New motorcycle takes 'modern classic' to a whole new level

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A new model to the motorcycle market has evoked the earliest era of biking, with its long, angular tank, wide handlebars and bicycle-style saddle.

The Black Douglas Sterling is the brainchild of Italian entrepreneur Fabio Cardoni. Designed in Birmingham by Boneshaker Choppers engineer Benny Thomas, and produced in Cardoni's own workshop near Milan, the model is a modern interpretation of the early motorcycles that rose to popularity during the First World War.

While its looks may ring remarkably true to those of its predecessors, one thing the Black Douglas Sterling doesn't share with the real-deal is a complicated, underpowered engine.

In fact, the 125cc or 230cc air-cooled single-cylinder engines from Chinese firm Zongshen, produce 12.75hp and 14.10hp respectively, enough to comfortably propel the bike up to speeds of 60mph. And, let's face it, on the steel-framed, sit-up-and-beg Sterling, you probably wouldn't want to go any faster.

New motorcycle takes ‘modern classic’ to a whole new level

New motorcycle takes ‘modern classic’ to a whole new level


The first model to go into production, the Countryman Deluxe comes in a variety of forms, each featuring a number of authentic-looking details, such as a speedometer that resembles an oil pressure gauge.

A number of pre-specced models are offered, including the British racing green Original Drayton, or red and black Claret Classic. However, customers will have the choice of over thirty colours and a host of additional accessories, in order to make their Sterling as unique as possible.

The Black Douglas website lists suppliers in France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland in the UK, with prices starting from €9,882 (£8562) for the 125cc Original Sterling, and €10,908 (£9447.52) for the 230cc version.