The best of British metal

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Since it’s St. George’s Day we’ve decided to get all patriotic and take a look at some of the best modern British motorcycles on the market.

It’s impossible to have a list of great British bikes without mentioning Triumph, so of course their range is well represented – after all few bikes are as quintessentially British as the Steve-McQueen style Scrambler and few are as just-plain good as the Street Triple R.

It’s therefore easy to overlook other smaller UK manufacturers, such as CCM. Their FT35S is a more than a little quirky, but isn’t that the defining characteristic of being British?

And what about Royal Enfield? OK so they’re not exactly British anymore, but neither was cricketer Kevin Pietersen or tennis player Greg Rusedski, yet we still adopted those guys as our own.

Here’s 5 of the best proper British modern motorcycles:


Triumph Scrambler

Triumph Scrambler (2006-current)
“Visually the most arresting of the retro Bonneville range, the Triumph Scrambler also makes a great all-round everyday bike. Dream of being Steve McQueen in the Great Escape as you zip down to Tescos on your cool Triumph Scrambler – just don’t go try to jump the checkout queues!”



CCM FT35S (2005-current)
“The CCM FT35S was built as the bastard offspring of a supermoto motorcycle and a flat-track racing motorcycle comes the road-legal beauty from Britain’s own CCM. Stopping just this side of total two-wheeled self-indulgence the CCM FT35S is for folk who make statements and act the goat with no thought for such dreary irrelevances as practicality or comfort.”


Triumph Street Triple R

Triumph Street Triple R (2008-current) 
“Triumph’s standard Street Triple mixes Triumph Speed Triple style with the tech of a Triumph Daytona 675 engine. It’s light, fast, fun, agile, stylish and cool… and it just got even better. The ‘R’ version comes with fully-adjustable suspension and fiercer radial four-pot Nissin front brakes, making it the perfect bike to tempt UK riders away from their sportsbikes.”


Royal Enfield Woodsman

Royal Enfield Woodsman (2008-current)
“Retro trailie style meets roiling museum exhibit Enfield – and it works a treat. The mix of pegs and bars, fruity pipe and overall style hit the mark. It’s a quirky oddball of course, with limited performance. But then, that’s the whole point: it’s a refreshing change, with tempting prices/residuals and now a whole lot more ‘cool’ than anyone would’ve guessed just a few years ago…”


Triumph Daytona 955i

Triumph Daytona 955i (1997-2006)
“The Triumph Daytona 955i is an extremely rapid, sweet handling superbike. Unfortunately it was too late in a fiercely competitive class. The R1, GSX-R1000 and Fireblade are lighter and faster. The Triumph Daytona 955i’s saving grace is its character from its gruff three-cylinder engine, distinctive understated looks and the fact few riders can use all the performance any of these bikes offer.”


If you’re thinking of buying one of the above models from MCN Bikes For Sale, get insurance quotes from a number of motorcycle insurance providers in one place with MCN Compare. 

James Keen

By James Keen