Welcome to the era of the £10k 600

But in fact they're as cheap as ever...

Posted: 16 January 2013
by Visordown
What price 600cc fun?
Was it really cheaper back then?

IT'S a moment bike firms have been desperate to avoid. But it looks likely that 2013 will see the prices of some 600cc supersports machines bursting through the notional £10,000 'barrier', thanks to a combination of technological advances, legislative demands and monetary fluctuations.

At the moment, several 600s already knock on the door of a five-figure price tag, particularly with the advent of ABS-equipped versions as bike firms bow to demand and prepare for the forthcoming law that will make anti-lock brakes mandatory on such machines. Some, like Triumph's latest Daytona 675R, have already taken the leap and crossed into £10k territory, although the non-R version is cheaper.

While it might be hard to accept it, £10,000 isn't a magic number. In fact, we get more for our money now than ever before. While it seems only a short while ago that any 600cc supersport could be yours for around £7k, the reality is that due to inflation the latest prices are really no higher than in the past. All the extra performance, handling and technology is, therefore, effectively free of charge...

Take Honda's CBR600, for instance. Back in 1996, a steel-framed, carb-fed CBR600F with a whole 100bhp would have set you back £6995. Not a lot? Actually, take inflation into account and that's over £11,000 in today's money – around as much as you might pay for a new Ducati 848.

Admittedly, that 1996 price was in the era of grey imports and rip-off Britain, and in the late 1990s all manufacturers re-shuffled their prices to bring them down. Even so, adjusted for inflation, the price of the CBR600 has rarely dropped below the equivalent of £9,000, and the same applies to all its rivals.

(As an aside, even back in 1996 it was possible to pay five-figure sums for a 600 – the Yamaha FZR600-powered Bimota YB9 cost £10,000, the equivalent of around £16,000 now.)

Click 'next page' to see why a 600 is actually cheaper than you might think!



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That "before tax" isn't insignificant. Mortgages, utility bills, fuel costs: how much of what you "earn" is actually left in your pocket to spend in 2012?

I make decent money, but the thought of spunking £10K of my disposable income on a 2 wheeled trinket is just hilarious. If I had that money to spare, I'd be throwing it at my mortgage, and I'd wager that most of the remaining big-ticket new bike sales are to coffin dodgers with empty, paid off nests. No wonder plastic fantastics are dying on their wheels.

Posted: 17/01/2013 at 08:49

agreed.. the motorcycle is not significantly more expensive. Parts are now being sourced from cheaper production countries, manufacture has moved on... Processes are in fact cheaper.

The whole world (me included) expects year on year wage increases... these have to be paid by increased product costs.

Posted: 17/01/2013 at 10:13

I reckon the problem is that the segment is getting more focussed and less usable in the real world - The CBR600F used to be quick enough for track days, comfy enough for touring, and good for everyday use... You can't really say the same for the vast majority of supersports bikes these days. Fair enough the prices haven't technically increased much, but unless you want bar-room bragging rights or 1/2 a second a lap quicker, then you're getting less for your money! Whereas you'd have change from £10,000 if you bought a Tiger 1050 (for example), and you'd get a bike which was more usable, and just as much fun (if not more) on real roads!

Its like if Vitorinox manufactured a swiss army knife with just the tool for removing a stone from a horses hoof, yet charged the same money.

Posted: 17/01/2013 at 10:57

i think used bike sales would go on the up lets face it what you can get for say 6 grand is a bike with good looks and usually performance to match new models and lets not forget aftermarket parts that make your so called out of date bike which can make them look just as good as a new model, its good to know there will always be someone who can invent something better cheaper

Posted: 17/01/2013 at 17:06

Why Can't we just buy what we want when we want? If you can afford it who cares?  I earn decent money [I think!], I pay a mortgage, AND i paid more than 10K for my new bike. MY CHOICE.

And how old do you have to be to be classed as a coffin dodger Rogerborg????


