You have to admit that the 1970s and 1980s are intriguing eras. Perhaps it feels that way because those years provided a push for technology and invention after the globe had finished with its wars and such. In practically every way, the attractiveness of that age distinguishes itself from the world we live in now.
For the same reason, it would seem natural for manufacturers to design motorcycles inspired by the “golden era.” The increased sensation of nostalgia serves as a paperweight for all future marketing and advertising strategies. We’re not complaining, though.
In this article, we’ll look at the best 5 neo-retro bikes on sale in India. These motorcycles combine classic style with cutting-edge innovation to provide the best of both worlds. We have an interesting list for you, whether you want to be a part of a heritage or something unique.
Triumph Speed 400
To begin, consider the Triumph Speed 400, the most recent entrance into the sector. The Bajaj-Triumph collaboration really surprised us with the cost, which we estimated to be about Rs 2.60 lakh. The Speed Twin, on the other hand, is priced at Rs 2.33 lakh ex-showroom. It also appears to combine the British brand’s legacy with current technology such as ride-by-wire throttle, traction control, ABS, and a slipper clutch.
Because the Speed 400 is based on the Speed Twin, it has minimal bodywork with a sculpted fuel tank, classic round headlight, and elegant chrome highlights, retaining the essence of its timelessness.
The motorbike is driven by a 398cc single-cylinder engine that produces 39.5bhp and 37.5Nm. The Speed has the quickness of a KTM, but it is also calm, with a predictable throttle, and while there are vibrations, there isn’t anything to complain about. In addition, the Triumph has superb ergonomics for shorter riders, who will find it easy to mount due to its tapered seat.
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Harley-Davidson X 440
The Harley-Davidson X 440, which has been the buzz of the town for a long now, is another entry into the small-capacity neo-retro market. With a starting price of Rs 2.40 lakh for the basic model in this brilliant yellow color with spoke wheels, it is by far the cheapest Harley-Davidson you can buy.
If you’re ready to spend more, there’s another variation with alloy wheels and somewhat more expensive colors that cost Rs 2.60 lakh. The cream de la creme, however, is the S model, which costs Rs 2.80 lakh. Aside from the brand name, the style of the X 440 is its distinguishing feature. Unlike most of its competitors, the Harley-Davidson appears substantial, with a style inspired by the XR1200X. Its 440cc engine, which is nicely packed within the trellis frame, produces 27bhp and 38Nm. We were delighted with how lively and engaging the motor is. Its handling is also engaging and predictable. Aside from its slightly larger-than-life appearance, the Harley will amaze you with its comfortable ergonomics from the start.
Its packaging also has a decent amount of modernism to it. It has full LED illumination as well as a TFT instrument cluster. On the top-tier model, you’d receive amenities like turn-by-turn navigation, music, and call and message notifications. Having said that, the Harley-Davidson X 440 is the first motorbike in its class to have an auto-headlight function, which activates the headlamp when it detects a change in brightness.
The Honda H’ness CB350 follows, which marked Honda’s entrance into the modern classic sector in India. The CB350 is inspired by Honda’s classic CB series of the 1960s and 1970s, with modern components infused into a nostalgic look.
The Honda CB350, introduced to challenge the segment’s long-reigning monarch, is powered by a 348cc, single-cylinder engine producing close to 21bhp and 30Nm. While these values are not as high as those of the Triumph Speed 400 or the Harley X440, the Honda engine is more tuned and vibration-free. It’s not as lively as the other two, but it has a powerful mid-range and excellent tractability.
The Honda would come equipped with full-LED lighting, ABS, a semi-digital dashboard, traction control, and a slipper clutch. Honda recently announced modifications for the CB350 that would change it into a better tourer or even a cafe racer if you so desired.
With that stated, there is also the option of purchasing a somewhat more sporty variant in the shape of the CB350 RS. While the engine is the same, the motorbike has distinct color schemes and slightly aggressive ergonomics.
The standard version would set you back Rs 2.09 lakh, while the DLX Pro Chrome will set you back Rs 2.15 lakh. The pricing of the kits and accessories, on the other hand, varies depending on what you choose.
Moving on, there’s the Jawa Classic, and as you can see, we’re gradually moving toward more classic-inspired motorcycles. Jawa is now a respected name that has returned to appeal to nostalgia-seeking bikers in India. In terms of appearance and appeal, we believe the brand has done a fantastic job of keeping the original’s legacy.
The Jawa classic has a tear-drop-shaped gasoline tank and circular headlight, as well as a characteristic flat seat and twin exhaust pipes. The majority of the motorbike is chromed for classic appeal, however, that depends on which of the five colors you pick.
Classic Legends, which also owns the Yezdi brand, has installed a 294cc, single-cylinder engine that generates 26.9bhp and 26.8Nm and is coupled to a six-speed gearbox. This mill has a strong low to mid-range but isn’t the most polished. However, it sounds good–almost identical to the original. However, in order to make it a classic, Jawa has omitted to include features. It only comes standard with ABS and a modest digital cluster. The Jawa classic now begins at Rs 1.81 million and goes up to Rs 1.96 lakh for blacked-out models.
Royal Enfield Classic 350
A list of popular modern classics would be incomplete without the Royal Enfield Classic 350. For years, the motorbike has been at the top of the market and has become a symbol in the industry. It was only lately that it was updated with the J-platform. The days of getting off the Classic 350 with numb hands are long gone. While some may say that it has lost its thud due to emission regulations, the new model’s updated 348cc mill is smooth and practically vibration-free.
The chassis has also been changed to improve handling and, most importantly, comfort over long distances. The Royal Enfield Classic 350, which costs between Rs 1.93 lakh and Rs 2.25 lakh, is somewhat more costly than the Jawa Classic and comes with the brand’s Tripper Navigation system. It still lacks modern technology such as LED lights and ride-by-wire, but the present package will not disappoint you.
While the arrival of Harley and Triumph offers threatened the Classic’s market share, the brand continues to rely on its strong legacy and vast range of customization possibilities to remain supreme in the modern-classic niche for the time being. However, it will be joined soon by the upgraded Bullet 350, which is set to be unveiled in India next month.
That concludes our list of the top five modern-classic or neo-retro motorcycles in India. Each of these motorcycles provides a distinct riding experience that appeals to various riders. There is something for everyone, whether you prefer the nostalgic elegance of the past or the exhilaration of fast-paced modern technology.