While we all – hopefully – love motorcycling, many of us also love everything to do with motorcycling. Events, racing, films, books, TV shows… there is plenty out there to satisfy us particularly when we can’t get out on the bikes. And scale models is another area where we can while away hours and indulge our passion for motorbikes and motorcycling.
We’re not just talking about collecting scale models here but also, self-assembly kits of motorcycles we’ve perhaps always hankered after and may now be out of the reach when it comes to the real world. But just because you can’t get your real-life dream bike doesn’t mean you can’t have it in 1/12 scale and realistic plastic.
There’s something for everyone out there, from authentic replicas of superbikes such as the Honda Fireblade to crazy creations and wooden oddities using rubber bands as motors. There are also greats from the likes of Lego and other plastic assembly systems and you can go modern or classic, depending on your taste.
The best motorcycle models shortlist:
Best motorcycle model for a good challenge: Tamiya 14138 Honda CBR 1000 RR-R Fireblade
Best motorcycle model for pure nostalgia: Italeri BMW R80G
Best motorcycle model with no assembly required: NewRay 57403 Model Motorbike
Best motorcycle model for a larger scale make: Tamiya 1:6 Honda CB750F
Best motorcycle model for accuracy: Aoshima Kawasaki 1000 Model
Best motorcycle model for Kids: Lego Ducati Panigale Model
Best motorcycle part model: Franzis BMW Flat Twin Engine Model
Best wooden motorcycle model: UGears Kit
Best metal motorcycle model: Piececool 3D Model
Here are a few of the kits we quite fancy getting our hands on in the last few days before we’re allowed back out on our bikes purely for fun. But, whatever you do, don’t call them toys…
Tamiya 14138 Honda CBR 1000 RR-R Fireblade Model
Best motorcycle model for a good challenge
A blending of icons - the exceptional Japanese kit manufacturer Tamiya and the latest version of the archetypical road-going superbike, the Honda CBR1000RR-R or Fireblade. While the latest version of the road bike has lost some of its charm, this superb kit replicates it beautifully and will challenge the hands of any builder. Measuring 176mm long, the kit features removeable bodywork to display the engine detail and it comes with two possible liveries.
Italeri BMW R80G Model
Best motorcycle model for pure nostalgia
This 1:9-scale replica of the BMW R80 G/S that won the 1985 Paris-Dakar Rally ridden by Belgian Gaston Rahier is a delightful replica of the works bike. The kit comprises lots of rubber pipe, metal springs, and screws and gives off a lovely air of nostalgia and engineering. A great standalone model, it would also be a superb base for a Dakar-Rally diorama.
NewRay 57403 Model Motorbike
Best motorcycle model with no assembly required
If you like scale models of motorcycles but donu2019t fancy the prospect of actually assembling a kit, then this NewRay replica of Casey Stoneru2019s iconic Repsol Honda RS212V that he used to win the 2011 championship by taking ten wins and claiming the podium in every race he finished could be for you. At 1:12 scale, itu2019s a chunky item and as it is die-cast, itu2019s accurate too.
Tamiya 1:6 Honda CB750F Model
Best motorcycle model for a larger scale make
I actually had this kit when I was a kid (though in the smaller 1:12 scale, not the enormous 1:6) and it kept my interest in motorcycles simmering for years. This behemoth is 380mm long when assembled and is one of Tamiyau2019s u2018Big Scaleu2019 range. The 1979 Honda CB750F set the standard for 1980s nakeds and this model is a wonderful representation of that machine.
Aoshima Kawasaki 1000 Model
Best motorcycle model for accuracy
For motorcyclists of a certain age, Saturday evenings were all about CHiPs, the adventures of California Highway Patrol officers Jon and Ponch as they went about their business on a pair of Kawasaki Z1000 motorcycles. This is a version of the bikes the pair rode and itu2019s an evocative model. I can hear the theme tune alreadyu2026
Lego Ducati Panigale Model
Best motorcycle model for Kids
The motorcycle worldu2019s collective jaw dropped when Lego unveiled its Technic version of the Ducati V4 R Panigale, one of the most exciting motorcycles around. Like many of Legou2019s flagship Technic kits, the Panigale has some genuine engineering touches to it, including rotating wheels, working rear suspension, and a two-speed gearbox connected to the V4 motor u2013 a first for Lego Technic apparently. Itu2019s stunning.
Franzis BMW Flat Twin Engine Model
Best motorcycle part model
Not strictly a bike model and certainly not cheap, this visible model of the legendary BMW flat-twin boxer engine from the equally-legendary R90S from 1973 will engage and enthrall any motorcyclist with the slightest engineering interest. It uses genuine components in model form with LEDs to indicate spark plugs firing and a motor to drive the engine round. Itu2019s a hefty investment but a significant model and talking point in any collection.
Best wooden motorcycle model
So this wooden kit isnu2019t really a replica of a proper bike but it is made from pre-cut wooden pieces that stack and join to make a surprisingly cool-looking chopper. Itu2019s not just a static display though, it comes with a u2018rubber-band engineu2019 that lets you wind it up and set it off across the table. An interesting way to spend a rainy afternoon. Born to be mildu2026
Piececool 3D Model
Best metal motorcycle model
Another kit that eschews authenticity for novelty, this kit is made from pre-cut sheets of stainless steel that you have to bend and join together to form the generic-looking sports-touring motorcycle. It has 72 pieces that have to be folded and it actually looks like an interesting and challenging prospect.
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