Think the price of collectable motorcycles has gone beyond your reach? Think again, there are future winners in the streets today…
Everyone has a variation on that old story about a bike they could have bought years ago for a song, that is worth plenty today.
Well, this just in – that situation is as prevalent right now as it has ever been. Yep, right under our noses, the bikes that people will talk about in 20 years in exactly that manner. Hear that? That’s the sound of the Boat O’ Opportunity about to chug outta your home port. Don’t miss it.
What the hell am I on about? It’s pretty well known that the phenomena of certain models of bikes becoming collectable comes about when enthusiasts (that’s you) arrive at the point in their lives (around 40-plus years of age) that sees them financially capable of buying a toy.
They’ve done a bit of living, had kids, eaten Home Brand Everything and all of a sudden, as if by magic (no-one ever sees financial security coming, let’s face it), they find themselves paying the bills. There’s even a little in the bank!
They float the idea in the kitchen, and for once, the response isn’t a frying pan upside of the head. She may even nod on the first ask! What the hell?
What we have right here is a potential purchaser. A pretty fervent and euphoric one at that. ‘What to buy, what to buy, pant, pant’. You can see them. They run into shops, hundred dollar notes flying behind them. ‘Good for business’ was how one salesman I know refers to that sort of customer.
So, they enter the marketplace, for once seriously.
They look back to the things they admired when they were young. The things the cool crew were riding, the stuff that made them look longingly through showroom windows. For us it was Commandos and Z1s and Ducati Sports and Honda Fours and Tridents. They don’t have to be great bikes, they just have to make you feel a little bit young. That’s what you are buying with this stuff. A Ponce de Leon bike.
So what creates the demand and pushes the prices up?
The simple fact is that there are squillions of them, all arriving at this newfound paunchy time of their lives and they all share the same narrow focus as to what they want. Big demand, relatively small market, Bingo. Kerching!
Simple economics this is – as if we ever listened to one minute of Mr Drone, the ubiquitous teacher of all our secondary school Simple Economics classes. Wonder whatever happened to him. Probably bought a Manx Norton…
Anyway, toss in the fact that you have that aforementioned inaugural ‘kitchen-senate-green-light’, and this adds to the inflationary pressure on prices. You are still reeling from the possibility of owning that thing that there is simply no way you are not going to own one. ’22 grand did you say? I’ll be right over. Don’t sell it until I get there’. It goes something like that.
So. Back to my point (like I had one).
This situation is as alive and well as it has ever been. Us baby boomers have wreaked all sorts of havoc on the planet, raised kids that are smarter but less able to cope when things don’t go their way than us, we have one or two bucks in the bank and our toys in the shed. We are not using them quite as much as we did when we first got them – ‘I’ll go to bike events every weekend’ ring a bell? – but they are still there and we still love them.
It’s time for the next wave. And it’ll be a flippin’ tsunami.
So, if you are so inclined, I’d be stocking up on a couple of each of the following. In ten years, they’ll deliver you of enough cashish to repowdercoat your walker.
So, there you go. Don’t say we didn’t tell ya!
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.