Trends come, go and come straight back again. We’ve seen it first-hand with the comeback of the 90s wide-leg baggy jeans and 00s blonde highlights but there is one trend amongst the two-wheel world that, despite however many years go by, hasn’t budged a single inch. That ladies and gentlemen is the Retro Motorcycle.

Ageing like a fine wine, the retro motorcycle has managed to adapt to the ever-changing modern world we live in, whilst still being reminiscent of the golden ages. In this blog today we are going to be running down the top ten very best retro motorcycles for 2024.

So without further ado - let’s get into it, shall we?

10. Ducati Scrambler 1100 Tribute Pro

Starting off our top ten today we have an absolute stunner - the Ducati Scrambler 1100 Tribute Pro – but get it while you can as Euro 5+ emission standards have spelled the end of this model from 2025.

Starting off with a bit of backstory for the 11000 Tribute, this retro scrambler was built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first air-cooled twin-cylinder engine in a Ducati and pays homage to the 1972 450 Desmo Mono and 750 Sport.

Obviously, like most of Ducati’s range, it is fair to say that they have absolutely smashed it with the 1100 Tribute Pro. This scrambler carries the same, ‘same but different’ take on the heritage styling we’re seeing a lot of so the design is streamlined to feature a simplistic black and mustard colourway (formerly known as ‘Giallo Ocra’), 70s-inspired logo, brown stitched seat, black spoked wheels and round headlight – it wouldn’t be a Retro Motorcycle without one now, would it!

All in all, for me the Tribute Pro puts a big emphasis on what makes the retro so cool and, to be honest, cool is the best word to describe it – it oozes it! The Ducati Scrambler 1100 Tribute Pro brings a smile to my face when looking at it, all for the price of £12,795!

9. Harley Davidson Heritage Classic

Number nine today goes to an icon of true American motorcycle heritage, the Heritage Classic.

Packing an 1868cc Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine and Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), the Heritage produces a maximum of 94hp and 155Nm of torque at 3250rpm - making it one of the more powerful offerings on this list.

I think what makes the Heritage Classic so special has got to be the road presence it gives off, coming equipped with some bold colourway options, lockable leather sealed saddlebags, an upright riding position and floorboards as well as a detachable windscreen, all in all, the Heritage positions itself as one of the best retro classics on the UK motorcycle scene.

And, if you do fancy bringing a hint of the Americas onto British roads, the Heritage for 2024 will cost you £23,445 which yes is rather expensive, however when you consider the brand you are paying for - it may be well worth your time (and cash)!

8. CCM RAF100

Sitting at eigth has got to be the true embodiment of a modern, retrostyled motorcycle - the CCM RAF100!

Starting off with the star of the show, we have to talk about the styling. Featuring a unique colour scheme inspired by prototype Spitfire K5054 built in 1936, each bike comes equipped with a pair of deluxe hand-stitched leather luggage panniers, lustrous carbon "propellor-inspired" mudguards, and a piece of a WWII Spitfire wing section - it doesn’t get more retro than that really does it?

Powering this work of art is a 600cc single-cylinder, four-stroke engine that produces a maximum output of 55bhp which is more than respectable for the type of person wanting to buy this bike. By no means will this bike be the most powerful or aggressive, however, the heritage you carry whenever you ride is worth so so much more.

Whilst only 100 of these models have been made to commemorate 100 years of the RAF if you manage to pick one up for yourself you will be paying the sweet price of £19,995 which is most definitely on the expensive side - however, if you have the budget to play with, why not?

7. BSA Gold Star

Seventh on the list today has got to go to the British-born and bred BSA Goldstar…

Back in the day, BSA were a big manufacturer and their bikes touched the hearts of many and left riders devoted and infatuated. Flash forward fifty years and history is about to repeat itself as BSA has recreated its iconic Gold Star.

However, since the new Gold Star hit the market under Indian ownership, some of the original fans have been left somewhat disappointed by the modern rendition, wishing it was more reminiscent of the model they all know and loved.

Although by no means is the Gold Star bad, something I do like about the bike has got to be the visuals and styling (though that radiator is up for discussion). The logo stands proud on either side of the fuel tank, accompanied by contrasting tank pinstriping, a round front headlight, analogue speedo and cooling fins reminiscent of the originals.

Lastly onto the price and the all-new BSA will cost you £6,300 - making it one of the more affordable options on this list for you to consider.

6. Moto Guzzi V7 Special 850

Moving onto #6, we have the Moto Guzzi V7 Special 850.

At the heart of the V7 is that all-new 850cc V-Twin which kicks out 62 Italian horses and 73Nm of torque. Now, by no means is 62 horsepower going to break any records but the V7 really isn’t about lunacy and crazy power, it has enough power for what you need and expect from a bike like this.

Onto colourways and the V7 Special comes in two two-tone combinations including Red Stripe Twin Tone and Silver Stripe Monochrome - with the Red Stripe being a personal favourite!

Lastly, when it comes to the price the V7 will look to take you back £8,600. Whilst the Moto Guzzi may not have many gadgets in its back pocket of some of the other competitors on the list. Hoowever, this motorcycle isn’t about that.

