The Most Reliable Classic Motorcycle, Ranked

Choose the classic motorcycle you think is the most reliable!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 18, 2024 07:22
For enthusiasts of classic motorcycles, reliability is often as significant as aesthetics or performance. A dependable motorcycle not only ensures enjoyable and safe rides but also maintains its value well over time. Knowing which classics are the most reliable can be a treasure trove of information for collectors and riders looking to make a purchase or restore an old model. This list of reliable classic motorcycles, shaped by your votes, serves as a dynamic guide to help in making informed decisions. Whether you are an experienced collector or new to the world of vintage motorbikes, participating in this ongoing ranking will refine the collective knowledge and assist in pinpointing which models stand the test of time.

What Is the Most Reliable Classic Motorcycle?

  1. 1

    Honda CB750

    Known as the first 'superbike', the CB750 is praised for its reliability and performance.
    • Production Years: 1969-2003
    • Engine Type: 736cc inline-four
  2. 2

    Yamaha XS650

    A reliable and simple design, the XS650 is known for its durability and ease of maintenance.
    • Production Years: 1968-1985
    • Engine Type: 653cc parallel twin
  3. 4

    Harley-Davidson Sportster

    An American classic known for its durability and the distinctive Harley sound.
    • First Introduced: 1957
    • Engine Type: V-twin
  4. 5

    Moto Guzzi V7

    An Italian classic that combines style with reliability, known for its V-twin engine.
    • First Introduced: 1967
    • Engine Type: V-twin
  5. 6

    Norton Commando

    A British motorcycle known for its innovative design and reliable performance.
    • First Introduced: 1967
    • Engine Type: 745cc parallel twin
  6. 7

    Kawasaki W1

    A classic motorcycle that stands out for its reliability and was Kawasaki's answer to the British twins of the time.
    • First Introduced: 1965
    • Engine Type: 624cc parallel twin
  7. 8

    Royal Enfield Bullet

    One of the oldest motorcycle designs in continuous production, known for its simplicity and reliability.
    • First Introduced: 1931
    • Engine Type: Single cylinder
  8. 9

    Suzuki GT750

    Known as the 'Water Buffalo', the GT750 is famous for its water-cooled engine and reliability.
    • Production Years: 1971-1977
    • Engine Type: 739cc water-cooled inline-three
  9. 10

    BMW R60/2

    A classic motorcycle from the 1960s known for its reliability and shaft drive.
    • Production Years: 1960-1969
    • Engine Type: 594cc boxer twin

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most reliable classic motorcycle. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or motorcycle is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 130 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each motorcycle once every 24 hours. The rank of each motorcycle is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Reliable Classic Motorcycle

Honda CB750
Rank #1 for the most reliable classic motorcycle: Honda CB750 (Source)
Classic motorcycles have a timeless charm. They attract riders with their simple designs and rugged build. These bikes often come from an era when manufacturers focused on durability and ease of maintenance. Riders appreciate their straightforward mechanics and solid performance.

The appeal of classic motorcycles lies in their reliability. Many of these bikes were built to last. They feature robust engines and sturdy frames. Owners of classic motorcycles often find that these machines require less frequent repairs. This is because the parts used in their construction were designed to endure heavy use.

Maintenance of classic motorcycles is simpler compared to modern bikes. The engines are usually air-cooled, which means fewer parts that can break down. The electrical systems are basic, reducing the risk of electrical failures. Many classic motorcycles also have kick-starters, eliminating the need for a battery.

Riders enjoy the hands-on experience of maintaining their classic motorcycles. The simplicity of the design allows enthusiasts to perform most repairs themselves. This fosters a deeper connection between the rider and the machine. It also helps riders understand the mechanics of their bikes better.

The riding experience on a classic motorcycle is unique. These bikes offer a raw, unfiltered connection to the road. The lack of electronic aids means the rider must rely on skill and intuition. This creates a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Classic motorcycles also have a distinct aesthetic. Their designs are often minimalist, with clean lines and functional features. This simplicity adds to their timeless appeal. Many riders find joy in the visual beauty of these machines.

The community of classic motorcycle enthusiasts is another draw. Owners often share a passion for preserving and enjoying these bikes. They gather at events, swap parts, and share knowledge. This sense of camaraderie enhances the ownership experience.

While classic motorcycles are reliable, they do require regular upkeep. Owners must stay vigilant about maintenance schedules. Oil changes, brake checks, and tire inspections are crucial. Keeping a classic motorcycle in top condition ensures it remains dependable.

Finding parts for classic motorcycles can sometimes be a challenge. However, many manufacturers continue to support older models. There are also numerous aftermarket suppliers. Enthusiasts often network to locate rare parts, adding to the sense of community.

Classic motorcycles hold their value well. Their reliability and timeless design make them desirable. Many models appreciate in value over time. This makes owning a classic motorcycle a sound investment.

In conclusion, classic motorcycles offer a blend of reliability, simplicity, and aesthetic appeal. They provide a unique riding experience and foster a strong sense of community among enthusiasts. With regular maintenance, these bikes can provide years of dependable service. The timeless charm of classic motorcycles continues to captivate riders around the world.

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