10. Justification #1: They’re a Great Bargain


When I broached this Top 10 topic in broad terms, Dirty Sean Alexander jumped in immediately with his list of bikes: Bimota XB-Whatever, Ducati Supermono, Honda RC30, Yamaha RZ350, Honda VF500 Interceptor, Honda CB400F, Kawasaki Z1, Kawasaki H2 –

Whoa, man! Number one, you’re not allowed to mess with those classics for fear of being tarred and feathered by all the classicists. Number two, there are enough classicists around that you’re not going to get a rock-bottom deal on any of them. Purge perfect H2s from your cortex right now, and savor the memories. Now let’s move on.

What we’re after here are the bikes right on the edge of being classics or potential cult bikes, but ones that haven’t quite gotten there yet. Underappreciated, little-ridden bikes bought new by other weak-willed cheapskates whose wives have had a decade to beat them down. These bikes are girls with one too many tattoos, a beauty mark that verges on being a hairy mole, nearly unnoticeable scoliosis … bikes, in other words, we can pick up cheap and establish a loving, long-term relationship with none of the guilt. I said I was open to suggestions, but it winds up being a pretty subjective list. Then again, I have impeccable taste in motorcycles, so …

  • Funguy

    Please, could you please put the top-10 content-stretcher articles on a single page?

    Thank you.

    • Ser Samsquamsh

      Is helping you favorite motorbike site milk some revenue off telemetry driven marketing hacks, at zero cost to yourself, such an inconvenience?

      John Burns, with both ambidextrous prose AND impeccable taste in motosicles [sic], can not be cheap.

  • JMDonald

    Damn those guys at SuperBike. Objectifying women. WTFO. It took me twenty minutes to get to the next bike. I hope you’re happy.

    • We don’t really even like that particular bike 🙂

  • curly

    Good article, good choices.
    I think I counted 7or 8 bikes, not counting the H2. Owned 4 or 5 of them.
    Vfr- well, no, rc30?
    1998 R1/several early R6’s

    H2’s command big money from collectors (in Japan), but H1’s are better bikes, and cost a lot less- get a 74 model and spend a little on a John Aylor reed kit, a set of good shocks and a front brake upgrade- go smokin!

    I would substitute 996 for 998(budget bike that hauls). 999’s may not have that look, but they are better bikes, and a bargain, IMHO

    Delete Either the aprilia or rc51, add 929 or 954

    And I would comment that if you could find a mint early R1, you’d be making a rare find. 98’s are all gone, and I would not chop one up to make a “street fighter”

    a Suzuki on the list? 2005 gs xr anything, 30 year anniversary color
    scheme bikes are nice, getting cheap, and of course they haul ass

    Where’s the Kaws? – ever ride a 05-06 636? Or a 04-05 zx10? Insane

    Zx12s aren’t well thought of , but see above

  • fastfreddie

    Personally would list 996 over the 998 as they are very similar and 996 could be got for less money.Also dissagree with your assessment of the VFR 800.Found it bland,but that was comming from a 929 blade,so may have influenced me negatively…