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Retro Reviews

What rider doesn’t love a look back at the motorcycles that preceded today’s tech-savvy creations? Welcome to the Ultimate Motorcycling archives; we’re revisiting some of our favorite reviews from years past, highlighting the machines that laid the rubber for what’s on today’s showroom floors. Enjoy.

1976 Kawasaki KZ900 Review - in action

1976 Kawasaki KZ900 | Motorcycle Review

The Z900 Family

The year 1967 was awash in monumental events. Summer of Love bromides aside, the image of Hendrix immolating his Strat at Monterey is a visual time stamp of a convulsive year. Change and upheaval, among other things, were in the air.

2004 Ducati 1000DS Multistrada Retro Review | Digging Into Archives

2004 Ducati 1000DS Multistrada Retro Review | Digging Into Archives

With the 2004 Ducati 1000DS Multistrada, the men from Bologna have managed to create the two-wheeled equivalent of a luxury, high performance SUV without surrendering the Italian brand’s revered lineage of attractive lines and provocative stature.
2006 Harley-Davidson Night Train Retro Review | Mad Dog Custom Cycles

2006 Harley-Davidson Night Train Retro Review | Mad Dog Custom Cycles

The 2006 Harley-Davidson Night Train—not to be confused with the high alcohol-content wine favored by derelicts—is a retro-modern cruiser motorcycle.
2004 Harley-Davidson V-Rod Evoluzione Retro Review | Digging Into Archives

2004 Harley-Davidson V-Rod Evoluzione Retro Review | Digging Into Archives

Greater throttle response, more power, air suspension, and the gorgeous bodywork make for a fast, tight ride, and earth-shaking styling aboard the 2004 Harley-Davidson V-Rod Evoluzione.
2005 Triumph Rocket III top speed

2005 Triumph Rocket III Retro Review | Digging Into Archives

Undeniably unique and massively powerful, yet perfectly civilized for normal riding duties, the Rocket III represented a quantum leap ahead for Triumph
2006 BMW HP2 Retro Review: Dirty Boxer

2006 BMW HP2 Retro Review: Dirty Boxer

For off-road enthusiasts looking for a unique, capable motorcycle, the 2006 BMW HP2 became a machine that was hard to ignore.

Triumph Speed Twin & Thunderbird Bible Review | Rider’s Library

Now in its third printing, Harry Woolridge’s "Triumph Speed Twin & Thunderbird Bible" is probably the one book a Triumph fan should definitely own.
2004 BMW R 1200 GS Retro Review | Digging Into Archives

2004 BMW R 1200 GS Retro Review | Digging Into Archives

Like a trusty Swiss Army knife, the BMW R 1200 GS has always enjoyed a militaristic functionality with regard to looks and design.
2005 Royal Star Midnight Venture Special Edition

2005 Yamaha Royal Star Midnight Venture Retro Review: Hunting Nirvana

We take a look back at the 2005 Yamaha Royal Star Midnight Venture, one of Yamaha's leading touring bikes with all the technical goodies...and carbs.
2006 Honda VTX1800F Retro Review

2006 Honda VTX1800F Retro Review | Refined Tough Guy

The 2006 Honda VTX1800F is all about that glint—the fleeting light, part reality, part simulacrum—a ray of the past, shot to the promise of a shiny future.
2005 Triumph Bonneville T100 Review

2005 Triumph Bonneville T100 Retro Review | Digging Into Archives

The 2005 Triumph Bonneville T100 continues to honor the revered "Bonnie" lineage with a tasteful reproduction—sans oil leaks and stubborn kickstarters.
Freddie Spencer High Performance Riding School | Retro Review

Freddie Spencer High Performance Riding School | Retro Review

In 1997, the Freddie Spencer High Performance Riding School was established at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and closed in 2008. Here's a retro review.
MZ 1000S German Motorcycle on track

2005 MZ 1000S Retro Motorcycle Review | From the Archives

Back in 2005, we tested the MZ 1000S from the "other" German motorcycle company simply known as MZ (Motorradwerk Zschopau), which has roots back to 1920.
2010 Harley-Davidson Road Glide review

2010 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Custom | Retro Review

The 2010 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Custom is a fantastic in-town bike and welcomes the open road, as long as that road keeps speeds under a mile a minute.
2005 Ducati ST4s Retro Review | Digging Into Archives

2005 Ducati ST4s Retro Review | Digging Into Archives

Derived from Ducati’s impressive line of racing bikes, the 2005 Ducati ST4s is a capable mount that leaves nothing to be desired in handling or power.