General

Every Visordown Motorcycle Buyers' Guide

A guide to our guides

AT Visordown we have over 50 of the most comprehensive Buyers' Guides around, which we've compiled below for your easy reference. 

Created with data gathered from extensive owner surveys, these guides are packed with the kind of real-world information you need to arm yourself with before you circle any classified ads and head out for a spot of tyre kicking. So if you're planning to buy a used bike in the near future, make sure you bookmark this page.

And what's more, we'll be bringing out a new guide every month in 2013 - so if your dream bike isn't in the list below, it soon will be! Until then, why not read our tips for buying a used bike and pore over our bike buying checklist

APRILIA

RSV Mille

Aside from a few charging system problems, owner/riders rate Aprilia’s big 1000cc V-twin very highly. A strong engine, planted chassis and tough finish make this a top value Italian.

Click here for the Aprilia RSV Mille buyer guide

Tuono

The Tuono is a stripped down version of the Mille, combining sportsbike handling and performance with upright bars.

Click here for the Aprilia Tuono buyer guide

BMW

F650

BMW’s original single cylinder F650 series of bikes are practical, reliable, well-finished, usable everyday machines with some of the lowest running costs of any proper-sized motorbike. But they're also the tool of choice for the hardcore adventure traveller.

Click here for the BMW F650 buyer guide

F650GS and F800GS

When the new 650 and 850GS were launched in 2008, they revolutionised a stagnant sector and made it one of the most exciting two-wheeled classes. Mid-capacity twin cylinder trail bikes had always been dull but worthy. The new BMWs were light, fast and exciting.

Click here for the BMW F650GS and F800GS buyer guide

R1150GS and Adventure

Bikes like the R1150GS really do it all – everything from commuting to round the world trips. And they’re relatively fast, handle well and are seriously fun when you know how to ride them properly.

Click here for the BMW R1150GS and Adventure buyer guide

K1200 and K1300

In 2005, BMW released three new bikes with an all-new belter of a 1200cc parallel-four engine: the super sports touring K1200S, the naked K1200R with distinctive, aggressive styling and the luxurious but rapid K1200GT tourer.

Click here for the BMW K1200 and K1300 buyer guide

BUELL

XB

We've focused on the XB Buells: the XB9S and XB12S Lightning factory streetfighters, the XB9R and XB12R Firebolt sports bikes and the adventure touring XB12X Ulysses.

Click here for the Buell XB buyer guide

DUCATI

Monster

Launched in 1993, the first Monster was a birth of a legend. Unlike anything seen before, somewhere between a naked, a retro and a streetfighter, Monsters are minimal, purposeful and very cool.

Click here for the Ducati Monster buyer guide

999 and 749

Some believe that Ducati got it wrong with the design of the 999 and 749, as the Italian bike lost the supermodel looks of its predecessor, the 916. But since it splits opinion, that helps keep prices low on the used market, even more so since Ducati introducted the 848, 1098 and now Panigale replacements in its line-up.

Click here for the Ducati 999 and 749 buyer guide

HONDA

Hornet CB600F

The Honda Hornet 600 offers one of the highest fun-per-pound ratios of any bike you can buy on the used market. But there’s more – it’s a durable, capable, useable workhorse or commuter too.

Click here for the Honda Hornet CB600F buyer guide

CBR600RR

The CBR600RR is a machine designed to win races and it’s incredibly fast on the road or track. It exudes an aura of calm at silly speeds when other machines would be bouncing and flapping and generally terrifying their rider, which means you can go quicker still.

Click here for the Honda CBR600RR buyer guide

VFR800

A possible candidate for the best bike of all time. The VFR did everything and exceedingly well too. It's a jack of all trades that can handle every kind of riding you throw at it, plus it's extremely reliable and well-built.

Click here for the Honda VFR800 buyer guide

CBF1000

Honda’s CBF1000 is sold and regarded as a functional rather than a fun bike, but ride the thing and chances are you’ll be amazed. It’s a riot. It handles superbly, not in a ‘push the front, drift the back’ type way, but in real-world situations with regular riders on board, it’s an extremely nifty mover.

Click here for the Honda CBF1000 buyer guide

Fireblade

The Fireblade fundamentally changed the way sports bikes were made when it appeared in 1992, by showing that light was right. Ever since it’s either been top dog in the unlimited sports bike class or, if it didn’t hold the top spot, a worthy contender at the very least.

Click here for the Honda Fireblade buyer guide

2000 - 2003 CBR900RR Fireblade

The Fireblade has a special place in the hearts of British headbangers, as it revolutionised the 'superbike' and set a benchmark. The RR model was launched in 2000 with a 929cc motor and then updated less than two years later with a 954cc engine.

Click here for the 2000 - 2003 Honda CBR900RR Fireblade buyer guide

CBR1100XX Super Blackbird

On its launch in 1996 the Super Blackbird instantly became the fastest production bike on the road, with a top speed around 178mph. A complete package, it's not only insanely fast, but a fine-handling and very capable touring machine.

Click here for the Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird buyer guide

KAWASAKI

Z750

Kawasaki's Z750 is a practical bike that's got plenty attitude and personality, and is always up for a laugh. Kawasaki squeezed a 750cc engine into a compact and perky chassis and the bike was an instant hit.

