Value of vintage bikes

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3/14/2018 6:03 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/14/2018 8:18 PM

Not sure if this has ever been brought up but I have been riding and racing for the last 20 years. I’m about to turn 30 and just restored my 89 CR250 (have a build thread or two here on it). I know it’s not quite a “vintage” bike but I think it’s cool and it’s almost 30 as well. When I show my buddies my bike and all the work I’ve done to it the only thing they seem to comment on is “ how much is it worth?” They all seem to think classic bikes as classic cars and I try to explain they they are and they aren’t. I also can’t really explain that the money I have in it could not be recouped, but I did it because I love motorcycles and I love that bike.

I guess the short question is for the people who have been involved in vintage bikes, do the values of these bikes go up and would an 89 CR250 and the like be considered the new wave of up and coming vintage models? Surely the twin shocks and pure vintage bikes will get to a point where the owners won’t race them as parts will become so scarce and they will maybe want to preserve them. Again I’m not about to sell my bike and am not in this for the money, if I was I’d be the worst businessman in history! Just curious. And do any of you think that the bikes you have are worth more than you’ve got in them or less?

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3/14/2018 7:05 PM

I think your right. As people age they pine for nostalgia of the good ole days and the bikes they grew up watching and racing as teens.
I’m 45 and although I love anything two wheels, but the bikes from my youth and racing years, 1980-1999... are the ones I like.
As my / our demographic matures they are going to want these bikes.
The older bikes, 60s-70s are probably going to start going down in value while the newer bikes will go up.
My dad was a ford model A guy. Those cars peaked in value then dropped as the enthusiasts aged and passed on. I see no reason why bikes won’t follow the same pattern.
There will be some exceptions to the rule I’m sure such as first year CR’s, YZ’s... Seems like the old bikes are getting made into display pieces, riders too old, parts too rare...

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3/14/2018 7:34 PM

That’s what I’m thinking. Seems some people think that these bikes restored are somewhat of an investment option. I just think they are sweet but there have been times when the conversation of value comes up.

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3/14/2018 8:01 PM

I'm not cashing in my 401K to buy 80s and 90s bikes that's for sure!
I never added up the total investments in my 84 WR400 husky or 86 CR250 honda but I recon about 1500 or more in parts each, and who knows how many hours of labor (luckily I can do everything but cylinders myself). I can imagine if you have to sub out motor and suspension the cost to restore bikes would be super salty.

They were bikes I wanted and IMO desirable models that will age gracefully. I did them to keep, not sell so I haven't worried about value, seems to be more about finding the right buyer that has to have it and isn't afraid to pony up than anything.

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3/14/2018 9:16 PM

I think you’ll see an increase in the value of the mid 1990’s and up two strokes. The new bike market is getting so outrageously expensive that a lot of people are looking to the older two strokes as a budget option while still maintaining a decent level of performance. Most of the bikes from the mid ‘90s onwards are still relatively competitive at a “weekend warrior” level of riding and parts are readily still available. I think the value of the ‘90s and up two strokes are going to rise steadily as demand for them grows.

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3/15/2018 8:06 AM

In the UK, Twinshock, Evo (1980-1989) and Super-Evo (1990-1999 2 stroke/steel frame) is massive, and there is a huge demand for the bikes, especially Honda. The Farleigh Castle event is a monster, but in addition to that, there's a lot of regional racing taking place on older bikes, and the entries are strong. I used to race this series when I lived in London and it has got bigger and bigger each year: http://easternevomx.uk/

In 2014, a 1989 CR250 which is the bike to have in the Evo class, was £2-3.5k. Now the same bikes are in the £2.5-5.5k range. Classic example priced at £4.2k: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Honda-CR-250-1989-Evo-motocross-bike/152940839354?hash=item239bfc01ba:g:ubQAAOSw5TpapTfY. That's almost $6k!

The prices have probably peaked in my opinion, especially with Evo bikes, but there is growth potential in the Super-Evo class. I guess one generation hands over to the next so to speak. This will impact the American market as UK and European dealers will look to buy up the best examples and ship them to where the market will pay a premium for the best bikes, usually advertised as 'from the dry state of California/Colorado/Arizona, and not rotted out like a Euro bike that has been battered in wet sand its whole life'.

