The Ducati Sport Classic, despite its name, was well ahead of its time. Back in 2005 the demand for a retro Ducati was almost non existent, and as a result sales were particularly poor for the 1970s-inspired bike. But oh how things change. Retro-styled bikes are now all the rage with Triumph and BMW both unveiling new scramblers for 2016.
Consequently prices are already on the up, but they are yet to peak, meaning now is the ideal time to buy. If you look carefully you’ll be able to pick one up for under £8000. And if you want to break your budget, then invest in the Ducati Sport Classic Paul Smart limited edition, based on Smart’s 1972 Imola-winning bike. Perfection.
The MV Agusta is one of the most timeless machines in the history of motorcycles, with its unique design influencing the look of numerous successors. Penned by the legend that is Massimo Tamburini, the F4 re-introduced MV back into the sports bike market. It was hugely important for the financially unstable Italian company that the bike was successful.
Luckily, it was. Very. The 750cc engine wasn’t particularly powerful and the bikes weren’t that reliable, but they sounded incredible and handled as well as they looked. The bikes still command a high price, but if you find a good example, and don’t put too many miles on it, it’s guaranteed to appreciate over time.
When the words icon and Ducati are mentioned together in the same sentence, everyone tends to think of the 916. With its beautiful styling (thanks again to Massimo Tamburini) and its incredible on-track performances, the bike quickly gained worldwide recognition. It’s no surprise then, that finding a decent example for reasonable money is almost an impossibility.
So what do you do if you want a future classic from Bologna? You buy a Ducati 1098. After the futuristic, but pig-ugly 999, the 1098 was a breath of fresh air. It borrowed many of the design cues from the 916, namely the single-sided swing arm and underseat exhausts. The new Testastretta 1099cc V-twin engine also gave the bike much needed grunt to back up the supermodel looks.
The GS has been around in one form or another since 1980 and is universally loved. Its impressive on and off-road characteristics coupled with its legendary indestructibility have made it something of an icon in the two-wheeled world. Even in 2015 the bike is still setting all time sales records in the UK.
However, the most famous version of the Bavarian brute is easily the R1150GS Adventure. When a certain Ewan McGregor and best mate Charlie Boorman set off on their ‘Long Way Round’ world trip, no one fully realised what an impact the coverage would have for the German company. Overnight the sales of the GS absolutely sky rocketed with everyone wanting a piece of the globetrotter action. Ever since 2003 the bikes have become synonymous with the epic trip.
Despite the fame, there are some solid deals to be found online. If you want to invest in a classic-look bike with low milage, then go for the full ‘Adventure’ specification. Expect to pay anywhere between £3000 for a really tatty bike or upwards of £8000 for a tidy example like this one.
The standard BMW R1100 S was a fantastic sports tourer and was given favourable reviews on its release. But for sports bike riders it was a little too boring. With its heated grips, shaft drive and comfy suspension it was still the reserve of the over 40s. This was rectified by the Mk1 Boxer Cup. Based on the successful race series bike, the Boxer Cup featured Laser under-seat exhausts, carbonfibre cylinder head protectors, a carbonfibre bellypan and uprated Öhlins suspension.
It was the first look into sporty BMWs of the future. Only 1000 Mk1s were built, and as a result finding a good one can be difficult. So if you do track one down, make sure you hold on to it, as the later HP2 has pushed prices of earlier bikes upwards.
When the Yamaha R1 was released back in 1998 it was a certified game-changer. The Japanese company had been lagging behind Honda since it released its legendary Fireblade in 1992. Something had to change. As a result, designer Kunihiko Miwa was called in to design a new class lead-ng superbike. And design one he did.
The final result was a bike that produced 150bhp and only weighed 177kg. To put that into perspective, the Honda produced 128bhp and weighed 185kg. No one had seen anything like it becuase it was a superbike with more power than anything else on sale, yet handled like a 600cc supersport.
Surprisingly, for such a revolutionary machine, prices are very reasonable. The biggest problem is finding one in good condition with the iconic red and white paint. If you are looking to make a profit, don’t bother investing in any other colour.
The Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K1 changed the face of the sport bike market when it was released back in 2001. It won group tests, was the first 1000cc inline-four to win the British Superbike Championship, and it dominated at the TT in the hands of ‘king of the mountain’ David Jefferies.
Strangely, the market hasn’t woken up to the fact that this bike will be a future icon. As a result there are some really good deals out there on low milage examples. However, if you want a bike to invest in, make sure to find an unmolested version. This can be easier said than done, as GSX-Rs are well known for being modified to within an inch of their lives.
The RS125 is a controversial choice because it’s been the preserve of boy racers for the last 20 years. With its superbike styling, you’d easily be fooled into thinking that the Aprilia is a much bigger motorcycle than it actually is, which is why it’s been popular with teenagers trying to show off at the traffic lights.
But is it a future classic? Well if you look at past trends, you’d have to concede that it is. Bikes such as the 1973 Yamaha FS1-E (the ‘fizzy’ for the informed) were loved by 16-year-olds across the UK, and when these guys turned 50, they wanted to find and restore the bike of their youth. As a result, the old 49cc Yamahas are now changing hands for upwards of £5000.
Seeing that the RS-125 is the fizzy of our generation, it’s likely that in the future these bikes will be highly sought after. And with modern restrictions on emissions, we’re unlikely to see another mass-produced two stroke again.
This is an outside choice and is a little bit biased, so I’ll declare my conflict of interest now. I actually own one of these mopeds and I absolutely love it. What attracted me to this scooter was its distinctly Japanese looks and its unconventional (for a moped) engine. Most mopeds in the UK tend to be high-pitched two strokes, but the Zoomer (Ruckus in the US) runs a 49cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stoke engine.
As a result, it isn’t the quickest machine in the world. But by replacing the ECU, rollers, and exhaust with Polini racing parts, my little Honda could get up to 50mph on the flat and 60mph downhill. And yes, before you ask, it was scary as hell doing these speeds on drum brakes.
Because of its distinctive style and clever engineering, the Zoomer has become a solid purchase. Originally sold for £1500, well maintained examples are now fetching upwards of £2000. If you live in a busy city, where road speeds aren’t too high, this is a perfect commuting machine.