Top 9 Retro Scrambler Motorcycles to Ride in Style for 2024

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9 Retro Scrambler Motorcycles

So you’re looking for a cool looking retro scrambler in 2024, but you’re not quite sure which one you should choose.

we’ll go through our 9 picks of the best bikes in the market in price order ascending and along the way, I’ll tell you which bike is right for which kind of rider.

Itwhich is a restyle version of their super popular Himalayan adventure bike.

This one is slightly lower slung and it’s got a little less wind protection, but fundamentally you’ve got the same single cylinder air called engine, a similar stance and a lot of the same componentry.

Royal Enfield's Scram 411

Now having tried this bike out at the launch in the UK last year, I will say it is not the quickest given that the peak power comes in at 24 horses and yet it tips the scales at 185 kilograms.

So look, if you twist the throttle, don’t expect face melting levels of acceleration, but ultimately this bike is built down to a price and it does chug on quite nicely at lower speeds.

Plus the slightly smaller 19 inch front wheel does handle a little more willingly than the big 21 on the Himalayan equivalent.

From a styling perspective, you get a great choice of colors as well as the option to pay a little more for some bolder graphics, and so this one makes for a good budget choice that looks the business providing you’re not expecting to go particularly quickly.

another 750 pounds though, and you can get one of the most hotly anticipated new bikes for 2024 in the form of triumphs scrambler 400x.

Now this is a brand new single cylinder 400 platform for them with the option of either the speed 400 roadster or this slightly taller and slightly more rugged looking scrambler interpretation.

Now our press bike is arriving in a couple of weeks and so I’ll have to reserve full judgment until I’ve had the chance to take it for a spin,

Triumphs scrambler 400x

but I’m expecting a bike that feels quite a bit more peppy than the Enfield, for example, with 40 horsepower peak and six kilograms less weight.

On top of that, you’ve got what looks like better equipment with an upside down fork and a radial four pot front break from vibrate, and it’s all wrapped up in a very nicely styled package with a level of finish and detail that I was super impressed with when I saw it in the flesh.

So very much looking forward to reviewing this one and almost certainly want to consider if you like the Triumph brand and styling, but you don’t want the size and expense of the 900 and 1200 equivalents.

In a similar sort of ballpark, we’ve got the brand new 2024 update to the Husqvarna SVartPilen 401.

Now I know this one is playing fast and loose with the definition of a retro bike with quite modern shapes and design features, but I think overall it is the sort of bike that will appeal to the retro enthusiast.

Underneath you’ve got a lot of the same underpinnings as KTMS 390 platform with a single cinder engine that makes 44 horsepower peak and a lightweight chassis that comes in at just 172 kilograms.

Husqvarna SvartPilen 401

This one sits a little lower than the Triumph though with an 820 millimeter seat height, so that’s 15 millimeters lower, and so generally I consider this to be entirely a road focused bike, whereas the Triumph might be able to take on some light trail and gravel work.

Generally I’d say this is a great shout for anybody who likes that more modern edge and also there are some neat updates for 2024 like the new TFT display.

Also in a similar sort of area, you’ve got to consider the Honda CL 500, which was launched last year and puts a decent case forward for itself.

Now it’s based upon their parallel Twin 500 platform that you’ll also find in the CB 500 Naked or the NX 500 baby adventure bike.

Honda CL 500

And so with two cylinders you can expect a little more smoothness than some of the other single cylinder bikes at this end of the list, peak power is similar to the Husky at 45 horses, and while we did do a little bit of easy gravel riding on the launch, again, I’d say this is very much a road bias bike, especially considering the super low seat height of 790 millimeters.

From a styling perspective, it does seem to divide opinion a bit with again that sort of part modern part retro sort of design,

but I think for anyone who likes the general aesthetic direction of Honda Bikes as well as the broadly favorable reputation of bill quality, then this is a decent little budget scrambler to look at.

If you do want something a lot more off-Road capable though than perhaps the best bike on the list would be this, the Fantic Caballero 500.

You see Fantic A primarily known for making Enduro bikes and motocross bikes and you can certainly feel it when you’re riding this one.

Fantic Caballero 500

It effectively feels like a big dirt bike just with the retro styling job wrapped around it.

Now, you can also get this bike in a 125 and a 250 as well as a big 700 parallel twin version, but for me the 500 is the best balance of the bunch with more grunt than the smaller bikes to make it more fun for road riding, but also retaining that dirt bike feel that makes this bike stand out from the crowd.

