PCP bikes are hit­ting the used mar­ket in big num­bers, but should they be em­braced or avoided? MCN investigates...

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Jon Urry MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

New bike sales soared as Per­sonal Con­tract Pur­chase agree­ments took a hold in mo­tor­cy­cling a few years ago, And we are now start­ing to see EX-PCP bikes hit the used mar­ket as those deals come to an end. So, in the­ory, there should be loads of well lookedafter, dealer ser­viced ma­chines for sen­si­ble money. We put that the­ory to the test with four mid­dleweight ma­chines.

Three years ago the mo­tor­cy­cle in­dus­try was emerg­ing bat­tered and bruised from the fi­nan­cial cri­sis and con­sumers were start­ing to gain the con­fi­dence to spend. But with eco­nomic un­cer­tainty still in the air, rid­ers were wary of sign­ing up for large fi­nance pack­ages de­spite some tempt­ing deals such as 0% in­ter­est. Which is when a new (for the bik­ing world) kind of fi­nance came in.

PCP, or Per­sonal Con­tract Pur­chase, gave rid­ers the con­fi­dence of a fixed monthly amount to work into their bud­gets if they wanted a brand new ma­chine and the re­as­sur­ance that af­ter 36 months they weren’t go­ing to be left with a load of cash tied up in a bike or a hefty bal­ance to clear.

Bri­tain’s bik­ers snapped up the deals by the shed­load, and now the PCP bo­nanza is hav­ing an im­pact on the used mar­ket as three-year deals ma­ture. With PCP buy­ers obliged to keep their bikes in top con­di­tion and re­stricted to an agreed mileage – be­cause the bikes don’t be­come the rider’s prop­erty dur­ing the PCP pe­riod – we are poised to see a rush of ma­chines in se­ri­ously good con­di­tion hit­ting the clas­si­fieds. We checked out four of the PCP big hit­ters.

BMW F800GS Ad­ven­ture

BMW are mas­ters of the PCP pack­age and have been sell­ing us­ing this fi­nance for many years. Thanks to the car side, dealers are com­fort­able with PCP and so are BMW’S fi­nance-savvy buy­ers. And this GS Ad­ven­ture is a per­fect ex­am­ple of a used BMW that has been traded in af­ter its PCP deal has ex­pired.

In 2013 the F800GS cost £9650, but this price was just the start­ing point. While the Ad­ven­ture adds pan­nier mounts and a few rugged bars, not to men­tion a larger tank size, to the F800GS pack­age, the fact that the ma­jor­ity of BMWS are sold on PCP means most used bikes come loaded with ex­tras.

With an ask­ing price of £8495, this used bike has metal pan­niers as well as BMW’S trac­tion con­trol sys­tem, all un­doubt­edly stuck on a three-year PCP to spread the cost. These ex­tras have helped to fend off the Ad­ven­ture’s de­pre­ci­a­tion and the pre­vi­ous owner ac­tu­ally got above the promised guar­an­teed fi­nal value by around £1000 when they traded it in. So is this a used ma­chine worth look­ing at?

The F800GS Ad­ven­ture has a lot go­ing for it. If you are put off by the R1200GS’S size and want a more man­age­able ad­ven­ture bike, the 800 is a great op­tion. The rid­ing po­si­tion is typ­i­cal GS with wide bars and is com­fort­able enough for a day in the sad­dle. There are also the usual niceties of a tall screen, clever elec­tron­ics and a deeply padded seat. But this is the Ad­ven­ture model, so it does have some draw­backs.

A seat height of 890mm (there are lower op­tions) and the ex­tra weight of the larger-ca­pac­ity tank (which is lo­cated un­der the seat) makes the GS tricky to han­dle at low speed, and if you are short it can feel a bit in­tim­i­dat­ing where the non-ad­ven­ture F800GS or F700GS mod­els don’t. But don’t let these traits put you off.

As a lighter GS op­tion, the F800GS is a good buy, es­pe­cially in Ad­ven­ture guise. It’s pricey, but the tank range ex­ceeds 250 miles, the lug­gage ca­pac­ity is im­pres­sive, the par­al­lel-twin engine perky and it is even re­mark­ably com­pe­tent off-road. And as it’s a BMW, even used bikes hold their value very well.

KTM 390 Duke

KTM have al­ways tar­geted their smaller-ca­pac­ity Duke mod­els at younger rid­ers and for this rea­son the firm have gen­er­ally opted for 0% fi­nance with some kind of in­surance deal thrown in to tempt new rid­ers rather than PCP. On a used bike this means not only are re­sale prices less con­trolled, and there­fore lower, than on some­thing like a BMW, but also the bikes tend to be quite var­ied in their con­di­tion.

With a non-pcp pack­age rid­ers have a greater feel­ing of own­er­ship of their bike, and that means they are gen­er­ally more likely to mod­ify it, which is what has hap­pened here. The sticker kit, brush guards and af­ter­mar­ket ex­haust all re­flect the owner’s in­di­vid­ual char­ac­ter and there­fore did lit­tle to

boost its trade-in value com­pared to the fac­tory-fit ex­tras on the F800GS Ad­ven­ture.

Cost­ing £4495 in 2013, the chances are the owner of this Duke got in the re­gion of £3000 when they traded in, which isn’t a bad loss over three years. But this is a bike that has a lim­ited ap­peal and that is al­ways go­ing to af­fect its used price.

