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I have a friend who owns a lot of interesting bikes of collectible nature, from a Honda RS500 to an NR750. We discussed them as investments and even he concluded bikes aren't of the same level of investment potential as cars.

As some of you know, my business is in modern classic cars and so naturally I need to have some understanding of how to predict which vehicles will go up in value.
It all comes down to nostalgia and its ability to cause people to make irrational spending decisions - often from the heart, also based on values they see similar vehicles fetch. As cars sell for more, owners generally see their own cars are worth more, if something special & rare - where demand is a lot stronger than supply.

When the typical age group of the people in which such cars inspire strong desire gets too high, demand goes down. Few people these days dream of driving a 1911 Panhard, because those who dreamt of them in younger years have all passed away, or will soon... This is also why some cars are coming of age.

I remember the cars I dreamt of, some of which have been in my keep for over a decade and gone up 100% several times now, such as a perfect E30 M3 I bought for around $9,000 10 years ago for example. This was a car I knew would go up in value when they were at rock bottom back then. The best of them are well over $100,000 now, but it'll keep going up in the long term. Better than watching money not earn interest in banks and that's how a lot of other collectors feel. I continue to invest in cars, both standard and very well modified. Japan, by nature of it's history is a market where desirable discontinued parts are worth more than they were new. I see an HRC 17 x 5.0 wheel that would fit my RVF on sale. It didn't cost over $2,000 new and it had no corrosion on back then either.... I bet some of those bidding don't yet know of 5.00 x 17 PVM wheels Tyga is about to release, made specially for these bikes (very hard wheel sizes to find for a right facing single sided swing arm), but being HRC & discontinued it's not going to ever be worth less: https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/d268441778


Personally I've put more expense into improving my SP2 than I care to tally, but to me it doesn't matter. It's build & use was intended only for my enjoyment, not for sale.
I hope when my son & daughter are older and a capable enough riders, to pass it onto my them. Had it since near new and have no intention of parting with it. I don't care what it's market value is.

I have 8 bikes, some rare - but there's only one I think is worth more than I paid just before Xmas 2017. An RVF400, which I paid 400,000 Yen for (about $3,750 USD) here in Japan. It wasn't mint, had a few scratches from a low speed spill and parts weren't available from Honda. With a bit of time and effort to repaint and fit a few replica decals , its cosmetically perfect now and worth double what I paid for it, with all the free but desirable bits it came with.
It's the most technically advanced mid sized 4 cylinder bike of the Japanese bubble economy and one of the most beautifully formed, so demand is strong for almost non-existent minters here, since they appeal to riders with a 400cc limit on their mid-tier licences.

But I'm not interested in selling it after waiting 2 years to find a pukka one.
It's already begun it's diet of modifications and is about to get a completely uprated front end, carbon wheels, etc. I have a lot of titanium fasteners, bolts, etc. too. Some wear chains & jewelry. I don't spend money on watches. I prefer chunks of metal on my bikes.

For the SP2 I didn't keep the original parts, but for the RVF I will, mostly - where parts (such as the wheels) aren't used on other projects. I have no intention of selling it though, makes a perfect bike for my daughter and both kids ride on the back of it. Here in Japan, modifications - if top drawer add desirability, but I wouldn't expect that to ever cover the new cost of parts. We can sell them separately if we have all the original parts to fit back on the bike, or sell the original parts in future and get a return on those.

The really rare and most desirable parts always sell well. Ohlins RC51 forks, for instance. I paid a lot for some of my parts, but it's not really as if I couldn't ever sell them at a profit after all this time, if I wanted to.
But it's hassle and doesn't really pay that well. Not interested in letting go of the bits that took so long to track down and to me they complete the bike so Sharn Singh is going to have to wait more than a lifetime for my HRC race exhaust and I plan to live a long, long time. :D

RC51's have always been cheaper in the U.S. than other countries in which they were sold by Honda.
That said, I do expect U.S. prices for perfect bikes to continue to climb slowly, as RC51's are rising in value in UK, Europe, Japan, Asia, etc.

Bikes are a passion, not an investment vehicle as such. The right cars make a lot more sense to invest in by comparison. Nostalgia can be a powerful thing.
 

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I have my CL search set up and there were 3 RC's for sale between Fort Myers and Tampa. They are all gone now... seemed they went fast.

Here's a nice one that just came up in California. Wouldn't it be nice to see our bikes go for this much? https://inlandempire.craigslist.org/mcy/d/2004-rc-51-nicky-hayden/6496582883.html
You notice the other two RC51's in the pic? Or is the one in the foreground a TL1000? Makes you wonder if the guy has a garage full of them.
 

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I bought ALL my motorcycles as investments.................


The desired Return On Investment (ROI) is a maximum SPM

Smiles Per Mile :)


And with the interest on my savings account currently 0.05% p/a, I'd say the PC 12 and SC45/RC51 are very good investment indeed.



