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Top 10 Brand New, Old School Motorcycles

Old School Motorcycle
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Have you heard the saying, “What’s old is new again?” Motorcycles have been around a while, say 100 years give or take a decade. In that time, they have developed from simple machines with little suspension to complex hyper bikes that can exceed 180 miles per hour given enough smooth pavement. Think back to early motorcycles. Rough around the edges, but for its time, it was the ultimate racer disguised as daily transportation.

Since the beginning of the early 1900s, motorcycles have continued to evolve to where they are today. There are some motorcycles that are considered to be the pioneers in style, new technology, and leading the charge in old school cool. Think about how they started. They were essentially bicycles with a combustion engine powering them. Low horsepower, limited gearing options, and not very easy to maintain. Over the next few decades, refinements made them faster, better fitting for longer travel distance, and easier to maintain. Since then bodywork has become popular and turned as much fashion as it is function.

If you made a list of what makes an old school motorcycle distinctive, it would be quite different depending on who you asked. Some would say it has to have personality, a low seat height, and a heritage behind the model. Others may offer that it needs sex appeal, styling that hasn’t been duplicated, or a design that motorcyclists still talk about today. All will most likely agree that modern motorcycles are still as sexy as their original counterparts while adding new technology that brings the past into the future. Conveniences such as fuel injection, anti-lock brakes, and storage capacity for cargo are three easy items to identify a modern motorcycle compared to an old school motorcycle. Evidently, today’s motorcycle employs more technology than what many would deem the heritage breeds of yesteryear need.

Top 10 Brand New, Old School Motorcycles

There are motorcycles that mix the modern conveniences with more traditional styling. Deemed as modern classics, they are a great blend of today’s technology with yesterday’s fashion. We’ve picked out 10 brand new, old school motorcycles that we think are worth considering when you’re ready to purchase a retro-style motorcycle.

  1. 2019 Honda CB650R
    Type: Sport Standard
    Engine: 4-stroke, in-line 4 cylinder DOHC, direct fuel injection
    Displacement: 649cc
    Transmission: 6-speed manual
    Price: $8,899 +$380 destination fee
     

    The Honda CB650R combines vintage style with modern convenience. It features standard styling mixed with sports handling. The 649cc engine has enough power to handle highway speeds, but not too much to make urban riding difficult. It is lightweight and agile enough for a beginner to enjoy a sporty ride without the horsepower interfering with the rider’s safety. A single front and rear disc brake system are capable of handling all stopping needs, with a tuned sports suspension offering great handling without an overaggressive ride. Anti-lock brakes and a torque control feature is also optional to allow for more aggressive handling without the fear of too much power during the wrong time.

    2019 Honda CB650R

  2. 2019 Yamaha XSR700
    Type: Sport Standard
    Engine: 4-stroke, in-line twin cylinder, direct fuel injection
    Displacement: 689cc
    Transmission: 6-speed manual
    Price: $8,499 +$400 destination fee
     

    The Yamaha XSR700 is an example of a capable muscular motorcycle with retro styling and modern efficiency. It will be available from February 2019, so be sure to get on the waiting list before they are sold out. A digital gauge setup offers easy to read speedometer and warning lights. The seat height is 32.9 inches, so it will be slightly taller than a typical standard. Anti-lock brakes are available, so you can ride aggressively without worrying about the brakes locking under hard stopping.

    2019 Yamaha XSR700

  3. 2018 Yamaha SR400
    Type: Standard
    Engine: 4-stroke, air cooled single cylinder, fuel injection
    Displacement: 399cc
    Transmission: 5-speed manual
    Price: $5,999
     

    The Yamaha SR400 brings retro back in style. It features a single cylinder engine utilizing fuel injection that offers reliability and easy maintenance. It has a standard styling reminiscent of the 1970s and offers a simple suspension. It is lightweight, will be easy to maneuver through traffic, and still will be stable at highway speeds if needed. A single front and rear disc brake system are capable of handling all stopping needs for a daily commute.

    2018 Yamaha SR400

  4. 2019 Suzuki TU250X
    Type: Standard
    Engine: 4-stroke, single cylinder, fuel injection
    Displacement: 249cc
    Transmission: 5-speed manual
    Price: $4,649 + $380 destination fee
     

    Although the Suzuki TU250X doesn’t look like a 2019 model, it offers the modern fuel efficiency of something straight off the modern assembly line. The single cylinder engine offers enough power for a daily commute and provides added comfort on a wide, plush seat. While the vintage styling will fool most, it does offer modern lighting for day and night safety. A single front disc brake and rear drum brake is capable of handling all stopping needs on an urban commute. This model does not offer anti-lock brakes, but the supple suspension will be suitable for all riders.

