Neil Murray makes a living buying & selling pre-loved metal – and he’s on your side
ne thing I couldn’t help noticing while perusing the new bike registration figures was the sharp decline in sales of touring bikes. Sales of sports tourers are down as well.
You can tour on pretty much anything, if you’ve a mind to, but obviously a dedicated touring bike makes the task easier. And there’s been a marked lack of development here, which has probably slowed down sales.
If you want a used tourer, you’ve got a choice of a K1200LT from BMW, a K1600 six from BMW, and all sorts of iterations on the RT series: 1100, 1150, 1200 etc.
And if you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of old K-series Bricks around. Then there’s the Honda Gold Wing and Pan European, Triumph Trophy 1200, and, er, and, well, that’s about it, actually.
People are putting luggage kits onto standard bikes instead.
The Gold Wing is long in the tooth, but God knows how Honda will follow it. The 1800 flat-six Gold Wing has never sold as well as the 1500, although it is a far more capable machine, and right now, these are as cheap as they’ll ever be.
I’m looking at an ad for a 2001 model 1800 that sold recently - 27,000 miles (so nicely run in), and it went for £6000. That is a quarter of the new list price. Cruise control, CD player, full workshop manual even. I meant to bid on it and forgot. Damn, damn, damn. Who cares that it’s 14 years old? It’s still the same motorcycle, and it’s mint.
Big Wings don’t come up for sale often, as they seem to be passed around between owners, club members and friends. But trust me, people are paying four grand for mint early 1000cc Wings. So six grand for a modern one is an absolute bargain.
Words: Neil Murray