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Blog > February 2012 > Classic Motorcycles Never Go Out of Style

Classic Motorcycles Never Go Out of Style

Classic Motorcycles Never Go Out of Style

written by Digits

While the latest and newest may bring ideas of modern and advanced models, a large group of riders long for the styles of yesteryear when it comes to motorcycles. Admittedly, nostalgia may a thing of the past but a classic-looking motorcycle can catch any rider’s eye. Whether simply for the classic lines or the images of a simpler time filled with untamed roads, the vintage style of motorcycles has long been a draw for riders.


But since spoiled by the smooth ride of the modern motorcycle, many bikers find the rough ride offered by the typical vintage motorcycle unbearable.

But in reality, long rides on older motorcycles are more passing fanciful thoughts more than a hardship to endure. Vintage motorcycles can require more time spent on mechanical attention than that enjoyed in the saddle. As covered in Clutch and Chrome’s article ‘Antique Motorcycles – On the road to ownership’ simply knowing what to buy can leave a rider muddling through motorcycle shows and swap shops looking for enough parts to even get the classic motorcycle running.

So what is a lover of the classic design to do?

Fortunately, a handful of motorcycle manufacturers understand that old is new again with a range of models celebrating classic styles with all the modern technologies and luxuries.

Riding against the storm, British manufacturer Triumph celebrates the age of cafĂ© racers throughout its line-up boasting five models that could be considered a fond look back to the yesteryear of motorcycles. The latest doesn’t just imply a nod to classic design, but its advertising leads with it.

Triumph's Scrambler

Triumph’s Scrambler boasts ‘No-nonsense 60s attitude. Ready for Action’. Inspired by the 60's Triumph off-road sports motorcycles that were stripped down for racing, the Scrambler has a unique look and feel all of its own.

Triumph’s legendary air cooled, 865cc, parallel twin features modern fuel injected and with a 270 degree firing order for a distinctive exhaust note through the stylish high swept chromed side pipes. Add classic 60’s styling details including gaiters, white seat piping and spartan Jet Black or Matte Khaki Green color schemes, and it won’t take long to realize why the Scramblers of the past were the choice of Hollywood icons of the era.

But you don’t have to be a superstar to own the latest offering from Triumph which is offered for a price well under $9,000 with all the modern luxuries of electronic fuel injection, a five speed gearbox and smooth ride from the suspension.

Want to head back further in time, but still enjoy an updated ride? Another British classic, this time from the fifties can be found in the growing network of Royal Enfield dealers around the United States. While featuring a slightly smaller engine, single cylinder 499 cc air-cooled powerhouse, the Enfield makes up with its rich and interesting history.

With bikers loving a good story, a Royal Enfield is guaranteed to keep riders interested at the local bike night. Its first motorcycle can be traced back to the early 1900's, manufactured by a division of the British Royal Small Arms Factory under the name of Royal Enfield. The small arms heritage was seen in the company’s logo of a cannon and their motto "Made like a gun, goes like a bullet".

Royal Enfield

As ownership of the company changed hands, the brand enjoyed success in India with Enfield of India assembling Bullet motorcycles under license in 1956 and manufacturing complete motorcycles by 1962. Even after production ceased in Britain in 1970 Enfield of India bought the rights to use the Royal Enfield name in 1995. Royal Enfield production, based in Chennai, continues and Royal Enfield is now the oldest motorcycle brand in the world still in production with the Bullet model enjoying the longest motorcycle production run of all time.

Reportedly the brand is enjoying a surge of success in North America with the 1950’s obviously a sweet spot for riders with that retro eye, or it could have something to do with the low price of around $6,000.

For riders looking for less comfort but an incredible heritage, taking the time to find the nearest Ural dealership may be in the immediate future.

Featuring Russian engineering (albeit borrowed in some opinions) and a sidecar, the Ural motorcycle is probably the most unique looking ride on the road. With a pedigree dating back to the Second World War when the Soviet Union acquired the design and production techniques for BMW R 71 motorcycles and sidecars and created it’s M-72.

Sometimes known as the ‘Cossack motorcycle’ the modern heavy duty URAL sidecar motorcycles are designed for rough Russian roads they traditionally feature four-stroke, air-cooled, flat-twin engines, a four speed gear box with reverse gear, shaft drive, two disc dry clutch, spring shock absorbers, and drum brakes.


While models have been improved for Western markets, it is still possible to ride away from an American showroom with a motorcycle using a kick-start. Whether from being designed for rough terrain or the steel sidecar, the different models in the Ural line-up (nine if you care to count them) include a reverse gear.

But for those who enjoy the modern comforts, in 2007 Ural switched to a Ducati electronic ignition and utilize new engine and transmission gears designed by Herzog in Germany making for a quieter engine operation and smoother shifting transmission.

Norton CommandoWith manufacturers looking to win the next new motorcycle purchase in these tough economic times, looking back could be the way forward for some. But certainly the art of finding motorcycle sales from the styling of yesteryear seems to come from smaller and mostly privately held manufacturers with Triumph being the prime example.

...Of course many will say Harley-Davidson's have their own unique vintage style about them and while that discussion can be tabled for another article the fact remains, when a biker feels those nostalgic yearnings the selection and range available in the modern day showroom. And those new models areas diverse and eclectic as the very history those inspiring vintage motorcycles first found themselves riding through.


Posted: 2/2/2012 7:54:35 AM | with 0 comments

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