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Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023

In case you missed it, sales of modern classic motorcycle models are skyrocketing, proving that the past is now the future of riding. Although the phrase “modern classic” is a bit oxymoronic, if you’re unfamiliar with the category, consider contemporary motorcycles that have been given a traditional, retro, or vintage aesthetic. In the 1960s, motorcycles that wouldn’t have looked out of place parked outside the ACE Cafe. Well, until you pull out your smartphone, that is.

Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023 – Top Rated

10. CFMoto 700CL-X Heritage

Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023

We wouldn’t blame you if you think CFMoto, the fast-expanding Chinese corporation, is a bit of a fraud in this business. Considering that the company was just established in 1989,

Because of this, the retro-styled CFMoto 700CL-X Heritage, the company’s new 700cc middleweight bike, is a subtle homage to the modern classic philosophy. That’s not to disparage the Heritage, though, as this is a well-built, very affordable choice priced at just £6,599.

It’s somewhat grim, though, with its design starting with KTM’s Haus, its 693cc twin, which is getting old but still shiny, borrowed from the Kawasaki ER-6, and the BMW Switchgear, stolen from a parts bin, recalls. The CL-X isn’t exactly cutting-edge.

However, unlike the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, which is priced similarly, the 700CL-X Heritage has superior fit and finish, extra equipment, and a generous four-year warranty.

9. Moto Guzzi V7 Special

Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023

If we had to rank this ranking in historical importance, the Moto Guzzi V7 Special would be rated higher.

The Italian brand, which recently celebrated its centenary, still serves today as the more traditional, classic, and somewhat overlooked side of the Piaggio family.

The more traditional-looking model in the V7 line-up gives the Special a natural appeal. What would you say about it? Very Italian, that is.

Well, let’s put it this way. If the Triumph Bonneville epitomizes the British gentleman, the Moto Guzzi V7 Special is its glamorous cousin, waiting to be discovered on an Amalfi excursion with an unbuttoned shirt. Fantastico!

Its analog dials and exposed grease parts make it one of this list’s more authentic vintage versions. Even Moto Guzzi’s tuned 853cc V-Twin engine has a distinct 1970s vibe.

As such, the V7 Special feels special whether you’re speeding through Tuscany or Milan.

8. BMW RnineT

Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023

The best ideas are sometimes the most complicated.

Consider the BMW R-nineT. Although still attractive, the motorcycle is relatively simple in design. Its mellow 1170cc boxer engine is a joy to ride, and being a BMW product, it exudes classiness.

Even so, the RnineT isn’t a BMW. All BMW has to do is assemble the parts.

As far as BMW is concerned, a RnineT is a blank canvas waiting for you to personalize it when it rolls off the assembly line. RnineT honors the legacy of the R90S by paying homage to that era, promoting customization and modification.

7. Kawasaki Z900 RS

Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023

It’s remarkable how two small letters can change the perception of a motorcycle—that and a complete redesign and retooling.

While it might not seem like the most obvious choice for a deliciously outrageous transformation, Kawasaki pulled it off with the Z900 RS, its effortlessly groovy retro sibling. The Z900 is a complete, excellent if reasonably average, bare-bones bike.

While Japanese companies sometimes need help pushing their products aggressively in this market, the Z900 RS’s design keeps things straight while maintaining an air of quality. It’s a distant spiritual successor to the iconic Kawasaki Z1, the first Kawasaki to wear the Z predecessor that still thrives today half a century later.

6. BSA Gold Star 650

Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023

It’s one thing to bring a legendary bike to life, but when that bike is recognized by many as a true modern classic, you’re not just doing that—you’re taking on 50 years of history.

Of course, we’re talking about the latest iteration of the BSA Gold Star. The BSA Gold Star, once a must-have motorcycle of its time, returns in 2022 with a brilliant and, surprisingly, homage to a British motorcycling legend.

Here, the idea is pure nostalgia, as BSA, also known as Classic Legends, aka Mahindra, developed the Gold Star 650 using a simple and uncomplicated methodology.

