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Just like any vehicle, a motorbike is an investment. Whether you need it to get to work, or just for weekend road trips, you’ll be spending hard earned cash on your bike – and you want to get the best value for money. Part of that decision rests on motorcycle depreciation. It’s handy to know which makes, models and styles are likely to retain their resale value if you choose to sell or upgrade down the track. This affects the bike style you choose, as well as your applications for vehicle finance.

Motorbike Depreciation - How to make sure you get good resale value on your bike

Understanding depreciation

Firstly, it’s important to understand what depreciation is and why it matters when you’re looking to invest in a motorcycle.

Depreciation is when an item decreases in value over time, usually due to wear and tear. When you use a motorcycle, parts will wear out and the duco may take a beating. Even if you don’t use your bike regularly, the technology will date and bigger, better, faster models will appear on the market. These factors will decrease your resale value.

On the other hand, certain motorcycles have appreciated in value over the last few years. Here are a few ideas for bikes that might make you the best investment return over the next 5 years.


Bikes that are already classics

A motorcycle that’s already considered a ‘classic’ will creep up in value over time. If you have the money to spend, consider a Brough Superior or Vincent Black Shadow and you’ll be comfortable in the knowledge that your investment is sound. Certain brands, like Harley Davidson, never go out of style and are likely to hold their value for the longer term.


Bikes with famous connections

For pure investment purposes, a motorcycle owned by a celebrity or a person from history is likely to hold its value. These come on the market from time to time for collectors, though you’re unlikely to use it for trips to work. Always be careful to verify the authenticity of any ownership claims!


Original models

Bikes usually depreciate as new models appear, but sometimes the original model could be worth a pretty penny. The slab-sided GSX-R750s from 1985 have gained in value, along with the original 1992 Fireblades. Keep in mind that they do need to be original and in good nick to hold value.


Beautiful bikes

Beauty is timeless and it’s worth money. The Ducati 916 is an excellent example of a beautiful classic still valuable after more than 20 years. It’s a motorcycle that holds its value better than any other 20 year old vehicle should.



Given that the 2-stroke bike disappeared from manufacturing ranges long ago, it’s no surprise that their value has increased. The 500cc machines are already quite expensive, and they’ve helped add value to the 250cc ones in their wake. NSRs, KR1Ses and TZRs are the kinds to look out for.


Glass’s Guide to trade-in values

To help you narrow down your options further, Glass’s Guide offers great inside information on the trade-in values of some of the most popular motorcycles after the first 5 years of ownership. If you’re saving or getting a loan for a motorbike, it pays to understand the market.

If you’re a fan of cruisers, sport bikes, Harleys, BMWs or Japanese bikes, the news is great. According to the data collected by the Glass Guide, cruisers have the highest retained value for trade-in while holding onto their value for longer. A whopping 65% of their value is retained in the first year or 20,000 km. They drop to 50% after the fifth year or 100,000 km.

Sport bikes retain 64% of their value after the first year, while dual sports bikes retain 63% of their original value.

The best performing motorcycle is the Harley Davidson CVO Ultra Limited, retaining 78% of its value in the first year of ownership, and dropping to 61% after 5 years of ownership or 100,000 km. The worst performers included minibikes, which only retain 47 – 27 % of their original value by their fifth year, and scooters, which only retained 50 – 29 % of their value.

Do your research and learn more about motorcycle depreciation before you buy. That way you can enjoy the pleasure of motorbike riding along with financial security in years to come.


For more financial information and advice on motorcycle depreciation, contact Turbo Finance today on 07 3879 4567!

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