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

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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 …