Not everyone would understand all kinds of motorcycles. Another way of saying this is – not everyone would understand motorcycles from all eras. Not that we should, we all have our own preferences. Having said that, there have been many good motorcycles in the past that went on to give birth to various segments of motorcycles we know of today.
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However, what worked earlier may not work today. Say, if we are to ride a certain classic motorcycle from 40 years back, we may find it lacking terribly in all those things that make a good motorcycle – performance, handling, braking, comfort, looks, etc. – even if it might have been a revelation back then. And that would be hardly surprising considering 40 years of technological advancement which naturally makes two-wheelers of today remarkably different than those in the past. That’s progress, that’s evolution. Secondly, given that they are from a entirely different generation, we simply may not understand or “get” them.
But wouldn’t it be great if we can still find a way to enjoy and actually feel happy about the motorcycles from the bygone era? Good for us, various bike makers found a solution to that years ago – Modern Classics.
Now, Ducati has been making motorcycles for a long time now and their bike lineup is a great example of advancing-through-technology over all these years. Many of their motorcycles have changed more in design and nomenclature than some other motorcycle manufacturers around the world. From the classics to the Superbikes, the Italian company has had everything. They even had a MotoGP replica in the amazing Desmosedici RR.
Modern classics – it’s a pretty unique category of motorcycles where the past is pulled into the future to meet the present! It’s about nostalgia more than the numbers on the dyno. It’s about the “feeling” which made motorcycles connect with the rider’s heart in the first place. It’s about understanding motorcycles at their core.
One such motorcycle Ducati had in their stable was the GT1000. Had. It was made for a very short time from 2007 to 2010 as a part of the Sports Classic range of motorcycles which also included Sport1000 and Sport1000S.
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Sports Classic GT1000
GT1000 is a classic. It came with an L-twin air-cooled 992cc engine which produced 92 PS of power at 8,000 RPM and 91.1 NM of torque at 6,000 RPM.
We Sincerely thank Mr. Manish Rajpoot for sparing his time for us and letting us ride his Ducati GT1000.
The design was more or less of a standard motorcycle, but of course, being a Ducati it was a bit different. But the bits and pieces that made that design were far from outdated. At the front, there’s a pair of upside-down forks from Marzocchi and Brembo floating callipers front and rear. The rear comprised of twin shockers from Sachs. That’s what has always been great about Ducati, they have never under-equipped their motorcycles as far as chassis and suspension are concerned.
The steel trellis frame is also discreetly finished and has a minimal appearance. Visually, the most prominent elements of GT1000 are its 90-degree engine and the fuel tank. The competitive suspension and chassis turn it into a decent performance motorcycle overall. They help utilize all those 92 horses to the fullest. It’s plenty of power for all kinds of roads.
It’s more powerful than the entire Bonneville range from Triumph and looks more solid as well. The GT1000’s representation as a performance-classic wasn’t a surprise – it was designed by Pierre Terblanche and based on MH900e motorcycle which was actually a replica of Mike Hailwood’s 1978 Isle of Man TT motorcycle. The foot-pegs are rear-set and the rider sits very slightly leaned forward to instil that sportiness.
Ducati isn’t known to make motorcycles that do not handle well irrespective of what category it caters to. The GT1000 is one such example. It’s a retro, a classic, but it is fun enough when there’s a series of corners ahead of you. It would have been great if it was still made today and pitted against the latest generation of Triumph Bonneville’s – they are modern and come with rider modes and what not.
Definitely, there’s a pretty big market for these motorcycles around the world, and Ducati could have had a good pie out of it. Maybe they’ll make the GT again, and if they do, it will be interesting to see how they do it for the second time.