  • 2 months later...

The best sounding bike to me is my '93 Honda750. A 4into2, with two megaphones, one on each side. I modded it slightly, and it sounds super-sweet running up through the gears. I'll have to get some video of it.

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Sound, tone, report is certainly subjective.


A symphony for the senses to a Harley rider might be objectionable noise to those riding a Boxer.


The beauty is that there are so many differences in the timeless internal combustion engine design, that it delivers infinite variety to us all.



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I can't get that page to load. There is however, a sound, that sends chill down my spine when I hear clips of it. The Honda 250 cc 6 cylinder race bikes. Particularly untouchable when Mike Hailwood was aboard.


Race sounds Pay attention at 1:12 and 1:40 as the Honda sixes are leaving the line. Then at 2:26 and 2:49 as the Hondas are already nearly back together and heading to the front for the eventual wind. 1967 Isle of Man TT. The motorcycle race of races

Both videos here are short and add some nice sound.


Still looking for the sound clips that used to be on Mike Hailwoods site of actual race sounds as he went by. Incredible.

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John Bentall

A Honda 250 6 is like playing a hi-fi through 6 little hang-on-the-wall speakers - a wail of tinny noise. I do enjoy that sound.

A real stirring sound is a 500cc Manx Norton blaring through a race megaphone monitored by an analogue 4" Smiths tachometer that seems to run a half second behind the actual revs. That is what you call bass - particularly when one is standing right beside it in the paddock while the Castrol R is being warmed up.

I can practically feel the shiver run down my spine as I type this.

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There is a guy building replica Honda RC 166's. "Bout 1/2 million dollars!

He was and had help from Honda engineers from the original project. They still do NOT know how to duplicate the metallurgy from the connecting rods and valves. This kind of tech is what built the Honda name. ( They also have not achieved the horsepower output of the original engines....)

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Here is a

to another 7 min. video of the RC166. They had a RC181 (500cc) bike at Barber last fall. They started it but did not put it out on the track.

Rob Iannucci of Team Obsolete was the one who had a RC-165 built from parts found in a shed in England.

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Sounded like it had 7, maybe 8 speeds!


We lived on the Daytona beachside in the 60's, from the back yard you could hear those things going around the banking at the Speedway. I checked google maps, it was just under 5 miles as the crow flies.

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Also not motorcycle, but these big guys always stir the innards:



Start up on alcohol, then introduce some nitro. Whack the throttle and watch the crowd dance.




Edited by mbelectric
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My all time favorite is the Honda RC166. In the world of twins here's one that is awesome. Ducati S2 Mille just like the one in the Barber museum except it has the factory 2 into 1 race exhaust. Ducati S2 Mille Me taking a short ride.

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I've ridden one of those Benelli's and they're cool but Hurley Haywood loaned me his CBX once with six into six headers and it sounded amazing (to me), much like a 906, 910, 911 racecar.


More non moto sounds segway from above, although it is horizontally-opposed and air-cooled.


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More Honda RC 166 music. This is more what I wanted to find, still looking for some of the ones that were actually of Mike Hailwood. These bikes were so good....Mike Hailwood actually lapped the entire race field on it....


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More Honda RC 166 music. This is more what I wanted to find, still looking for some of the ones that were actually of Mike Hailwood. These bikes were so good....Mike Hailwood actually lapped the entire race field on it....



Not a gram of flywheel to be heard.

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Finally found the soundtrack I was looking for! This was on the Mike Hailwood official website until they redesigned it. The very opening of this video, only a few seconds long is all you want to pay attention to. This audio clip is from Mike Hailwood on the RC 166 at the Isle of Mann TT riding to victory. This is down one of the longer more straight stretches. You can hear the engine loading and unloading as the bumps and rises in the road change load and tire traction. Imagine how this sounded in real life, considering the equipment used to record it then was likely not state of the art. Sends chills up me when I hear this and think about the bike.

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