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Old motorbikes - a huge comeback??

Messages
12,563
Location
Germany
I don't know, if this is going on all around the world.
But in old Germany, old motorbikes and even old mopeds seem to have an explosive increase in value. As far as I can see, the people seem to pay every price, even for two-stroke mopeds! o_O

I know, that the old machines can be partly easily repaired, if you get parts. But I always think, if this boom of the old stuff is still "rational" and will never end?
The situation is, that you could easily get any old motorbike in more or less running condition, store it for a while and then sell it with easily 100% increase in value.

Maybe a psychological thing in oversaturated societies. Maybe, people are searching for alternative hobbies, especially vintage stuff.

But old motobrikes are one of the most stable-in-value-things, these days.

For example, we got the super popular (Simson) Awo 425 ("T"ouring and "S"port), here in old Germany. These 1-cylinder machines are 30s-BMW knock-offs and were build from 1950 to 1961.

If someone wants to get one in running condition, he has to pay at least 6.000 EUR (!).
And this would be the case on any other 30s/40s/50s motorbikes.

Crazyness!
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,881
Location
London, UK
Usually, in my experience, anything vintage will increase in value as time goes on, if properly looked after and a market exists. A mix of things. Partly, those original bikes on which the later copy you mention is based are, one presumes, now really rare and priced out of the reach of many, who will be looking at those Simsons as the next best thing. The guitar market went through this in the nineties. Back in and around 1990, nobody wanted 70s Fenders, the received wisdom was they were vastly inferior to even the late sixties (post-CBS 1965 buyout) models which were then becoming pricier among folks who wanted vintage but already couldn't afford a pre-CBS. The Japanese started buying the 70s guitars first; now an original 70s Strat even with the much derided three-bolt neck costs much more than a preCBS did in 1990, and those early guitars are crazy money. Enter the relic / reissue boom for those who can't afford vintage...

The other big deal is people get older and new kids grow up with newer loves. My Dad got into the vintage car market in the 60s, buying pre-war cars. The majority of vehicles on a 'vintage' run now are 50s and 60s cars that were contemporary when he first got into the hobby. He's in his mid seventies. A lot of those driving 50s and 60s cars are guys reliving their youth, either buying the cars they learned to drive in, or the ones they couldn't afford when young but can now. Guys my age (late forties) and younger, many are now doing much the same - except the cars about which they have nostalgic feelings are XR / RS Fords from the eighties...

The bike equivalent here has been the steady rise in value of early seventies Japanese bikes. Aboutg ten years ago when the retro bike boom really started, a lot of guys would buy those because they had the overall vibe of sixties British bikes, looks-wise, but modern features like indicator lights and so on - plus they were cheap. A lot of them were used as the basis for custom projects. I ever saw one 1972ish Suzuki totally rebuilt into a fairly convincing clone of a late 50s Aeriel. Now they are rapidly becoming collectible in their own right.
 

navetsea

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,711
Location
East Java
some lucky models here turned into classic even when nothing particularly special about it, just a vehicle that somehow pulls sentimental value to certain era, either start of an era or the end of an era. my small engine twinstroke motorcycle symbolizes an end of an era here in my country, it was the end of a long era of dictatorship and it was the last year of build since after that we got into huge economic and political crisis and all these small engined twinstroke sport bike ceased to exist the following year and through the next decade as everyone turned practical and save money on fuel consumption, as everything turned 3x more expensive, only years later younger generation picked these bikes, probably was a dream bike of their childhood, and perhaps the sound and smell of twinstroke oil make them feel unique and somehow get a steady followers, I bought mine new when I graduated from highschool in 97, the last production year of the bike I m surprised that it gains popularity somehow locally, as nothing really special about it, just an old suzuki twinstroke RG from the late 90s
 
Messages
10,721
Location
My mother's basement
To echo others …

Attribute it in part to middle-aged and older people (men, mostly) looking to recapture a piece of their youth. I do it myself, although not with cars anymore (too costly) nor motorcycles (too dangerous), but with household furnishings and such, so I have some sense of the emotional draw.

As I’ve mentioned before, among the reasons I can afford a nice vintage car is because I don’t spend money on things like nice vintage cars. But I’m not critical of those who do. Rather, I’m happy that some people preserve these artifacts. But thinking of them as investments in anything other than one’s emotional well-being is almost always foolhardy.
 
Messages
10,721
Location
My mother's basement
And …

I wouldn’t mind having a ’60s-vintage Honda Dream, the kind the Shriners motorcycle drill teams used when those bikes were new. It’s doubtful I’ll ever actually buy one, though. Too expensive for what would amount to little more than a toy, seeing how I wouldn’t wish to risk it and my own life to the hazards of the public highways and byways by actually using it for transportation.

EDIT: Just did a quick search. Asking prices on Honda Dreams are lower than I would have guessed. So I suppose the fan club isn’t so large. Yet.
 
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