Motorcycling, Routes, Ride Outs & Custom Culture
There’s a certain charm about retro and classic motorcycles but how many of us could really be bothered to live with them outside of the classic bike club? That’s where the modern version comes into play, staying daringly close to classic design but with modern sensibilities such as electric start and fuel injection, retro/classics are more popular than ever.
An increasing number of manufacturers are buying into this market as a younger generation of biker ditch the modern sports bikes in favour of retro chic. I am proud to put my hand up to say that I was nearly one of them but chickened out at the last minute when I realised that with the amount of miles I put on a bike I’d be forever in the garage with a can of polish. Anyway here’s my top three:
1) Norton Commando
2) Kawasaki W800
3) Triumph Scrambler
The resurrected Norton Commando is one hell of a bike. With performance to humble many sports bikes and instant kudos at any bike meet, rally or ride out it’s a living legend.
I very nearly bought a Kawasaki W800. As classic style bikes go it definitely ticks all the right spots. When it’s a sunny out I sometimes wonder what might have been but I’m quickly reminded of why I chose to go for a bike with considerably less chrome as soon as the heavens open.
I think that the Triumph Scrambler is the best-looking of its ‘Classic’ range. I’m just not sure if I’d get away with ‘Steve McQueen’-ing it over cars on my 100 mile motorway commute.
Others to note are any of the retro Triumphs from the ‘Classic’ range (my pick of these besides the scrambler would be the Thruxton). There’s a whole range of Royal Enfield’s and Moto Guzzi’s (V7 Racer looks divine) to choose from too. It’s just a shame Ducati never continued to evolve their ‘Sport Classic’ series.
So what floats your classical boat?