Richard Li profile picture Richard Li 7 years ago

Potential future classic Sportsbikes on a tight budget

While the car scene is already full of “investors”, which is why a pile of rusty 911 bits on wheels cost at least five-digit figures, you can still pick up potential future classic bikes for very reasonable prices.

Let’s have a look at some good deals!

Suzuki TL 1000 R

Potential future classic Sportsbikes on a tight budget - Bikes

There was a time, when japanese manufacturers produced sportbikes with V-Twin engines. Inspired by Ducatis success with the 916, Suzuki tried to have their own go and created the TL 1000 R, which was released back in 1998. The engine was taken from the TL 1000 S and pumped up by about 10 hp. Due to immense quality issues with the TL 1000 S, customers were very sceptical about the R. It remained a complete non-seller. Bike magazines stated, that it was too heavy, too wide for a V-Twin and not sharp enough for a sportsbike. Despite all this, it was not a bad thing to drive, sounded georgeous and the community grew over the past few years with prices already increasing. The engine was used in numerous bikes after the TL, e.g. Cagiva Raptor and Suzuki SV1000. You could still pick up a good example for less than 2.500 EUR, but you better hurry up!

Ducati 999

Potential future classic Sportsbikes on a tight budget - Bikes

After the immense success of the stunningly pretty 916 and her successors 996 and 998, Ducati wanted to create something new. They threw away Massimo Tamburini’s stunning design and decided to build Pierre Terblanche’s creation from 2003 onwards. Ducati fans were infuriated by the new bike, calling it a sacrilege. To them, it was just too ugly for a Ducati. You can compare the reaction to the one of Porsche’s fanbase, when they released the 911 Type 996. It may not be one of the prettiest Ducatis of all time, but it drives in typical Ducati fashion. Very stable, very raw, although not as nimble as the japanese bikes of that era. In the last years of production the engine produced a very honorable 150 hp, which made it the most powerful two cylinder bike on sale. Considering their price when new, which was around 17.000 EUR for the base model, these bikes are complete bargains nowadays. Clean bikes could be purchased for around 4.000 EUR. Especially when looking at the 999’s predecessors. The old Tamburini designed Ducati’s are nowhere near as cheap. You’d have to invest at least twice the price of a 999 to get one. So it looks like this might be the ideal time to buy one of these italian divas!

BMW R 100 GS

Potential future classic Sportsbikes on a tight budget - Bikes

When presented in 1987, the R 100 GS was had the world’s biggest engine capacity in the enduro segment. That meant, the GS could do 0-100 kph in less than 5 seconds, with just 60 hp. Moreover it was hugely advanced in its days. It was the first BMW to use a Paralever swingarm. That reduced jerky reactions in the Kardan drivetrain when opening up the taps. As BMWs are very popular for holding their value, it seems a bit surprising, that you could get an R 100 GS with reasonable mileage for about 4.500 EUR. For that money, you may not get the rare Dakar version, but still it’s not a bad deal. If you are looking for a reliable bike to travel around the continent, you really should consider this old BMW.

Kawasaki ZXR 750

Potential future classic Sportsbikes on a tight budget - Bikes

As an answer to Suzuki’s great selling GSXR 750, Kawasaki wanted to enter the competition in 1989 with the ZXR 750 H. The most remembered design feature of that bike were the intake pipes behind the windshield. In Germany, they were called “Staubsauger-Kawa” which means “vacuum-kawa”. The design is still an eyecatcher. The engine featured 750 cc in capacity and the power output was around 100 hp. Combine that with around 230 kg fully loaded, and you can see, why this bike still doesn’t feel completely outdated. The engine runs extremely smooth, throttle response is brilliant, it handles quite nimble… and it’s almost ridiculously cheap! Low milers in good condition can be found for around 1.500 EUR. For that money, you can’t even get a new scooter. Grab yourself a nice example and enjoy one of the hottest bikes from the late 80’s without any risk of losing money.

Honda VTR 1000 SP1/2

Potential future classic Sportsbikes on a tight budget - Bikes

As we’ve seen with the TL, japanese V-Twin sportsbikes weren’t the most succesful bikes on sale. It was the exact same thing with the homologation model for Hondas championship winning RC51. After a decade of complete Ducati domination in World Superbike, Honda decided to build a two cylinder sportsbike. The 750 cc V4 RVF couldn’t compete against the 916 cc V2 Ducatis. The VTR became an instant success in Superbikes. Colin Edwards won the title riding the new Honda in WSBK’s 2000 season, the first year Honda entered the SP. Moreover, the VTR was the winning bike at the legendary 8 hours of Suzuka in 4 consecutive years. (2000-2003)

But the bike never became a commercial success. In the VTR’s seven years of production (2000-2006) there were less bikes sold, than Fireblades during that time in every single year. The roadgoing SP1/2 was considered too heavy and thirsty, but the engine got lots of praise for its smoothness and the mighty torque over the whole rev range.

Prices have already been climbing over the last few years, but if you’re lucky, you could get a homologation Honda with one of the best sounding engines ever made, for around 4.000 EUR.

Which bikes would you pick as potential future classics?