I was having dinner with Jeff Pamer a few months ago while I had a Suzuki Katana on loan – did you see my review? Jeff mentioned that in this wave of retro-inspired bikes, the new Katana is the first one to take its inspiration from the 80s. I briefly countered with the BMW RnineT Urban GS, but eventually I agreed with him. Honda recently announced a “CB-F” concept based on the CB1000R and it looks an awful lot like the CB750F Super Sport that Fast Freddie Spencer raced in AMA Superbike. All this has got me wondering – what bike from the 80s would you love to see brought back?
The CB-F was supposed to be announced at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show this weekend, which is obviously not happening. Honda is instead offering a virtual video tour of what they were planning to show if you follow this link (the CB-F is at 5:10 and the possibly-destined-for-the-US CT125 is at 7:37). Hope you speak Japanese!
There’s no right answer to this because there’s lots of ways to define “retro”, but I’m curious to hear what you guys and gals think!
One could suggest the new Africa Twin (especially in the Adventure Sports colorway), but I’d say that’s more of a continuation of the line rather than a retro bike, for example. I’m thinking something more that was definitively 80s and would be making a comeback just because we’re all getting older and we’re seeing a shift in what people are nostalgic for. Imagine BMW making a new K1, for example.
Some random thoughts:
– Bimota brings back the DB1 with the motor out of the Panigale V2, though that would never happen now that Bimota’s in bed with Kawasaki.
– I don’t think the Z900RS Cafe counts, I never thought it looked enough like the KZ1000 ELR (especially with this year’s paint job)
– Back in 2007, Honda flirted with a beautiful prototype inspired by the CB1100R but that obviously never made it to production:
– Aprilia may be bringing the Tuareg name with the new 660 motor.
– My final answer: Moto Guzzi should ride the wave of success they’ve had with the V85 and pop that motor into a update of the 850 Le Mans III. Now we’re talking.