    2019 Suzuki TU250X

  5. 2019 Kawasaki W800 Cafe
    Type: Standard – Café Racer
    Engine: 4-stroke, twi cylinder, fuel injection
    Displacement: 799cc
    Transmission: 6-speed manual
    Price: $9,799 +$370 destination fee
     

    If you saw a black and white picture of the Kawasaki W800, you’d think it was straight out of the early days of the café racers. The standard styling is a blast from the past featuring a small front fascia and headlight. The engine offers modern fuel injection and the models offer extra options including a passenger grab bar, luggage rack, and heated grips. A single front and rear disc brake system offer modern stopping capable of simple or sports riding. A tuned suspension offers great handling, but unfortunately, anti-lock brakes are not an option.

    2019 Kawasaki W800 Cafe

  6. 2018 Ducati Monster 797
    Type: Sport Standard
    Engine: 4-stroke, twin cylinder, fuel injection
    Displacement: 803cc
    Transmission: 6-speed manual
    Price: N/A
     

    There may not be a motorcycle brand with more racing heritage than Ducati. The Monster is a standard motorcycle that has been around many years and continues to evolve. This latest version of the Ducati Monster features over 800cc matched with a superb sport suspension and huge brakes. Anti-lock brakes are a standard feature, which will be a great benefit for those that want to embrace the Ducati racing heritage. It features an LCD digital display and LED lighting on the front and rear. It does not include a fairing, but the 797+ model does include a small windshield to help move air around the rider.

    2018 Ducati Monster 797

  7. 2018 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber
    Type: Standard
    Engine: 4-stroke, twin cylinder, fuel injection
    Displacement: 850cc
    Transmission: 6-speed manual
    Price: $10,490
     

    Moto Guzzi is another motorcycle manufacturer deep with heritage. The V9 Bobber comes in one color: black. It features a steel chassis that performs well in all riding conditions. Earlier models of the V-series were used as police cruisers, as they were able to achieve high speeds. One of the unique features of the Bobber is the large 16” tires that offer extra stability. A single front and rear disc brake system provides great stopping power as well. Anti-lock brakes are the standard option, and it does have a traction control system to offer additional safety while riding.

    2018 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber

  8. 2017 Triumph Scrambler
    Type: Standard
    Engine: 4-stroke, parallel twin cylinder, fuel injection
    Displacement: 865cc
    Transmission: 6-speed manual
    Price: $9,650
     

    The Triumph Scrambler harkens back to the 1960s where desert bikes were stripped down and fitted for racing with big wheels, knobby tires, and high exhaust. The Scrambler follows suit with the heritage and keeps the dual stacked high exhaust and aluminum skid plate. The fuel tank has rubber inserts for knee comfort as you hug the motorcycle tightly and race through the sand and dirt. It features a single lightweight front and rear disc brake system meant to handle aggressive riding on different terrains.

    2017 Triumph Scrambler

  9. 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Rod
    Type: Standard
    Engine: 4-stroke, twin cylinder, fuel injection
    Displacement: 749cc
    Transmission: 6-speed manual
    Price: $8,699
     

    Harley-Davidson is one of the American pioneers in motorcycling. What started as a small company has become a global company manufacturing and distributing motorcycles across the globe. The H-D Street Rod continues on the tradition of aggressive technology mixed with traditional styling. It features a single front and rear disc brake system with an anti-lock brake option. Beyond standard styling, it continues the tradition with a simple speedometer, warning lights, and colorful options.

    2019 Harley-Davidson Street Rod

  10. 2018 Norton Commando 961 Café Racer MKII
    Type: Standard
    Engine: 4-stroke, parallel twin cylinder, fuel injection
    Displacement: 961cc
    Transmission: 5-speed manual
    Price: N/A
     

    The Norton Commando 961 Café Racer combines vintage racing style with modern technology. The 961cc engine will have more than enough power to handle highway speeds, but not too much to make daily commuting difficult. It is lightweight and agile to ride. A dual front and rear disc brake system offer maximum braking potential on the ride out of the city.

    2018 Norton Commando 961 Café Racer MKII

Wrap Up

After looking back through history at the evolution of motorcycles in the last 100 years, there are some common traits that have stayed true to the initial concept. Two wheels, a combustion engine, and a simple braking system. Some have offered a small fairing, a la the café racers, while others have stayed simple, with no aerodynamics to help diffuse the wind around the rider. Whether you want modern or vintage styling, simple brakes or the most up-to-date anti-lock brakes, it’s all available with a mix of old and new. You just have to pick your perfect old school motorcycle for your next ride. Stay safe out there!

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