Thump­ing good value

Big sin­gles are a dy­ing breed, so bag one be­fore they’re gone for­ever

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

I like big sin­gles. Sure, I know they’re not very pow­er­ful or fast, but they’re al­most all huge fun, have won­der­ful low and mid-range throttle re­sponse, and are rel­a­tively cheap to buy and to keep run­ning. Ser­vic­ing is quick and sim­ple and fuel con­sump­tion miserly.

They’re a dy­ing breed. Yamaha’s Ténéré is be­ing re­placed by a twin, Kawasaki’s KLR650 hasn’t been sold in this coun­try for years, Suzuki, Honda and Aprilia no longer of­fer a big sin­gle so, re­ally, only KTM’S 690 Duke and Su­per­moto and Yamaha’s over­priced SR400 are left. Once they’re all gone, of course, then peo­ple will be hunt­ing them out. Old Yamaha thumpers are al­ready ris­ing in price.

If you want a big sin­gle trailie (the best thumpers are trail bikes) then it pretty much has to be a Yamaha. The ba­sic XT600E ran for a decade here, but the valu­able one is go­ing to be the 600 Ténéré. This was never a big seller in Bri­tain, but is the epit­ome of cool now, and there are quite a few im­ports around, mostly from France. You’re go­ing to need a grand min­i­mum, and re­mem­ber the early mod­els are kick­start only, but this is the one for transcontinental trips and prices are go­ing to rise.

My tip for a real ur­ban weapon would be to a CCM 604, prefer­ably one with the Ro­tax en­gine, be­fore they went to Suzuki power. They’re tough, re­li­able, mas­sive fun – I fre­quently see a guy throw­ing one through traf­fic on my morn­ing South Lon­don com­mute – and you can choose from road­ster, trail, su­per­moto or en­duro ver­sions. Plas­tics are cheap if dam­aged, they can be tuned and tuned, and they are so min­i­mal­ist you wouldn’t be­lieve. Like the Ténéré, start­ing money is a grand and that’s not a lot to in­vest. NEXT WEEK No-one wants a Tri­umph Tro­phy, so you should buy one now be­fore they do!

Good vi­bra­tions – CCM’S thump­ing 604 is a hoot

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