Posted: 18/01/2013 at 20:33

When it comes to how much enjoyment you get out of any purchase I don't really think price has much do do it. I suppose it all depends if fun or bragging rights are your top priority. I've owned cheap used bikes and bought expensive new ones, but I'd be hard pushed to say which of them I enjoyed riding the most. If you can afford it then buy it; if not get the best you can and enjoy it.

Posted: 21/01/2013 at 11:51

If I had a spare £10,000 there is absolutely no way I would pay off some of my morgage. For me life is for the here and now and to be enjoyed to the full. I have had new and old bikes, my choice is to buy new or very very nearly new. I think there has never ever been a better time to buy a motorcycle. An unbelievable choice is available get down that showroom and treat yourself, go on you know you want to. Being MR Sensible is ok but god is it boring.

Posted: 21/01/2013 at 13:09

P.S I am not rich and my kids aren't starving either.

Posted: 21/01/2013 at 13:11

Never understand the idea of buying new bikes anyway. If you take the CBR600RR. Up until this year and the new pig ugly 2013 revision. You could get that same bike back for the past 5 years. Allowing you to purchase 2 used for the price of one new. Not as if they blow up after 5,000 miles. Most CBR's whether 6,9 or 10 are good for 30-40k miles anyway.

Same goes for most bikes these days.
I have only ever bought 1 new bike and that was discounted from 14,250 to 11k with free service and track fairing included. Bought a 996r with 3k miles. Saved 7k off the otiginal price. Sold it for 2K less after 6 years.

Posted: 24/01/2013 at 07:53

Bought my 05 zx6r in 2008 with 3k odo for just under 3.5k and it was in absolutly mint condition. A bargain? I think so!

Posted: 24/01/2013 at 18:16

Cheering inflation is a stupid idea. In the real world no-one is getting wage increases, the true inflation figures are being manipulated by including crap like flatscreen televisions instead of onions and bread, and the pound is being devalued through Quantitative easing and it's all to save a few people who were silly enough to take out massive mortgages on overpriced housing. It is destroying the economy and people are too silly to see it. The masses have been duped into thinking they should spend most of their wage on interest payments for housing.

Either way, the new Supersport 600 market is not going to be helped by breaching the 10k barrier. People are getting wise to the growth at all costs scam, and we're more wise with the cash. Hence the rise of home servicing and keeping things longer. There's nothing wrong with my bikes, and I'll be keeping them for a while yet.

Posted: 24/01/2013 at 20:02

Cheering inflation is a stupid idea. In the real world no-one is getting wage increases, the true inflation figures are being manipulated by including crap like flatscreen televisions instead of onions and bread, and the pound is being devalued through Quantitative easing and it's all to save a few people who were silly enough to take out massive mortgages on overpriced housing. It is destroying the economy and people are too silly to see it. The masses have been duped into thinking they should spend most of their wage on interest payments for housing.

Either way, the new Supersport 600 market is not going to be helped by breaching the 10k barrier. People are getting wise to the growth at all costs scam, and we're more wise with the cash. Hence the rise of home servicing and keeping things longer. There's nothing wrong with my bikes, and I'll be keeping them for a while yet.

Posted: 24/01/2013 at 20:04

Then again, if no-one buys new bikes, then what happens to the second hand market?

Posted: 28/01/2013 at 16:18

I'm sure they can be shown to be no more expensive. Unfortunately, I work in the public sector and over last five years our wages have not increased with inflation. I'm not saying it is the motorcycle manufacturers fault but that doesn't make it any more affordable.

Furthermore, the price IS outrageous- very few want tech on a 600 and apart from that most 600s are knocking on 5years old, way beyond recovering r&d or tooling costs. Products that far from new should be cheaper. Everything else gets cheaper with age yet bike makers paint a different colour or stick in some aftermarket fork, claiming an all new bike and requiring a premium. My tv was under half the 2010 price as no longer 'best' or cutting edge. Why not 'my' bike?

Posted: 29/01/2013 at 19:58

Talkback: Welcome to the era of the £10k 600


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