February 10, 2007
Classic Bike Brand Names Ride Again at the 26th Annual Cycle World International Motorcycle Show
I have noticed a distinct resurgence in classic motorcycle names and models lately, something that was underlined to me at the 26th annual Cycle World International Motorcycle Show, which was here in Minneapolis last week before moving on to Chicago and then to Atlanta at the end of the month. As most readers know, I have a special fondness for classic bike brands and was excited to learn earlier that the Indian Motorcycle was making a comeback.
An assortment of great bikes are on show from the big brand names like Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki — not to mention Harley Davidson. But there were also plenty of classic names like Ducati and Vespa, both of which seem to have retro models out, not least the gorgeous Vespa GT-60 (only 999 produced) which is a limited edition model based on classic 1950s lines. Ducati, for its part, offers us the “New Blue”, an homage to the 1977 Daytona winning 750SS.
There were also some brand names that are sure to appeal to the motorcycle enthusiast: how about the Indian company Royal Enfield, a brand from half a century ago that is catching up on its rival Triumph riding on its popular “Bullet” bike, which Gary Charpentier says is the "coolest name in motorcycling."
Even the newer brand names like the Buell Blast look retro — reminiscent, says Gary, of bikes made by Norton and BSA and Triumph (the latter was notably absent this year) a few decades ago. "Buell" is an odd name, of course, but not as odd as that of custom bike maker "Crime Inc." I had to wonder who the target market was for these guys.
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