Classic Motorcycle Mechanics


- www.classicmec­­hanics/ cmm

It wasn’t too long ago that you could find a decent motorcycle that could give you a classic bike fix for a paltry sum: no longer! I'm talking about a roadworthy machine upon which you could jump and ride: a Honda CBR600, Suzuki Bandit and the like. A good solid bike for £1000. Watching ebay for a month revealed that those bikes are still out there in reasonable numbers on the used bike market, but their worth is increasing. Why? New bikes get more expensive year-onyear and the initial response is a slow-down in new bike sales, this then creates a knock on effect further down the chain. Looking at the best sellers from the last 20-odd years allows us to see how prices for older bikes have now started to bounce back. The Honda CBR600 dominated the sales charts throughout the 1990s, a few years back you could pick up a decent one for around a £1000 or less. A £1000 is now pretty much entry level for a scabby CBR600 Steelie, decent bikes are edging nearer to £2000. Weirdly, if we look at Glass’s Guide, they say they’re worth buttons, but why? A decade ago we were pillaged by traders from the continent and their currency was worth more than ours, so they came to the UK to stock up on used bikes that we didn’t want. Those are the exact bikes that we now class as emerging classics, but like every old pub that shuts down, those bikes are never coming back. Those 90s bikes hold memories for younger classic bike enthusiast­s. The thing is these 90s bikes that have dwindled in numbers over the last decade are tomorrow’s bona-fide classics, the fact that they make great day to day transport is an added bonus for those of us without £20,000 to burn on an investment classic. With nothing too major appearing in my search with my virtual £1000 I double my bubble and try again with £2000. My net now contains some fresh fish, ranging from a big and bouncy Yamaha FJ1200 with an asking price of only £1295. It’s the cheapest of its kind, the other FJ1200S are all nearer the £2k limit. Big bikes can mean big running costs, not ideal for an everyday scoot, so let’s look for a VFR750 instead. These appeal to so many people their prices have never fallen out of bed, so I’m strangely pleased to see you can buy a gem within our £2000 budget. Its smaller sibling can be found for around £1500 for a bike in original trim. Not everyone wants a bike with a sporty bias, another sure sign of advancing years! The Suzuki Bandit 600 was launched into a market full of race reps, it’s back to basics approach and sensible pricing meant it sold by the boat load. Fast forward to 2018 and you’re going to need to find around £1500 to bag yourself a decent one, its counterpar­t the Yamaha Fazer 600 is also on the up. The pick of my findings was a stunning year 2000 model with low mileage but a ticket price of £1995. That’s a capable bike... The £1000 hack is looking like a thing of the past; there’ll always be the exception and there’s nothing better than being in the right place at the right time to bag a bargain, but if you need to buy something in a hurry, budget on needing around £2000 to find an up and running bike. The plus side is, if you shop wisely and then look after your new old bike, you could end up with depreciati­on proof biking ! Th ere’ sa lw aysapos itive within every negative.

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