ARE EX-PCP BIKES BARAGIN BUYS?
PCP bikes are hitting the used market in big numbers, but should they be embraced or avoided? MCN investigates...
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