Retro. Can we do something with that?

Retro is modern. We are going back to then. In 1969, BMW proclaimed to the world that 50 DIN horsepower was the absolute highest safe power for a road motorcycle. The Honda CB750 Four delivered 67. Then it went fast. There was also the self-limitation imposed by the Germans to 100 hp. But it also blew over. Now you can buy a motorcycle with 200+ hp over the counter.

Senseless violence?

In terms of appearance, such a motorcycle has also grown very much from that wonderfully clear 'form follows function' concept. I often find them look like they come from Japanese Manga comics. A top speed of 250 km / h is only mentioned in texts. Because you can never know where you can drive how fast.

Apart from reality

But yes: in recent years, only the marketers, designers and engineers in the motorcycle world have become younger. That while motorcycling here in the Netherlands is still a matter of people over XNUMX. The average age within the Goldwing club is already over sixty. And then as an average motorcycle enthusiast you soon find yourself with Wim Sonneveld's question: “But now I wonder: What moth me with that madness? "

Salvation through retro?

Somewhere in motorcycle country a few people have woken up. They thought that not everything was better in the past, but that riding a motorcycle used to be more fun. The 'retro idea' was born. Funnily enough, it was Honda that made the first cross with the CB500T. But that nostalgically pimped double rake was too far ahead of its time. It was too early to be retro. Kawasaki's W650 was a bike that was completely redesigned as a retro bike. All the goodness of a modern bike, but in moderation and with exactly the looks of a real old-fashioned bike. The W650 was also a bit too early. He disappeared and is now gloriously reborn as a W800.

Also read: The (Kawasaki) retro bikes. The new classics?

Retro is hot!

The real old-timers like the Enfield single cylinders and Urals get stuck on the eco-regulation. The most recent models are endearingly upgraded classics. An Ural with a Brembo disc brake, a starter motor and injection. It shouldn't get much crazier! But the new Royal Enfields 650? The Kawa W800? Those are showroom new tributes to the engines of the past. They are purely retro. And that they have disc brakes, ABS and a starter motor? You can live with that. Especially if your kick knee can no longer handle the kickback of a large British stamper.

Also read: Kick start or electric start. An electric leg and retro bikes. Is that allowed?

With some help from China

The nostalgia / retro market is well served by new brands. Mash and Brixton are the rising stars. Mash is Franco Chinese. Brixton's pedigree is Austrian-Japanese-Chinese. In the meantime, a whole range of 'such brands' has been added.

Those European-Chinese retro's are really just old-fashioned utility motorcycles with a fresh look. They do not offer technical feats, they are not heavy or fast. Usually they are between 125-400 plus some cc. But there are now also 650 cc machines.

Such a Mash, Brixton, Kawa or Royal Enfield is a delightful slowing engine that is more maintenance-friendly and possibly even more reliable compared to a Genuine Classic.

But what do we all think about it?

That is why we would like to throw it in the group from the editorial team ”Retro bicycles: are they an acceptable alternative for us as classic enthusiasts?” For 'the youth' they are now. And perhaps old looks are the start for a very fresh generation of motorcyclists.

We are curious about the reactions.

Not retro. Just old with a disc brake 🙂
Those were shop daughters. The CB500T was an early rerto
Stylish. With a king's axis. The Kawa W800
A Royal Enfield 650
Franco-Chinese: Mash
Younger drivers are also targeted: A Brixton


Leave a Reply
  1. Good and topical piece! I myself drive almost 40 years old Harleys, I just love classics. I leave the real key work to specialists, so I can afford it, so good maintenance which costs a few €. We (59 yrs) grew up with key mopeds and cheap motorcycles and mopeds.
    A good brake, good lighting are important factors. I really enjoy all those beautiful modern retro classics, the riders of these bikes are enthusiasts just like me. That's enough for me, Mash, Kawasaki 800, Royal enfield, BMW scramblers, i love them all.

    • I also drive with old stuff, but can imagine that you want the looks and not the "hassle" you have with an oldie .. and so opt for a retro.
      The disadvantage of certain old stuff is also that you cannot walk away from it properly and that you always have to stay in the field of view ... you don't have that with a retro.

  2. That Kawa W800. A picture!!!
    At times I still have that my heart beats faster from the sight of a motorcycle.
    Now is such a moment !!!

  3. In the moped scene I don't find the Mash and the like wrong.
    Rather that a young person chooses to do so, as a tupperware container on wheels.
    The more popular classic mopeds cost almost as much, or even more than a Mash and the like.
    And then I understand the youth, who use it for home-work-school.

    • Experience. That's what it's about for me. I like retro bikes but not necessarily because they look retro. If my Ducati 900SS ('97) had looked like a Panigale I would have bought it too.

      But with my SS I drive all by myself (and not some Bosch system), I do my own cleaning job (with extensive help from the 'community' and YT) and I don't pay too much money if I go past the lawn mower in my shed. er… shed.

      And even if it doesn't cost a fortune, if I keep it neatly in order, I will at least get my purchase amount back later.

      So 'new' retro's; not a problem for me as long as they can offer me both the driving and key fun of a true retro. Because that's why I drive retro.

  4. Wonder what you think of the new Huskifarma. I myself have nothing at all with motors that are an extension of my smart iPhone. I always say: I would like to ride a fast Henkie 1000cc motorcycle but never want it. Must also be workable. My 38yr old GWing does have a lot of tupperware attached to it. But does not house warehouse software. Is technically (electric) quite clear. But for me as a non car / motorcycle mechanic quite challenging to tinker with. You drive yourself and not your bug / virus / hack sensitive software

Give an answer

The email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 8 MB. you can upload: image. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

Now in store

View the 40-page preview via or a click on the cover.

The October issue, containing:

  • Citroën CX 25 Prestige Turbo 2
  • Frame construction in the Netherlands
  • Frisian Firebird lovers
  • Lancia Fulvia
  • Toyota Corona RT40
  • BMW R90S
  • Classic Days Duesseldorf
  • Duplicate type designations - Part XVIII
cover 10 2022 300

The perfect reading material for an evening or more of undisturbed dreaming. It is now in stores. A subscription is of course better, because then you will no longer miss a number and you are also € 27 cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.

Mazda 1000

Mazda 1000 (1973). Japanese exotic from Eelke van der Kooi

Maserati. Special during the early years of Formula 1