'Thunderbirds are worth a look this winter'

Published: 03 October 2016

Bikes for sale

Last week I listed a few bikes I’m considering buying this winter, because I think they’re going to go up – Fireblade, because they’re under-priced, ZRX1200 because muscle bikes are coming back into fashion, Blackbird because nobody’s made a valid replacement for it yet, and Zephyr 750 because retro is back in fashion.

And also, because it’s retro, I’m contemplating the Triumph Thunderbird. These are already in demand – for my money, they’re more convincing than the early Bonnevilles, and they certainly go better – but you can find decent ones for the right money if you look and (crucially) they’re one of those bikes where people don’t demand 100% originality, so you can replace some components with quality pattern aftermarket stuff if you buy a damaged one.

The Honda CBF1000 is available for really low money as well, but I’m uncertain about this one. I have a suspicion that it’s cheap not because it’s been overlooked, but because nobody really wants them.

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I’m also going to be looking for a Ninja 250 or two. I’m certain good used sporty A2 bikes are going to be where the used market is next year, and the Kawasaki has been around longer than the Yamaha MT-03, so there are more about – and they’re cheaper.

Classics? The old SOHC Honda CB550, because the 750 and 400 Fours have already started rising, while the 550 has been ignored. Better still, it’s actually a better bike to ride than either of the other two. 

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