The phrase ‘Retro is the new cool’ stands true even when it comes to modern motorcycles. Not just ‘old school’ veteran motorcyclists are fond of modern retro motorcycles but the millennial lot is also loving the idea of retro charm fused with modern technology. There’s a certain appeal which is synonymous with round headlamps and overall styling inspired by the motorcycles of yesteryears. We have compiled a list of some premium modern-retro motorcycles money can buy today:
Royal Enfield 650 Twins
Royal Enfield disrupted the whole motorcycling segment when they first unveiled the 650 twins. Both, the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 managed to put Royal Enfield on the global map. The most affordable twin-cylinder motorcycles available today, they don’t feel low-rent at all and come out as well-built, premium motorcycles. They might be ergonomically and visually different but they share the same 648 cc parallel-twin engine, good enough for 47 ps @ 7250 rpm. Then there’s that price which makes most other retro motorcycles out there appear pointless. For the price that you pay for other motorcycles included in this list, you could buy an Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 both. Let that sink in.
Triumph’s range of modern classics
We should give the credit where it is due. It was Triumph who brought the modern classics back to life in the premium motorcycles sphere in India. They have a whole line-up of modern-retro motorcycles which have the old school charm in spades, backed by modern technology.
The most affordable motorcycle in their line-up is the Street Twin which is also regarded as one of their best-selling motorcycles. Priced at INR 7.45 Lakh ex-showroom, it might be their cheapest offering but doesn’t fall short on the overall appeal. Powered by a 900 cc Twin-cylinder engine, it churns out 80 NM of peak torque and 65 PS of maximum power output.
If you want your motorcycle to be more old school as compared to the Street Twin, they have the Bonneville T100. Powered by the same engine, its design is more retro and stays true to the iconic Bonneville silhouette. Wire-spoked wheels, authentic peashooter silencers and dual-tone paint options are some of its signature features. It retails at INR 8.87 Lakh ex-showroom.
Triumph has something for everyone so in case you love the authentic retro styling of the Bonneville T100 but need some extra grunt, there lies the Bonneville T120. It houses a 1200cc twin-cylinder engine that churns out 79 bhp and 105 nm of torque. The Bonneville T120 comes with a host of electronics including ABS, traction control, throttle-by-wire and two riding modes. You can get yourself a Bonneville T120 at INR 9.97 Lakh.
If you feel that the Street Twin is a bit subtle for your taste and the Thruxton 1200 R is more on the aggressive side of the table, Triumph amalgamated them both to develop the Speed Twin. Powered by the same 1200cc parallel-twin motor which powers the oh so gorgeous Thruxton R, the Speed Twin combines the power of the Thruxton with riding ergonomics based on the Street Twin. It became an instant hit among motorcyclists, courtesy of its capability to go fast while still being comfortable. It pumps out 96 bhp and 112 Nm of torque while being priced at INR 9.46 Lakh ex-showroom.
Revered as one of the most gorgeous production motorcycles available today, the Triumph Thruxton 1200 R is a work of art. It makes the same amount of power as the Speed Twin but carries a different design approach. It is a true blue café racer with a powerful engine, clip-on handlebars, rear-set footpegs and looks to die for. You can place it in your bedroom by shelling out INR 12.15 Lakh ex-showroom.
More of a lifestyle product, the Bonneville Bobber stays true to its roots and looks like a full-blown, umm, Bobber! Its single floating seat, wide handlebars and sliced exhausts make it look like no other motorcycle in its segment. Powered by a 1200cc parallel-twin engine, it makes 106 nm of peak torque and 77 ps of peak power. It can be yours for INR 10.28 Lakh ex-showroom.
BMW R NineT
An absolute hit amongst the custom builders, the R NineT packs BMW Motorrad’s legendary boxer twin engine. It is a retro roadster that combines heritage, good looks, premium components and the potential for easy personalization. BMW R nineT generates 110 bhp of power and 119 nm of torque from its 1170cc engine. BMW has designed the motorcycle keeping in the café racer theme in mind. Priced at INR 17.78 Lakh ex-showroom, it belongs to the even more premium spectrum of modern-retro motorcycles available today.
Though one can’t buy the R18 in India as of now, it has already been listed on BMW Motorrad India’s website so it is safe to assume that it will land here soon. When the production version was unveiled, it made jaws drop almost everywhere around the world as this retro cruiser calls back to the gorgeous simplicity of the 1936 BMW R5. It packs a massive 1.8-litre horizontally opposed twin-cylinder engine which makes 91 hp and a whopping 157 nm of torque!
Kawasaki Z900 RS
The only retro motorcycle by the Japanese manufacturer available in India, it manages to stand out in the crowd with its bold looks, two-tone paint job and a round headlamp. Powered by a 948 cc in-line four engine, the Z900 RS pumps out 111 ps of peak power, making it one of the most powerful modern-retro motorcycles available today. This Japanese retro is priced at INR 15.7 Lakh ex-showroom.
Honda CB300R and CB1000R
Honda made an entry in the affordable performance motorcycle segment again with the CB300R. In terms of design, the CB300R borrows many of its ‘Neo Sports Cafe’ look from its older sibling, the CB1000R. Parked side by side, it is pretty prominent that both these motorcycles share the same blood. Powering the CB300R is a 286cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder motor derived from the existing CBR300R. It is detuned for India and thus makes, it makes 30.44PS of power at 8000rpm and 27.4Nm of torque at 6500rpm. While the bigger CB1000R is a full-blown liter-class superbike which makes 146 ps and 104 nm of torque.