From big OEMs to individual builders, motorbike enthusiasts have been mining the retro-modern vein pretty hard in the 2020s. In a way, it’s bikes like these that are a tribute to all the combined knowledge that motorcycle enthusiasts have amassed over the years. Taking favored styling elements from days gone by, and then combining them with modern improvements like disc brakes, seems like the best of both worlds.
Now, modern OEMs have dialed this in pretty well, and can do so at scale. As has been the case throughout motorcycle history, there are always individuals who just want to do things their way. One such fellow is Steve Lowe, who recently chatted with the Classic Motorcycle Channel about his baby, Hollis Motorcycles.
It’s a labo(u)r of love, founded in 2015 by Steve Lowe and Steve Hayes. The pair showed off a prototype bike at the Goodwood Revival that year, which basically answered the question of what would happen if you took a vintage bike and brought components like brakes, lighting, and suspension up-to-date?
Gallery: Hollis Motorcycles Type A
That’s where the Hollis Motorcycles Type A was born. It’s powered by a Royal Enfield Bullet 350 single-cylinder engine. Features include a girder front fork, adjustable rear suspension that’s hidden away so you still get that hardtail look, disc brakes front and rear, and LED lighting. Styling is, of course, as classic as classic gets.
As was the case for decades among motorcycle builders, not all components remain standard, as things have changed even since Hollis first started building Type A bikes a few years ago. For example, their webpage still lists Brembo brakes. Meanwhile, the most recent bike that Lowe shows off in this extremely recent video features Pretech brakes, which Lowe says they’ve switched to. Suppliers change over the years, what can we say?
While the brakes and suspension are thoroughly modern, the engine is still decidedly vintage in nature. It has points. It’s carbureted. However, the engine is revered for both its agricultural character as well as its bulletproof nature—so as long as you take care of it, it should theoretically take care of you.
The fork, chassis, swingarm, and exhaust were all fabricated by Hollis Motorcycles. There’s no set price listed on the company’s website, but you can reach out to them to ask questions if you’re interested—or chat them up in person if you’re near Hampshire in the U.K.