THE BIKE MARKET IS OVERHEATING BUT NOW IS STILL THE TIME TO BUY
“GROWING ECONOMIES IN EUROPE HAVE A HUNGER FOR 1990S AND 2000S TACKLE”
Looking to buy a 15-25 year-old sportsbike? Taken aback by the prices? You’re not alone. It’s a common complaint. Sometimes it’s suggested to us – and not always in a wholly jocular manner – that it is the fault of Practical Sportsbikes.
As flattering as it might be for us on the mag to think that we could have such influence, we know we don’t. Imagine how corrupted we might become at the idea that we could skew the market for ageing sportsbikes? We’d be like insider traders in the City or as suggestible as intensively lobbied Members of Parliament keen to expand their portfolios of vested interests.
Price fixing conspiracy theories aside, there is certainly something going on. I recently had occasion to research the prices of millennial sports 600s. Not merely asking prices but the sums these bikes were actually attaining. I was amazed to find that even in private sales, some bikes were still considerably more than half their original new price. Whatever happened to freefall depreciation and saturated markets?
Conversations with used bike dealers became more like counselling sessions with despondent traders. How they wished they could find decent used stock, even at prices that would allow them to turn a modest profit. Their biggest issue was not, as you might expect, ebay and the like making everyone a trader with the widest possible audience pushing prices up. Rather it was the fact that a tsunami of used metal has been flowing from these shores for some time now, headed for countries where the bikes were unaffordable when new. Growing economies in Europe particularly have a hunger for 1990s and 2000s tackle.
So at the risk of fanning the flames of an already overheated market, the time is now to buy that bike or project while you still can. Apparently the current fashion for PCP deals on new bikes will eventually replenish the used bike ‘parc’ (as the trade calls it). Trouble, none of those are anything most of us might want.
Stuff like this is getting snapped up by canny Europeans (and that doesn’t mean us)