Great article. It’s getting near-impossible to find the Japanese racer-clone bikes with whole undamaged bodywork... And as the owner of a 999R, I wholeheartedly agree. I think Pierre Terblanche knocked it out of the park. Let alone considering he was following the 916/996/998 classic. The 999 brought Ducati back to it’s performance days. The only con of the R is it’s temperamental and it’s always trying to kill you. Other than that... 🙂
Great article on collectible motorcycles. Sadly my stable of old Brit bikes, and a 1965 Honda Benly remain for “My Eyes Only” as classic motorcycle insurance is not available in Canada. They only sneak out for photos.
I was surprised not to see the Honda CBX 1000 Supersport on your list of motorcycles in for a big year. These collectible and rideable six cylinder; 24 valve bikes introduced the world to the superbike back in 1978. Both the twin shock and the monoshock are climbing in value and even basket case bikes are being restored. Low (or NO) mileage examples are already in the mid twenty thousand dollar range.
Seen an upward trend for 80's open class motocross dirt bikes as well. Clean examples are hitting $5k and higher. The Suzuki RM465 & 500's seem to be at the top of the list due to low production numbers. Not the fastest 500cc bike, but possibly the best engineered rear suspension of all time, even by todays standard. Lot of die hard, big bore two stroke fans out there, including myself.
Being an owner of several Ducati sports bikes I can confirm that the 999 was poorly received but not I feel for the stacked headlights you mention. The big bugbear was its original equipment exhaust which terminated in a silencer (muffler or can) that would have looked more at home on truck. Once Akropovic and others started to produce stylish carbon replacements it took off. Compared to my 916 variants the 999 is a much nicer bike to ride although for sheer design beauty nothing comes close to my MV Agusta F4. Once I acquired it my nickname among fellow bikers became “Johnny 4 pipes” due to the iconic exhaust styling.
Much like the car community, there are many niche markets for classic or unusual bikes. A colleague who brokers ultra high-end cars suggests exotic Italian bikes from the 70's-00's are rapidly appreciating, as reinforced by a number of bikes featured in this editorial. I have a Ducati MH900e that has appreciated nearly 50% in the last decade and I see similar limited production models doing the same (Paul Smart tributes, limited edition 916's, etc.) Joe Palmer's comment about the CBX is spot on...that bike is attracting a lot of interest. I also like the fact that I can stuff many more bikes in the space that just one classic car occupies ;>)
Have to agree in part with McNeat’comment.... my ‘66 Honda 305 Dream (100% original) has been registered and driven every year since new... while it doesn’t get too MJ s as my annual miles, it’s a capable daily driver... and continues to increase in value. Atleast I can insure it with Hagerty!!
I bought the '84 model of the big XR in 1985 as a used bike. A torque monster. Two carburetors. A kick start that was as much a qualifying test to ride as it was a starting mechanism. It was a thing of beauty to me and still is. Honestly, not the best bike in the New England woods, but blast to ride. Little desire to own another one. Love seeing the picture.
Had the smaller RZ350. A bike I wish I still had. Power band wheelies, woo hoo. I remember someone modifying a RZ500 into a GP race replica in yellow on the RZ500 forum years back. I think Kevin Cameron was involved in the project somehow. Wonder what happened to that machine.
Great list! My dad had an Indian before I was born, and I'd love to get one in his honor. I have two late '70's Yamaha XS1100's. One running, one a work in progress. I know they will probably never make the list, but I can ride all day and not worry about it breaking. The '78 was the fastest production bike in a 1/4 mile when it came out, and that is with a drive shaft!
I think the 69-70 Kawasaki H1 Mach III 500cc two-stroke triple belongs on this list. It was called the "widow maker" as it had an insane amount of horsepower, handled like a shopping cart, and had no brakes.
Yeah. The 1970 I bought new had a hinge in the middle. Some said the swing arm bolt on the H1 was smaller diameter than the I.D. of the swing arm, and maybe the holes in the frame, allowing the wrong kind of movement. I think the rearward weight bias was the problem. And with the engine mounted high so the wide cases would clear the ground on turns, it was the wheelie king. Unfortunately the pipey race tune caused the power to come on hard at 6,000 rpm and the wheel would rise unexpectedly. In a turn that became very interesting.
Yea I had a '74 H2 750 back in college. Dumped it hugging a curb on a sharp curve. The H1 and H2's are wicked great sounding machines (like a big dirt bike on steroids). Traded it in for a more subtle Yamaha XJ900RK in '83 that I still ride (occasionally).
Since the article was based on the numbers Hagerty sees, maybe some esoteric or low production models missed the cut because there are just not enough out there. Some might be parked in the family room and not ridden, and owners think they don't need insurance.
