Test your vintage motorcycle buying Mojo!
Pop quiz to test your vintage motorcycle buying mojo:
1. What’s worth more: a 1985 Honda V40 Magna (VF700C) with very low mileage in near immaculate condition or a 1950 Whizzer Roadmaster in good working order but with a few dents, rust and scratches. non Whizzer bits used for yard repairs?
2. You drive down a side road and see vintage bikes set up in a farmyard with “for sale” signs. The sign says, “$ 2,000 each, farm, your choice.” “
You have about $ 2,000 in reserve that you saved for a really good vintage bike to restore – not a full frame mega project, but something doable with only a few moderate repairs. Your choices in the yard are:
- a 1967 Honda CB450 in rough but serviceable condition with some surface rust and a slightly dented tank;
- a 1973 Kawasaki Z1 with missing parts (muffler, mirrors and front fender), dirty and dented tank, surface rust, missing speedometer, no longer works now but “worked last summer”;
- 1964 BSA Thunderbolt Rocket (A65T) in fair but complete condition. Dirty, a little rusty and it makes a subtle “pfft” sound when the kicker is pushed through. Starts and runs – the question is, for how long?
Which of these offers is the best?
3. You are driving and see a 1976 Honda CJ360T with a “for sale” sign on the side of the road. From all that you can see, everything is original and in showroom condition. No evidence of ever being dropped or run over, not a scratch.
Only 2,600 miles are on the clock and it starts from the first kick. The owner is asking for $ 1,400, including the original tool kit, owner’s manual and shop maintenance manual. Is the owner crazy or is the price of the bike right?
4. You are at the bike show and really have the bug to get a classic Euro-bike and you are willing to spend the money to do it. A 1959 Moto-Guzzi Falcone in sparkling, like-new condition stops you short and it’s for sale. You decide to take a serious step towards it; what should you offer to avoid sounding like a complete amateur, without preparing to get skinned?
5. What you hope to find just might have just been put at the end of a driveway for sale: 1980 Honda CB750F Super Sport with a Windjammer, adjustable backrest, 42,000 miles, lots of oil seepage, grime and a rusty chain on it.
The owner says they would like to get $ 3,000 for it. Owner says it runs great, has had regular maintenance, but can be difficult to start on cold mornings. You’ve heard that these bikes can pull like a truck and fly low when they have to, so this is a machine you’re interested in. What do you do ?
6. An elderly man you meet tells you that he plans to sell the motorcycle he bought used in the early 1970s. He says it’s just too heavy for him, so he didn’t. ridden for several years, but would love a light, easy-to-ride bike like the 1981 Honda CM400A Hondamatic you ride. the road from time to time still.
He admits his bike is much older, doesn’t know where to find parts, and has no idea how much it may be worth. It asks if you plan to trade an equal amount. In his garage, he removes a blue tarp from a 1969 Munch Mammut 1200 TTS. It is dusty, but in like new condition. Should we trade with him?
These scenarios can be confusing, rewarding, costly, and stressful or any combination of them. What’s the right price range for a vintage motorcycle in any condition from the basket to the showroom original? Imagine having reliable, researched pricing data and advice on how to value and rate a vintage bike on hand at a time like this!
Now you can, thanks to the folks at the Motorcycle and Model Railroad Museum of Wisconsin, Inc., who are responsible for creating the 2015-2016 edition of the Complete Vintage Motorcycle Price Guide.
The guide covers 70 brands ranging from 1901 to 1996. Price data is compiled based on the opinions and information of collectors, dealers, auctioneers and experts in the field of vintage motorcycles.
While the guide may not be able to set the perfect price for every model, age, and condition of bike, it can be extremely helpful in helping to place the transaction within a realistic price range and negotiations can go from there.
Now let’s see how the guide can help you with the scenarios of our pop quiz:
1. In the grading guidelines included in the Guide, the Honda Magna would be condition 2 – excellent, while the Whizzer would be condition 4 – good machine. If you thought the age and relative rarity of the Whizzer would make it the highest value proposition, think again. The Magna would be valued at around $ 2,500 while the Whizzer would be valued at around $ 1,300. Of course, if you need a 1950 Whizzer Roadmaster to complete your collection and you’re so obsessed with it that money isn’t an issue, forget about the price guide.
2. In this âpay your money and take your pickâ scenario, if you find all three bikes very desirable, deciding which one to choose is more than just a money issue; yet choosing the wrong one can be costly. Buying a bike that doesn’t ride can always be risky and a UK bike with an obviously blown head gasket may be more of a project than you can handle without professional help.
According to the pricing guide, here’s how you might view the three contenders: The Honda would likely be rated as condition 4 – a good machine, placing it in the $ 3,500 value bracket – making it a very good buy and it would probably be a light cleaning restore. The Kawasaki can be a gamble if you can’t hear it working, but on the other hand, even as a 6-poor condition, the Zed is valued at around $ 4,000, double the asking price! The problem is, you might never be able to use it without a lot more expense. The BSA would probably be a condition 5 bike at best. That would put its value in a range of around $ 2,400. It represents the least in terms of potential added value compared to the purchase price, but if restored even to condition level 3, its value could increase to $ 4,800. Which of these deals is better depends on your goal: a vintage rider or an investment.
3. The Honda CJ360T is sort of a dark horse among vintage bikes. There haven’t been many, but it was a very basic economy bike, even lacking an electric starter and center stand. New, they cost just under $ 1,000, but although they are very basic, they have appreciated in value somewhat. The Honda as described would probably be considered a condition 2, a prime example. In this condition, the asking price is fully within the value range of the Price Guide. You can always argue for a lower price, but if the seller also has the Price Guide, you might not get very far.
4. A Moto-Guzzi Falcone Sport from this vintage in 1 â perfect / new condition will have you diving pretty deep in your pocket; it would fall within the range of $ 9,500.
5. Hondas are notorious for being hard to kill, but nothing lasts forever. The rusty chain, oil seeps, and grime seem to belie the fact that it has had regular maintenance. At best, this one could be considered a condition 5 – fair, but even at that, would be valued at around $ 1,000 – but by no means $ 3,000, even with the fairing and backrest! If you think it’s worth negotiating, try to bring the seller in for a real soft landing at the right price.
6. Let’s see, your Hondamatic if in showroom condition (1 â perfect / new) could be worth up to $ 2,000! Better think about it. You check your copy of the Price Guide (which is sized to fit easily into the pocket of most riding jackets). His old Munch, on the other hand, in the same condition, can be valued at around $ 100,000. Hmm. Difficult decision. (Read our review of a book on how Munch Mammut changed a man’s life here: Beyond my Wildest Dreams).
These are just a few examples of how the Complete Vintage Motorcycle Price Guide 2015 Edition 2016 Could Save You Money On That Next Vintage Bike Or Even Help You Make Money On The One You Could. consider buying and reselling.
- Title: The complete price guide for vintage motorcycles 2015 edition 2016
- Author: Compiled by the Motorcycle and Model Railroad Museum of Wisconsin, Inc.
- Posted: 2015 paperback, 240 pages 4.25 “x 6.5”
- Editor: Whitehorse Press, 107 E. Conway Road, Conway Center, NH, 03813
- ISBN: 978-0-884313-95-0
- MSRP: US $ 15.95