In the past few years, the retro motorcycle market has really grown. Manufacturers like Triumph and Ducati have brought their entire classic and retro ranges to India. Though their design may resemble a bygone era of motorcycling, retro-styled motorcycles are seemingly the new in thing. From the likes of European premium manufacturers to our very own Indian manufacturers, the Indian motorcycling market seems to be loaded with retro-styled machines. Packed with modern equipment like LED headlights, traction control, ABS, and adjustable suspension, they manage to stay with the times under the skin but exude a rather rugged and timeless appeal. So if you’re feeling nostalgic, and in the mood to take a trip down memory lane. Let’s take a look at all the retro motorcycles you can buy in India, as of 2018.
Taking up most of its design and material from India’s first aircraft carrier, the V15 is named after it and certainly makes itself unique. It’s quite a bold design given the segment it finds itself in and promises an ergonomic experience. Equipped with a 150 cc motor that puts out 11.8 bhp of power and 13 Nm of torque, the V15 is an easy going machine. Unlike the Vikrant, the V15 weighs in at just 134 kgs. The V15 also gets a single disc in the front and drum brakes at the rear. Its eye catchy design and homage aside, the Bajaj V15 is currently the most affordable retro motorcycle on our list.
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
When it comes to standard or retro styled motorcycles, Royal Enfield is considered one of the biggest sellers in India. As of 2018, one of their most awaited range of motorcycles is the Interceptor 650 range. Generating a meaty 47 bhp of power, and a healthy 52 Nm of torque, from Royal Enfield’s first twin cylinder engine. Coming mated to a 6-speed gearbox, which seems to be another first for the manufacturer, Royal Enfield is really upping their game with the Interceptor. Being served in two distinctive retro flavours, the Interceptor will also be offered as a Café Racer with the Continental GT 650. True fans have long awaited this machine, as it’s expected to launch in by the end of this year.
Triumph Modern Classic Range
Triumph’s Modern Classic range consists of 7 motorcycles, each of which oozes with retro styling, and stays true to the old school design. Starting with the Street Twin that comes mated to a 900 cc Parallel Twin engine. It puts out a good 54 bhp of power and 80 Nm of torque, which is enough to propel this 225 kg motorcycle into triple digit speeds with ease. Moving up the lineup we see the same motor wrapped in a different flavour altogether, calling itself the Street Scrambler. The Scrambler weighs 19 kgs lighter than the Twin and looks ready to take on our Indian roads while exuding a rather rugged vibe. Coming to the original classic, the Bonneville T100. It gets the same motor as the former motorcycles while bringing a different character to the mix. Loaded with chrome and beautiful paintwork, the T100 is as retro as it gets.
But if you seek to have a little more thrill while taking forward that same coach like feel, the T120 is probably more up your alley. Coming mated to a 1200 cc Parallel Twin engine that produces 78 bhp of power, and a heavy 105 Nm of torque, It still manages to weigh 1 kg lighter than the Street Twin. If two is a crowd and you’d much rather experience it all by yourself, then the low slung and exotic Bonneville Bobber is probably your pick. The Bobber doesn’t fail to amaze with it’s flamboyant design and attention to detail. With the same 1200 cc motor as the T120, the Bobber sees a decrease of 2 bhp but an increase in 1 Nm of torque. Next, in Triumph’s modern classic line up is the recently added Bonneville Speedmaster.
Carrying over the same motor as the Bobber but bringing so much more in bulk, the Speedmaster is a machine that covers and conquer mile after mile without breaking a sweat. It is also the heaviest of Triumph’s modern classic range, weighing in at a substantial 246 kgs. All of these beautiful iterations of what used to be just one motorcycle is quite amazing. But what if you wanted the lightest yet fastest of this lineup? That’s where the Triumph Thruxton R comes in. Mated with the same 1200 cc engine that’s been tuned to a higher state. It produces an incredible 96 hp and 112 Nm of torque while being the lightest of the lineup. Weighing up to just 203 kgs, this is one retro motorcycle that can outrun some middleweight sports bikes.