With its sin­gle cylin­der mo­tor the KTM has a lot go­ing for it and as a light­weight town bike the Duke is hard to fault. A dry weight of just 139kg means it is in­cred­i­bly easy to zip through traf­fic on, while its low-speed han­dling is ag­ile and the seat low. Newer rid­ers love the blend of peppy per­for­mance and 125-style han­dling but as good as that makes it through con­gested streets, out on the open road it can leave the Duke want­ing.

This par­tic­u­lar bike has less than 1500 miles on its clock, which is a bit of a hint about the Duke’s lack of prac­ti­cal­ity. Yes, you can take one on a dual car­riage­way and hit 70mph, but the sin­gle is scream­ing its head off and the fuel econ­omy plum­mets. The rid­ing po­si­tion, which is per­fectly suited to low speed work, is ex­posed and there­fore a pain at speed and over­all it’s just not that much fun.

If you are look­ing for a short hop bike or to spend a lot of time dodg­ing traf­fic, the Duke could be your per­fect com­pan­ion. But where some­thing like an MT-07 can also be taken fur­ther afield, the 390 lacks that ex­tra di­men­sion.

Tri­umph Street Triple R

Tri­umph are a very for­ward think­ing com­pany that re­sponds quickly to mar­ket trends and as such their dealers are PCP savvy. Although they are yet to hit the kind of PCP fig­ures that BMW dealers man­age, they are cer­tainly head­ing that way and this means that used Tri­umphs tend to hold their value well as there is an es­tab­lished used price thanks to the in­flu­ence of PCP.

A good-con­di­tion, used 2013 Street Triple R costs in the re­gion of £5800 from a dealer, which is around £800 more than the stock bike and £1899 less than it cost new in 2013. Con­sid­er­ing what hap­pened to Tri­umph’s pop­u­lar naked bike in 2013, this shows it has re­sisted de­pre­ci­a­tion re­mark­ably well.

The new-shape Street Triple should have been a smash hit in 2013 as the old model was such a pop­u­lar bike, but Yamaha went and copied Tri­umph’s win­ning for­mula of a naked triple that year and the MT-09 cer­tainly put a dent in the Street Triple’s sales.

It’s funny, but when you read so many head­lines about the MT-09’S suc­cess, you al­most for­get just how good the Street Triple is. Es­pe­cially in R form. This is a bike that dec­i­mated its Ja­panese ri­vals and in 2013 grew in de­sir­abil­ity thanks to a new chas­sis and even classier look. And for this rea­son it re­mains a bril­liant used ma­chine.

You can’t ride a Street Tripe and not fall for the charms of its gutsy and thor­oughly sorted engine. Where in 2013 Yamaha was fend­ing off fuel-in­jec­tion and soft fork grum­bles, Tri­umph own­ers were rev­el­ling in a beau­ti­ful throt­tle con­nec­tion and won­der­fully soul­ful and nat­u­ral triple mo­tor. And all aligned to a top-notch chas­sis.

Show a Street Triple R a set of bends and you can al­most feel its ea­ger­ness to re­spond. This is a bike born from the ex­cel­lent Day­tona sports­bike and it is sim­ply bril­liant in the bends, far more planted than the Yamaha and more than a match for most sports­bikes. So it is the per­fect mid­dleweight? Al­most.

Split­ting the MT-09 and Street Triple R (or base model Street Triple) is hard. The Yamaha is a phys­i­cally slightly big­ger bike with more power, which adds to its prac­ti­cal­ity, and it is cheaper where the Street Triple is more en­gag­ing and cer­tainly su­pe­rior hand­ing. The best ad­vice is to try both bikes and see which best suits your needs – both are tre­men­dous ma­chines.

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 636

While in 2013 the ZX-6R’S price of £9999 was a turn-off (the ZX-10R was only £2000 more), in the used world its £6000 tag is far more ap­peal­ing.

Now three years old, this Ninja feels like a jewel – small and light­weight but pur­pose­ful. It’s a proper racer with

lights yet un­like the overly fo­cused R6 and CBR, Kawasaki seem to have man­aged to en­cap­su­late all this track spirit within the Ninja with­out mak­ing it too com­pact. Even those over six feet tall like my­self don’t feel overly cramped.

With its ad­vanced elec­tron­ics (the base model with­out this is around £1000 less) the ZX-6R is stag­ger­ingly ef­fec­tive. The engine screams to its 16,000rpm red­line with a strong midrange and the chas­sis is sublime.

The big­gest prob­lem is the very rea­son why we have seen the su­pers­port class’ de­cline. Do you re­ally want to thrash a mo­tor? Mod­ern litre bikes of­fer huge power that is tamed and made eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble by clever elec­tron­ics and to many that is more ap­peal­ing than thrash­ing a 600.

There again, as the used mar­ket has demon­strated, some rid­ers sim­ply can’t get enough of mon­ster­ing a su­pers­port bike to within an inch of life! And good on them for that.

Hoon­ing doesn’t get much more fun than this

Sublime engine and the han­dling to match from the 2013 Brit

Around town and on back roads the KTM is in its el­e­ment

Of­fi­cial ex­tras bol­ster the used value

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