Ev­ery month we take a closer look at the clas­sic mo­tor­cy­cle mar­ket with a range of in­dus­try ex­perts. This month, Paul Jayson from The Mo­tor­cy­cle Bro­ker and our very own Scott Red­mond look at the high and low ends of the mar­ket­place.

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CONTENTS - www.the­mo­tor­cy­cle­bro­

New sec­tion looks at what’s hap­pen­ing out there.

I’m of­ten asked what is driv­ing prices at the mo­ment and it tends to be de­mo­graph­ics, the cost of restora­tion and avail­abil­ity. There are other pres­sures, but for now let’s just fo­cus on these ones, for the sake of clar­ity. We all re­mem­ber, in the not too dis­tant past at all, when Du­cati 916/996 SPS and Honda CBX1000S in im­mac­u­late con­di­tion could be picked up for around £5000. Oh for a time ma­chine. But why are these prices ris­ing so rapidly and will they con­tinue to do so? Quite sim­ply it’s about the huge num­ber of peo­ple de­sir­ing such ma­chines and so few of them avail­able. In the UK alone dur­ing the 1970s we were sell­ing about 350,000 new mo­tor­cy­cles a year un­til 1983. What is clear is that there are a lot of 50 some­things around who grew up with Ja­panese and Ital­ian su­per­bikes from the 1970s on­wards. Those that han­ker af­ter ma­chines from this era are cash rich, as they bought prop­erty, their kids have left home and they rode these su­per­bikes back in the day. Many of them were rid­ing mo­tor­cy­cles through­out, and are now bored with 200mph mod­ern ma­chines; oth­ers are re­turn­ing to mo­tor­cy­cling. Most peo­ple chas­ing af­ter clas­sic mo­tor­cy­cles are seek­ing the ma­chines of their youth. So in the UK alone, there are prob­a­bly around one mil­lion rid­ers with the money and the de­sire to own such ma­chines from the CMM ‘core’ era. In the rest of Europe, there are prob­a­bly 10 times as many... When there are fewer than 2000 916/996 SPS avail­able to buy or re­store and 10,000 Honda CBX1000S avail­able to buy or re­store, you can see how de­mand se­verely out­strips supply: this forces prices up­wards ac­cord­ingly. None of these fig­ures takes into ac­count new mar­kets such as China, or large mar­kets such as Ja­pan and the US where val­ues are start­ing to take off as well. As prices of the ma­chines in­crease, so does the price of spares. Is this a bub­ble and will prices cas­cade down­ward? I don’t be­lieve so, no. Be­cause more and more peo­ple are re­mem­ber­ing these ma­chines of their youth and are view­ing them as clas­sics. Once peo­ple’s views have changed from such a ma­chine be­ing an old bike to a clas­sic, there is noth­ing that will change it back. Such ma­chines elicit de­sire in so many peo­ple and bring back fond mem­o­ries and no one can change that. At the mo­ment prices are only just start­ing to catch up with the cost of restora­tion. Is there any­thing we, as mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­asts can do to keep prices down? No. These ma­chines are un­der­val­ued and will in­crease ac­cord­ing to supply and de­mand and the cost of restora­tion. Many bik­ers are now us­ing these ma­chines as a ride-able pen­sion. They are get­ting the joy of rid­ing these ma­chines and the tax-free re­turns, which are bet­ter than any pen­sion fund can of­fer. All we can do is to get into own­er­ship while these ma­chines are still rel­a­tively af­ford­able.

De­mand for the orig­i­nal CBX has al­ways been way up on the Pro-link. Orig­i­nal 916 Strada or first SP model... go­ing up...

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