By Simon Hargreaves
EVERYONE likes to spot a something new before anyone else; an undiscovered band or a house price collapse or a tsunami.
Predicting which from the vast panoply of new motorbikes will become a future classic and which will be consigned to gather dust in the dealership in the sky is a tricky business (otherwise known as ‘guesswork’). Especially if you’re speculating to accumulate rather than just idly speculating. The general rule is there’s only one general rule: given sufficient time, almost any bike kept in mint condition becomes collectable in the end. Even CX500s. You just have to wait until there aren’t any ropey ones left and everyone’s forgotten about bad they were in the first place.
1) Yamaha FZS600 Fazer
Some things are so ubiquitous we fail to realise what design classics they are until they’ve been recycled into oblivion and/or turned into landfill, whereupon we suffer a collective nostalgic guilt at the scorched earth excess of unrestrained consumerism. We’re thinking any die-cast Corgi toy, Raleigh Choppers and MkIII Ford Cortinas (allegedly Britain’s second-most scrapped car; the Morris Marina is first).
Yamaha’s friendly, funky Thundercat-powered FZS600 Fazer (pictured above) was the two-wheeled MkIII Cortina of 1998. It blended utility and irrepressible enthusiasm in a handsome package. Everyone loved it and it loved everyone. Thus they were everywhere (combined with the later, R6-powered FZ6, the middleweight Fazers are the fourth most numerous bikes on UK roads according to the DVLA).
Today, many Fazers are gently decaying in budget used bike yards or falling into the hands of serial corroders who can rot a header at 20 paces just by looking at it. Before the decade is out the current supply of clean, low milers at around the grand mark will have dried up and all you’ll get is, basically, a pile of rust for £500. A bit like 600 Diversions are now. And soon after that we’ll all wish we had the perky chap in the corner of our garage. Buy one while you can.