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3/15/2018 8:22 AM

Bruneval wrote:

In the UK, Twinshock, Evo (1980-1989) and Super-Evo (1990-1999 2 stroke/steel frame) is massive, and there is a huge demand for the bikes, especially Honda. The Farleigh Castle event is a monster, but in addition to that, there's a lot of regional racing taking place on older bikes, and the entries are strong. I used to race this series when I lived in London and it has got bigger and bigger each year: http://easternevomx.uk/

In 2014, a 1989 CR250 which is the bike to have in the Evo class, was £2-3.5k. Now the same bikes are in the £2.5-5.5k range. Classic example priced at £4.2k: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Honda-CR-250-1989-Evo-motocross-bike/152940839354?hash=item239bfc01ba:g:ubQAAOSw5TpapTfY. That's almost $6k!

The prices have probably peaked in my opinion, especially with Evo bikes, but there is growth potential in the Super-Evo class. I guess one generation hands over to the next so to speak. This will impact the American market as UK and European dealers will look to buy up the best examples and ship them to where the market will pay a premium for the best bikes, usually advertised as 'from the dry state of California/Colorado/Arizona, and not rotted out like a Euro bike that has been battered in wet sand its whole life'.

Why do you think it's so big in the UK? I was amazed that the UK was so far ahead of the US in post vintage, EVO, super EVO... Most of my parts come from the UK, Steve denton, Woodies, Evo-MX... Very impressive, Farleigh is high on my bucket list!

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3/15/2018 9:54 AM

This bike sold for $25,000.00 just a few years back. Just hammered across the block a few weeks back for $52,800.00.

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3/15/2018 10:26 AM

Rocky739 wrote:

Why do you think it's so big in the UK? I was amazed that the UK was so far ahead of the US in post vintage, EVO, super EVO... Most of my parts come from the UK, Steve denton, Woodies, Evo-MX... Very impressive, Farleigh is high on my bucket list!

I think there are a few factors driving it:
- SOME Evo bikes are cheaper to buy and run. For example, the pre-1983 125 class is super popular and those bikes can be bought and raced for £800-£1,500. A top line CR250 prepared by someone like DocWob is still on a par with a run of the mill new bike in terms of price, meaning the very best stuff is still accessible, albeit more expensive than the USA
- Modern tracks put a lot of people off, and the Evo crowd are often business owners or senior people given their stage of life, and therefore really don't want to get hurt. They prefer the natural terrain that these events are run on, so there is a resurgence in natural tracks to fill the demand. In England, there is a law called the 12 day rule. It means (as a general rule) that for 12 days in any given year, the landowner can do anything they want on the land without requiring planning permission or having to fill in and pay for a permit. It means that a farmer can open his land up to a race club for an event a couple of times a year, or run a music or food and drink festival etc. It's designed to help the rural community diversify their income streams, and a small part of that is bike racing
- Modern racing classes tend to be full of ego's and aggression, and less about people having a good time. The Evo racing I have been to is full of friendly, helpful people who will bend over backwards to help each other out, and they are friends outside of the race track too
- I think American's often want the brand new model be it a car, iphone or whatever, so things go out of favor here and become less desirable a bit quicker. Add to that the trend that 'all things retro' is cool, especially in Europe, so there's a fair amount of youngsters who join in the vintage racing with their parents, meaning that it's not just old men racing these bikes. I was only born in 1983 but I owned a 1982 KX250 and now have two 1989 CR250s because I wanted to join in with some of my older riding buddies
- In England, there's a lot cottage industry in manufacturing, which means its a bit easier to keep the bikes running. The type of people that smoke a pipe and wear a shirt and tie under their coveralls still exist, and I love it. Some of the fabrication and engineering work I have had done has been mind blowing, and done for a fair price too. The same skills will be here in America, but without a bit website and social media, it might be going undetected and crushed by the bigger players/retailers

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3/15/2018 10:39 AM

Bruneval wrote:

In the UK, Twinshock, Evo (1980-1989) and Super-Evo (1990-1999 2 stroke/steel frame) is massive, and there is a huge demand for the bikes, especially Honda. The Farleigh Castle event is a monster, but in addition to that, there's a lot of regional racing taking place on older bikes, and the entries are strong. I used to race this series when I lived in London and it has got bigger and bigger each year: http://easternevomx.uk/

In 2014, a 1989 CR250 which is the bike to have in the Evo class, was £2-3.5k. Now the same bikes are in the £2.5-5.5k range. Classic example priced at £4.2k: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Honda-CR-250-1989-Evo-motocross-bike/152940839354?hash=item239bfc01ba:g:ubQAAOSw5TpapTfY. That's almost $6k!

