Timeless style with some modern upgrades
From major OEMs to individual builders, motorcycle enthusiasts have taken the retro-modern vein pretty hard in the 2020s. In a way, it’s motorcycles like these that are a tribute to all the combined knowledge that motorcycle enthusiasts have accumulated over the years. Taking favorite styling cues from yesteryear and then combining them with modern upgrades like disc brakes seems like the best of both worlds.
Now, modern OEMs have gotten this pretty well and can do it at scale. As has been the case throughout the history of motorcycling, there are always individuals who just want to do things their way. One of them is Steve Lowe, who recently spoke with the Chain of classic motorcycles about her baby, Hollis Motorcycles.
It’s a love lab(u)r, 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 updated components such as brakes, lighting and the suspension?
This is where the Hollis Motorcycles Type A was born. It’s powered by a Royal Enfield Bullet 350 single-cylinder engine. Features include a beam front fork, adjustable rear suspension that’s hidden away so you still get that hardtail look, front and rear disc brakes. back and LED lighting. The style is, of course, as classic as classic.
As has been the case for decades among motorcycle builders, not all components remain standard, as things have changed even since Hollis started building Type A bikes a few years ago. For example, their web page still lists Brembo brakes. Meanwhile, the newest 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 I say?
While the brakes and suspension are decidedly modern, the engine is still decidedly vintage in nature. He has points. It’s carbureted. However, the engine is revered for both its agricultural character and its bulletproof nature – so as long as you take care of it, it should theoretically take care of you.
The fork, frame, swingarm and exhaust were all made by Hollis Motorcycles. There’s no set price listed on the company’s website, but you can contact them to ask questions if you’re interested or chat with them in person if you’re near Hampshire in the UK.