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10 Outstanding Vintage Motorcycles

Fresh Classics | 7039 views

This article is for motorcycle riders who are passionate about vintage motorcycles. An article full of collection pieces that made history in the motorcycling branch. Be amazed by this beautiful engine pieces of art with a nostalgic past. You can find them although some of the motorcycles on this list are really hard to come across (and even harder to purchase. There are other bikes which are made nowadays to look vintage because of this style’s popularity and there are also many manufacturers who produce amazing vintage bikes at quite an affordable price.

SEE ALSO: Best Vintage Motorcycles

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Indian is an American brand of motorcycles originally manufactured from 1901 to 1953 by a company in Springfield, Massachusetts, US, initially known as the Hendee Manufacturing Company but was renamed as the Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company in 1928. The Indian factory team took the first three places in the 1911 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy. During the 1910s, Indian became the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. Indian’s most popular models were the Scout, made from 1920 to 1946 and the Chief, made from 1922 to 1953.

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Motorcycle by Indian
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Motorcycle by Indian
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Motorcycle by Indian

BMW R25 – After World War II, the Potsdam Agreement of the USSR, USA and the UK prohibited BMW Aktiengesellschaft (AG) from building motorcycles. This ban was lifted and in 1948 BMW produced its first postwar motorcycle, the 250 cc R24, which was based largely on the prewar R23. It was the only postwar BMW motorcycle produced without a rear suspension. BMW introduced the R25 model with plunger rear suspension in 1950. The last of the plunger models, the R25/3, was introduced in 1953.

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Motorcycle by BMW
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Motorcycle by BMW
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Motorcycle by BMW

The Ducati Monster (called Il Mostro in Italian) is a motorcycle designed by Miguel Angel Galluzzi and produced by Ducati in Bologna, Italy since 1993. It’s a naked bike, characterized by an exposed engine and frame. The deliberate use of the trellis frame in the Ducati Monster is an integral part of the motorcycle’s design allowing both aesthetic appeal and structural efficiency. In 2005, Monster sales accounted for over half of Ducati’s worldwide sales. Ducati motorcycles use almost exclusively 90° V-twin engines, which they call L-twins, with desmodromic valves, and tubular steel trellis frame features designed by Fabio Taglioni (1920–2001).

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Motorcycle by Ducati
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Motorcycle by Ducati
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Motorcycle by Ducati

Ducati 888 – Ducati’s fortunes had taken a big upswing by winning the F1 TT in the Isle of Man in 1978. The Mike Hailwood Replica (based on the TT-winning machine) had sales of over 7,000$ and saved the company from failure. The Ducati 851 kept the company moving ahead. This machine combined the famous Desmodromic valve actuation system with water cooling and computer controlled fuel injection. But it was the 888 (an upgrade of the 851) that put Ducati firmly back at the top of European Superbikes.

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Superbike by Ducati
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Superbike by Ducati
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Superbike by Ducati

The Triumph Thunderbird 900 is a British motorcycle that was manufactured between 1995 and 2004 by Triumph Motorcycles at the Hinckley factory. Launched in 1995, the Triumph Thunderbird 900 was styled to create the impression of an air-cooled trip, though the radiator up front shows it is clearly a liquid-cooled machine. Fed by three 36 mm flat slide carburettors, the engine was lively and could lead to trouble stopping with just a single disc front and back.

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Motorcycle by Triumph
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Motorcycle by Triumph
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Motorcycle by a Triumph

The early Triumph Bonneville’s major competitor was Norton, at least as far as handling was concerned. Motorcycle riders of the 1960s wanted the power and performance of the Triumph Bonneville engine and the superb handling of the Norton featherbed frame and, combining the two, produced the renowned Triton.

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Triton by Triumph and Norton
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Triton by Triumph and Norton
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Triton by Triumph and Norton

Royal Enfield was the name under which the Enfield Cycle Company made motorcycles, bicycles, lawnmowers and stationary engines. The legacy of weapons manufacture is reflected in the logo, a cannon, and their motto “Made like a gun, goes like a bullet”. Use of the brand name Royal Enfield was licensed by The Crown in 1890. The original Redditch, a Worcestershire based company, was sold to Norton-Villiers-Triumph (NVT) in 1968.

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Royal Enfield by Enfield Cycle Company
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Royal Enfield by Enfield Cycle Company
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Royal Enfield by Enfield Cycle Company

The pinhead was a Harley-Davidson motorcycle engine, nicknamed after the distinct shape of the rocker covers. The engine is a two-cylinder, two-valve-per-cylinder, pushrod V-twin. The engine replaced the Knucklehead engine in 1948 and was manufactured until 1965 when it was replaced by the Shovelhead. As the design of Harley-Davidson engines evolved throughout the years, the distinctive shape of the valve covers has allowed Harley enthusiasts to classify it as an engine simply by looking at the shape of the covers and the pan head has covers resembling an upside-down pan. The “Captain America” chopper used by Peter Fonda in the movie Easy Rider (1969) had a Panhead engine, as did the “Billy Bike” ridden by Dennis Hopper’s character.

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Motorcycle by Harley-Davidson
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Motorcycle by Harley-Davidson
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Motorcycle by Harley-Davidson

Considered by many to be the first Superbike, the Vincent Black shadow was a development of the Rapide. The ‘C’ series was first introduced in 1948. The 998-cc 50-degree V-Twin engine in the Black Shadow produced 55 hp and was Capable of propelling the 455 lb. machine to 125 mph. Interestingly, the Black Shadow deployed a cantilever rear suspension system which was made popular many years later by Yamaha.

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Vincent Lack Shadow
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Vincent Black Shadow
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Vincent Black Shadow

MV Augusta 750 – Widely developed by the company’s Grand Prix racers, 750S is a DOHC (Double Over Head Camshaft) in-line four cylinder 4-stroke with shaft final drive. The actual engine capacity was 790-cc. However, the original engine was a 600-cc unit that had been developed for street use from the Mike Hailwood and John Surtees 500 GP winning racers. Considered by many to be one of the best-looking classics of all time, the MV attracts classic collectors everywhere, which keeps the prices relatively high.

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MV Augusta 750 by Grand Prix Racers
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MV Augusta 750 by Grand Prix Racers
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MV Augusta 750 by Grand Prix Racers

SEE ALSO: Best Vintage Motorcycles

Do you have a riding spirit? Did you like our article? Feel free to pin all the images to your favorite Pinterest board or to print it and use in your mood board. And do not forget that you can visit our Pinterest Boards and find out the most outstanding vintage inspirations concerning interior design, arts, and lifestyle.

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  • OneRat

    So, the only “vintage” bike out of this lot is the Indian. The Vincent and the BMW could scrape in as “classics”, but the rest are blatant promo photos, regardless of how good the bikes are. The original Triton wasn’t a real manufactured bike, they were made up by amateurs with parts from other bikes.
    OneRat