Nostalgia is a fun thing. It occurs when it is least expected, or rather, when we are too busy to pause and smell the roses or even remember the simple joys in life. In this connected world, we’re so focused on juggling everything else around us that we forget to pursue our own passions and put them aside for tomorrow. If you want to sit back and relax, you have to swing your leg over a saddle, explore unknown routes in nature with a retro statue as your companion, then times couldn’t have been better because there are many options. We are talking about neoclassical motorcycles that bring back memories of the past and yet offer the latest technology. Mechanical nightmares used to be glossed over as part of a learning experience by spending millions of hours in a garage tweaking your vintage pride and joy that luckily is now a thing of the past. You can just buy one off the shelf without worrying about any annoying issues.
The reason retro motorbikes are flooding the market is because they can comfortably meet your daily commute needs while quenching your thirst for wanderlust, not to mention making a fashion statement like a certain James Dean. From the pioneers in this class, the British nameplates to the iconic American, European and Japanese brands, all are vying to snag a large chunk of this bustling segment. We’re taking a closer look at three very special motorcycles for their design and capabilities that appeal to enthusiasts of different ages. We would have loved to include the global leader in the retro mid-range in this range, but unfortunately Royal Enfield doesn’t sell its 650cc twins in the US – the casual Interceptor and the café racer, the Continental GT. It’s time to turn back the clock and understand why these three motorcycles are modern masterpieces.
When looks could kill: Triumph Thruxton RS
Undoubtedly, Triumph revived the retro segment twenty years ago with the introduction of the Bonneville, but it was the Thruxton that brought some sex appeal to this class. As a café racer, he defines the word cool in many ways. Don’t be fooled by its stunning looks, as it can stand out for its performance and handling. This bike has a racing pedigree and has achieved success by capturing the top three positions in the Thruxton 500 mile endurance and the legendary Isle of Man TT. The Thruxton RS is a beast as it’s powered by a 104 hp, 1,200cc liquid-cooled 8-valve drivetrain that delivers 83 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm. This means that more power is available in the lower speed range. Driving around town has always been a breeze, but now it can turn corners without sweat.
It comes standard with performance-oriented goodies like the gorgeous gold fully adjustable 43mm Showa USD front fork with fully adjustable Öhlins double shock absorbers, two 310mm floating Brembo discs with Brembo M50 calipers, asphalted Metzeler Racetec RR tires and it lost 13 pounds. All of this improves the nimble driving dynamics, stability and handling of the Thruxton.
As much as it is a design marvel, the Thruxton is packed with features like multiple driving modes – road, rain, and sport – that change the throttle response and traction control settings. It also comes with a USB port that is neatly hidden under the saddle. Triumph offers more than 80 accessories to customize this mean machine. The Thruxton RS starts at $ 16,500.
The Easy Rider: Indian Scout
The Scout is the antithesis of the chrome-clad Indian cruisers in the Goliath look. It doesn’t fit your typical retro genre, instead Indian has longed for an urban, hereditary compact niche line that doubles as a cruiser. The Scout name has been around for 100 years, but the company received a much-needed new lease on life in 2011 when off-road vehicle maker Polaris took over the legendary American bike maker – launched in 2014 and a bestseller in its stable. The Scout offers a wide range – Scout Bobber Sixty, Scout Sixty, Scout Bobber, Scout and Scout Bobber Twenty. Aside from the cosmetic and design changes, the biggest difference is the engine size. The Sixty is powered by a liquid-cooled 999 cc V-twin engine that delivers 78 hp and 65 ft-lb at 5,800 rpm, while the Scout has a larger, more powerful 100 hp, 1,133 cc V-twin engine. Liquid-cooled engine with 72. maintains ft-lbs at 6,000 rpm. The former is coupled with a 5-speed gearbox, while the latter is equipped with a 6-speed gearbox. Both drivetrains are sleek and refined.
In terms of ergonomics, the Scout is the most comfortable motorcycle among the three thanks to its lounge chair-like seating position and the handlebars that curve backwards. What’s impressive is that its front-mounted footpegs don’t limit its maneuverability in urban conditions. Thanks to its low center of gravity, it offers excellent balance when cornering and high-speed stability on the straights. It’s available with ABS and a USB charging port, but since the suspension setup isn’t adjustable and offers less travel, the ride quality is on the stiffer side. The Scout range starts at $ 8,999 and goes up to $ 13,999
Bavarian brawler: BMW R nineT
As expected, BMW is taking the Classic Neo Naked Bike to a new level in terms of appearance, build quality, handling, accuracy of fit and workmanship, and pretty much everything in general. The clean design stands out, not to mention the simple BMW logo on both sides of the fuel tank is an eye-catcher. The R nineT is available in four versions – as Standard, Pure, Scrambler and Urban G / S. It is powered by a horizontally laid out 1,170 cc with an output of 109 hp at 7,250 rpm and a maximum torque of 85 ft-lbs at 6,000 rpm. It is coupled with a 6-speed gearbox. The nineT is equipped as standard with a comprehensive electronics package that includes Dynamic Engine Braking, high-tech ABS Pro and two riding modes – Rain and Road. The R nineT was recently updated and now has a new rear suspension that is now equipped with travel-dependent damping (WAD) that automatically adapts to road conditions. That also makes the bike much more balanced and confident in the corners. BMW Motorrad offers a wide range of accessories and the R nineT is available from $ 10,995.
Retro-style motorcycles are all the rage these days and we’ve rounded up some of the best on the market.
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