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Why you shouldn’t be scared of high mileage bikes or winter buys

Published: 13 January 2018

BIKES FOR SALE

Have you noticed how used bikes seem to have more miles on them these days? The average three-to-four-year-old bike (the ones I see anyway) all seem to have 20k-25k miles on the clocks.

I know that’s not a lot, but a decade ago you’d usually expect half that sort of mileage. I think one reason may be the change in what people ride – we’ve moved away from sportsbikes towards more practical bikes; like the new breed of nakeds and sit-up-and-beg, half-faired bikes and adventure bikes, of course.

These are more versatile than sportsbikes, so see more use. In the case of adventure bikes, I see a lot more of them on the roads in winter than I see sports 600s, too.

Another reason is that people have at last woken up to the fact that, as long as a bike has been properly maintained, mileage is nothing more than a number on a dial.

Another thing is that modern bikes really do run for extraordinary mileages without problems, and (by and large) the finish is good enough to stand up to time and miles.

A local dealer is trying to sell a late gear-cam Honda VFR750, with something like 25 grand on the clock, and I was so tempted.

I didn’t do it though, because winter is when I tend to buy new bikes. That’s when the deals come out, as people try to clear stock or hit sales targets.

I ordered my Ninja H2 in late November 2015, bought my Ducati 750SS in late November 1997, and this time I’ve taken advantage of a fabulous deal on the 2017 KTM 390 Duke, ABS model. It was £3099 on the road – cheaper than quite a few 125s and a staggering deal. If you bought this on PCP you’d still pay exactly the same as if it had been full price. Still think PCP is a good thing? 

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