‘Sell now or lose a lot of money’

MCN - - THIS WEEK - NEIL MUR­RAY Our used bike dealer re­veals this week’s smartest buys

At the time of writ­ing there are just over four months to go be­fore Lon­don’s Ul­tra Low emis­sion Zone (ULEZ) comes into force. If you weren’t aware (and many aren’t) this will sub­ject all mo­tor­cy­cles that en­ter the ULEZ to a daily £12.50 charge un­less they are Euro 4 com­pli­ant or 40-years-old and reg­is­tered as His­toric.

I was bang­ing the drum about this a year ago. It seems that resid­ual val­ues of bikes most af­fected are in­deed weak­en­ing. If you have, say, an early 2000s bike (never mind some­thing built in the 1990s) and you ride in Lon­don, it’s go­ing to hit you. Take Honda’s ever­green CBR600F; you can get a late ’90s ex­am­ple in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion for well un­der a grand now. But if you live pretty much any­where in Greater Lon­don, as the ULEZ is be­ing ex­panded in 2021 to in­clude pretty much ev­ery­thing in­side the North and South Cir­cu­lar, it’ll ef­fec­tively be use­less af­ter a cou­ple of years.

I have one bike that’s reg­is­tered as His­toric, another that’s el­i­gi­ble from 2019 and a fur­ther one from 2021. I’m stash­ing the last two away un­til they’re el­i­gi­ble. My other bikes are ULEZ com­pli­ant, but only two (a Suzuki 125 scooter and a 660 Ténéré) are prac­ti­cal com­muters. A KTM Duke 390, bought with ULEZ in mind, was stolen in Septem­ber.

Other cities will fol­low Lon­don’s lead. My ad­vice? If there’s any like­li­hood you may be af­fected, ditch the bike now and buy some­thing com­pli­ant; or lose a lot of money.

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