Triumph Bonneville 2014

“The naughties RAT”

Introduced in the year 2000, the T100 Bonneville was part of the recent revival in retro-styled classics. Ours came down from Edinburgh, having been given the thumbs up by Chris’ son Jack (he didn’t even get the chance to ride it). The plate has been changed to reflect the purchase in the year of the Rat and it formed the basis of the inspiration for our Black Rat rebuild.

As its name suggests, modern-retro motorcycles are contemporary production models that are styled after vintage machines, while possessing modern-day engines, frames, and componentry. Offering what a great many riders consider to be the best of both worlds, these motorcycles afford nostalgia-inducing looks backed by thoroughly modern performance and amenities, including modern electronics packages and rider aids.

This means getting to cruise the streets with a vintage-style bike, without having to worry about the shortcomings of drum brakes, finicky carbs, and antiquated wire wheels.

The lion’s share of modern retro bikes also takes visual inspiration from models of the 1960s and 1970s, though there are outliers that are modeled after 1980s machines, as well as prewar-era motorcycles

The amalgamation of old-school aesthetics and modern powertrains and tech is ultimately what defines a modern-retro, and separates it from other “retro-retro” models like the Royal Enfield Bullet or Yamaha SR400 — machines that are basically just retro bikes that have remained in production, largely unchanged for many years, versus modern motorcycles with modern performance capabilities that are dressed up to look like vintage scoots. And, while there are some vintage styles such as scramblers or cafe racers that are particularly popular in the modern-retro space, modern-retros are available in practically every genre of motorcycle, from tiny-bore minibikes to full-sized cruisers.

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