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Bryan
Hagerty Employee

10 collectible motorcycles to watch

Just like cars, motorcycles are treasured collectibles. Despite their desirability, however, they trade hands on average at far lower values than cars. The car auction record, too, is nearly 50 times that of the motorcycle auction record. Generally, the lower end of the bike market is full of nostalgia-driven purchases; the top is littered with historical significance and racing pedigree.

 

Based on digital views of our newly-released Hagerty Motorcycle Price Guide, here are the 10 bikes in which Hagerty is seeing the most interest, arranged by price from low to high.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/motorcycles/10-collectible-motorcycles-to-watch/

90 REPLIES 90
balzanr
New Driver

Their all great in their own right but being a product of the 60s and 70’s and being a staunch car and motorcycle nut through that era I can say 2 bikes that are true icons of that era —.  The 69 and up Honda CB 750 revolutionized the motorcycle world just like the Beatles revolutionized Rock and Rock never to be the same. The second -  The Kawasaki kz900 was king for a long time. Couldn’t beat it !!  Kind of like The Rolling Stones or some other hard rock band !!!  Those were my observations at the time   

RJMatt
Intermediate Driver

In 1978 Yamaha came out with the XS1100. 11.84 1/4 mile time stock, 130mph+ top speed. This was a SHAFT DRIVE bike! I owned one from new, had to put it together as the local shop was between mechanics. I could lift the front tire in the first four gears, with the Pacifico fairing and hard saddle bags on the bike!

Sold that after four years and 35K miles to a local LEO, but I have a '79 I'm riding today.

tmroper
Passenger

I also had a Yamaha xs 1100 back in the day. It was a neat scooter to ride and extremely quick.  

db2sub1
Pit Crew

All are fabulous bikes; of those listed we've owned all four of the Hondas, the Indian, & the BMW... but I tend towards the R69S & Indian Chief. They are the perfect blend of classic & modern.

Jake8687
Passenger

Had a CB350 in college back in the later 80s. Mint. Had a full fairing and hard bags. Solid bike for that time. Paid $350! Sold it for $350. 

Bikesblack6
Passenger

I had a little 1972 Honda XR 75 that should probably fall into this category as well. 

Fdr6c
New Driver

I agree! Saw one at the Barber Museum near Birmingham.

Bettyemae
Intermediate Driver

If there was a Rolling Stones of bikes it had to be the Kawasaki H2 Mach IV triple. Raucous and nasty. Period tests proved it quicker than the Z1 though way less bike in every other manner.

Dinubadave
Pit Crew

It hit me about two months ago, I wanted a CL77 (305 Scrambler), I bought two to fix up.  At 15 1/2 I bought a new CB160 (which I have another one) but even as I was buying that 160, I wanted the 305, but I had never driven a bike like that and the 160 was cheaper and less intimidating.  The dealer taught me how to drive it in the parking lot next to his dealership, once I could take off without killing it, I was on my own! I had just got my drivers permit which was legal to drive a motorcycle. 

Fdr6c
New Driver

I also had a Honda 160, as did a friend of mine. Rode it to lower Michigan in a snowstorm. Luckily I had friends along the way that borrowed me a snowmobile suit!

Letsride
Passenger

I was 14 when I bought a CL160 as a basket case at the local state fairgrounds. I had a new Suzuki TC90 at the time but I wanted to go faster and yet didn't have much money. Not being familiar with four-stroke motorcycles, a friend of the family helped me get it running. I was so happy to be riding it until I realized that my little TC90 was faster. And about 100 pounds lighter. I sold the Honda shortly thereafter. I learned a lot that year.

Dinubadave
Pit Crew

I have a mint. 1964 R27 BMW with Earl Forks, it a cool bike but under powered for its weight

jerryjoer
Passenger

what about the kawasaki triples 500 750 and 900 the widow maker should be on this list and the 3 on the bottom of your list should be 1,2,3 not the honda's the 750 honda yes when first on market ahead of its time 40 yr rider and owner of many many bikes before health forsed me to sell out and give up riding

Z1rider
Passenger

As for triples, 750 H2 were the largest. The Z1 900 DOHC 4 stroke is on the list. 

renchero63
Pit Crew

Having worked at the local Honda dealership in high school when it came out, the Honda CB450 was a step ahead at the time. It was, I believe the first bike with DOHC and also used a unique torsion bar rocker system. It wasn't the fastest bike nor the pertiest, but it was very unique. this was the simmer of 67.