Even if the 31 year old fuel tab decided to start leaking fuel. So apart from a good investment in SPM, it never is a dull moment either... :)



and drained her right away..
 

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I have a friend who owns a lot of interesting bikes of collectible nature, from a Honda RS500 to an NR750. We discussed them as investments and even he concluded bikes aren't of the same level of investment potential as cars.

As some of you know, my business is in modern classic cars and so naturally I need to have some understanding of how to predict which vehicles will go up in value.
It all comes down to nostalgia and its ability to cause people to make irrational spending decisions - often from the heart, also based on values they see similar vehicles fetch. As cars sell for more, owners generally see their own cars are worth more, if something special & rare - where demand is a lot stronger than supply.

When the typical age group of the people in which such cars inspire strong desire gets too high, demand goes down. Few people these days dream of driving a 1911 Panhard, because those who dreamt of them in younger years have all passed away, or will soon... This is also why some cars are coming of age.

I remember the cars I dreamt of, some of which have been in my keep for over a decade and gone up 100% several times now, such as a perfect E30 M3 I bought for around $9,000 10 years ago for example. This was a car I knew would go up in value when they were at rock bottom back then. The best of them are well over $100,000 now, but it'll keep going up in the long term. Better than watching money not earn interest in banks and that's how a lot of other collectors feel. I continue to invest in cars, both standard and very well modified. Japan, by nature of it's history is a market where desirable discontinued parts are worth more than they were new. I see an HRC 17 x 5.0 wheel that would fit my RVF on sale. It didn't cost over $2,000 new and it had no corrosion on back then either.... I bet some of those bidding don't yet know of 5.00 x 17 PVM wheels Tyga is about to release, made specially for these bikes (very hard wheel sizes to find for a right facing single sided swing arm), but being HRC & discontinued it's not going to ever be worth less: https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/d268441778


Personally I've put more expense into improving my SP2 than I care to tally, but to me it doesn't matter. It's build & use was intended only for my enjoyment, not for sale.
I hope when my son & daughter are older and a capable enough riders, to pass it onto my them. Had it since near new and have no intention of parting with it. I don't care what it's market value is.

I have 8 bikes, some rare - but there's only one I think is worth more than I paid just before Xmas 2017. An RVF400, which I paid 400,000 Yen for (about $3,750 USD) here in Japan. It wasn't mint, had a few scratches from a low speed spill and parts weren't available from Honda. With a bit of time and effort to repaint and fit a few replica decals , its cosmetically perfect now and worth double what I paid for it, with all the free but desirable bits it came with.
It's the most technically advanced mid sized 4 cylinder bike of the Japanese bubble economy and one of the most beautifully formed, so demand is strong for almost non-existent minters here, since they appeal to riders with a 400cc limit on their mid-tier licences.

But I'm not interested in selling it after waiting 2 years to find a pukka one.
It's already begun it's diet of modifications and is about to get a completely uprated front end, carbon wheels, etc. I have a lot of titanium fasteners, bolts, etc. too. Some wear chains & jewelry. I don't spend money on watches. I prefer chunks of metal on my bikes.

For the SP2 I didn't keep the original parts, but for the RVF I will, mostly - where parts (such as the wheels) aren't used on other projects. I have no intention of selling it though, makes a perfect bike for my daughter and both kids ride on the back of it. Here in Japan, modifications - if top drawer add desirability, but I wouldn't expect that to ever cover the new cost of parts. We can sell them separately if we have all the original parts to fit back on the bike, or sell the original parts in future and get a return on those.

The really rare and most desirable parts always sell well. Ohlins RC51 forks, for instance. I paid a lot for some of my parts, but it's not really as if I couldn't ever sell them at a profit after all this time, if I wanted to.
But it's hassle and doesn't really pay that well. Not interested in letting go of the bits that took so long to track down and to me they complete the bike so Sharn Singh is going to have to wait more than a lifetime for my HRC race exhaust and I plan to live a long, long time. :D

RC51's have always been cheaper in the U.S. than other countries in which they were sold by Honda.
That said, I do expect U.S. prices for perfect bikes to continue to climb slowly, as RC51's are rising in value in UK, Europe, Japan, Asia, etc.

Bikes are a passion, not an investment vehicle as such. The right cars make a lot more sense to invest in by comparison. Nostalgia can be a powerful thing.
I've had one of these stickers on my vehicles for a few years now. I had never seen the show, didn't know what it was, but it sure looked cool!
 

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2004 Honda RC-51 Nicky Haden Edition.
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Fast forward 4 years, lol. The RC-51 sp-2 Nicky Hayden edition has and will continue to increase with age. I will rehash this thread in about 10 years when maybe, I will think about selling her. Best SPM investment ever with some mods to make her Old Man ride friendly. The Old, young, and new alike love her when I show up at my favorite sportbike spring riding hangout.
 
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