To me, either for aesthetics or performance or even reliability reasons, no motorcycle is 100% perfect from the factory, afteral, manufactures need to adhere to strict government imposed standards and to their own style and cost-reducing agenda, but the following models will come very close to fulfill your two-wheel racer dreams. So, unless you'd rather constantly wrench on an undependable Triton, Matisse or Rickman, or have the resources to build your own modern version, these bikes are a good starting point and you can ride them without being embarrassed, and with the available factory options or aftermarket performance accessories like exhaust, aluminum fuel tank, bar end mirrors or leather seat could become your ultimate bike that will turn heads wherever you ride it. Neither of them will turn you into the cool uncle you had as a kid but they will definitely remind you of him. Let's start comparing the pros and cons for these bikes.
Cool factors: V2 engine, spoke wheels, fork gators, good performance;
Nah: too modern looking to be as retro as others, too gaudy, cheap mirrors take away from profile;
Cool factors: great performance and handling, mostly beautiful, brand name
Nah: too expensive, too modern looking, seat cowl looks like bird’s beak;
Cool factors: boxer engine, half fairing, retro paint, beautiful profile;
Nah: ugly wheels, ugly mirrors;
Cool factors: traditional, great profile, very retro, simple, inexpensive, options package variety, most likely the bike your cool uncle would've chosen;
Nah: small engine, questionable dependability;
Cool factors: great performance, beautiful profile, gorgeous fuel tank;
Nah: expensive, ugly rear fender and tail light;
So there we have it, any of these bikes will make you smile and bystanders drool, can't go wrong with either, and the mostly minor uncool things can be easily rectified. Now, what is your leather jacket and helmet going to be so you don't look out of place on these bikes, we'll talk about retro inspired gear in another session.