The best old-school motorcycles bring ooh’s and ahh’s from motorcycle enthusiasts, both young and old. These bikes are more than just engines, medal, and wheels: they are works of art meant to be enjoyed on the winding highways of the world. Here are some of the best (and a couple of the worst) old-school motorcycles.
Harley-Davidson XR750 – The bike of choice of Evel Knievel, the 1970 Harley-Davidson XR750 was a rare bike. Only 200 were produced in 1970, and half of those were destroyed by Harley-Davidson. This motorcycle was considered heavy and not race worthy, despite being powered by an air-cooled, 748cc V-Twin engine. It can reach speeds up to 115 mph.
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Brough Superior SS100 – Often referred to as the “Rolls Royce of Motorcycles,” the Brough Superior SS100 was guaranteed to reach speeds of up to 100 mph – oh yeah, and this was in 1924! This classic motorcycle was amongst the first custom motorcycles with parts coming from different suppliers. It was loved by none other than Laurence of Arabia who purchased one of the first SS100s after having owned 3 SS80’s.
1940 Indian Chief – Crafted with a sprung frame, the 1940 Indian Chief rode and handled like a dream. Its visual presence was appealing and set it apart from the pack in its day, and even today. It featured the trademark Indian fenders and sleek design that made it a quality bike in its day.
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Harley-Davidson Sportster – No list of old-school motorcycles would be complete without the Harley-Davidson Sportster. On the market since 1957, this bike is quick and nimble. Although it was originally crafted for racing, it was soon adopted as a road bike. This motorcycle puts speed over comfort and few things have changed about it since it was first introduced so man years ago.
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Honda Gold Wing – From humble beginnings, this agile bike has really moved up in the world. Known now as a luxury bike outfitted with all the bells and whistles, it actually started out without saddlebags or fairings. This bike, more of an old-school cruiser motorcycle, weighs almost 1000 pounds but is agile and nimble and makes for a thrilling yet comfortable ride.
Kawasaki ZI – Known as the big brother of the Honda CB750, this was the most powerful Japanese bike produced in its day. With an 82 horsepower engine, this 550-pound motorcycle could reach speeds of up to 130 mph. This bike won awards at both the track and with fans as a powerful, reliable motorcycle.
Royal Enfield Bullet – One of the most popular motorcycles, the Royal Enfield Bullet has the longest continuous production run in motorcycle history. Versions have been in production since 1948 and it’s easy to see why: the timeless design and superior power make it a force to be reckoned with on the road.
Triumph Bonneville – This classic bike was named after the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah where it routinely crushed records. In the 1950’s, the motorcycle could reach speeds of 115 miles per hour and offered power and a cool design.
Moto Guzzi V8 – A unique looking bike, the Moto Guzzi V8’s engine reached mind-blowing speeds of 175 miles per hour – back in the 50’s. Due to high production costs, it was only made between 1955 and 1957, but for those who own one, it’s a bike to covet.
Countless old-school motorcycles deserve to be recognized for the different features they brought to the market. Whether you are a collector or just a fan of these beautiful motorcycles, you should take the time to appreciate just how far motorcycles have come. They have evolved from these early motorcycles into the road beasts that they are today.
When you ride a motorcycle, whether classic or the latest bike on the market, you risk injury if you are involved in a crash. If your injuries are minor you may be able to hop right back on your bike and ride away, but if you suffer from more significant injuries you may require time off your bike, rehabilitation, and even time away from work. If this is the case, you need an experienced motorcycle crash lawyer on your side. The team at Kass & Moses is just a phone call away. Call 1-800-MOTORCYCLE today!