If you’re looking to buy your first crotch rocket and want to look like a badass who knows his bikes without spending five figures, then you’ll want to pick one of the best of the used motorcycles available. Girls do think guys who ride motorcycles are hot and if you have a used bike that makes you look like a guy who has been riding for ever then you’ll be noticed even more. But don’t get scared off at the word “used.” Short of spending big bucks on a vintage 1928 BMW Indian Scout or a 1953 Harley Sportster, there were some good years for particular brands of bikes: 2005 was a good year for Harleys. And besides, it’s far more cost effective and a smarter investment to go with one of the best used bikes since new motorcycles depreciate so rapidly their value drops 30 percent the minute you rumble out of the showroom.
There are plenty of different older models that are excellent investments while making you look like a guy who rides motorcycles, but we only have room to show you four of the absolute best.
1998 Suzuki Katana 750. Named “Best 750cc Streetbike” by Cycle World in 1998 and also on the magazine’s “Ten Best Used Bike Buys,” you can pick one of these sportbikes up for under $3K. The 750 Katana is built for riders who like speed but don’t care for being stuck in the racing bike “tuck” riding position. The 1998 model 750 Kat is considered the best year for this bike and even though it’s designed to be “rider-friendly,” you most definitely will look like a guy who rides motorcycles as you swoosh by.
2005 Harley-Davidson CVO FAT BOY. This bad boy topped the “Best Cruiser” category of Cycle World’s “Ten Best Motorcycles of 2005.” The monster 103-cubic-inch Twin Cam V-motor sits on a frame that is tricked-out with over 50 chromed-up bits of bling to complement its two-toned factory custom paint job. This is truly a biker’s bike. At the time it was released in 2005 you would have paid $28K for one of these limited-edition Fat Boys, but today you might find a used Fat Boy for under $10K if you take the time to look. If you opt for a bit older or newer Fat Boy that is not one of these custom bikes, you’ll find them even cheaper.
1986 Yamaha Virago 1100. Voted “Best Cruiser” for 1986 by Cycle World, the Virago 110 also made the magazine’s “Ten Best Used Bike Buys.” In 1986, it sold for $4,499 and today it has held around $2,000, according to Blue Book. It’s understandable if you’re not thrilled about owning a 26-year-old cruiser, but be aware that the 1996 -’97 1100 Viragos, which are actually updated editions of that 1986 model, go for under $3K which is a good indication that the 1986 Virago is still popular for a reason. This V-Twin is awesomely torquey and is still the basic beast in the company’s offerings under the Star V Star 1100 model name.
1993 Honda VFR750. Being named to Cycle World’s “Ten Best Used Bike Buys” does not tell the whole story. Yea, VFR750 was also named ”Best 750cc Streetbike, 1993” by the magazine, but the V-Four VFR has been a “Ten Best” winner 11 times, including 10 years straight starting in 1990 to ’99, and then again in 2002. This muscular crotch rocket is all about speed and the accolades from the “Ten Best Used Bike Buys” list include “one of the great motorcycles of all time.” The original MSRP for the 1993 VFR750 was $6,998, but today they can be had for about $3K.
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