BER­TIE’S BLATHER

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - COMING CLASSICS -

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.

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