red hot vintage motorcycles featured

Have you ever hung out with 250 classic motorcycles?

I can seriously recommend it!

We’ve just been on another pilgrimage to our favorite motorcycle museum at the bottom of New Zealand.

There we were, standing in a room packed with classic motorcycles, grinning like idiots.

It’s a summer morning, and shafts of bright sunlight fall through the windows.
The yellow light glints on the rows of chrome tanks, and the big silver fishtail pipes on classic Nortons, BSAs and Velocettes.

Beautiful, vintage motorcycles sit silently, proudly dripping oil, as they have for decades.
Every single one of these beauties begs you to come closer…

We were back at the museum to celebrate our friend Dennis’ birthday.

He’d never been there before, and right away, he fell deep into Motorcycle Overload.
Staring helplessly around him at all those gleaming treasures, he whispered…
This must be what Heaven’s like.

I think he’s probably right.
But in the meantime, I had photos to take.
Lots and lots of photos.
And then a few more.

It happens every single time I go back to this amazing world of vintage motorcycles.
But this time, I want to share a selection of red classic motorcycles from the museum.

These machines really showcase the beauty of red bikes.
They’re red hot, for sure.

I think you’ll probably agree…

12 Vintage Motorcycles That Are Simply Red Hot

Let’s start with my favourite…

1. Matchless G9 1950 500 cc OHV twin

Of all the vintage motorcycles lined up in this incredible place, I love this one the most.
Yep, even more than the row of FIVE shiny silvery Brough Superiors just across the room.

Just look at that flying silver “M” with its pair of stylised wings.
Then there’s the glowing chrome tank, and the red rims on the wheels.

Sigh…

vintage motorcycles Matchless G9 1950 500 cc OHV twin

2. Indian Big Twin 1913 988 cc

There are lots of incredible Indian vintage motorcycles at this museum.
In fact, there’s a whole section devoted to this classic old marque.

This Big Twin is not even the oldest one on the floor.

But I love the copper fuel line.
And that tank mounted gear shift looks like a fascinating challenge, doesn’t it?

vintage motorcycles Indian Big Twin 1913 988 cc

3. Indian B Light Twin 1915 680 cc

Some vintage motorcycles have passed their genes onto their modern descendants.

Our 2015 Indian Scout is pretty close to this classic tomato red, with that incredible deep shine.

This one has a metal fuel line, and is that beautiful silver cylinder an oil pump?
As if there wasn’t enough to drool over, check out the embossed leather saddle.

vintage motorcycles Indian B Light Twin 1915 680cc

4. Indian Chief 1947 1206 cc

I’m pretty sure the new Indian Chief motors are patterned on this old style from the ’40s.
It’s a respectful call back to the past, a recognition of this long Indian tradition.

And how about the sweeping curves of the cursive script on this gorgeous logo!

vintage motorcycles Indian Chief 1947 1206 cc

5. BSA A65 Lightning 1963 650 cc

There’s something really special about BSA classic motorcycles, don’t you think?

Take a look at these sculpted side covers, the slightly valanced mud guards, and the beautiful engine casings.

And just when you think you’ve seen all of the special features here, you notice the Nacelle headlight with the instruments embedded in it.

Crazy!

vintage motorcycles BSA A65 Lightning 1963 650 cc

6. BSA A65 Spitfire MKII 1966 650 cc

Here’s the super speedy BSA model of the time.

Once again, it features side covers with flowing lines, and this one has a polished alloy casing and tappet cover.

The two-tone tank with the sunburst logo is yet ANOTHER focal point.

vintage motorcycles BSA A65 Spitfire MK11 1966 650 cc

7. Excelsior Manxman 1939 350cc

Check out the Isle of Man triskeles on the oil tank and overhead cam cover!
That’s built-in street cred before you even turn the key.

Look hard, and you’ll notice the intricate embossed knee pads.
And there’s so much happening with the tank logo that you need to pull up a chair and really study the finer details.

This is a seriously rare bike, as only 8 from this year are thought to have survived.

Rod Coleman, a New Zealander, apparently used to race them, and at the time bought every model he could lay his hands on.
He had them shipped over here to New Zealand, and this one somehow made it into this collection of classic motorcycles.

vintage motorcycles Excelsior Manxman 1939 350cc

8. Moto Guzzi Falcone 1952

Could we call this Italian red? It’s bold, shiny and super super bright!

I love the sensual rounded black elements, outlined in gold naturally, and the glamor of that gold and black logo has such impact.

The little row of studs along the seat adds even more bling, but somehow manages to look bold rather than overdone.

vintage motorcycles Moto Guzzi Falcone 1952

9. Royal Enfield Bullet 1936 500 cc 4 valve

Oh, oh … we’re back to those silver shiny tanks that classic motorcycles do so well!

You know how I love them.

This one mixes in a regal dark red that’s made even more elegant with the use of the gold in the logo and outlines, which contrast with the silver tank.

You can’t miss that standout pressed fishtail pipe, with a tiny pretty heat guard.
The sprung tractor seat is effortlessly cool, and perfectly offset by the gigantic old school headlight.

vintage motorcycles Royal Enfield Bullet 1936 500 cc 4 valve

10. Royal Enfield Fury 1960 499cc OHV

Here’s a Royal Enfield that’s reversed the shiny tank design of 30 years earlier, by using the glittering chrome as the accent rather than the base.

Again you have that luxurious hint of gold on the logo and outlining the red flashes.

There’s a bellmouth on the carburettor, and a red chain guard – just in case it wasn’t stunning enough.

I have to say, that seat looks does look comfortable, but it’s very ugly on a bike this gorgeous!

vintage motorcycles Royal Enfield Fury 1960 499cc OHV

11. Royal Ruby 1914 770 cc UK

Here’s a quirky little beast from way back.

The logo lettering looks like it might have inspired countless Chinese takeaway restaurants, somehow.
Note the early belt drive riveted leather links, and the manual oil pump (yikes)!

And yes, that’s an embossed RR on the control pedal.
Classic motorcycles are all about little details like this!

vintage motorcycles Royal Ruby 1914 770 cc UK

12. Triumph Trident T160 1975 750cc

Let’s finish with a bike that would look fantastic in our garage.

Actually, let’s face it – all of these classic motorcycles would look good in our shed.

Note the petrol stains by the amal carburettor tickler on this one (you had to tickle it until the petrol ran out) – the good old days, huh?
And it’s still covering all bases by featuring both a kick start AND electric start.
ONE of them will work, you hope…

This white tank is heavy on the ruby red accents which contrast beautifully with the matching white logo.

Delicious!

vintage motorcycles Triumph Trident T160 1975 750cc

Now, you may prefer your classic motorcycles in a basic black scheme.

But these beautiful machines prove that red vintage motorcycles can be simply stunning.

Whether it’s a bright red tank, or a more subtle red tyre rim, these red hot classic motorcycles are head-turning works of art!


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Written by Liz Hardy