Italian motorcycles are known throughout the world for their amazing performance and big personalities. Which are the best though? If you haven’t had previous experience with Italian bikes, how do you know which ones are the best? This is a common question and we’re here to answer it with our collection of the ten best Italian motorcycles of all time.
The Laverda 750 SFC
This Italian beauty has earned the distinction of becoming the first factory racer with a huge parallel twin 744 cc engine that generated 75 horse power. It became an icon in the early 1970s, well respected as a 24 hour endurance racer that could go up against the competition without taking a back seat. It held its own against the Japanese and British bikes and was daring enough to take on Ducati’s 750 Super Sport and the MV Agusta 750S. It took a few years of evolution but the Laverda 750 SFC came into its own and won its fair share of titles throughout Europe. This example is a rare collector’s piece as one of only 55 in the 3rd series of the SFCs.
The Cagiva V589
The Cavigna V589 came onto the scene in the latter part of the 1980s era and arose as a legend as the bike of choice for Randy Mamola who secured a podium victory. The two stroke is powered with a V4 liquid cooled 498cc engine that churned out 150 horses power and achieved a top speed of 190 mph. The super cool racer is thee design of the great Massimo Tamburini and a highly desired bike for those who are aware of its prowess.
The MV Agusta F4CC
The MV Augsta F4CC is a member of the exclusive Italian Motorcycle family that saw fit to throw a CC at the end of its title, along with the additions that took it to the next level up from an already good place. This bike is the ultimate member of the family with a retuned 1078cc engine magnesium accessories and titanium materials on the internals. There are quite a few hand machined components. This beast boasts 200 horse power with a hat tip to its 16 valve 4 cylinder engine.
The Ducati 916 SPS
Ducati is a name that speaks for itself, but the 1990s 916 SPS achieved brag-worthy successes in the Superbike championship world. It not only performed with precise power, it did so with a cool aesthetic that was more like art in motion to the trained eye. The SP variants performed great but the SPS topped them all. What moved this beast down the track? An eight valve 916 Desmo engine with a serious reorganization of the internal components that gave it an extra boost to 134 horse power with larger valves, a lighter crankshaft and a new full carbon exhaust system. This wasn’t all but it’s enough for starters. It’s a curvy and sexy speed machine that comes at a price that isn’t often mentioned, because if you have to ask, it’s likely to be out of reach.
The Ducati Scrambler (Original)
The Ducati Scrambler was never the best bike produced by the brand but it’s value is in its iconic status. The 1962 rolled off production lines with a choice of engine sizes that range from 125 cc through 450cc. You can tell the original from the second generation because it has a more narrow engine case, but not much else changed. Ducati introduced its new enhanced version of the Scrambler in 2014 at the Intermot show in Germany. Years after its original production the world saw a resurgence of interest in the Scrambler.
Moto Guzzi V8
The 1955 Moto Guzzi V8 is a road racer from the ’50s that features a 500cc water cooled engine with four camshafts and eight small carburetors. It generates 78 horse power and reaches a top speed of 175 mph, which for the time was a high figure. This iconic bike is one of Italy’s most memorable and highly desired machines, ranking fifth in our top ten list.
The Moto Guzzi V7
Two in a row for the top Italian Motorcycles, coming in fourth place is the Moto Guzzi V7 III. The brand evolved from a simpler design to employ the use of wind tunnels for the enhancement of their special aerodynamic racing technology. Another evolution occurred with new ownership in the 1960s that brought the air cooled V-twin in a 700 cc that featured a longitudinal crankshaft in the creation of the Moto Guzzi V7.
The Bimota DB7
Of all the Bimota models we could have chosen, all worthy of inclusion, the DB7 is the top dog in the family. This model is a conglomeration of all the best components with inspiration from other models with a Ducati Testastretta 1098 engine cranking 160 horse power, fitted in a carbon fiber frame. They gave it a fiery Italian temperament and an over the top aesthetic, making it the third greatest motorcycle of all time.
The Ducati Desmosedici RR
The Desmosedici RR is the second best Italian motorcycle of all time. It comes with a price tag of $72,000 and is worth every penny to collectors who place a high value on the 200 horse power with a V4 989cc with a top speed of 188 mph. It’s the bike that is suitable for a world class motorcycle racer. The Desmosedici RR is packed with top end technology as a replica motorcycle and has been produced with a limited edition and low production volume making it a rare find, highly desired by enthusiasts and serious collectors.
The Aprilia RSV4 FW
The best Italian motorcycle of all time is the Aprilia RSV4 FW. If given the choice from all the contenders on this list, it’s a safe bet that this would be the selection for most. This special model first rolled off production lines in 2009 becoming Aprilia’s firsts production motorcycle in a four cylinder. The first edition was built with a 178 horse power 4 cylinder engin, whichc at the time was good, but more recent models grant you a whopping 201 horse power with 85 lb ft of torque at peak, and climax at top speeds of 180 mph give or take.