Classic Motorcycle Mechanics

£2000 or £20,000 – we tell you where to spend it!

Every month we take a look at the classic motorcycle market with a range of industry experts. This month, Paul Jayson from The Motorcycle Broker and our very own Scott Redmond look at what to invest in for £20,000 and what bargains are out there for £2000

- www.themotorcy­

There are many classic motorcycle­s in the market for £20,000, but considerin­g where best to place a one-off sum like this opens up a world of choices. The machines I’m going to talk about are either fully restored, or unrestored and in stunning condition and investment grade. I am not talking about machines which are ‘bitsas’ or need work, no matter how pretty they look. Kawasaki Z1 900 As and Bs fit the bill, BUT if you think you’ll get a proper ’72/’73 Z1 for that money you’ve missed the boat. They are out there, but they certainly are not investment grade and that is what will count when they hit six figures and beyond and are heading to China. Honda CB750 K1 onwards are available, but again due diligence is everything, as is attention to detail, but Honda built a hell of a lot of them. You would also be left with some change for a project or a mint Bultaco or Montesa! You can still buy a Suzuki GS1000SS and have change for an RD400, which would make for an interestin­g place to park your money and enjoy some riding. If you could find a good one, which is a huge challenge, a Yamaha XS1100 is still great value for money. You could buy two, if you could find them. You could just about get a decent Suzuki RG500 or an RD500 and an RD250LC, but would you want to take the chance on crank case seals holding out with modern fuel? I wouldn’t. For me there is a stand out investment. The six-cylinder Honda CBX1000: it’s even more iconic now than the day it came out and is incredible fun to own and ride. Until the CBX came out, people in Britain only referred to Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki products using the un-pc and, frankly racist, term ‘Jap crap’. By 1978 those referring to such brands in that manner looked rather foolish as these new-fangled rice burners charged past them as they tried to fix their superior British made iron by the side of the road. But once that monster six-cylinder motor appeared on the roads, the dyed in the wool ‘British is best’ motorcycli­sts switched brands. Prices have steadily increased from around £5000 in 2010 to £20,000 to £25,000 today, and I am still finding beautiful investment grade machines at £20,000 for customers now, but not for much longer. Really good examples are getting very hard to find and UK models are some of the worst treated in the world. The reason is that at some point, due to property prices and lack of garages in homes in the UK, that machine would have spent some of its life outside and not having been looked after correctly. Those monster motors are good for 200,000 miles if you change the oil every 1000 miles and filter every 2000 miles. Valves need to be kept within serviceabl­e limits and carbs need to be set up correctly. If these machines have been looked after, over their 40 year life, then they are great bikes to put serious mileage on. They need to be set up correctly, which most are not. Many do not have the original motor in them and to find the engine number in early ones is difficult without dropping the air-box or tilting the motor forward. There is a lot to know about these machines and there is a lot of rubbish written and spoken about them. Also, finding one with the original exhaust and rear suspension units in serviceabl­e condition is getting super-tough, and that will make a big difference in the future. However, if you secure the right machine, I think you will see these examples easily hit six figures within the next decade, maybe even sooner. This is driven by demographi­cs, the number of machines available and the number of people wanting them and the CBX is an icon of motorcycli­ng and most are not investment grade.

 ??  ?? Honda’s amazing CBX1000: Paul reckons a good one is only going one way, price-wise...
Honda’s amazing CBX1000: Paul reckons a good one is only going one way, price-wise...
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