From vintage models to new releases, there’s nothing like the freedom that comes from the back of a motorcycle. However, there’s just something unmatchable when it comes to vintage bikes. Maybe it’s their unique style or the history behind them, but whatever it is, there’s something special about vintage rides. Here are our top three picks for vintage motorcycles that should be in every motorcycle enthusiast’s garage.
The Harley-Davidson WL has historical roots
Coming in with the third spot on our top three vintage motorcycle list is the Harley-Davidson WL. Harley-Davidson began producing the WL in 1937. The WL was the first flathead motorcycle to use a fully recirculating oil system. The WL’s 45 cubic engine offered less power than the Big-Twin engines produced during the era. However, the WL proved to be popular among consumers for its reliability and flashy looks.
This bike also has deep historical roots as it served as the base model for the Harley-Davidson WLA. While the WL is the civilian model, the WLA is probably more widely known. Auto Evolution reports that during World War II, Harley-Davidson produced over 90,000 units of the WLA model with specifications made by the United States Army. During wartime, the WLA was utilized by American, Canadian, British, South African, and other Allied military forces.
According to HotCars, the WLA revived in popularity during the 2010s when Harley-Davidson custom designed five models of the WLA for use in the 2011 Marvel film Captain America. Harley-Davidson continued producing the WL model until 1951, when the new K-series engine officially replaced the WL. With few motorcycles having the reach that the WL model had on the world, this is one vintage bike that should be in every motorcycle enthusiast’s garage.
Every garage needs a Suzuki RG500
The number two vintage bike on our list is the Suzuki RG500. While the Harley-Davidson WL has military roots, the Suzuki RG500 has deep racing roots. Suzuki first began producing the RG500 in 1974. The model was based on Suzuki’s existing racing motorcycles in production. HotCars reports that the Suzuki RG 500 model one the 500 World Grand Prix seven times and, in the process, gained legendary status in the motorcycle world.
Following the success of the RG500, Suzuki came out with the RG500 Gamma. This two-stroke sportbike was produced for just two years between 1985 and 1987. Overall, sales were extremely limited with this street variant. If you have a need for speed when it comes to your motorcycles, then a vintage Suzuki RG500 must find a way into your garage.
The 1987 Honda CBR600F demands attention out on the road
Without further ado, the vintage bike earning the top spot on our list is the 1987 Honda CBR600F. When Honda released this bike, the company truly revolutionized the sportbike industry forever. According to Motorcycle News, the 1987 CBR600F was the first of its kind, being a middleweight bike that could hit 137 mph and take on a quarter-mile in just 12.1 seconds. At the time of its production, no other sportbike could really compare with the CBR600F, which helped put Honda back at the top of the sportbike industry.
With its sleek handling, powerful engine, and design that fits any rider regardless of height, the 1987 Honda CBR600F demands attention out on the road and is a must-have in the garages of top motorcycle enthusiasts. In addition, to the three vintage bikes earning top honors on our list, three additional vintage bikes that earn honorable mention spots are the Norton Commando, the Kawasaki ZI, and the BMW R32. If you’re looking to get your hands on a high-quality vintage bike, you can’t go wrong with any of these options.