Classic bike classified bargain hunting

Kawasaki KH400As the ageing nation matures, the classic bike popularity and number of ‘restorations’ throughout the UK is soaring!

Classic bike part prices on some models, such as the Yamaha RD500 are moving to unacceptable levels and aftermarket, non-genuine parts are more commonplace and acceptable in the classic bike arena. Prices are holding up exceptionally well and everyone is always looking for the next ‘classic’ model before everyone else realises and demand outstrips supply!

A word of warning, don’t expect to buy a mint Fizzy for £1000, you’d be lucky to get a knackered one for this, which is a shame as ‘people of the right age’ have very fond memories of the Fizzy, a true classic!

Whilst Gumtree, ebay and Bike Trader will always be a popular marketplace for appreciating classic bikes, Exchange and Mart is maybe a less obvious choice, which means you are more like to grab a bargain, or at least something more reasonably priced than fleabay, and without 300 ‘watchers’ all pushing the price up in the last five seconds of bidding. You will be surprised how many people are prepared to spend good money on a bike they can only see low-resolution pictures of on the internet.

Exchange & Mart’s coverage is nationwide and they boast several thousand bikes to choose from, although only a small percentage would fall under the classic bike category and these to be more ‘modern’ classic bikes.

Local auction houses are also less-popular but likely to produce an ancient or rare ‘barn-find’. Look out for Bonhams, H&H and East Anglia Auctions to name a few to look out for.

Classic bike shows are an obvious choice but pricing is generally at the top end of the market as everyone is an enthusiast and there oogling the hundreds of bikes on show and the autojumble is usually a huge crowd puller.

Remember, always shop around before an impulse 11th-hour fleebay bid after 6 pints of beer, research the aftermarket parts supply properly, a cheap ‘classic’ may not be cheap once genuine parts are purchased.

Also, a classic bike should be viewed as a labour of love and not an investment, otherwise you could be bitterly disappointed!