5 way-cool old-school retro bikes for under £5k

Style on the cheap

5 way-cool old-school retro bikes for under £5k

TRADITIONAL bikes are as cool as Fonzie, but style costs, with retro models typically costing a couple of grand more than modern-looking alternatives.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, as this lot prove. Okay, none of them has the 75hp of the Ducati Scrambler but no one is going to care about that when you rock up at the chip shop in your turn-ups.

Here then, are five way-cool old-school retros for under £5k. Starting with…

1. Jawa 350 Retro

‘Some may say it's not a retro but the real thing,’ say Jawa UK importers F2 Motorcycles.

They kind have a point, since it’s the latest incarnation of a Czech-built machine that was popular the world over in the 50s – and it’s still somehow a two-stroke.

Okay, it’s no RD350, with 23hp and as many lbft, but it’s still going to stink and make blue smoke.

Plus all but the most mechanically inept will be able to service it themselves.

There’s also a more modernised version now but don’t worry about that – there’s no word yet on whether it’s coming to the UK and, anyway, it’s a four-stroke (with a Honda XR400 engine).

Price: £3,495


Based in Cambridgeshire, Herald Motor Co imports Chinese single-cylinder 125s and 250s and makes them look like this.

The firm offers a range on nine models and they all hit the mark on styling.

The Flat Tracker 250 is our favourite but there are other models in the range that are almost as good-looking and much cheaper. 

It makes 21hp and weighs 130kg.

Price: £4,995


This 398cc four-stroke single makes 28hp, so apart from looking like it’s straight out of 1960s ‘ton-up’ Rocker culture, it’s got a reasonable chance of actually doing the ton (if you get well tucked in behind that striking café racer fairing).

Mash Motorcycles UK offers a range of Chinese-built models but none, in our view, is as good-looking as this.

Price: £4,699


What does it remind us of? We’re not sure. Everything and nothing. 

It’s got a 445cc single-cylinder engine assembled in Italy using Chinese parts and it comes with surprisingly high-spec components, including fully-adjustable upside-down forks and a Brembo front brake caliper.

With 35hp on tap, it’s also the most powerful bike on this list. Not bad for a pound under £5k.

Price: £4,999


You may know this one already. We find it always worth a second look.

The Continental GT is exquisitely-styled for the price and a bit of blast to ride.

You’re not going to overtake sports bikes but the 29hp, 32lbft and drop-barred position is enough do deliver a classic café racer riding experience that feels as authentic as the bike looks.

Plus it’s from a historic British marque (albeit now produced in India).

Okay, we’ve bust our budget slightly. Sorry about that. However, the £5,199 price is on-the-road, while other bike makers often quote retail price, excluding first registration fee.

Price: £5,199 OTR


Read our full road test of the Royal Enfield Continental GT.