‘Buy a stun­ner this sum­mer’

MCN - - THIS WEEK - NEIL MUR­RAY Our used bike dealer re­veals this week’s smartest buys

Sum­mer is on the way, bring­ing with it track­days and tour­ing trips. So what to buy? Every­one sali­vates over sports­bikes but, let’s be hon­est, some are a lit­eral pain, es­pe­cially if your 40s are a dis­tant mem­ory. What you re­ally want is a sports­bike in a dif­fer­ent set of clothes. A nice seat, more up­right rid­ing po­si­tion and a comfy fair­ing, all com­bined with a bal­lis­tic en­gine. That’s why BMW pro­duced the S1000XR. This sort of bike is a fairly re­cent phe­nom­e­non and there aren’t many used op­tions if you don’t want to spend a five­fig­ure sum. Kawasaki’s Ver­sys 1000 is one and my brother bought one re­cently, for all the rea­sons listed above. Suzuki’s GSF1250 Ban­dit is an­other such ma­chine, but it’s a bit, well, built down to a price. Yamaha never went down this route with the R1 and the lat­est ef­fort is more su­per-naked than comfy sports­bike. And I’ve never seen a Fire­blade en­gined sport­s­tourer either (they had the VFR for that). Top of the tree, for value for money, is the Du­cati ST4S. Ok, so it’s get­ting on a bit, but it is still a barn­stormer. It’s fundamentally a 996 built for baby boomers and it’s ridicu­lously un­der­priced. They sold the last new ones for around six-and-a-half grand, and used prices are now mov­ing up. Three grand will still buy you a 30,000-miler with lug­gage and that es­sen­tial ser­vice his­tory. Oh, and it’s pretty re­li­able. Too good to be true? Not this time.

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