13 Best Retro Motorcycles For 2024 – Full Technicial Bike

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13 Best Retro Motorcycles

So you want a retro motorcycle, but you’re not sure which one to choose. Well, here’s our A to Z by manufacturer of all the best pics from the major brands.

BMW R12 :

First up, we’ve got the BMW R12, a fantastic new option in the old-school-looking cruiser market for 2024.

They’ve built this upon their air and oil cool Boxer Twin, which gives it a bit of that typical BMW soul, but it’s also pretty punchy up at 95 horsepower peak, and so it’s definitely no slouch.

The riding position is fairly moderate, too, with a 754-millimetre seat height and mid-position footpegs that’s not super low and stretched out.

And so it goes through corners pretty nicely, too, and you do feel like you can get on top of it.

But what I think is most impressive about this bike is that they’ve delivered all that with a starting price of £11,990.

So it undercuts all of the most immediate competition from Triumph, Indian, and Harley by at least a grand.

R 12 NINET :

Now, if this all sounds good on paper, but perhaps cruisers aren’t really your thing, then fear not, because there’s also the R 12 NINET, which does away with the oversize front wheel and gets the rider a bit more up and over the bars with a riding position more typical for a naked bike.

This is effectively 2024’s replacement for the R nineT, and it’s every bit as good with plenty of power, decent tech, easy but fun handling, and slightly improved looks.

The only downside is the £14,420 starting price. But if you can stretch to it, I’m pretty confident that it won’t disappoint.

BSA Gold Star :

Next up, we’ve got BSA with their Gold Star that came out a couple of years back now, but it still represents a good option if you want something classic-looking, but with a bit of a difference.

You see, most of the bikes on this list are powered by twins, especially in that 600-700 cc range.

But the Gold Star gets a thumping big single to shove it along. So naturally, I think this will be a big selling point for anyone nostalgic for the larger capacity singles of yesteryear.

And having tested it out, I can confirm it really does go rather nicely and is much smoother than I anticipated.

New for 2024, there’s now a shadow black version, along with the multiple other color options that were already available.

Scrambler icon :

Now, coming in at just under 10 grand, we’ve got the scrambler icon from Ducati, which should almost certainly be on the must demo list for anyone looking for a retro.

This line of bikes has been around for some time now, but got a fairly substantial update last year with tweaks to the chassis, styling, and tech.

But at the heart of it, you’ve still got pretty much the same 803 CC L twin that makes about 70 horsepower.

And that’s a good thing for me as it’s always been one of the standout points of this bike.

Along with the icon, you can also pay a little bit more for the flat track-inspired full throttle version or the slightly more retro night shift, each of which gets its own selection of styling tweaks and fancy parts.

Caballero :

Perhaps a slightly less obvious alternative, though, would be the Fantic Caballero Scrambler, which comes in quite a lot cheaper.

There are multiple versions of this bike, but my pick would be either the 500 or the 700.

The 500 is powered by a single and is a fair bit more lightweight.

And so I think it would be the one I would pick if I was genuinely intending to do a bit of off-roading, as it’s the most off-road buy spec on this whole list.

But on the other hand, if I was planning to stay exclusively on tarmac, then realistically, I’d probably pay the extra for the 700, which is admittedly bigger and lower slung, but it gets the peachy CP2 parallel twin from Yamaha, which adds a good chunk more power as well as a bit of an extra snal at the exhaust.

Monkey :

Honda mainly deal in the modern and Angular nowadays, but one of the bikes firmly planted at the retro end of the market has to be the Monkey, which can be had for just over four grand.

Now, this won’t be the most exhilarating ride on the list with a 125 cc single that makes just shy of 10 horsepower.

But in my experience, it’s actually surprisingly fun to pin the throttle everywhere you go. It’s surprisingly uncramped, too, and the looks can only add to the joy of riding this little bike.

Husqvarna 401 :

But up next, we’ve got Husqvarna with their updated Svartpillin and Vitpillen 401s for 2024.