Also, why no 2-strokes? I had a suzuki X-6 that was a rocketship. 

bobc0944
Navigator

I had never ridden a motorcycle, but ordered a CB450 K7 from Korea, picked it up in a crate in NJ, then figured out how to ride it at Bridgehampton road course on Long Island. Great bike.
HalG
Passenger

I had a '68 K1 (Hellcat). It should be on this list.

Pilott
Pit Crew

I bought my 1966 Suzuki X6 Hustler (T-20) with money I made pushing a lawn mower 🐵

I put 14K miles on it and eventually sold it ... but I found another one 30 years later and I still have it!  Jay Leno has one the same color as mine & you can see him do his "circus bear" ride on his JL Garage show on-line.

Fdr6c
New Driver

There’s a YAMAHA RD400 on eBay selling for a buy it now price of $11,500. I also have an RD400 that sits in my dining room. It’s the only RD that I’ve seen with black wheels from the factory. Should be added to this list?

gsbeliever
Pit Crew

Although any RD400 would be fun to own, the 1979 Daytona Special commands the highest prices and bike lust.

SteveNL
Intermediate Driver

I've restored a couple of SOHC CB 750s.  It's important to note that Honda parts are very expensive.  To do a proper restoration, you often have to buy a lot of fasteners and they can really add up the cost.  Often the Philips head screws on old Japanese bikes are blown out, because people didn't realize they are actually Japanese Industrial Standard heads, which are different from Phillips.  Finally, a CB 750 exhaust system will set you back well over a thousand dollars today.  You can easily sink $7K to $8K in a CB750 to make it a #2 bike.   Twenty years ago, I purchased a K5 for $750 that was in fair shape.  I have $8K in it today.

 

Despite their advanced design in the 70's, they never handled all that well and despite the disc brake up front, the caliper needs regular attention or they wouldn't stop that well, either.  I prefer to ride my BMW R75.

Mrfixit51
Passenger

I still own my K2 CB750, the same color as your picture. I bought new in Feb 1973. It needs some TLC to resolve plug fouling on #2 cylinder, and has fallen to dust collector till motivation improves. The best way to tour the Colorado Rockies was astride my reliable orange K2.

SteveNL
Intermediate Driver

I have a 1971 BMW with over 100,000 miles on it.  I've owned it for 25 years this August and it would make it from NY to California today without a doubt.  I wouldn't, though.

Javman
Pit Crew

Another big 2 stroke worth mention was the 72 - 77 Suzuki GT750 water cooled triple commonly known as the water buffalo. Engine lasted forever and was an excellent tourer. I owned several over the years and drove one across the Mojave desert without incident in +100 degree temperatures! Also had a Kawi H1 500 that was stupid fast but not near as reliable as the buffalo. And the Yamaha R5, RD, RDLC, great little screamers. 2 strokes forever!

Fdr6c
New Driver

The Water Buffalo was indestructible. There’s an RD on eBay for $11,500!

Letsride
Passenger

Yes, the Suzuki GT750 was an excellent touring bike. My dad bought one new in 1975. Good acceleration and excellent braking due to the dual front disc brakes. And as reliable as a rock. Although I lost my dear father a number of years ago, I still have his bike.

gph118
Passenger

Any Velocette!

jando
Passenger

In the mid 90's during college I bought a '76 Honda 550 Super Sport for $300.  Had about 10k on it and never gave me any problems.  Sold it a few years later after putting $0 (except oil changes) into it for $1,000.  Regretting selling it as soon as it left the driveway.

Rockem
Intermediate Driver

I had a knuchhead chopper a life time ago.Two things 1 remember,be real careful when you start it.It had the capeabulity braking your leg or throughing you over the handle bars. 2 any place two pieces of metal come togerther with oil in back of them it leaked.

Ah,but the good times I had on that old leaker.

68CoronetRT
Passenger

1947 was the last year for the Harley-Davidson Knuckle head not 1952. The Panhead went into production in 1948.

kareski
Pit Crew

Around 2001 I was able to obtain a 1978 Kawasaki KZ 650 SR for $200 that was found in a van in middle of a farmers field.  Rebuilt it in my basement and learned a lot about what makes motorcycles tick.  I joined the Vintage Japanize Motorcycle Club (VJMC) and was able to get information from them as I do now with MGB experience and John Twist.  This bike was a pleasure to drive, very responsive, and fast.  I tweaked the four carbs so fine that the gravity feed fuel could not keep up at 80 MPH.  At 80 it would starve itself of fuel and cut out until the fuel caught up (scary when passing somebody on the highway)!  One thing that I am proud of is that all the effort I put in restoring was recognized by the owner of the Clymer repair manuals.  The picture of my bike is now on the cover of the Clymer KZ650 repair manual.  I have sold the bike since then but at least I have the privilege to claim my efforts are embedded on the cover.  It shows of what a person can accomplish and have fun doing it.   I wish I took before and after pictures.   

jas67
Passenger

This list is incomplete without any bevel-twin Ducatis.    750GT, 750 Sport, 750SS, 900SS, etc.

