The classic sixties Triumph. A sleek, seriously fast machine of smashing good looks, this Briton is a go-go girl to Harley’s Bohemian clog dancer. In my experience Triumphs were spirited, high-maintenance bikes that spit bolts, leaked more than their share of oil, and at speed produced a vibration that set the handlebars buzzing like a kazoo.
The Harley-Davidson 45ci “WL” series. This low-revving flathead may still be one of the world’s most durable motors, a trait attested to by the ninety thousand produced for World War II military use. While it’s certainly no screamer, the Harley 45 will cruise rock solidly at 65 mph and cruise there day after day. With its prominent fenders and hard-tail panache, the Harley 45 is the definitive barhopper, a no-frills workingman’s motorcycle that will start on the first kick and will lope along, uncomplaining, into the next century.