Every car or bike lover asks some version of the question – “Why don’t new bikes look like old ones?”
It’s a great question. Everyone agrees new vehicles are safer, run better, and are easier to operate than older models. But late model Jaguars don’t have the charm of a 60’s E-type, and there’s nothing quite like the look of Steve McQueen’s Triumph TR-6.
One Australian company is taking on this challenge. Sol Invictus build brand new motorbikes with the look and feel of the classics.
Identify the demand – Respond.
John Benton says the company saw a hole in the market they could fill. “Sol began as a vision to fill a niche in the motorcycle market of people seeking out vintage styled motorcycles which had been unavailable and out of production since the 80’s.
“The cost of these vintage models had become exorbitant. Our bikes are manufactured using modern techniques and engineering but to a vintage spec – we call this Old School New.”
Some of these consumers are serviced by the custom shop sector of the industry. But custom bikes, as well as vintage-look lines from major brands, aren’t cheap. Instead of the $10,000+ a custom build will set you back (a conservative figure), Sol Invictus’ bikes start from a seriously affordable $3,999 + on roads.
“We present an approachable and affordable alternative to established motorcycle brands, presenting a product that is more inline with current trends in the custom motorcycle scene.”
Vintage bikes, made in a thoroughly modern way
Many of the old-school models Sol Invictus’ customers love were British or US made. But the world of manufacturing has changed, with Asia now the source of most of the world’s consumer goods. This has mostly been a good thing, allowing scale that dramatically reduces costs while increasing consistency, leading to safer bikes that are less prone to failure.
But there’s something to be said for local knowledge, and the loss of Australian auto-manufacturing increases the risk of draining the country of people that best know these machines. John says Sol Invictus solve this by combining the best of both worlds.
“We use 2 different factories in China to handle the bulk of the manufacturing process of our Mercury 250 and Nemesis 400. This allows us to keep our cost base as low as possible. Once the bikes get to Australia we manage the final assembly and all customisation.”
With a high quality bike, it makes sense to expect high quality after sale service. By handling final assembly, John ensures Sol Invictus can offer that.
GoGet – getting around the bike that gets you around
Moving motorbikes is no small task. You can’t just throw them in the back of a station wagon, and delivering a new bike to a client on an open trailer isn’t a great look. For a major brand, owning a fleet of vans and trucks could be a worthwhile investment, buy John says Sol Invictus found GoGet to be a better option.
“Access to the range of GoGet vehicles so close to our Camperdown HQ (particularly the vans) has meant we can use vehicles as we need without having to outlay capital on our own fleet. The website booking interface is so easy to use and means we aren’t wasting time on logistics support or dealing with third parties.”
“One hectic trip that stands out is the time we went down to the Nowra RMS to fix a rego issue for a Newcastle customer. We booked a GoGet at 2pm to get to Nowra RMS by 5pm and managed to convince them to keep the doors open until we arrived!“.
Just like Sol Invictus are solving the exact problem they set out to, this is just what GoGet aims to do. If we can make getting around and doing business easier by giving you affordable access to more cars than you could own, then we’re doing our job.