Z1rider
Passenger

Agreed. 

jhewitt_hagerty
New Driver

The bevel head Ducatis fall into any list of collector motorcycles, as do many more motorcycles not on this list. This list was created based off of the highest number of views on valuation tools and Hagerty policies, so that is why the Ducatis did not make the list.
67Firebird
Intermediate Driver

I had a 67 CL 77 305 cc "Scrambler", underpowered and around 340 lbs, but indestructible.  Not a dirt bike, no how.  

bemrfst
Intermediate Driver

I have a mint   1973 Suzuki TS400. Got it from it's original  who I delivered papers to back then. I had a 90 then. He sold it to me 13 years ago when he could no longer ride it. It is all original with around 2700 miles and runs like new. It seems so small now!!

Morg
New Driver

I thought the last knucklehead was 1947, not '52.

cp
Passenger

u r right !
jhewitt_hagerty
New Driver

Correct! We have fixed this in the original story
gsbeliever
Pit Crew

Sorry to nitpick, but I wouldn't want your readers overpaying for a couple of the Jap models. Like the Honda 350: The SL is worth way more than the CL, which is worth more than the CB. The prices on the CA77 and CL77 listed would be for a Barber Museum entry. The first two years of the CBX are worth way more than than the last two. And the CB750 is the Holy Grail....if you have a 1969 sandcast model, otherwise, not so much.

Other commenters are correct in asking, "Where are the two strokes?"

jhewitt_hagerty
New Driver

@gsbeliever  Never be sorry to nitpick! It's always good to discuss. The average values above are for the whole generation. We both agree that the SL is worth more than the CL which is worth more than the CB. The SL valuation tools link has a #3 value of $3300 (https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/1971-Honda-SL350K1_Motosport_350). The CL is $2,700 (https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/1971-Honda-CL350K3_Scrambler_350). The CB is $2,200 (https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/1971-Honda-CB350K3_Super_Sport_350). The same goes for the CBX, the first two years are worth more because of the lack of fairing and higher power, but buyers are actually coming on strong with the later bikes. We have recently seen some big sales, and the acceptance of bikes with fairing as classic ('80s sport bikes) is helping the '81 and '82 CBX's case.

Dieter
New Driver

My Dad's friend had a Honda 305 Scrambler back in 1968. It had the twin side pipes that had the "snuffers" on the end of the pipes that you twisted open for that straight through LOUD sound. Later models came with 2 into 1 muffler that made it quieter . 

Superbe12
Passenger

Not a single British bike? Norton 750 Commando, or better yet the F1 with its rotary engine. Or a Triumph Bonneville?

lyndsczewski
Pit Crew

Last I heard, Vincent was a British bike.

mfp4073
Detailer

Had a red 79, and a white and blue 82 Honda CBX.   Payed almost nothing for them.  As the sellers smurked when I bought them.  I loved the 79 as it was smooth like a turbine and well balanced.  As 30 some years went by I understood the disdain from previous owners.  And I sold both of them with the same smurk I remember receiving years before.  The carbs, kept me constantly busy as the maintenance alone was never ending.  You couldn't clean and rebuild the carburetors  often enough to keep them running smooth all the time.  Believe me, nothing more irritating than a 6 cylinder bike running on five!  I've noticed the price is now 6 times what I payed.  And also a lot of these look real nice as mine did also.  But they don't start them ever.  And it has little to do with preserving the miles and more to do with preserving your labor and time off.  Loved the bikes but they are true time bandits!

fasteddy
Passenger

how about a Suzuki GT750 very reliable water cooled 2 cycle mine turns heads every time i drive by  you cant beat the sound of a 2 cycle with expansion chambers

GL1000
Passenger

Where is the 1975 Honda GL1000?

4Vintage28tt
New Driver

Yeah, and what about the Nimbus 750...why that machine would be putting them all to shame....makes you wonder who is sponsoring this publication

sorrktm
Pit Crew

I would nominate Yamaha's RD 350. A nimble 2 stroke (before they were banned from the street) that handled extremely well and could outrun most bikes with 150 more cc's. I had a 1970 and still regret selling it. Would love to find a Kenny Robert's edition. They were great bikes.