For me, these are some of the best-looking bikes in the A2 license friendly market, but also the level of spec and features should make them look pretty attractive to even the more experienced rider.

Specifically, there’s top-notch suspension from their in-house brand WP, a new TFT display with loads of settings and layouts, Bluetooth connectivity, a speed limiter, and an up and down quick shifter, all built in as standard.

Super impressive, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Svartpilen 801 :

If, however, you fancy something a little more serious, then there’s also an 801 version for 2024, which should be in dealers, eminently.

This one is based upon the same parallel twin as the KTM 790 Duke, which in my opinion, is one of the most fun, affordable naked that you can currently buy.

So I’m expecting plenty of entertainment from this bike, but just wrapped up in a styling package that’s a bit more subdued and stealthy than the Angular Orange KTM.

Super Scout :

Indian just very recently announced a major refresh for their Scout line of bikes with a ground up readers design that spawned five new model variants.

One of my favorites, certainly in terms of the looks anyway, has to be the new Super Scout, which they’ve pitched as a mid-capacity lightweight tourer.

You’ll get about 100 horsepower from the 60-degree Liquid Cool V-Twin, which should be enough for hauling a passenger and luggage, and you get a windscreen and soft luggage thrown into the deal.

I mean, sure, 16 grand isn’t exactly cheap, but with the chunky tires, spoke rims, flashes of chrome, and that rich maroon paint job, it really does look the business.

Z650 RS :

Over at Kawasaki, we’ve got the Z650 RS, which is a brilliant choice if you like the Kawasaki esthetic, but you don’t necessarily need something too serious in terms of performance.

For just under 8 grand, you get the beautifully-styled bike pushed along by their 650 Parallel Twin that’s been a proven performer in many of their other models over the years.

Now, with a 180-degree crank, it doesn’t necessarily scream retro authenticity, but it’s reasonably plucky and easy to get on with as is the rest of the bike.

Z900 RS :

For those wanting a bit more whiz, though, along with a more evocative engine configuration, there’s the 900 equivalent, which is powered by an Inline 4.

It’s a much quicker bike with 110 horsepower on tap as opposed to the 67 of the 650. And there are significant advantages when it comes to the chassis, too, with far superior suspension and brakes.

Genuwinly, this is one of my favorite retro bikes on the entire market, despite like the slightly choppy throttle.

And if you can stretch to it, the absolute king of this lineup is the SE version at just over 13 grand, which gets an Ohlin shock and Brembo-branded brakes.

V7 :

Perhaps the most authentic feeling bike on this list, though, is the Moto Gutsy V7, which uses their famous transverse mounted 850 V-twin that gives this line of bikes its own very recognizable sound and feel.

Then you’ve got the other signature features like the shaft drive and capacious elongation innovative fuel tank, and a styling package that, again, you’d know immediately was a gutsy.

Plus, they’re still produced in their Mandela factory on the banks of Lake Como, which will add to the appeal for some potential buyers.

The V7 Stone is the entry point into this lineup, but you’ve also got a V7 Special Edition and V7 Special for a little more detail in the styling, as well as the beautiful V7 Stone Corsa, which has a cafe racer-inspired twist.

Commando :

At almost double the price, though, you could also consider the Norton Commando 961.

Now, these things absolutely ooze desirability, and we’ll definitely start a conversation or two every single time you park up.

The styling obviously harks back to the commandos of this the year, but there’s also a bit of modernity to them, with the only in suspension and radial brembo brakes that makes for a very visually appealing combination.

Out on the road, well, there are certainly much quicker bikes that can be had for the same money, with the a 61 cc twin making a relatively modest 78 horsepower, and also the whole bike, tipping the scales at a relatively hefty 230 kilograms.

But what it does pack is a glorious sound, loads of viby soul, and those top-notch chassis components for a real feel of quality.

This one can be had in either the flat barred SP version or the clip-on barred CR or Cafe Racer, but the former would be my pick for the extra comfort.

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