Modern classic motorcycles – retro and chic, gleaming chrome with timeless design, and with easy and relaxed road manners and performance; no wonder, there’s such a significant fan following these bikes have. And they have become even more popular with an accessible and affordable price tag, in more recent years. The appreciable level of performance and improved reliability have made it far easier for a beginner to ride these motorcycles, without it feeling like a daunting task. As newer manufacturers join this segment, the latest being Honda 2Wheelers India, here’s a look at the best modern classic bikes you can buy right now, all with a price tag of under two lakh rupees.
Royal Enfield Classic 350
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 needs no introduction. If there’s one motorcycle which is almost as common as an entry-level commuter bike on the streets these days, it is this. Today, it’s Royal Enfield‘s hero product, and accounts for nearly 80 per cent of the company’s monthly sales, and that’s saying something!
With an air-cooled, 346 cc single-cylinder engine which puts out maximum power of 19.8 bhp at 5,250 rpm and 28 Nm of peak torque at 4,000 rpm, the Classic 350, it is by no means a performance motorcycle. But what it makes up for that with its aura, and timeless personality. Available in two variants, with single-channel ABS, and dual-channel ABS, prices for the Royal Enfield Classic 350 begin at ₹ 1.62 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi). In this segment of motorcycles, the Classic 350 is still the leader, in sales volumes, by a fair margin.
The Jawa is a modern-day interpretation of the 1970s Jawa, with an all-new 293 cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine. The Jawa brand, of Czech origin, has been quite the rage in India during the 1960s and ’70s. The modern Jawa, follows almost the exact same design language as the original Jawa, but has a smooth, vibration-free engine which delivers 26.14 bhp of maximum power and 27.05 Nm of peak torque.
Also Read: Jawa First Ride Review
The Jawa comes with a six-speed gearbox and has a kerb weight of 170 kg. With a double cradle frame and taut suspension, handled by a telescopic front fork and twin gas charged rear shocks, the Jawa offers excellent straight line stability and decent touring capability. The Jawa is priced at ₹ 1.73 lakh (Ex-showroom).
Also Read: Exploring Punjab On Jawa Motorcycles
Jawa Forty Two
The Jawa Forty Two is the entry-level model in the Jawa family, and although its shares the same engine, chassis and cycle parts with the Jawa Classic, it is a slightly different flavour in aesthetic terms, although the styling is still unmistakably retro. The headlight is slightly different, as is the flat, wide handlebar, and offers slightly different ergonomics than the standard Jawa.
The offset single-pod instrument console gives it a sense of looking ‘different’ than the standard Jawa as does the flat handlebar. The 293 cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine, along with the chassis and suspension are shared with the standard Jawa, so both bikes feel more or less similar. Great ride quality, with very likeable straight line stability, as well as the relaxed riding position make the Jawa Forty Two feel somewhat different than the standard Jawa. At ₹ 1.60 lakh (Ex-showroom), it is also one of the most affordable modern classic bikes under two lakhs.
The Jawa Perak is the factory custom Bobber from the Jawa family, and easily the most affordable Bobber available on sale in India right now. The Perak also has those classic design lines, but it gets the Bobber design, with chopped front and rear fenders, a solo saddle and a slightly different frame to accommodate the wider and longer swingarm.
The Jawa Perak has a slightly bigger engine than the Jawa and the Jawa Forty Two. The same engine has been bored out to 334 cc, and maximum power is rated at 30 bhp, with 33 Nm of peak torque. Priced at ₹ 1.94 lakh (ex-showroom), it’s the only Bobber available at that price point, and easily one of the best modern classic bikes to buy under 2 lakhs.
Also Read: First Ride Of Jawa Perak
Benelli Imperiale 400
The Benelli Imperiale 400 is the most-affordable Benelli motorcycle on sale in India. The updated BS6 model was introduced earlier this year and is priced from ₹ 1.99 lakh (ex-showroom). The Imperiale 400’s timeless design is inspired by the Benelli Imperiale motorcycles of the 1950s. The design is unmistakably retro, and timeless, with a vintage look and stance that seems straight out the 1950s.
Also Read: Benelli Imperiale 400 First Ride Review
Powered by a 374 cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-valve engine, the Imperiale has easily one of the more refined engines in this segment. Maximum power is rated at just over 20 bhp, while peal torque of 29 Nm kicks in at 2,900 rpm. The Benelli Imperiale 400’s engine is also quite free revving, and will go straight to the 6,500 redline without hesitation. At that price point, and under 2 lakh rupees, the Imperiale 400 certainly offers a worthy alternative, to both the Jawa and the ever popular Royal Enfield Classic 350.