Over the last two and a half decades motorcycle manufacturers have concentrated on high speed, high performance bikes. But recently some of the iconic European motorcycle brands have re-emerged and are concentrating on the kind of ride that made Triumph and Moto-Guzzi famous. Here are a few of those bikes that bridge high performance with the golden age of motorcycles.
1. Moto-Guzzi Stone
The Stone is part of Moto-Guzzi’s investment into the modern era of bike making. They stay true to their classic body style with twin valve heads that stick out on both sides. The Stone’s engine comes in at 744cc’s and a 5 speed gearbox. A great looking bike which over-achieves for it’s engine size and at under 9k it’s not grossly expensive.
2. The Ducati HyperMotard
Light, fast, and Powerful. The HyperMotard is a dream bike with a V-twin engine coming in at 821cc’s. It’s liquid cooled rather than air cooled which makes the 2013 version of the Motard the lightest yet. The only concern I’d have about the bike is it’s seat. The racing construction will constantly push you forward which could get uncomfortable for longer trips.
3. Triumph Scrambler
This bike is my personal favorite on the list. Triumph manages to incorporate aesthetic appeal, performance, and durability. While the Bonnevilles from the 70’s epitomize cafe racers, among newer models it’s the scrambler that steals the show. The pictured bike is a bit of a custom job with a single Arrow exhaust, replacing the dual exhaust on the stock model. But Triumph dealers offer this version as well. The scrambler is a beauty that’s ready to go off-road or take you around the city. And you don’t have to worry about dinging it up, it’s supposed to get dirty.
McDeeb’s are conversion bikes which were designed by Italian Royal Enfield enthusiast Fabrizio Di Bella. He takes Enfield Bullet Electras and Triumph Scramblers and swaps out parts. The result are these very pretty, English looking bikes. He will ship the conversion package anywhere and when it’s all said and done these bikes cost about 14k.
5. Harley Davidson Super-Glide
While not necessarily the first bike I daydream about, I wouldn’t pass up a chance to take a long ride on this American classic. Oozing with H-D heritage and covered in chrome, the Super-Glide is the result of a century of American motor ingenuity. These bikes have Harley’s patented Twin Cam 96 engine which is powerful but has a low idle RPM when cruising, which is nice.
6. 1974 BMW R-Series
If you’ve got some time on your hands and you want to really learn about fixing and maintaining bikes, why not go with an older model. These beamers are gorgeous and unlike newer bikes with computer chips etc… you can actually tinker with them. If something goes wrong (which it most certainly will) you’ll be able to learn as you go and begin to fix it yourself. Just be nice to your mechanic, you’ll need him along the way.
7. Moto-Guzzi V7 Special
This is another offering from Moto-Guzzi’s V7 line. The V7 Special or Cafe Classic really stays true to the cafe racer spirit of the 60’s and 70’s. A slightly higher price point than the Stone the Special has a Twin V engine which comes in at 750cc’s. This a bike for anyone still enamored with the 70’s Moto-Guzzi V7 Sport and the cafe racer aesthetic.