Top 10 Retro Motorbikes

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If you want a bike which is full of up to date tech but with stylish retro looks then a retro naked might be for you.

Storage and wind protection are minimal but each model attempts to look like a work of art straight from the factory. What is a retro motorbike?

The Best Retro Motorbikes:

Kawasaki Z900RS

What Is It?

Brand new for 2018 the Kawasaki Z900RS is a bit of a game changer and is truly a work of art.

It's based on the slightly more angry Z900 but has a de-tuned engine, wheels designed to look a bit like wire spokes, a retro style seat, a modern LED headlight disguised as a traditional light and a blacked out engine with machined mock engine cooling fins.

At first glance it looks like a traditional pair of clocks but nestled between them is a modern inverted LCD dash with all the info you would expect from a modern bike.

All in all it's a lot of bike for the money and there is also a cafe racer version available in the Z900RS Cafe.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £10,650
  • Engine: Inline Four
  • Capacity: 948 cc
  • Power: 110 bhp / 82 kW
  • Top Speed: 140 mph / 225 km/h
  • Economy: 45 mpg / 6.3 L/100km
  • Range: 170 miles / 274 km
  • Seat Height: 835 mm / 32.9 inches
  • Wet Weight: 215 kg / 474 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.512 bhp/kg

BMW R nineT

What Is It?

Launched in 2017 the BMW R nineT isn't cheap but looks great, makes a statement and oozes quality.

The pillion frame is easily detachable for a solo look or you can opt for the pillion hump with hidden storage compartment and the Boxer engine is tried and tested, with a design that keeps the weight low down.

There's also a cheaper version available in the Pure and a cafe racer version or you can customise it in almost unlimited ways to create your dream bike. 

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £13,150
  • Engine: Boxer
  • Capacity: 1,170 cc
  • Power: 110 bhp / 82 kW
  • Top Speed: 130 mph / 209 km/h
  • Economy: 45 mpg / 6.3 L/100km
  • Range: 170 miles / 274 km
  • Seat Height: 805 mm / 31.7 inches
  • Wet Weight: 222 kg / 490 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.495 bhp/kg

Triumph Speed Twin

What Is It?

Powered by the legendary Thruxton High Power engine the new Speed Twin is like a sportier version of the popular T120, with some weight lopped off and cooler mirrors. It can be massively customised using the Triumph parts catalogue and should sell really well.

For 2021 it gets a Marzocchi upside down fork, Brembo M50 calipers, larger front discs, new 12-spoke wheels with Metzeler Racetec RR rubber and peak torque arrives slightly lower down the range.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £10,700
  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 1,200 cc
  • Power: 96 bhp / 72 kW
  • Top Speed: 120 mph / 193 km/h
  • Economy: 50 mpg / 5.6 L/100km
  • Range: 160 miles / 257 km
  • Seat Height: 807 mm / 31.8 inches
  • Dry Weight: 196 kg / 432 pounds

Triumph Bonneville T120

What Is It?

It doesn't get more retro than the incredibly popular T120 and like the Speed Twin customisation potential is massive.

For 2021 it gets Brembo front calipers, lighter Aluminium wheel rims, cruise control and a hefty 7 kg shaved off the weight.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £10,800
  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 1,200 cc
  • Power: 79 bhp / 59 kW
  • Top Speed: 120 mph / 193 km/h
  • Economy: 45 mpg / 6.3 L/100km
  • Range: 140 miles / 225 km
  • Seat Height: 790 mm / 31.1 inches
  • Wet Weight: 236 kg / 520 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.335 bhp/kg

Honda CB1000R

What Is It?

The highly anticipated CB1000R is perhaps the odd one out on this list, both in power and looks.

The previous generation de-tuned Fireblade engine produces way more power than you need for the road at 143 bhp, combined with looks that are genuinely somewhere between a modern naked bike and a modern retro bike.

There's plenty of modern technology on offer but this bike is really all about the visual details and virtually all metal construction.

For 2021 it gets a modern TFT dash, "spoke effect" wheels and a new Black Edition that looks even better.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £13,000
  • Engine: Inline Four
  • Capacity: 998 cc
  • Power: 143 bhp / 107 kW
  • Top Speed: 150 mph / 241 km/h
  • Economy: 40 mpg / 7.1 L/100km
  • Range: 140 miles / 225 km
  • Seat Height: 830 mm / 32.7 inches
  • Wet Weight: 212 kg / 467 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.675 bhp/kg

Gear

Yamaha XSR900

What Is It?

Launched back in 2016 the Yamaha XSR900 is essentially the best selling MT-09 with a few mods to make it look a bit retro, in the way of a round headlight / tail light, curvier tank and quite a few parts blacked out.