The Ducati Scrambler is not only the Italian manufacturers entry-level offering but comes in six different iterations. Mainly differing in cosmetics from one and another, the Scrambler range comes mated to an 803 cc L-Twin motor. It produces a healthy 73 bhp of power and 68 Nm of torque while weighing up at just 186 kgs. The Scrambler range consists of the Icon, the Classic, the Full Throttle, the Mach 2.0, the Café Racer and last but not the least, the Desert Sled. The Desert Sled being the most distinctive of the six, with its increase in ground clearance and suspension travel, it’s quite evident it’s meant for a less urban environment and doesn’t mind going places with no roads. Carrying a mix of both retro and modern design elements, the Ducati Scrambler doesn’t fail to live up to the Ducati name. With a rather narrow yet eye-catchy design, this modern retro machine certainly has a lot going for it. Especially for entry-level Ducati buyers trying to get a piece of that sweet Italian pie.
Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 8V SE
The Griso 1200 8V SE is a really unique and beautiful looking machine. With its centre of attention focused at its Quattrovalvole powerplant, which is an 1151 cc V-Twin engine that produces a strong 108 bhp and 108 Nm of torque. The sleek shape and agile handling assure this is a rather exciting retro machine. With its engine protruding from either side and lack of electronics, this is more retro than modern. Weighing in at 222 kgs, the Griso is presented as a blend of ride, handling, and design. Most of this machine gets a rather achromatic treatment, from the swingarm, front forks and everything else in between. The twin spar frame wrapped around the teardrop tank looks intriguing and you simply cannot get enough of the attention to detail in this Italian beauty.
BMW R Nine T
This German brute comes in three iterations, starting with the R Nine T Scrambler. It gets an 1170 cc air-cooled, twin cylinder boxer engine. It produces 107 bhp of power and a whopping 116 Nm of torque. Weighing in at 220 kgs the R Nine T Scambler is the rugged one of the three iterations. With a rather modular concept that invites you to customize and tinker with it, the R Nine T is simple yet sophisticated, in terms of design making sure its presence is always felt. With an alternate option for almost every aesthetic part, BMW makes sure the R Nine T feels as custom as possible. Keeping with the times are the advanced electronics on offer, one of them being heated grips, just to show how modern this modern retro really is. Taking inspiration from the 70’s motorsport, the R Nine T Racer is next in the line up sharing the same platform and motor as the former motorcycle. The proportions are more elongated and come with a half shell fairing.
The low slung handlebars that are positioned all the way in the front, the footrest is a far setback, combined with a long wheelbase, aid at giving it a rather sporty seating position. Then comes the original R Nine T, the one that truly captivates your attention with its curvy design and smooth lines, this is quite the eye candy amongst the trio. Managing to get a bump of 3 bhp of power, the R Nine T looks and feels like a riot. Sharing the same customizable platform but only taking it further in terms of features, offering adjustable upside-down forks that can be adjusted for preload and compression to suit your preferred riding style.
Kawasaki recently launched the Z900RS in India and no it isn’t just a restyled Z900. The frame, wheels, engine, gearing, transmission, exhaust, headlight, electronics, suspension, and brakes are few of the key places most of the changes have occurred differentiating this from the Z900. The Z900RS gets traction control, front radial mounted callipers, LED headlights, delicately cast wheels, adjustable compression damping in the front forks and a new shaped tank. This motorcycle is a really reworked iteration so to say. This, in turn, puts it on the opposite side of the spectrum, compared to its rather modern looking supposed counterpart. Churning a healthy 108 bhp, and 98 Nm of torque from its 948cc inline 4 cylinder engine, making it really one of a kind. Weighing in at 215 kgs, the Kawasaki Z900RS is a wolf in a hounds clothing and certainly a force to be reckoned with.