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Triumph bonneville 2001

You again!

by Guy ‘Guido’ Allen, Feb 2021

The good, the bad and the ugly of factory clones

Do really good motorcycles ever go out of fashion? That’s up for debate, but there’s no doubt that assorted factories around the globe have seen potential gold at the end of the historical rainbow.

There seem to be a couple of approaches to this, including trying to come up with a dead-set doppelganger but with modern mechanicals. That however is almost doomed to failure as expectations from regulators and customers alike dictate very different engineering.

Sometimes the maker is just as happy to use a few styling cues from the toy while wrapping a thoroughly modern motorcycle under the paint. And then there are the completely out-there attempts that fit neither category.

Let’s got a bit of a wander and rate the top contenders…

(Ed's note: we're bringing you the 10 contenders over 10 days from Feb 14.)

triumph bonneville 1969 triumph bonneville 2001

1. Triumph Bonneville
Rebuilding a legend – see it here

kawasaki z1 kawasaki z900

2. Kawasaki Z900RS
Jaffa Revival – see it here

ducati mh900 ducati mh900

3. Ducati MH900e
The replica’s replica – see it here

bmw r90/6 bmw r9t

4. BMW R NineT
Retro mystery – see it here

suzuki katana suzuki katana

5. Suzuki Katana
It is all about appearances – see it here

royal enfield continental gt

6. Royal Enfield Continental GT
More grunt, Vicar? – see it here

Indian Chief Vintage Indian Chief

7. Indian Chief Vintage
Lifting the cruiser game – see it here

Yamaha SR500 Yamaha sr400

8. Yamaha SR400
Opportunity Knocked – see it here

9. Vespa GT60
Coming in to land

10. Honda CB1300
Channeling the UJMs

What have we missed? Email me your nominations!



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