• brands
  • categories
  • communities
  • clubs
  • companies
log in or sign in

Classic Motorcycles

Today, you can find a large variety of bikes of different types, and some of them are called “classic motorcycles” You, probably, think that a motorcycle becomes classic when it reaches a certain age. This is partially true, but the age is not the only factor that is considered.

What are Classic Motorcycles?

There are different terms used to describe an old bike, so what is the difference between them and what vehicles are truly considered classic motorcycles?

A vintage bike is sort of a vague term. Basically, vintage is just an old bike without regard to its style. According to the AHRMA, a motocross considered vintage if it was built before 1975 and vintage superbikes are those built before 1982. All antique bikes and classic motorcycles can be considered vintage, but not all vintage bikes can be classic/antique.

As for antique bikes, according to the AHRMA, any motorcycle that has reached 35 years old can be considered antique. An XS650 produced in 1968 painted in blue and customized in any other way is certainly vintage, but it does not belong to classic motorcycles anymore.

Now when we know that are vintage and antique bikes let’s find out what are classic motorcycles.

Classic motorcycles are not only about the age, but mainly about their style and design style rather than age. The “classic” term can be used for a motorcycle that has remained original, rather than customized. In some cases, the term “classic” may be used to describe a new bike that has an instant-classic style and look, meaning the simplicity typical for older motorcycles. That is why when you hear “classic motorcycles,” you can imagine a classic design, but it not necessary to be old vehicles.

Popular Classic Motorcycles

BMW WR 750 is one of the great examples of classic motorcycles. It is the supercharged model of a racing motorcycle with 2-cylinder, 4-stroke flat twin engine. The production of the motorcycle started in 1929. The model’s name means Werksrennmotorräder (works race bike).  It was created to participate in racing championships, and it full filled the hopes of its creators, when in 1929 E.J. Henne set a 134.68 mph speed record on this motorcycle.

Another interesting classic model is Harley-Davidson EL Twin, which production started in 1936. According to historians, this is the first truly Harley motorbike. It had front/rear brakes, foot clutch, a flathead engine, tank shift, and in-built suspension.

The Vincent HRD Black Shadow was introduced in 1948 in the UK. It had the ­500-cc air-cooled, 4-stroke 50° V-twin engine. The bike could hit 125 mph when the best bikes could only provide 100 mph.