Retro motorcycles

Image courtesy of Keeway

The demand for modern retro motorcycles has shown no signs of slowing down, as bikers continue to seek out rides which combine modern performance with classic styling. 

We take a look at some of the best new modern retro motorbikes that hark back to the best vintage bikes.

Triumph Thruxton Final Edition

Retro motorcycles
Image courtesy of Thruxton

If you’ve been thinking about getting Triumph’s signature café racer then 2024 is the year to act. 

The Thruxton Final Edition will be the last hurrah of the company’s storied machine, which will see the retirement of the version originally launched in 2016. 

Decked out in classic racing green and hand finished to the highest specification, it’s literally the ultimate Triumph café racer, a celebration of its racing legacy and a tribute to the enduring popularity of the UK’s favourite custom style. 

Kawasaki Z650RS

Kawasaki’s modern retro offering is much more authentically 70’s in its design than Yamaha’s, with its smooth curved lines that effortlessly evokes the classic Universal Japanese Motorcycle look. 

The Z650RS is a great choice for those who love something a little more nostalgic. 

Lexmoto Detroit

Retaining their position as the big beasts of the budget motorcycle market, Lexmoto’s range includes a great selection of classic bike styles, with its focus on 125cc machines making them a great choice for the less experienced biker who still wants some of that retro swag. 

The Detroit, with its relaxed cruiser look, is definitely a more authentic and classic bike experience, with few of the more modern features the bigger manufacturers bring to the table, at a fraction of the price. It’s a great way to get out on the road without breaking the bank.

Honda CMX500

While Honda also offers its version of the classic 70’s UJM, we’re picking the CMX500 Rebel as our cream of the crop of the company’s retro offerings. 

The sleek, low-slung silhouette is a pitch-perfect update on the classic cruiser, with features like the powerful modern LED headlights striking a balance between old and new. 

It’s another A2 licence compatible bike, and it’s designed to give a comfortable yet powerful performance, making it ideal for longer journeys.

Yamaha XSR Legacy

Retro motorcycles
Image courtesy of Yamaha

Hankering after that classic 1970’s Japanese motorcycle styling with a heap of modern performance? Then the latest versions of the XSR are a great choice. 

The range includes everything from the 125cc models all the way up to the GP with its on point update of the 80s racing fairing. 

Whether you go for one of the smaller models, or the more powerful 700 and 900 versions, the XSR is a canny tribute to the classic scrambler form that’s a capable urban mover, while still being able to give you high speed thrills on the open road. 

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.

Keeway Superlight 125

Retro motorcycles
Image courtesy of Keeway

Another company doing great things for the modern retro lover on a budget, the Superlight is Keeway’s “fully loaded” retro cruiser, complete with silver studded detailing on the leather to give that authentic 1950s look. 

There’s a slightly less extravagant version available for £100 less if you can live without the special something the extra chrome accents give it. Either way, both models can easily scratch that retro itch.

BSA Gold Star

Another ancient revived brand, BSA, was the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer in the 1950s. As with many storied British brands it didn’t survive the 70’s, the name got bought and relaunched recently. Once again, the Gold Star is out there as a choice for anyone looking for a proper retro 50’s style bike. 

It won’t be winning any awards for speed, but it’s certainly in with a chance at a commendation for its looks!


The 2024 version of BMW’s R12 is another worthy addition to the clutch of modern cruisers. It’s an appealing spin on the look, and as you’d expect from BMW it’s packed full of well judged engineering. 

One cute touch is the inclusion of two driving modes, ‘Rock’ and, of course, ‘Roll’ – ‘Rock’ giving you more dynamic handling when you need to push through corners, while ‘Roll’ calms things down and optimises it for cruising along. Certainly a great choice if you want your retro to be as modern as possible.

Need motorbike insurance?

No matter which bike you choose, you will need insurance before you can ride it anywhere. Bikesure offers specialist insurance for modern retro motorbikes. 

Call us on 0800 369 8580 or book a callback for a quote.

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