Let’s not beat around the bush; Bandit9’s critics have been many and varied. But for shop owner Daryl Villanueva, none of this really mattered. Like anybody with an honest-to-goodness mission in life, he knew where he was going and what he was doing…
The modern retro market is booming and where once it was a niche for a few manufacturers, it is now a profitable sector across the board. There are an endless number of machines to choose from. And while they retain much of their classic styling to appease the retro loving eye, there is nothing old school about their functionality. A Royal Enfield is really the only modern machine that gives that true vintage bike feel; chunky gearbox clicks and a bike that you ride and doesn’t ride you. Santiago García of Corb Motorcycles in the beautiful Catalonia region of Spain craved just such a machine. So he created a 2003 Royal Enfield Bullet known as “The Raven 500” – a fitting doff of the cap to classic British engineering.
Here’s a little piece of motorcycling trivia for you. Do you know why riders in the ’40s and ’50s ended up wearing flying jackets and aviator goggles? Give up? It’s because many of the English and American guys who’d flown planes in WWII took up motorcycling as something to do after the war was over. It not only put a little thrill into their comparatively dull civilian lives, but forming clubs that met and rode regularly was a good way to stay in touch with airforce buddies. So in many ways, the biking culture that we all enjoy today was a product of bored flyboys. And what better way to acknowledge this than to build a bike that’s a lot more khaki canteen than it is café. Here’s the ‘Fox’, Old Empire Motorcycles’ latest build.
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