Picking the top 5 classic motorcycles is always going to be tricky, with motorcycle aficionados always disputing the ins and outs of what made the classic motorcycles so great. That said, we’ve given it a shot. Here are our top 5 classic bikes of all time:
One of the greatest racing bikes of its time, the Norton Manx was the frontrunner in the motorcycle racing world for almost two decades. The Manx made its mark in the 1946 grand prix but it was only until 1950 when the featherbed frame was introduced that the Manx took off. The featherbed frame gave the bike unparalleled stability with its low centre of gravity and short wheel base, making it the bike of choice of the time.
Probably one of the most important bikes in motorcycling history, the CB750 was the sign of real technological revolution. The market at the time was dominated by British parallel-twins which were notoriously unreliable and required a lot of maintenance. Honda’s CB750 was a breath of fresh air for the motorcycle industry, boasting a four cylinder layout that was unheard of on most bikes of the time. A success from the start, cycle magazine even dubbed it the most sophisticated production bike ever.
Vincent Black Shadow
This iconic all black bike was one of the most sought after bikes of its time because of its known reliability and top speed. The Black Shadow was made famous in motorcycle lore by Rollie Free, who was photographed riding the bike, at a then record speed of 150mph, in nothing but his underpants.
One of Harley Davidson’s most successful models to ever be produced, the Sportster was made iconic through is feature in 60’s TV show ‘Then Came Bronson’. The Sportster has changed in design many times over the years, with modern incantations still available to buy today. If you plan on buying one, be sure to have a look at some Swinton bike insurance to go with it.
Brough Superior SS100
Once referred to as the Rolls Royce of motorcycles, the Superior was one of the finest and most expensive bikes of its time. Setting you back £180 at the time (enough to buy a house) this bike was a favourite amongst British heroes such as T.E. Lawrence. The name SS100 was a reference to the fact that the motorcycle could hit 100mph, making it one of fastest bikes of its time. These bikes are now notoriously difficult to come by, should you find one, expect to be paying anywhere from $150,000 -$250,000.
If you intend on buying a classic bike, be sure to check motorcycle magazine enthusiast websites and magazines. If you’re looking to buy, it’s well worth looking into classic bike insurance should you encounter any problems with your motorcycle.