The Retro Bike: Nostalgia At Its Finest

The motorcycle you choose isn’t just about finding the most practical means of getting out on the open road. It’s about what your bike says about you: the history, style, and personality of your bike. It’s about your way of life and can be a status symbol.


On the Chopperhead blog, we have already talked about the bobber and the cafe racer. The bobber is all about classic looks, yet a minimalist, styling and function. A cafe racer is for those who seek speed and agility and the lifestyle of the Ton-Up Boys. These bike styles embrace those classic styles of the past and, as you may assume, the retro bike is a little different.

Want Classic, Modern Style?

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A retro bike is all about the styling while employing the advantages of modern parts. As an article in Cycle World puts so well, you can spot a retro bike by its “air-cooled V-Twin motor, spoked wheels, big, round headlight, crispy shaped fuel tank, and flat seat.” While it sports old-school styling, modern mechanisms can be found underneath, such as the braking system, electric, and others.

Classic Bikes At Their Best

Though makers such as Kawasaki tried to create retro bikes, the only true retros for awhile that stayed tried-and-true in the limelight are those made by Harley Davidson — it could be argued that their whole catalog pays homage to the retro bike! However, recent retros that deserve mention include:

  • BMW R nineT
  • Ducati Scrambler
  • Harley-Davidson Sportster
  • Honda CB1100
  • Indian Scout
  • Moto Guzzi V7
  • Star Motorcycle Bolt
  • Suzuki TU250X
  • Triumph Bonneville
  • Yamaha SR400
  • Kawasaki W800

If you love the look of classic bikes, but hate the maintenance and unreliability of all that is under the cover, a retro bike is for you.

“But I Really Want a Classic Bike.”

It is easy to become a purist and believe that to have a retro bike is to have an older bike or vintage bike — a motorcycle that is over 35 years old. Despite the appeal of the idea, you will most likely end up frustrated and broken-hearted. As a the same Cycle World article states, “Riding an older British motorcycle can be, at times, like going dancing with your great aunt. You will have to take it slow, show some respect, and hope to God she remembered her heart pills.” If you want the maintenance of an older bike then by all means, invest in an older bike. However, a modern retro bike can give you that classic styling with the reliability of newer bikes.

If you consider yourself a modern man with an old soul or at least have an appreciation for classic styles, use Chopperhead’s essential male grooming products to create a classic slicked-back look or a modern, minimalist take on the pompadour. Shop all of Chopperhead’s products online!