The John Player Norton Commando is quite interesting but I don't know the market. Only 200 built in 1974 and I read where only about 120 might be in the U.S. It was a European spec 850 with shifting on on the proper, traditional side - the right. This was kind of a replica racer. It could be ordered with the 750cc short stroke engine that was in the bikes homoligated for AMA racing in the U.S. That would be a rare bird. I don't know if I can post pictures but here goes.... [img]http://www.surfacezero.com/g503/data/500/John_Player_Norton.jpg[/img]
Above pictures from ClassicMotorcycles.com. As for Indians, a more collectible model than the Chiefs are the Sport Scouts. Smaller 45 cubic inch engine. Lighter bike. I think the best looking is the 1940 which was the one year it got the Chief full skirted fenders but on it's 1939 rigid frame. In 41 the Sport Scout got the heavier Chief rear suspension frame and that made it look kinda clunky back there. This is what I mean, from a Mekum auction: [img]http://www.surfacezero.com/g503/data/500/medium/Indian_Sport_Scout_1940_Mekum_Auctiion.jpg[/img][/ur...]
No mention at all of the iconic BMW R69S or R60/2 series? These have been pulling well into the high-20s and low to mid-30s (and higher for full resto bikes) on BaT and other auctions recently, a big jump over the last few years.
No mention here of the Honda CB750 K0. Truly a game changer and already showing considerable value. Surely to rise, especially the most early ones with the sand cast cases, barrels and head. They were a good rider also.
The Indian, Knuckle Head and Vincent have already hit collector icon status, so why are they something to watch. The Honda CB series is almost there too. I'd like to see the under appreciated examples that may hit that status in the future.
Check out the 86/87 XL600R Honda if you want to see a neat throwback dual sport. Regarding this article, the photo of the little green Kawasaki took me back to being a little boy sitting on them at the showroom, dreaming. Wasn't meant to be and BMX bikes, Dad's 10 speed, Mom's 3 speed, and skateboards were my main method of transport.
Interesting read. I love my 1935 Indian Standard Scout this bike has been in our family for 63 years and I finally got it professionally restored 12 years ago. My father bought this bike at a junkyard in Lethbridge Alta for me at 13 years of age. It looks great in my shop along side my 2017 Roadmaster trike
I have to agree, they pretty much report on what they see in the rear view based on what's happening with their insurance policies. If you're hoping these will help you find the next great investment, that works as well as buying stocks that are already up. I do still find them useful as a reminder to check values on my insured stuff. Been surprised at how some of the values are changing.
I had a 1985 Yamaha RZ500 years ago. I took it to Laconia bike week back in the mid 90s with my Harley buddies. Mine was the only one we saw there. That motor screamed! When the power band came on just hold onto those handlebars. I eventually wore the engine down and it needed a rebuild. I got into the hot rods more and sold it years later for more than twice what I bought it for WITH the bad motor. When it was gone I told my wife that we probably would never see another one.
daydreamerdav. This article was interesting but no mention of the 70s BMWs they were beautiful and so very reliable. Took my wife in 1988 from Long Island NY to ST, Petersburg FLA. and back on my 1970 R75/5 touring bike. There and back 1/2 qt of oil not 1 problem. The only set back was when I wanted to do 80mph she would yank on my belt to slow down. The faster you went the smoother the bike ran. Also 1 that missed the list that I owned and loved was my single cylinder 1969 441 BSA Shooting Star. Top end was only 92mph but if you didn't have the money for an 850 Norton this was only $900 and would stay with the Norton up to about 60mph threw the gears.
I find most of these bikes as others have already stated to be looking in the rear view mirror as far as values rising. A DUH moment as stated prior. So most of these types of articles are infact not really that helpful in determining what WILL be valuable or EXPLODE at auctions. But to be fair crystal ball forecasting is for the mediums at side show attractions. However if you look at TRENDS in this segment you see many of the METRIC segment gaining a lot of traction on many of the OLD guard that are now best kept as museum pieces. Bikes like the Eliminator which was a drag bike for the street. Or the V Max (which is already gaining traction) or many of the naked bikes brought back in the late 80's early 90's. Kawasaki Zephyr etc. Many of the 80's bikes are gaining traction too. Honda's Nighthawk line, Suzuki GT750 water buffalo, Yamaha Maxim's etc. These are the bikes next to get more attention I think as others go through the roof. And you can still ride them and enjoy them without fear of losing value. As all bikes and cars are meant to...be riden/driven not stored away in a warehouse somewhere for some future date!. There are a lot of great bikes out there some in great shape and some needing attention...they all regardless of value now have potential and if you also have some FUN...bonus!!!! Given the current state of the world it is a great way to interact with the world and still be socially distant!!!
Got my 79 Suzuki GS550 back in the day - still have it, needs a little work, sprucing up. I used to run it year round (except when there was snow on the road) when both the bike and I were younger. I decided on that bike b/c it was the largest displacement I could find that had a 6 speed gearbox - and kick start as backup to battery. IMHO it's an underrated bike.
They will have to pry hard to get me to sell my 999R Xerox. They getting so hard to find I know I would regret selling. Prices would have to get in 30k range before I would be tempted and while I think they may get into the 20s , 30 seems like a stretch.