Bertie has been a serial bike-buyer for years. He knows how to spot a future classic at a bargain price, has owned around 30 bikes and has just bought a 1997 Fireblade and a 1996 Suzuki GSX-R750 SRAD.
Prices are only going one way. Four years ago as little as £1500 could get you an R1, now that’s not the case. You’ll start at £2000 for a rough one and move nearer to £3000 for a good R1. Colours play a part too. For some reason the red/white launch colour beats the sublime blue (we know not why) and while launch models from 1998 are the ones you want to invest in, don’t forget that the second year saw a stunning ‘competition white’ model (well, more red, really) while the 5JJ model (2000-2001) was better still, with improved handling, less weight (175 kilos from 176 or so), smoother motor (carb changes) and a better gearbox. Bodywork was similar, but all-new so it still looked good. Owners say not to worry about not having original end cans, the carbon 4XV and titanium 5JJ ones can be found on ebay for less than fifty notes. Just find that rare R1 that was owned by someone who got a tad too scared by it, but who kept it clean and tidy and you’ll never look back. Still looks fresh to this day and the performance does too.
Hard to find a good original one, second gear issues.