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Top five middleweight retro bikes

Five of our favourite middleweight modern classics

Middleweight retro bikes

WHEN IT comes to modern classics, we’re spoilt for choice and have been for a while.

And our appetite for contemporary classics doesn’t look like its satisfied yet because if you thought that the end of 2016 signalled the peak of modern retro machinery, you’re wrong because we’ve got yet more new models to choose from this year, with offerings from Honda, Triumph and BMW.

With that in mind, we’ve been looking at some of our favourite retro-style bikes and have put together this list of our favourite five middleweight retro bikes. With the popularity of modern classics drawing so many people in to bikes, or back to riding again, these are some of the important bikes that are fuelling a renewed interest in motorcycling and riding, opening more people up to motorcycles and getting more people riding.

The bikes in this list are all at the more accessible end of the modern classic genre – in terms of price, power, and what kind of licence you need to ride them. We’ll have a complimentary list of big capacity offerings on the way soon.

5. Honda CMX500 Rebel

ALRIGHT, so the name ‘Honda Rebel’ seems like a bit of a contradiction, but don’t discount the Rebel just yet.

It’s powered by Honda’s 471cc parallel twin engine – the same one you’ll find in the CBR500R and CB500F. It means that, far from being rebellious, the Rebel is an easy going and ecnomical run-around.

Styling-wise, well you can see that it’s nothing new but it works well enough and is sure to appeal to anyone in the market for a small, compact cruiser that won’t break the bank, and at £5,399, it’s unlikely to do that.

Click here to read our full review of the Honda CMX500 Rebel

4. Ducati Scrambler Sixty2

AH YES, the obligatory scrambler in a list of modern classics. And why not? The Ducati Scrambler is one of the major catalysts of the retro bike boom and the Scrambler Sixty2 is the one that’s designed to open up Ducati’s brand-in-its-own-right to riders on an A2 licence.

It’s got all the right ingredients – pukka Ducati Scrambler looks but with a few changes designed to accommodate novices, the most obvious of which is the 400cc air-cooled V-twin, which has ample power for town riding.

Being a Ducati, it’s a premium bike - £6,450 for a 41hp bike is a proper chunk of money, but if you’ve got it, the mini Scrambler is a very stylish, well put together middleweight modern retro.

Click here to read our full review of the Ducati Scrambler Sixty2

3. Triumph Street Scrambler

AND HERE'S Triumph’s middleweight Scrambler – the Street Scrambler.

Alright, it’s got a 900cc engine so if you look at it in terms of capacity, it’s not exactly a middleweight, but its 55hp and 59 lb/ft torque are a bit more like what you’d get from a bike that’s closer to 500-600cc.

The Street Scrambler is easily one of the most fun loving Bonnevilles – it’s friendly and fun, easy to jump on and ride, and although it’s great in town, its balance and neutral handling mean that it can still deliver a smile in the country. Oh, and it’s shy of a bit of gentle off-roading either.

Click here to read our full review of the Triumph Street Scrambler.

2. Yamaha XSR700

ALRIGHT, so out of all the bikes here, the XSR700 is probably the least authentic feeling – the modern retro with the most emphasis on the ‘modern’ part.

It’s basically a trendy version of the MT-07 – restyled and with a few ergonomic changes but that cheeky parallel-twin engine is still the star of the show and means the XSR700 is a punchy, exciting bike to ride – probably more so than anything else here and it’s performance is what sees it gliding into second place.

Click here to read our full review of the Yamaha XSR700

1. Triumph Street Cup

IF YOU'RE after of the coolest looking, most accessible café racers you can buy, then look no further than the Triumph Street Cup.

If a Thruxton is out of reach for whatever reason, Triumph’s Street Cup is beckoning. Just look at it – it’s like a mini Thruxton and is a bike that’ll make you feel just as classy when you’re riding it.

It’s powered by the engine from the Street Twin and Street Scrambler and has enough performance to handle the cut and thrust of city work, while being thoroughly entertaining on a curvy country road and thanks to neutral, easy handling, the Street Cup loves to be hustled along.

The best thing about the Street Scrambler is the way it makes you feel. Of all the bikes in this list, it’s the one that feels the most special both to look at and ride.

Click here to read our full review of the Triumph Street Cup.

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