Japanese and Italian classic motorcycles to snap up

Japanese and Italian classic motorcycles to snap up before it’s too late, as prices are increasing. Things are changing in this market and I recently wrote about in this article. Recently a trader I work with told me how our old markets from which the UK imports, are paying more than we are in the UK for these classic motorcycles. Japan, America and Australia have realised that investment grade examples of these machines have all left these markets. They are left with old wrecks that require a full restoration and the collectors are clamouring to buy them back. The prices of such machines in their markets are now higher than UK retail.

1987 Suzuki GSXR750RR RHS W
1987 Suzuki GSXR750RR is an exceptionally rare homologation special. Definitely a very sound investment.

Which classic Japanese and Italian motorcycles?

Which classic Japanese and Italian motorcycles are they particularly clamouring for? They want the really interesting machines which are in short supply, but they are only interested in investment grade examples for collectors. They are looking for Ducati 916/996 SP/S, 750F1, Honda NR750, RC30, RC45, CB1100R, VF1000R, Sandcast CB750, CBX1000, Suzuki GSXR750RR (these are going to become extremely expensive and proper ones are very rare), GS1000S, Yamaha R1, Kawasaki Z900, Z1R, Z1000 Turbo, Harley-Davidson Evo Softails to name but a few. Also watch out for all round and square case Ducatis reaching exceptionally high prices. Finding an investment grade example is seriously challenging and they always need a lot of work to set up correctly. Obviously MV Agusta 750 Sports and Americas will become even more pricey as classic car owners snap them up.

Honda NR750 RHS W
The super rare and very costly Honda NS750 is about to get much more costly.

Classic motorcycle price increases are inevitable

Classic motorcycle price increases are inevitable because this is a global issue. Prices at auction in these countries are higher than retail in the UK, so the demand will be met by their export markets. Investment grade classic motorcycles are in demand and the rest will languish on eBay for whatever the market will pay, which is not a lot. 

Investment grade classic motorcycles

Investment grade classic motorcycles are the ones which really make the profits, not the rest. There will be machines exported which are disguised as investment grade, but are far from it. This will only increase prices further for investment grade examples as collectors and investors seek out the best possible examples. A motorcycle may look original and be very shiny and sparkly, but it doesn’t mean that its investment grade. The age of all these motorcycles brings with it many issues around paintwork and parts degrading, due to age. Ducati 916/996 mostly need restoration due to paint degradation and poor fitting of panels when they were new. Nearly all require a fair bit of mechanical work too. Honda CBX1000s require full engine rebuilds, even very low mileage dry stored examples, because the camchain tensioners are starting to disintegrate due to age. They have a tendency to drop valves and the cylinder heads now require valve guide replacement to avoid such a catastrophe. Many machines of this era really do have age related problems that require the correct attention, which does not mean some eBayer in his shed. When the motorcycle is correct in every expectable way, this expensive work now needs to be done to a very high standard, or the motorcycle is not investment grade.

1975 Ducati 900SS LHS front
1975 Ducati 900SS is one of the rarest Ducatis ever produced and will seriously increase in price.

A small number of investment grade examples in the UK

There are only a small number of investment grade examples in the UK and plenty of shiny motorcycles that just don’t make the grade. Many classic motorcycles dazzle to deceive, are not investment grade and will never deliver the profits classic motorcycle investors crave. As we decided to leave the single market we have reduced our choice of investment grade classic motorcycles by 90%, which creates further pressure on prices. Many examples we used to buy with no duties or taxes, such as Ducati 916/996 SP/S, are now 30% more expensive than they were in December 2020. Many will try and tart up very poor UK examples and will palm them off as investment grade. There are no bargains and haven’t been in this market since about 2013. Be very careful of owners feigning they don’t really know the value of their motorcycle to instigate a Dutch auction. UK motorcycles have always had a hard life as they went through a period of not having great value and being run by unsympathetic owners. We also live In a very damp climate which is really quite corrosive, as we are a very small island. I know this because I was buying and exporting used 916 and 996 Ducatis, along with RC30s etc etc, when they had little value between 2000 and 2008. I can assure you that finding these machines having not been abused was beyond challenging, so most went to breakers yards. I will write a further article on this subject in the future.

Exhausts LHS1
Genuine factory racers are becoming incredibly difficult to find and are increasing in value rapidly,

How to buy an investment grade classic motorcycle 

There is no mystery to how to buy an investment grade classic motorcycle. You don’t find Picassos on eBay or other online sites and you don’t buy them at bargain prices. These machines require some seriously specialised, in depth work to preserve them now, due to age. If you have been working on these motorcycles for over twenty years and have machine shops, your own paint shops and years of experience in specialised paint finishing, then go ahead. You can search out an investment example with all the correct parts and then go to work. You may save yourself a little bit here and there, but not very much. Or you can come to The Motorcycle Broker and let us do all the work. We source the right motorcycle, we put each one through a seriously rigorous workshop process and paint processes. We deliver a motorcycle that is completely authentic and is as good as a new one from the factory on the day it was new, assuming that the factory had a good day on the day our bike was delivered. If you’re interested in owning investment grade classic motorcycle, call The Motorcycle Broker on 01803 865166 or 07971 497615

2000 Ducati 996 SPS Factory Replica series one
2000 Ducati 916/996 SP series are becoming much more expensive due to export demands and Brexit. What you pay now is nothing compared to what you will pay.
Paul Jayson

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