THE NEXT ‘BIG THING’?
We’d all like to know what the next big thing is within the classic motorcycle marketplace; with so many sectors having sailed into the sunset regarding prices, I want to sniff out what the next boat is before we miss it. So what about the 1990s 750? It was the backbone of every manufacturer’s range, it was also the capacity for top-level production racing such as World Superbike. Only Suzuki stayed loyal to the 750 class though. Thirty years after they tooled up to create the GSX-R750F you can still buy a new GSX-R750 if you want, but one by one the other Japanese firms have given up on the three-quarter litre sporty option. Prices for certain 1990s 750s have already received a shot in the arm: the Yamaha YZF750 leads the pack in price hikes. Decent examples are now £3000, more if you choose to shop at one of the many classic bike dealers. It’s easy to see why they’re back in demand. They still look the part and other than dodgy six-pot calipers and sticking EXUP valves there’s not too much to worry about. Early pink and white bikes are rare, so expect to pay for the privilege if you do find one. Later cocktail coloured bikes benefit from a bigger rad and cheaper asking prices. If you want even better value for money there are other options. The Suzuki GSX-R750WT/V SRADS are sleepers and honest-looking bikes change hands for around £2000 with exceptional ones creeping nearer to £3000. The interesting thing is the fuel-injected WX and WW version can be found and had for well below £2000. Are we finally getting nostalgic about the carburettor? Kawasaki never bothered sticking fuel injection on the ZX-7R, which means there are lots to pick from and prices are still very subdued for what is a great bike. Unsurprisingly, the green ones will command a small premium. Honda VFR750S are without a doubt the thinking man’s bargain though. That delicious V4 motor will hypnotise and the build quality is way ahead of the rest: good ones are available for less than £2000. So what about parts? The good news is nothing appears to be in short supply and prices are pretty sensible. An engine for any of the across-theframe four-cylinder 750s can be had for around £250 or less private, but expect to pay nearer £350 for trade. The VFR750 engine is a victim of its own success – complete motors are rarely required and prices reflect this. One thing that all of our 750s do share is carbs, and prices for a set of these is one area that’s on the rise. You will have to pay a premium for any from a freshly-broken bike. GSX-R750 carbs with fresh petrol still in their float bowls can cost up to £200 a set, likewise for decent YZF750 and ZX-7R ones. Always ask how long a set of carbs have been off the bike, or you could actually end up buying a set worse than the ones you’re looking to replace! Some original parts aren’t worth it: shocks and downpipes spring to mind. Bodywork is expensive new; it’s getting rich second-hand. Dent-free tanks are the hardest to find and most used fairing panels will carry marks, scratches and cracks: tatty sides can be had from £10 at auto-jumbles, but rear seat humps command a premium! My advice is to buy parts now as an investment!