Retro-Style Bikes
Royal Enfield has found more acceptance across several countries of late

Many think retro-style bikes are too old-fashioned, but are they?

This world works in rather mysterious ways. Retro-style bikes that remind us of our glorious past are coming in thick and fast while we are amidst a major, albeit very forced, change in the field of automobiles.

Of course there are people who think this is sacrilege and there are more who believe such an attempt to blatantly give life and modernise vehicles which found great traction in the past is the automotive equivalent of resurrecting landline phones in the age of 5G handsets.

Many have openly opposed automakers relaunching old school vehicles (I admit that this has more to do with 2-wheelers than cars) stating that they are too late as change has already been set in motion.

But I think they are missing the point. Of course, whether we like it or not, change will come. But, this is the transitory period, precisely why one must be ready to see more and more retro-style bikes being launched the world over by manufacturers. Think of this like the relaunch of the greatest songs of a bygone era, only modernised to find acceptance among the current audience.

Royal Enfield is going from strength to strength in several markets, let alone India, while Triumph’s Bonneville range is performing exceptionally well. Honda would not have expected its CB350 range to do this well, while Jawa is slowly getting there.

Two-wheeler makers rather cleverly brought back brands that were all but dead just in time as a new crop of vehicles began hitting the mainstream market. BSA has arrived and soon, Yezdi is set to make a comeback as well.

This move is important because when a revolution takes place, opportunities arise that will be tapped by new players. But, these new firms will need time to gain the trust of the masses.

2022 BSA Gold Star
Resurrected brands will use their heritage to propel them into the future

However, a much-loved brand that is resurrected will do the job quickly and efficiently. The fact is that these brands have come back to life to become household names that sell new generation, pistonless motorcycles in the future. However, it is the worthiness of the actual product that will determine their fate.

So what about the retro-style machines that are in the market today? They do not excel in acceleration, nor do they come with the latest technology. But, they still sell because of their simplicity and charm.

You see, not many want complex machines. While there is nothing wrong in wanting the best of the best in terms of technology, there is nothing wrong in finding appeal in rudimentary stuff either.

We see V4 machines taking power levels to a new high in the superbike segment and supercharged motorcycles have also been in the market for some time now. But the beauty is that they co-exist with old school bikes that have a charm of their own.

Manufacturers launch products believing they will find success. If consumers do not like them, all they have to do is avoid buying them and soon after, the brand will kill the vehicle. But, claiming that such machines should not be launched due to their old school nature, according to me at least, shows ignorance.

Choice is of paramount importance and nobody should have that taken away from them. This applies to those who want bikes and cars that are powered by internal combustion engines gone.

It is egoistical to presume to protect nature through such a move which will push consumers to buy vehicles that are not proven, which will probably not last as long and inadvertently (or should I say foolishly?) hand over control to one country in Asia.

So, if a person enjoys an old school motorbike at a time where he could have bought a modern machine with the latest stuff, let him be. What’s wrong with having different tastes? Or, is that too much to bear for today’s liberals?