When looking for the right classic bike to buy, the final decision will all be up to you. However, you should highly consider a bike that you are passionate about. Perhaps, a machine that you have longed for, ever since you were a teenager, or maybe a model that your father used to ride in the old days. Unsurprisingly, the market for 20-year old bike models often hardens up when adults who couldn’t afford these bikes back in their teenage years choose to finally fulfill their dreams.
With that in mind, it is wise to go for a bike with a great support network of specialists and spares. Some of the most popular choices include two-strokes such as Yamaha’s iconic RD350LC and Brit bikes like Nortons, BSAs, and Triumphs.
This is one of the most important considerations when looking to buy a classic bike, particularly if the bike you are interested in is in need of some repair work.
Where can I buy a classic bike?
There are a lot of places you can buy a classic bike. A good place to start is eBay or Gumtree. Also, some specialist classic bike magazines have classified sections at the back.
Once you have identified what you want, consider checking owners clubs. Most owners clubs have forums and magazines with classifieds sections, and members will often be in the know of who’s got what bike for sale. Additionally, there are many websites and Facebook pages that specialize in certain subcategories of classic bikes. Thus, in case you are yearning for a 1980s two-stroke, you can rest assured that there are at least a handful of people out there with similar interests and have a social network that you can join.
Another good place to find a classic bike is in an auction. This is a particularly great option if you have a healthy bank account and desire that is iconic. Shows such as the Stafford Show and the MCN Festival of Motorcycling are often filled with bike enthusiasts that have bikes for sale.
One amazing about old bikes is that they often pop out of the most unexpected places. Sometimes, you may uncover a ‘barn find’ (a bike that has been left lying around for years and even forgotten about.) While such bikes are a risky purchase, they are worth it if you love some challenging projects or discover a rare and unique machine.
Do you want to tinker or ride?
There are lots of ‘projects’ out there. Some people find joy in the riding while others are looking for the thrill of rebuilding an old classic bike. Restoring a classic is a monumental task. For most, undertaking such a project can be biting off more than one can chew. If you do find that’s the case then Whites Bodyworks can step in. If you are attracted to the idea of a classic but aren’t up for the stress involved rebuilding one, then you should go for one that is in good running condition that only needs a little care and attention. While you will end up paying more, it will help give you peace of mind.
What makes classic bikes so appealing?
All riders are different and will have their own reasons for buying a classic. For some people, it is an opportunity to own and care for a bike that they have always yearned for since they were young or a bike that has historical significance. Others find pleasure in the raw and mechanical feeling provided by older bikes. Bikes nowadays are much smoother and sophisticated, making it harder for home mechanics to work on them. For some, the appeal of an old classic bike is the freedom to tinker with it, rebuild it, and do your own repairs.
What about modifications?
Websites such as Bike EXIF and Bike Shed have made customizing a big trend. Even though customizing a classic makes many purists flinch, it helps to restore many worn-out bikes.
Even though very few want to take an angle grinder to pristine classics, home rebuilding has raised the prices on many unlikely motorcycles. Models such as K series BMWs, Superdreams, and Honda CX500s were unpopular back in the day; however, they have a high asking price nowadays. The concept of converting an old bike into something unique is one of the biggest motorcycle trends at the moment. It is a worthy consideration in case you desire a project and love the idea of creating something special out of it.