Barbie and Ken, perhaps the most famous fictional couple of the 20th century, are back in fashion with a new live-action Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. But Barbie’s history dates back to 1959, when the first version of the doll debuted. Since then, Barbie has become a cultural icon, loved by millions over the decades and suited to take on just about every profession and hobby imaginable. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Barbie is well versed in new motorcycles. Ken too.
So we’re going to jump on the Barbie bandwagon and list five of the best street bikes currently on the market for a true Beard and Ken type ride. These bikes are perfect for two-up riding (check out the other options in the Best Motorcycles for Two-Up Riding and Best Motorcycles for Long-Distance Two-Up Riding 2022 articles), each has a bit of nostalgia built in, and each offers its own kind of class and comfort. Some even look very close to the bikes that have been sold in Barbie sets over the years. Although it’s up to you to find someone willing to paint those rides pink…
The Kawasaki W800 exudes a 60s motorcycle aesthetic, but without the hassle of a true retro motorcycle. It has modern touches like a smooth 773 parallel twin and an assist and slipper clutch alongside all of its nostalgic design cues. It’s not the ideal route for a long tour, but it’s absolutely perfect if you want to spend a day cruising the California coast. It’s accessible enough for the dabbler (which is great for a busy girl like Barbie), but also cool enough for a stylish guy like Ken.
Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
Barbie and Harley-Davidson have partnered on numerous collaborations over the years, even producing a Harley for Barbie with a striking resemblance to the brand’s Standard Softail. So to up the game a bit without losing that classic look, we offer the Heritage Classic as the perfect HD machine for a Barbie and Ken tour. It’s got the looks, the storage capacity, seating for two, great standard wind protection, a huge range of color options (which makes wardrobe coordination a whole lot easier), and heaps of accessories.
The venerable Hayabusa (see the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R MC Commute Review and Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R Track MC Commute Review articles and videos) may look very out of place here, but Mattel has produced a Spy Barbie set in the past with a motorcycle that looks a lot like a ‘Busa. Of course, this bike has also won the hearts of countless riders as a high-performance sport-touring machine over the years. Power, handling, the latest Suzuki electronics, a catalog of available accessories, surprising comfort despite its sporty look. It’s a versatile vehicle capable of delivering smooth, scenic rides and jaw-dropping exhilaration in no time.
Honda Gold Wing
In the 90s, Mattel produced a motorcycle for Ken and Barbie that had a lot in common with Honda’s Pacific Coast. Since this model is no longer in production, we are opting for the latest Honda touring technology with the Gold Wing (read the 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT MC Commute review). This bike is about as luxurious as it gets on two wheels. Get it with or without an automatic DCT transmission, but either way, you’ll have a very comfortable, capable bike with top-of-the-line electronics and a sound system. That last bit is important because Barbie’s ’90s machine ditched saddlebags in favor of two boomboxes, so clearly melodies are important.
Triumph Bonneville T120
The Triumph Bonneville T120 looks much the same aesthetically as the W800. The retro design paired with modern technology is perfect for the pair that wants to look effortlessly cool while cruising. The high-torque 1,200cc twin is an engaging and exciting engine, the construction is strong and striking, and the heritage aligns perfectly with Barbie since the first Bonneville hit the market the same year Barbie was born.