Much as I love cars, I barely understand them. My comprehension of bikes resembles something like mysticism: I see them, I like them, I know nothing about them.

But I do know that there are certain bikes that every car nut should know. When an old-school Moto Guzzi rumbles by, you should be able to appreciate it more than 'hey that's cool that looks like a weird Honda I bet that's expensive.'

For instance, every gearhead should know about the record-setting Vincent Black Lightning, that stands with its brother the Black Shadow as a high point of the British motorcycle industry. That picture above is the Black Lightning setting the land speed record after many runs, finally culminating with rider Rollie Free stripping down to his swimming trunks and shooting off over the salt at Bonneville, into the history books.

But what other motorcycles should every car enthusiast know? What KTMs should we all be able to recognize, Urals to appreciate, Monsters to fear?

Photo Credit: unknown, via Motorcyle Mustem