RIDING DIFFERENT BIKES. RACING SOME
There are multiple reasons why owning a classic bike is something cool. For example because you want a bike that’s not too expensive and quick to fix. Or because you simply love the nostalgics about it. Let us tell you all about why classic motorcycles are fun to own. And why you should get one!
Some of us get interested in classic motorcycles when we hit the middle-aged fase. Others are bewitched by their charm at an earlier age. The one thing everyone seems to have in common is a slight temptation to run away from the reality of growing old and a tendency to slow down life.
We will give you all sorts of reasons why classic bikes are so much fun. Even the ‘they will brake down!’ part has its charm. But for starters; they often are less complex than newer ones. And we think, that’s a great thing. Life is super complex as it is already. Let’s make certain things less so. Our bikes, for example.
There is a beautiful charm in just a button to put on the lighting, one for the horn, one to start the bike with and a pass button. And maybe one more for blinkers. No overload of buttons, switches and possibilities to connect your phone to your bike. When did we develop the need to be connected to our phone all the time, anyways? Even when riding? Common, guys…
Besides the fact they are beautifully simple, there is also a sensible argument to buying a classic motorcycle. Especially if you are a middle-aged man or woman. A shed full of well-chosen motorcycles will pay better than a savings account. That is, if you are willing to spend a bit of money, and if you have the space. And maybe the ability to fix them.
But even if the latter doesn’t apply to you, investing in classic motorcycles can pay off dearly. At least way better than anything involving sports cars, secretaries or divorces, three things that aren’t uncommon for certain middle-aged men. And ladies, you don’t dodge the bullet here. That shiny white convertible, boob job or toy boy will only cost you. Let’s invest in something that actually increases in worth.
Because that is wat classic motorcycles are known for. Maybe not all of them, but that is why we said ‘well-chosen’ motorcycles earlier. The prices of classic bikes (and basically anything classic) tend to rise, hit a plateau and then rise again. If you get one in the early stage, or at the plateau, then you could make money while enjoying an absolutely beautiful piece of machinery.
What about a Honda RC30? They have plateaued for a while now, but most expert agree on the fact that they will rise again. The Ducati 916‘s get more and more expensive and the Suzuki GSX-R750‘s have risen by 400% in the last 10 years. Not a bad investment at all, we’d say.
It is all about finding that sub-culture that is one the rise. Or will rise in a few years. Or lots of years, if you are willing to be patient. Think of the Honda C90 Cubs. So many people rode those Cubs when they were younger. Seeing one is to relive those good, old days. That nostalgia has no price. And it all comes down to whatever one is willing to pay to relive those days. This results in machinery that is way overpriced.
Of course, buying a classic bike is not all about the investment. For many of us, it is either about the nostalgia, or about their simplicity. And therefore easier learning proces about its mechanics and maintenance. New bikes can be difficult to work on. Over the years, bikes have gained a massive amount of electronics. All to increase the riding experience of course, but it often complicates things for backyard mechanics.
So seeing the technique of a classic motorcycle can cause sighs of relief. If you disconnect a cable, it won’t immediately give the bike fatal errors. Or unexplainable behaviour. It merely will disconnect the head light.
Especially the smaller ones usually are simple and cheap to restore. The bigger ones – and often more expensive ones to buy – are also more expensive in terms of restoration. And please do keep in mind they won’t handle that well as the new bikes you might be used to. Technology like brakes and throttle control have changed a lot over the last 30 years.
Buy an awesome air-cooled GSX-R1100 or a cute Yamaha FZR750 for the looks and the waterfall of attention it will get. But do not expect it to ride like a 2019 GSXR. Or R6. And do not believe the nonsense of ‘it will keep up with a modern motorcycle on the twisties’. Because it doesn’t. Unless you’ve got a pair of ‘grande cojones’. Like, very, very grande.
And that last factor, that’s why most of us get a classic bike. And is – arguably – the main factor why classic motorcycles are fun to own. The looks. Oh the looks.. they just look gorgeous. Or interesting. Or just charming in every aspect.
The big booty’s, the round head lights. Or the fox eyes on the bit younger classic superbikes. The carburettors, the choke’s, the fuel reserve switch. But also the air intakes and the conventional forks that aren’t upside down ones yet. And the abundance of chrome on for example the Suzuki GS1000S. It just has a special ring to it.
So looking at one is a great thing. And it won’t ever bore you. Especially when you’ve done the rebuild yourself. Every single good looking part will take you back to the days where you’ve spent hours trying to fix something. At that time, it will have risen a good dose of frustration. But now, when you look at it being all shiny and full of vintage charm, it will cause you to smile. And feel really good about yourself.
And what about riding it? It sure will be a head turner. You ride the beauty many others have drooled at in their younger years. You don’t ride a classic motorcycle to be the fastest on the road. You ride it to be the coolest. To feel the coolest and live the dream, while listening for rattles and clunks. That’s something a new bike won’t allow you to do. A new bike can give you goosebumps. But it won’t give you those funky, old school, my-smile-can’t-get-any-bigger goosebumps like classic motorcycles will. It just won’t.