Whereas the 700 is derived from Yamaha’s CP two platform, and so ultimately it’s really a rugged looking road bike.

Thing is though, even in the 500 lineup, you’ve got a few options to choose from starting with this scrambler version, but also there’s a rally model which sits a little bit taller, and so you’ve got a touch more off-road ability, but then on top of that, the deluxe edition, which gives you a slightly more fancy finish, definitely want to demo if you want something that can actually do a bit of proper off-road in and also it has to be said it’s one of the best lookers on the list.

Next up we’ve got yamaha xsr 700, and specifically if you go for the legacy edition that costs just under nine grand, you’ll get a few chunky extras like the high and y handlebars, the rugged foot pegs, the flat track style MT 60 tires, the bench seat, the Fort Gators and the headlight guard.

They all add a little bit of that scrambler vibe to what’s already fundamentally a very enjoyable bike to ride.

Yamaha XSR 700

This is the CP two parallel twin engine that I just mentioned in the Fantic 700 and at 72 horsepower peak.

It’s a big step up from the bikes we’ve looked at already on this list, but whilst also retaining a fairly modest wet weight of 190 kilograms, which does keep it very manageable.

Again, like a lot of the other bikes on this list, this is really a road focused machine, so don’t be fool by the rather tall 855 millimeter seat height, but look, demo this one if you like the snappy throttle and snarling exhaust note of the MTO seven, but just fancy something with that generally more palatable old school inspired styling.

Next up, we’ve got Triumph second entry in the list with the parallel twin powered Scrambler 900, which does a great job of emulating the visuals of scramblers of yesteryear For me,

Triumph Scrambler 900

this is another contender for the best looking bikes on the list, but you also get the peachy Bonneville engine that delivers loads of usable torque and a nice low seat height at 790 millimeters, which makes it feel very manageable for a wide range of riders.

Despite the considerable wet weight of 223 kilograms new for 2024, there’s a stealth edition which is a slightly more premium special finish with a dark fade on the tank.

Overall, I’d say this is a nice balance between the smaller and bigger bikes on this list with enough power and presence to make it feel like a proper big bike, but also not so much high weight and power and cost to make it feel over intimidating.

Definitely check it out if you like the Triumph Fit and finish, and also something that biases slightly more towards old school than it does modern tech.

For similar money though you could also consider Ducati’s scrambler icon with their brilliant 803 CC L twin that still has plenty of old school character and soul owing to its air Cool vibes.

Ducati Scrambler icon

It did get a fairly significant update for 2023 with new styling and a new TFT display and also some revisions to the chassis, but ultimately you can still see there are some design details that reference the original Ducati scramblers and give it a bit of gravitas to the heritage.

The base model is called the Icon, which is the most simple spec and comes in a range of colors, but also there’s a full throttle version, which is slightly more flat track inspired with a louder paint job, lower bars, and a fancy exhaust.

Then you can also get it in a night shift version, which is the most retro of the bunch with spoke wheels and a tuck and roll style seat along with that beautiful night shift paint job.

Now all of these are again very much road biased, so really it’s a question of which one you like the styling of, but also there is a slightly different bar position between each.

I’d say these bikes are all a great shout if you want the Ducati name, but on a budget, and it’s also a more peppy alternative to the Triumph scrambler with about 10 more horses in terms of peak power and also quite a bit less weight.

Now also at this larger capacity end of the spectrum, we’ve got the BMW R Nine T scrambler with their signature boxer twin that makes just shy of 110 horsepower.

The boxer twin definitely has its own distinct feel and character, and so I think you’ll either love it or loathe it, but what’s always impressed me about the R nine T is that they’re actually surprisingly quick with plenty of mid-range and pull on top of that impressive peak power, at least for this retro part of the market.

Again, another road bias bike here that sits fairly low and it doesn’t have particularly long travel suspension, but in terms of the scrambler style,

it does get a high mounted exhaust, some high and wide handlebars, and also the option of some spoke wheels in the accessories catalog for at least the impression of a bit more off-road capability.

Now, for the same money, you can also get the Urban GS version, which has some great paint options as well as some extra touches like the high front mug garden headlight cell, although I should add that both these models are currently listed as 2023 bikes on the BMW website with no equivalent in the 2024 lineup.

After the R 90 T had a fairly significant update, so if you’re a front of the boxer and like the idea of a bike that’s fairly quick on the road, then you might wanna snap one of these up pretty quick as it doesn’t sound like they’re gonna be in dealers for that much longer.

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 Update

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