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The Long-Lived Attraction of Retro Style Motorcycles

What is it about motorcycle enthusiasts that they never lose their attraction for the machinery of yesteryear? We see the resurgence of retro themes in many areas, in fashion, the automotive industry, housing design, and corporate branding. But the motorcycle industry is pursuing retro design with much more enthusiasm. Almost all motorcycle manufacturers are producing high quality retro bikes, and the trend isn’t likely to end soon. Here is a look at some of the bright lights in the retro bike arena.

  • Royal Enfield Continental GT650: Of all the companies making retro bikes, Roya Enfield has the most legitimate claim to the category. They have essentially always made retro bikes. The Indian owned company bought the patents for Enfield designs decades ago and kept making the World War II-era machines. But when the retro fad began to boost their sales, the company responded by modernizing their machines to be sold on the international market. Now they have different models, including the Royal Enfield 650 Twins. Excellent machines with undeniable classic roots and design.
  • Ducati Scrambler Icon: When I get nostalgic about bikes, I envision the scramblers and enduros of my youth. Ducati’s Scrambler hits all the right notes, having that classic look, but so much better with modern engineering. Ducati has a few scrambler styles to suit your needs, from the dual-purpose desert sled to a sophisticated café racer.
  • Kawasaki Z900S: I never had much interest in the basic street bikes back in the day. But Kawasaki has made the ‘70s style seem so much more appealing. Kawasaki’s approach was the opposite to the Royal Enfield approach. R.E. took an old bike and made it new. In comparison, Kawasaki took a modern design and dressed it in ‘70s clothing. Technology probably heavily favours the Kawasaki, and they have certainly made a bike that brings back a whole era.
  • Honda Monkey: The Monkey is all about fun. This 125cc bike isn’t going to set any speed records, and you won’t be taking it across the country. It is a quirky little thing that we would have called a minibike back in the day. The same sort of bike we all learned how to ride on. Honda has done a great job at recreating the Monkey.

It must be that motorcyclists are more nostalgic than the rest of society. And we are perhaps, selective in our memory too. Those old bikes were fun, but they were all we could get. So, we overlooked the leaks, hard starting, and poor suspension. Today advancements in technology allow us to relive our rose-tinted memories without the struggles.

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