Some of us are called by motorcycles.
There’s no explaining it to someone who doesn’t get it – motorbikes are more than just a hobby.
You can’t compare the open road and the utter freedom of feeling the wind against you to anything else—it’s an entire lifestyle for some of us. Some people live and breathe motorcycles.
When it comes to motorbikes, there are countless different options to choose from and various ways to make a choice. You might be looking for speed or handling. You might be looking for price or gas mileage. For many of us, style is one component of how we make a decision.
In particular, sometimes bikers are looking for the classic vibe in their motorcycles. The following will explore a few different motorbike types that fit the classic criteria.
Let’s get the most apparent classic motorbike option out of the way first. It is entirely possible to find yourself an antique bike that not only feels classic but actually is. Motorcycle style has developed over the years meaning there are certain vibes you might not be able to recapture with a modern bike. You might need to use unusual search methods or posting boards to find yourself an antique motorcycle, but they are out there, and people are still selling them.
When considering an antique, there are a few things you need to know. First and foremost, major innovations have taken place in the acceleration, speed, and handling aspects of motorcycle design. An antique bike is almost certainly going to be harder to drive than a more recent model.
Beyond this, not every bike mechanic is familiar with these old machines, and even if you find someone who can make repairs, finding parts can turn into a wild goose chase, or seven. It might take months to track down what your mechanic needs to keep an antique bike running smoothly, and you can bet that it’s not going to be cheap either.
2. Cafe Racers
These bikes originated in the post-war era when owning a bike was more popular than buying a car—they’re simple bikes designed to have a little pep in their step. In the 1960s, many trends were changing bikes; in particular, people wanted to be tucked further into the bike to reduce wind resistance. While this increased the speed of cafe racers, these modified bikes weren’t that comfortable, and people described them as good for shorter trips like going to the coffee shop. This is how the cafe racer got its name.
The cruiser became popular as a motorcycle in the United States in the 1930s and has maintained popularity. Compared to other bikes, the design is pretty compact and old-school, requiring a riding position where the driver sets their feet forward and keeps their hands up. This results in the spine being straight or the driver being able to lean back slightly.
Typically, cruisers have lower-end torque and are designed primarily for an easy ride and smooth shifting. Because of these focuses, cruisers don’t tend to have too much horsepower.
4. Power Cruisers
Power cruisers are a variation of the cruiser bikes mentioned above. They are designed to look and feel similar but provide more power and a slightly more aggressive riding experience. They tend to have thicker rear tires, low ground clearances, and large exhaust pipes.
Choppers have their own distinct vibe. The film Easy Rider is really all we need to say about them really as the movie made these bikes some of the most famous in the world. Choppers tend to have highly raked forks, shiny chrome, and reclined seats.
6. Naked Bike
The naked bike, sometimes also called the standard roadster, offers British motorcycles’ vibe from the 1960s. They are likely the most straightforward bike that you’ll find. This is the one that you probably see the most in your day and are designed with an emphasis on navigation and standard travel.
Naked bikes require an upright riding position and typically don’t come with windscreens or fairings. These bikes tend to have cylinders somewhere between 125 cc and 1000 cc (which has a big impact on the price as you can imagine) and is designed for general purposes, meaning it’s got decent speed and torque.
The above information should give you an idea of the different types of classic-style motorcycles there are available on the market today. It’s important that when you’re considering a new bike, you test drive the style and model so that you get a feel for how it handles. There’s nothing cooler than someone who’s calm and collected while driving their bike—to pull that off, you need to feel comfortable driving it.