That's a good thing because the MT-09 is an excellent bike with nearly 50,000 sold in Europe before it received a small update for 2017.

The 60th anniversary yellow and black Speed Block edition looks particularly good.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £9,700
  • Engine: Triple
  • Capacity: 847 cc
  • Power: 113 bhp / 84 kW
  • Top Speed: 145 mph / 233 km/h
  • Economy: 45 mpg / 6.3 L/100km
  • Range: 140 miles / 225 km
  • Seat Height: 830 mm / 32.7 inches
  • Wet Weight: 195 kg / 430 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.579 bhp/kg

Triumph Street Twin

What Is It?

The original 2016 Triumph Street Twin had a really classic look and was super learner friendly with a low 750 mm seat, although not the lightest bike out there. It offered a lot of bike for the money because it could be made A2 compliant with a restrictor and could be completely customised with Triumph's massive parts catalogue.

For 2019 it gained 10 bhp, a Brembo front caliper, better fork, ride modes, an improved seat with more padding and cool machined wheels. For 2020 it simply gets a more comfortable seat, new wheel design and a 1,000 unit limited edition Gold Line model with hand painted gold detailing.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £8,200
  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 900 cc
  • Power: 64 bhp / 48 kW
  • Top Speed: 110 mph / 177 km/h
  • Economy: 60 mpg / 4.7 L/100km
  • Range: 160 miles / 257 km
  • Seat Height: 765 mm / 30.1 inches
  • Wet Weight: 216 kg / 476 pounds

Moto Guzzi V7 III

What Is It?

The V7 has been slowly evolving since 2008 and is very much about the way it looks and sounds, with quite a following and plenty of customisation options.

It's also a little bit special because the engine is mounted at 90° to most other V-Twin bikes, ensuring you'll stand out wherever you go and the shaft drive means easy maintenance.

For 2021 the 4th generation uses the new 853 cc engine from the V85 TT, detuned to suit the style of the V7 but still with 14 bhp more power on tap and 22% more torque. It also gets a wider rear wheel, comfier seat, improved rear shocks and full LED lighting.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £8,000
  • Engine: V-Twin
  • Capacity: 853 cc
  • Power: 65 bhp / 48 kW
  • Top Speed: 100 mph / 161 km/h
  • Economy: 55 mpg / 5.1 L/100km
  • Range: 250 miles / 402 km
  • Seat Height: 780 mm / 30.7 inches
  • Dry Weight: 218 kg / 481 pounds

Ducati Scrambler Icon

What Is It?

The seemingly infinite flavours of the 803cc Scrambler were a sales success for Ducati so for 2018 they have updated the Icon with a new headlight, cornering ABS, lighter hydraulic clutch, gear position indicator and fuel gauge.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £8,485
  • Engine: V-Twin
  • Capacity: 803 cc
  • Power: 72 bhp / 54 kW
  • Top Speed: 120 mph / 193 km/h
  • Economy: 45 mpg / 6.3 L/100km
  • Range: 130 miles / 209 km
  • Seat Height: 798 mm / 31.4 inches
  • Wet Weight: 189 kg / 417 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.381 bhp/kg

Royal Enfield Continental GT 650

What Is It?

The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is a lot of retro cool for your money. True it may not make much power from the 648 cc engine but it's A2 compliant and 80% of the torque is available from just 2,500 rpm.

They also offer a more relaxed version called the Interceptor which has higher bars and is more pillion friendly.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £6,100
  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 648 cc
  • Power: 47 bhp / 35 kW
  • Top Speed: 110 mph / 177 km/h
  • Economy: 65 mpg / 4.3 L/100km
  • Range: 180 miles / 290 km
  • Seat Height: 793 mm / 31.2 inches
  • Wet Weight: 208 kg / 459 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.226 bhp/kg

Want To See More Bikes Like This?

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How Did We Rank Our Top Ten?

We looked at all the best retro bikes you can buy new and picked the top contenders, taking into account style, power, technology and value for money.

What Is A Retro Motorbike?

What is a retro motorbike?

Most of the retro models you can buy today started life as a naked bike which has been modified to look more traditional, but without sacrificing all the modern tech and riding experience you would expect from a new bike.

They usually feature a single round headlight, simpler rounded clocks, stitched seats, more subtle colour schemes, rounded exhausts, loads of optional shiny bits and often wire spoked wheels or cast wheels designed to look a little bit like spokes from a distance.

Closely related are modern cafe racers which tend to start life as retro bikes but with the addition of low bars, a headlight fairing and pillion seat hump. They are bang on trend right now.

Check out the other types of motorbikes.