Interceptor, Hurricane, Ninja, Katana… During their infancy, pretty much every sportbike built was gifted with a bold, vaguely sinister name intended to strike fear into the heart of riders everywhere-especially those riding bikes from competing brands. Remember Honda's famous ad tag line, "Even the Ninja knows to hide from the Hurricane?" Unfortunately, it wasn't just other riders that were scared of these names. Insurance adjusters (and certain hyperventilating politicians) were downright terrified by the image they projected, and in an attempt to avoid skyrocketing insurance rates and potential performance-limiting legislation, Japanese manufacturers abandoned the nomenclature of speed and replaced these famous monikers with more benign-sounding stings of letters and numbers that weren't so blunt in their intentions. Unfortunately, numerotextual names like CBR1000RR or YZF1000R1-LE sound nowhere near as sexy or romantic as the Tornados, Rockets, or Phantoms of the past. Unlike insurance agents or politicos, though, the sportbike population remains hopelessly romantic: witness the affectionate "Gixxer" nickname that far outpaces the more politically correct GSX-R1000 in casual usage, or the staying power of the name "Ninja," (which, it's worth noting, Kawasaki never abandoned), frequently used by the idiot squid population as a generic descriptor for any sportbike, interchangeable with the term "crotch rocket." For those of us who miss sportbikes with real names, there is evidence that this trend might be reversing. Consider naked bikes, those *** stepchildren of sportbikes, nearly all of which are gifted with gloriously thuggish names: Monster, Brutale, Bandit, Fazer, Speed Triple, Tuono, insurance adjusters be *** Mark my words: meaningful names are coming back to sportbikes sooner than later. Nostalgia is a powerful potion in the marketing of modern motorcycles. In the nineties the industry was driven by boomers buying up classic cruisers that resembled the bikes they grew up idolizing in the fifties; the mid-naughts, it appears, are owned by flower children clamoring for hippie-hearted Bonnevilles, Scramblers and Sport Classics. How many more years will it be before the Gen X kids who grew up with high, hard ones for Hurricanes and Ninjas start pining for plastic-wrapped, retro CBR600s and neon lime-and-purple ZX7s in their local dealerships? Not long enough, I'm guessing, and when they come, they will be named.