£2,500 gets you a lot of motorbike if you use your noggin these days. We did just that and landed a trio of minto sportsbikes. Then we got a Beemer for the same miserly sum just for comparison's sake
"Like the mag lads," said the bloke to us in the office's local pub, "but why don't you test secondhand bikes? Not all of us can afford the new stuff you're always on about." And he had a point. So in the interests of research I asked him how much he'd spend on a bike if he were buying tomorrow. "Five or six grand, cash that is," he said, without blinking. Blimey. That was more than perhaps any of us here have at our disposal for a luxury expense like a bike.
But it did get us thinking. What would be the smallest amount of cash you'd need to part with to turn up a really good sportsbike you could to live with, cherish, and relish?
After numerous calls to assorted iffy trade contacts we had a figure - £2,500 guv'nor. Yup, for two and a half thousand smackeroonies you can get some properly awesome hardware. You can also stiff yourself by buying some of the nastiest, ropiest heaps known to man if you're not careful, but if you use all of your cunning and guile, resist the temptation to buy the first thing you see and can drive a harder bargain than the Krays, you can emerge from the secondhand dungheap smelling of roses.
So with a ceiling of £2,500 set we tracked down the finest tools we could, ending up with a beautifully mint and very loved '93 FireBlade, a low mileage YZF750R that looked like it had spent its life in one of Michael Jackson's oxygen tents, and a shockingly clean TL1000S.
Then Alex threw us a curve ball from the editor's chair. "What sort of car can you get for the same money?" adding, "I bet it'd be a real shed - why don't you get one and let the bikes show it up?" And so it came to pass that a 17-year-old, 154,000 mile, 3.5 litre straight six BMW 635CSi found its way into the TWO car park. Next to the bikes it looked old, shabby, and tired, but it also had a drug-dealing, porn-peddling air of badass cool about it.
The assorted hardware was divvied-up around the office and one person assigned to live with each for a week. Bertie was the obvious choice for the FireBlade what with having a 2001 model as a longtermer and being the author of a book on the beasts (available from all bookshop bargain buckets near you this Christmas...). While Niall Mac had to have the YZF750 having won three British Superbike crowns on 'em not so long ago. The BMW went to me on account of my being the only person in the office never to have owned a car, all of which left the TL1000S with freelance writer, Stu Barker.
To top the whole experience off and make sure we all got a feel for our vehicles, the week's adoption period would end with a two-day road trip to Barry Island in South Wales. Why we ended up going to Barry is anyone's guess, but it seemed like a good idea at the time and was at least far enough away to provide a common element of adventure. If at this point we'd known how disastrously things would go tits up on this little jolly, none of us would have got out of bed that morning. But, not being clairvoyant we had no means of knowing this and so set off into the murk of another dingy Tolworth morning full of enthusiasm and good intentions for the coming journey.
Little did we know...
Continue for the Used 1993 Honda CBR900RR FireBlade Review - 2/6
Posted: 27/06/2008 at 09:24
Posted: 27/06/2008 at 10:10
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