Buying Classic Motorcycles
If you bought an emerging market classic car such as a 1970s Porsche 911 in 2004 then you will have seen the price appreciate markedly. Second guessing the next hot classic is all part of the hobby and collectors will always ask “what are the emerging market classics of the future?” So – what are the hot classics right now? Paul Jayson of www.themotorcyclebroker.co.uk thinks he has the answer – classic motorcycles.
What should you should be buying? “Certain machines from the 1960s, 70s, 80s and even some from the 1990s” says Jayson. “The motorcycles we had on our walls as kids. The prices, although having increased substantially, are nowhere near their peak in my opinion and they have a long way to go to reach maturity. Immaculate, iconic machines are changing hands for a fraction of the cost of restoration. Not only that, you can keep about eight to a dozen of these machines in the space that one classic car takes up. Classic motorcycles are also incredibly reliable, great fun to own and ride and a very rare sight indeed. A 1970s Honda four cylinder in good condition will happily drive you to Italy and back without the spectre of breakdowns.”
Why does he think that are prices will continue to rise?
“The same reasons that 1970s Porsches have increased so rapidly – but with one difference. We were a nation of motorcyclists in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, but I will come to that shortly. What’s been driving 1970s classic car prices are demographics. People who are now in their forties, fifties and sixties have disposable income and more time to spend it. Relatively cash rich, they also appreciate tangible assets. In motorcycling’s heyday in 1980 we sold 400,000 new motorcycles in the UK – so many of these buyers are bikers. By 1994 we were selling just 44,000 new motorcycles a year and, although our motorcycle sales have substantially increased since 1994, we have never sold that many motorcycles again. In the 1970s, many sixteen year olds rode a Yamaha Fizzy (if they didn’t want to die a virgin). Then, as a seventeen year old, they would try to insure themselves in a car to pass their test but the premiums were just too high. So, many teenagers rode a 250cc motorcycle until car premiums dropped when they hit twenty –one. “
“Culturally, the UK was a nation of motorcyclists and many of them are seeking the thrills of two wheels again. Even Saga have got in on the act by buying Bennetts Motorcycle Insurance. Why? Because one pound in every three pounds spent on motorcycling in the UK is by the over fifties.”
Which machines will increase in value?*
Paul believes the following bikes are worth a look.
Laverda Jota 1000 (only those imported by Slater brothers between 1977 and 1980)
Ducati 900SS and Ducati 750SS (only between 1973 and 1980 and the Mike Hailwood Replica)
Special edition GS1000 Suzuki
“A machine from the 1990s that is sure to be a real flyer is the Ducati 916SP and 996SP” says Jayson.” There are great bargains to be had in trials and moto cross motorcycles from the 1970s made by Spanish manufacturers Bultaco and Montesa.”
Of course, it goes without saying that you should take advice from an expert and if you don’t know your bikes get an inspection if you are likely to purchase. Remember, the *prices of bikes can go down as well as up so take care when buying if appreciating values are your main focus rather than enjoyment. It is also worth remembering that for many models even if they double in value, that still may not amount to much so if you have a classic bike collection, don’t go planning your retirement just yet. We have heard the argument that when the Chinese market wakes up we could see further activity in the market – have a read of this interesting article on motorbike culture in China to see if you agree Two Wheels Are Ruling China’s Highways
Values aside, there is no doubt that bikes are a relative bargain compared to classic cars
The classic bike scene is thriving and we are seeing an increase in interest in bikes as well as financing an increasing number of classic and vintage motorcycles including iconic machines like Brough Superior and the Vincent Black Shadow. With Bonhams’ Stafford motorcycle auction coming up this month now might just be the time to buy.
For more information on financing a classic motorcycle, please get in touch on 01869 351512