The prices have probably peaked in my opinion, especially with Evo bikes, but there is growth potential in the Super-Evo class. I guess one generation hands over to the next so to speak. This will impact the American market as UK and European dealers will look to buy up the best examples and ship them to where the market will pay a premium for the best bikes, usually advertised as 'from the dry state of California/Colorado/Arizona, and not rotted out like a Euro bike that has been battered in wet sand its whole life'.

Rocky739 wrote:

Why do you think it's so big in the UK? I was amazed that the UK was so far ahead of the US in post vintage, EVO, super EVO... Most of my parts come from the UK, Steve denton, Woodies, Evo-MX... Very impressive, Farleigh is high on my bucket list!

You also have to remember that here in the US, AHRMA was extremely anti post vintage on the national level. It was only after post vintage mx became extremely popular among local clubs throughout the country to the point that it was affecting AHRMA's cashflow that they jumped on board. Hell if Jeff Smith and Dick Mann were still in the cockpit there would still be no post vintage AHRMA.

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3/15/2018 10:46 AM

So the AHRMA basically tried to suppress Evo and Super-Evo racing? Talk about missing a trick.

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3/15/2018 10:56 AM

Bruneval wrote:

In the UK, Twinshock, Evo (1980-1989) and Super-Evo (1990-1999 2 stroke/steel frame) is massive, and there is a huge demand for the bikes, especially Honda. The Farleigh Castle event is a monster, but in addition to that, there's a lot of regional racing taking place on older bikes, and the entries are strong. I used to race this series when I lived in London and it has got bigger and bigger each year: http://easternevomx.uk/

In 2014, a 1989 CR250 which is the bike to have in the Evo class, was £2-3.5k. Now the same bikes are in the £2.5-5.5k range. Classic example priced at £4.2k: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Honda-CR-250-1989-Evo-motocross-bike/152940839354?hash=item239bfc01ba:g:ubQAAOSw5TpapTfY. That's almost $6k!

The prices have probably peaked in my opinion, especially with Evo bikes, but there is growth potential in the Super-Evo class. I guess one generation hands over to the next so to speak. This will impact the American market as UK and European dealers will look to buy up the best examples and ship them to where the market will pay a premium for the best bikes, usually advertised as 'from the dry state of California/Colorado/Arizona, and not rotted out like a Euro bike that has been battered in wet sand its whole life'.

Wow that’s what I’m talking about as that’s the bike I just got done going through. I see some people say the late 80s and early 90s bikes are still “current” and viable option verse the new bikes. While that’s probably true ride wise, parts wise it’s not. I did a mild restore of my 89 and couldn’t imagine trying to find parts for that thing if I rode and raced it like I do my newer bikes. Tracking down some
Of the parts and pieces was tough. I can’t see myself racing or riding it regularly just for that point alone.

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3/15/2018 11:07 AM

Bruneval wrote:

So the AHRMA basically tried to suppress Evo and Super-Evo racing? Talk about missing a trick.

Yep. It sucks that we got it so wrong, AHRMA vintage is slowly (or not so slowly) drying up yet they are so reluctant to adopt EVO.
I'm worried if they do add classes they will also add their 400 page rule book. I think the EVO crowd is more into a good time and a run what ya brung mentality versus complaining and crying that the other guys bike isn't fair.
I want a full gate and a long moto, the fast guys will win and the slow guys won't.

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3/15/2018 11:32 AM

They are not too strict on the parts, as I think people are pragmatic enough to realise that modern replacements are sometimes the only option. And besides, it’s 99% rider anyway.

If you need help with any parts for you 89 CR, I am happy to help. They are a particularly well made bike, and there is plenty out there. Besides, I know just the guy....

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3/15/2018 11:48 AM

Rocky739 wrote:

I think your right. As people age they pine for nostalgia of the good ole days and the bikes they grew up watching and racing as teens.
I’m 45 and although I love anything two wheels, but the bikes from my youth and racing years, 1980-1999... are the ones I like.
As my / our demographic matures they are going to want these bikes.
The older bikes, 60s-70s are probably going to start going down in value while the newer bikes will go up.
My dad was a ford model A guy. Those cars peaked in value then dropped as the enthusiasts aged and passed on. I see no reason why bikes won’t follow the same pattern.
There will be some exceptions to the rule I’m sure such as first year CR’s, YZ’s... Seems like the old bikes are getting made into display pieces, riders too old, parts too rare...

