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Is Cloning the Retro Bikes Becoming Popular?

Even though not everyone is willing to admit this, I guess that pretty much all the individuals who have ever populated the planet have at least once contemplated the perspective of being immortal. From alchemists and wizards to the modern-day “magicians” such as physicians and genetic researchers, a lot of people are dreaming about finding a way to get closer to living forever, even though this is most likely one of the things no human will ever get to witness.
The same applies with most of the earthly possessions, whether they are inanimate objects or pets, and I’d even go as far as to include social institutions in this. It’s pretty obvious that our entire existence is faithfully following the Gaussian bell distribution, with things coming to existence, spending their lifespan and then returning to the great unknown.

Living creatures are unique, and finding two perfectly identical ones has less chances to happen than being hit by an asteroid while doing a head stand on a moving unicycle and reading poems by Edgar Allan Poe backwards. Which is quite a rare thing, if you allow my drift…

Anyway, inanimate objects, and especially those mass-produced by man are a different breed and their existence contains much better repeatability prospects. That is, if someone really wanted it, they could recreate the prerequisites needed for crafting objects which have normally gone way past the moment of their demise. And this includes motorcycles…

Now, I must confess that seeing a completely new BMW R90S built in one week with spares from the German manufacturer’s catalog opened up a whole new expectation horizon. Even more, after seeing Suzuki adding more parts for their vintage and modern classic bikes in catalogs available through their official online outlets made things all the more interesting.

This is proof that people are still interested in their old motorcycles, and there is a sizeable public who would repair and rebuild their “bikes of yore” rather than scrap them and going for the new high-tech two-wheelers. And this is good on so many levels, with the economical one being only the first thing which would pop up in your head.

Of course, some say that old bikes belong into the museum and not to the street, but this is arguably a true claim. Surely, if referring to performance specs, speed, braking power, cornering and everything, the modern bikes most likely have the upper hand. When styling and a rewarding riding experience comes into the discussion, you’ll be surprised to see that the situation is radically different.

For the matter, I wonder what arguments a guy riding a 2005 Yamaha would bring to another motorcyclist in the saddle of the new-old-stock (NOS) 2014 BMW R90S? The fact that the Beemer is old? Haha, THAT would indeed be funny, especially coming from a guy riding a 10-year-old bike. No, the R90S is not old; in fact, it is very new and has tens of thousands of miles ahead.

Performance and safety could also be discussed, but this is again a double-sided blade. On one hand, people who would rebuild and ride a retro bike are not eyeing to smash the Nurburgring lap time and they’re neither searching to break the top speed record on the Mugello straight line. They’re in this for the memories riding such a bike brings back, and this is one of the things which is hard, if not outright impossible to measure.

He or she knows how such a motorcycle must be ridden, and where the machine’s limits are. And again, they decide to spend big time to rebuild or build a completely new bike from scratch because they want THAT bike and not a contemporary one.

The case of the R90S is quite self-explanatory, as the bikes have only been produced in the mid-70s, yet some guys felt like building new “clones” with original parts from the BMW catalog… because they wanted to show the world that this is possible and of course, because someone wanted to ride this bike. The same goes for so other brands, MZ, Jawa, Suzuki, whehe was already mentioned, and many more included.

If you are willing to pay extra for building a NOS bike, time to put it together is what you need. Let the world judge you, because they’ll do it anyway, even though you choose another passion. And frankly, who gives a flying fudge on what others say or think when rolling down the street in retro leathers which are not necessarily bought from Belstaff? I wouldn’t, because I don’t even though I ride a modern motorcycle myself. And if I take my time, I guess I’d like to rebuild an old machine from the crated parts shipped to my backyard and ride my 2015-1945 R75 BMW sidecar around the country…

All in all, I believe that the possibility to clone old bikes is a glorious proof that the motorcycling culture is as strong as ever, and the heritage of this amazing piece of human civilization will endure. Have your say, please!

 
 
 
 
 

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