Two Wheel Tuesday: When is a motorcycle old enough to be a classic?

What makes a motorcycle a classic?  The definition of a classic motorcycle is different then that of a classic car. For a motorcycle to be a classic it needs to stand out and draw your attention immediately. It needs something that shows it advanced the state of the art. Whether that’s from design or technology.


It seems that the prime time of motorcycle development was during the time of automotive malaise in the seventies and eighties. It was the era of the universal Japanese motorcycle. More importantly it was when the design of several significant motorcycles hit their peak. First was the introduction of the rolling lawn chair in the Honda Goldwing. We saw the beginning of the fully clothed sport bikes and by 1986 you also saw the introduction of the Yamaha V-Max which created the muscle bike category.

So when does the classic era of motorcycles start? Does it start in 1969 with the introduction of the Honda CB750? More importantly, how new can a bike be and be a classic, could it be a 1987 V-Max or a late 80’s Suzuki Katana?

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