X2 Except for works bikes or bikes with a pro heritage of course

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When in doubt gas it! It may not cure the problem but it will end the suspense!

3/15/2018 12:10 PM

Rocky739 wrote:

I think your right. As people age they pine for nostalgia of the good ole days and the bikes they grew up watching and racing as teens.
I’m 45 and although I love anything two wheels, but the bikes from my youth and racing years, 1980-1999... are the ones I like.
As my / our demographic matures they are going to want these bikes.
The older bikes, 60s-70s are probably going to start going down in value while the newer bikes will go up.
My dad was a ford model A guy. Those cars peaked in value then dropped as the enthusiasts aged and passed on. I see no reason why bikes won’t follow the same pattern.
There will be some exceptions to the rule I’m sure such as first year CR’s, YZ’s... Seems like the old bikes are getting made into display pieces, riders too old, parts too rare...

wertman194 wrote:

X2 Except for works bikes or bikes with a pro heritage of course

Eh, I still don't care, 1980s and 90's works bikes aren't as good as what we can build now with off the shelf parts and knowledge. I'll face off with any C rider on any bike and come out ok, now put a former pro on a clapped out pile and that's a different story!

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3/15/2018 3:20 PM

Bruneval wrote:

They are not too strict on the parts, as I think people are pragmatic enough to realise that modern replacements are sometimes the only option. And besides, it’s 99% rider anyway.

If you need help with any parts for you 89 CR, I am happy to help. They are a particularly well made bike, and there is plenty out there. Besides, I know just the guy....

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Wow what a collection that’s awesome! I have been wanting to try out a vintage race now that this bike is done but I heard stories about strict rules and such. I just want to ride. Hopefully the 80-90s bike values will go to the level of the UK too! It’s hard not to buy every 90s bike I see on Craigslist as it is to rescue them all.

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3/16/2018 3:25 AM

Rocky739 wrote:

I think your right. As people age they pine for nostalgia of the good ole days and the bikes they grew up watching and racing as teens.
I’m 45 and although I love anything two wheels, but the bikes from my youth and racing years, 1980-1999... are the ones I like.
As my / our demographic matures they are going to want these bikes.
The older bikes, 60s-70s are probably going to start going down in value while the newer bikes will go up.
My dad was a ford model A guy. Those cars peaked in value then dropped as the enthusiasts aged and passed on. I see no reason why bikes won’t follow the same pattern.
There will be some exceptions to the rule I’m sure such as first year CR’s, YZ’s... Seems like the old bikes are getting made into display pieces, riders too old, parts too rare...

wertman194 wrote:

X2 Except for works bikes or bikes with a pro heritage of course

Rocky739 wrote:

Eh, I still don't care, 1980s and 90's works bikes aren't as good as what we can build now with off the shelf parts and knowledge. I'll face off with any C rider on any bike and come out ok, now put a former pro on a clapped out pile and that's a different story!

Agreed, but I thought we were talking about value of bikes, not which bikes are actually better.

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When in doubt gas it! It may not cure the problem but it will end the suspense!

3/16/2018 4:44 PM

wertman194 wrote:

Agreed, but I thought we were talking about value of bikes, not which bikes are actually better.

Aghh, Seems to have gotten off track a bit... Yea Some crazy money thrown out at these auctions for the Kawi shown here and there were surly more than just that one. There was also a never started NOS late 80's Husky that went pretty high too. Rich folks and their money i guess. That's why I always say a bikes worth what a buyer is ready to spend, all about finding the right audience.

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3/26/2018 10:13 AM

yes, one of the bikes that people want to much for in my opinion is the original $ 995.00 250 elsinore , I used to race one that had al baker frame mod, redline swing arm gp pipe barrel etc. kit. I didn't think it was as great as said to be . I have been to vintage races that guys start tellin me how great they are, then when I tell them I used to ride one and the mods it had, they usually admit they don't like as much as they thought they would..I liked my friends kx250 better had fork kit and good shocks. always thought the ossa phantom was better looking also...

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