The best retro motorbikes you can buy in 2023

retro motorbikes

The retro Z900RS: Picture from Kawasaki Motorcycles.

Retro motorbikes have become increasingly popular in recent years. If you’re thinking about purchasing one yourself, you might be wondering which bike to choose. Here the team at Bikesure run the rule over some of their favourite retro motorbikes that are available to purchase in 2023.

What is a retro motorbike?

Nowadays, however, most are specifically designed from the floor up for this niche market. They’re sometimes known as modern classics or factory custom bikes.

Retros normally have a single round headlight, rounded clocks, stitched seats, subtle colour schemes, rounded exhausts, and wire wheels or cast wheels that look like spokes from a distance.

The cafe racer is closely related to the retro bike but it is distinguished by the low slung handlebars, headlight fairing and pillion seat hump.

Triumph Bonneville T120

The Triumph Bonneville T120 leads the way in modern classic motorcycling and there is huge potential for customisation with this model. Its stylish lines and chunky good look give a nod to biking days gone by, but modern elements, such as light aluminium wheel rims and cruise control, confirm this machine is bang up to date. The Bonneville starts at around £11,000.

retro motorbikes

Picture: Triumph Motorcycles.

Ducati 803 Scrambler

The Scrambler was an immediate favourite when it came to market back in 2014 and since then it’s been improved with new headlights, ABS for smooth cornering, feather-light hydraulic clutch, and new instrumentation. The Scrambler is one of the cheaper retro bikes coming in at around £8,000. 

retro motorbikes

Picture: Ducati Motorcycles.

Triumph Speed Twin

Triumph sets the standards when it comes to modern retro bikes and the Twin Speed is another cracking machine to look out for. It combines high performance, great handling, enhanced tech and even premium style.  Class-leading new chassis components and new high-performance tyres deliver the best in modern sports classic handling. At £11,000 it’ll be money well spent, but Triumph has a number of other bikes that fit the “modern classic” tag, at varying price points.

retro motorbikes

Picture: Triumph Motorcycles.

Kawasaki W800

The W800 is a retro style model that emulates the Kawasaki W series, three models that were produced from 1967 to 1975, and which in turn were based on the British BSA A7. It has an impressive pedigree and even more impressive performance. It’s a bit of a bargain at £8,500.

retro motorbikes

Picture: Kawasaki Motorcycles.

Royal Enfield Interceptor

With a starting price of £5,700, the Interceptor represents great value for money in the retro market. It boasts a new six-speed gearbox and slip/assist clutch and its looks hark back to the 700 Interceptor launched 60 years ago. But handling and all round performance are very much from the current era. 

retro motorbikes

Picture: Royal Enfield.

Mash X-Ride Classic

Another bargain coming in at around five-and-a-half grand, the Mash is an unashamedly back to basics motorcycle complimented by the classic enduro look. It has buckets of style and attitude and is one of those machines you’ll just want to ride on and on. 

Picture: Mash Motors.

Bullit Spirit

The new kid on the block, coming into production just seven years ago, Bullet is a Belgium based motorcycle manufacturer which has dipped a proverbial toe in the retro market with the value for money 125cc Bullit Spirit. If you are looking for a cheap retro motorbike the Bullitt may be perfect for you as it costs around £3,000. Bargain!


Moto Guzzi V7 IV

The fourth generation of this modern classic model, the V7 IV comes with more power and more torque, a statement wide rear wheel, comfort seating, upgraded shocks for a smoother ride, and LED instrumentation. It looks and sounds like a bike from bygone years, but performs right up there with the best. The V7 costs about £8,500. 

Picture: Moto Guzzi Motorcycles.

Kawasaki Z900RS

Described by the manufacturer as the “visceral spirit” of Kawasaki’s Z1, a 1970s legend, the Z900RS has a de-tuned engine, look-alike wire wheels, a retro style seat, heritage-styled LED headlight and matte-black engine detail. Another of the more expensive machines, coming in at around 11 grand. 

Picture: Kawasaki Motorcycles.

Insurance for retro motorbikes

Whichever retro motorbike you ride, whether it’s a Triumph motorcycle or Kawasaki bike, Bikesure will have a custom motorbike insurance policy to match your style. Call 0330 123 1028 for a swift no obligation quote.

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August 8, 2023