Thus, it is fun to ride despite needing to be faster. It’s relatively easy. It’s not full of gadgets, either. Moreover, despite its lack of speed, its charming single-cylinder engine exudes personality.

If the early BSA Gold Star changed the course of history, the BSA Gold Star 650 offers a delightful trip down memory lane.

5. Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023

Only so many motorcycles can pull off the alluring aggressiveness, like the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.

The Indian company hasn’t strayed too far from its ideological approach to motorbike design, but its products are now quite stylish, whereas before, they were only seen as outdated.

Sticking to one wheel, the market has flocked to everything Royal Enfield is about, thanks to the growing demand for sincere, budget-friendly motorcycles with timeless designs.

The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT, two of its 650 twins, are prime examples.

4. CCM Street Moto

Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023

If you want to avoid getting vehicles like the Joneses, taking a chance with a motorcycle from specialist British company CCM may be the best option.

Owning a CCM motorbike means knowing that you have something unique and special, which includes bobbers, scramblers, and trackers.

Here, we’ve chosen the CCM Street Moto, a hybrid of a modern classic, a flat track, and a scrambler. Either way, the CCM Street Moto is incredibly awesome.

Get your skates on because there will only be a limited amount of the handcrafted, meticulously detailed Street Moto. With the 600cc Husqvarna engine underneath, though, from when BMW controlled Husqvarna, things feel a bit more dated and won’t feel as much of a triumph as it is a triumph.

But while the Street Moto is all about the comfortable, feel-good factor, the Triumph looks slightly too apparent for the discriminating rider.

3. Kawasaki Z650 RS

Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023

Kawasaki’s decision to inject some RS magic into its little brother, the Z650, isn’t surprising, considering the company realized it had success with the nostalgic Z900.

The Kawasaki Z650 RS, introduced a year ago, does the same job as its big brother by giving the impeccably good yet thoroughly conventional Kawasaki Z650 an attractive makeover.

Compared to the original, the RS makes better use of its foundation in many respects, offering a more comfortable and refined ride with a sharp dual attitude.

2. Triumph Speed Twin 900

Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023

Long live the Triumph Speed Twin 900! The Triumph Street Twin has died.

Sure, the columns of the bike, once known as Street, have been changed to match the Speed Twin 1200, but the changes are just as drastic.

However, the Speed Twin 900 is a relatively new model given Triumph’s extensive modern classic line-up. Although the Bonneville is the epitome of retro riding, traditionalists may be offended by the choice of the somewhat less expensive Speed Twin 900 as a motorbike that feels as contemporary as it does vintage.

1. Yamaha XSR900

Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023

Have you ever seen a television program that spanned fifteen years but was permanently set in 1974?

You could argue the same thing with the Modern Classics category, which has been evoking a particular historical period for some time.

So you can count on Yamaha to redefine the term “retro” when it introduces a motorcycle that’s both futuristic and inspired by the past (!?).

Here we have the all-new Yamaha XSR 900, a contemporary motorbike for 2022 when it counts, with an outfit that draws inspiration from the 1980s.

But forget about shoulder pads and double denim—Yamaha’s XSR 900 is a sleek, elegant little machine that, oddly enough, makes other vintage motorcycles look primitive.

Its eager 117bhp triple-cylinder 889cc engine, designed to deliver a soundscape befitting its two-wheeled boombox, makes it a great performer. At just over £10k, it’s excellent value.

The Yamaha XSR900 might be a little too “out there” for you if all you picture in a modern classic motorbike is a chrome exhaust and multi-spoke wheels, but when measured against its rivals here,

Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023 – Top List

Sr. # Top Ten Best Classic Motorcycles in 2023
1 Yamaha XSR900
2 Triumph Speed Twin 900
3 Kawasaki Z650 RS
4 CCM Street Moto
5 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
6 BSA Gold Star 650
7 Kawasaki Z900 RS
8 BMW RnineT
9 Moto Guzzi V7 Special
10 CFMoto 700CL-X Heritage

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