The Moto Guzzi V7 Special is all about the back-to-basics Italian styling and old-school charm, and that’s what’s allowed the brand to spread its wings and fly so high for so long.

5. Kawasaki Z650RS

In the middle of the list and in fifth is the Kawasaki Z650RS!

With the ‘RS’ standing for ‘Retro Sport’, we think its parallel-twin engine will struggle to keep up with some of the class-leading sports superstars but that perky 67hp will make it fun and the perfect companion for those after a modern retro, everyday rider – which is really what it’s been built for! Though for the thrill seekers out there make sure to check out the Z900 RS.

The Z650RS is casual in appearance and sweet like ‘Candy Medium Red’. I really do like how they’ve used gold rims; it contrasts against the red beautifully and gives it that well-needed modern twist.

Overall, the Kawasaki Z650RS is a bike that’s good for the soul. It’s spirited, sporty, and oh-so-nice to look at - all for the price of £7,849.

4. BMW R 12 nineT

Taking the fourth spot on the list today has got to be another returner from our 2022 list - the BMW R nineT!

For me, the R 12 nineT does a really good job of being a retro-looking motorcycle in a completely different way. Reminiscent of the R from the 80s, this bike has been developed to form the foundations of a new retro-inspired contemporary Scrambler.

Onto the engine and powering the nineT you will find an 1170cc, air/oil-cooled boxer twin that has been carried over from the R nineT and is capable of producing 109hp. Other new updates also include an all-new air box under the seat, a new exhaust, and the removal of the exhaust flap.

For 2024, you will be looking at paying £14,420 for this little bad boy (or an extra £250 if you intend on purchasing the San Remo Green edition), but in my opinion, it really is worth every penny.

3. Royal Enfield Classic 350

Kicking off our top three today has got to be a well-loved model by the members of the BikeMatters team - the Classic 350.

We had the pleasure of getting the Classic 350 into the BikeMatters HQ and giving it a spin around a few months back and I have only heard (and read, make sure to check out the blog!) positive things. Coming equipped with an air-oil-cooled single, the Classic has peak figures of 20 bhp and 27 Nm (20-ish lb-ft) of torque for you to play with.

Onto the price and for a brand-new Royal Enfield Classic 350 you will be looking at paying £4,459 for the Halcyon Black, Grey, and Green painted models, going up to £4,539 for the Signals Marsh Grey and Sand, and Dark Gunmetal Grey and Dark Stealth Black. The premium-looking Chrome Red or Chrome Bronze editions are £4,619.

Overall, the Classic 350 makes a great little commuter, sporting an excellent combination of modern and classic English retro design, a comfortable riding position, as well as a seriously affordable price tag.

2. Yamaha XSR900 GP

In second spot today has got to be the all-new Yamaha XSR900 GP!

Powering this mean-looking retro machine we have a 890cc, four-stroke, liquid cooled engine capable of producing 93Nm of torque and an impressive 117hp - I think that is enough to easily knock your socks off in this class!

Onto the styling and the 900 GP has been created to invoke the memories of the golden era combining the YZR500 heritage racing style of the past with some of the latest cutting-edge technology on Yamahas’ radar. The 80s-inspired features include the upper cowling reminiscent of Grand Prix racing, colour colour-matched seat as well as a removable seat cover.

However, we can’t lose sight of the fantastic modern technology the GP comes equipped with including a new 5-inch full-colour TFT display with Bluetooth technology, fully adjustable front and rear KYB suspension, newly developed clip-on handlebars and handlebar switches.

All in all, if you want to pick yourself up an XSR 900GP for 2024, you will be looking at paying £12,500 which is by no means the cheapest on the list, but one definitely well worth parting with your money for. Our very own Alex was on the launch for this one, so why not check out his Yamaha XSR900 GP Review to get his full thoughts on this retro beauty.

1. Triumph Bonneville T120

Taking the top spot and the crown for the best retro is no other than the Triumph Bonneville T120.

Triumph have really marked themselves as the founding fathers of the retro-styled category and is considered a bit of a legend in the game. Inside this beauty, the T120 packs a 1200cc liquid-cooled, 270° crank angle parallel twin that is capable of producing a max power of 78.9hp and torque of 105 Nm @ 3500 rpm.

Something else really likeable about the Bonneville has got to be its long list of advanced features it comes equipped with as standard including ride-by-wire throttle, ABS, traction control, multiple riding modes, as well as a comfortable plush seat and riding position - ensuring the safest yet dynamic riding experience.

All in all, I truly believe that the Bonneville encapsulates a true retro motorcycle thanks to the preservation of the historic Bonneville elements with those hints of modern twists packed in there to make an absolute beast of a machine wrapped in a £11,995 price tag!

The Last Stop!

So there you have it, I hope you enjoyed my run down on my top ten best retro motorcycles for the year of 2024.

Also before you go, if you do have your very own retro motorcycle you want to insure - make sure to get a motorcycle insurance quote direct with Lexham!