Click here for the Kawasaki Z750 buyer guide

ZX-6R

Every ZX-6R’s been a bike with character. Since the original model was launched in 1995 the various incarnations of the ZX-6 have catered for different types of riders, whether you're after a trackday weapon, a middleweight sports tourer or some cheap but rapid wheels.

Click here for the Kawasaki ZX-6R buyer guide

ZX-7R

The Kawasaki ZX-7R still rates as one of the best-looking race-replica machines ever. And it’s been looks alone that have kept the venerable Sexy Seven so popular.

Click here for the Kawasaki ZX-7R buyer guide

ZX-9R

The ZX-9R was never top dog in the unlimited sports sector but it’s still a superb machine. It handles and brakes well, most riders find it pretty comfy, it’s got character, it’s reliable and it’s 170mph fast.

Click here for the Kawasaki ZX-9R buyer guide

ZX-10R

Kawasaki’s ZX-10R is outrageously fast but it’s also raw and very much alive - definitely not for the inexperienced or faint of heart. As well as blitzing race tracks, it’ll lift the front wheel up at 130mph in third. In a sanitized world it’s a portion of savage fun and that makes it something very special.

Click here for the Kawasaki ZX-10R buyer guide

KTM

950 and 990 Adventure

The 950 and 990 Adventures are multi-purpose tools. Yes they’re more than capable of round-the-world trips – taking in mountains, deserts and pretty much anything else Mother Earth can muster. But they’re good at loads more besides. They’re comfortable, practical, versatile, fast and they handle far better than their weird appearance would have you believe.

Click here for the KTM 950 and 990 Adventure buyer guide

RC8

KTM's first superbike. Four years in the making when it was launched in 2008, the 1148cc V-twin powered RC8 is a typically unique looking beast of a sportsbike. Excellent handling, smooth power and high levels of build quality make this a desirable machine. In 2009 the engine was bumped up by 47cc and called the RC8 R.

Click here for the KTM RC8 buyer guide

SUZUKI

SV650

Suzuki's SV650 is a bike that punches way above its weight. Most budget bikes follow the formula of a hand-me-down engine and a basic steel frame, however the SV650 got a chunky aluminium frame and a specially designed V-twin engine which gave it a unique character and enough power to make it a plucky middleweight.

Click here for the Suzuki SV650 buyer guide

GSF600 Bandit

The Bandit has always been offered in two versions: a butch looking naked bike and a faired version. A superbly handy bike with a huge following.

Click here for the Suzuki GSF600 Bandit buyer guide

GSX-R750

According to many the GSX-R750 is the perfect sized sports bike. It takes the best of two worlds, when the power of modern 1000s can be too intimidating and the 600s, while being easy to throw about, don't have the grunt to fire you out of corners.

Click here for the Suzuki GSX-R750 buyer guide

GSX-R1000

The Gixxer Thou has been wowing owners since 2001 and regular updates mean it can still boss the race track as well as the road.

Click here for the Suzuki GSX-R1000 buyer guide

GSX1300R Hayabusa

Suzuki's Hayabusa is not only incredibly fast, it's also a very usable, practical bike. It’ll commute, run errands, tour and even scratch, although it’s a bit on the porky side to mix it with well-ridden sportsbikes on track days. What’s more it’s reliable and not too expensive to run.

Click here for the Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa buyer guide

TRIUMPH

Daytona 675

Triumph took on the Japanese in the ultra-competitive 600 supersport class, and succeeded with the Daytona 675. Its three-cylinder engine packed more punch than its rivals and on the road makes a much better powerplant than the revvy fours. The raspy exhaust note really sets it apart as well.

Click here for the Triumph Daytona 675 buyer guide

T595 and 955i

Considered an also-ran when put up against its rivals, but what the T595 and later 955i lacked against the Japanese competition it made up for in its character. At the heart of its personality is the three cylinder engine's charm and the fact that these bikes are built for real roads instead of the racetrack.

Click here for the Triumph T595 and 955i buyer guide

Speed Triple

The original hooligan bike, the Speed Triple was one of the reborn Triumph's first big hits. Brash, brawny and badass, the 955cc, 120 bhp triple - basically a naked Daytona - loves to get its front wheel up. After a substantial overhaul to the model in 2001, it was replaced in 2004 by a 1050cc version. 

Click here for the Triumph Speed Triple buyer guide

YAMAHA

Fazer 600

The bike which showed cheap didn’t have to mean nasty and that a versatile bike could be fast and fun too – all for a sensible price.

Click here for the Yamaha Fazer 600 buyer guide

TDM 850 and 900

The venerable TDM has been a good, solid adventure-sport bike since long before anyone knew the term. The 850cc V-twin goes all the way back to 1991, while the 900cc version was introduced in 2001. Though reliable and durable, the TDM didn't really catch on in the UK, but represents good value as a used buy. 

Click here for the Yamaha TDM 850 and 900 buyer guide

Fazer 1000

We all wanted an unfaired R1 with higher bars. What Yamaha delivered was so much more: wrapped around the R1 engine was a chassis which made the Fazer practical, comfortable and everyday-useable, as well as being able to mix it with the best of them when required.

Click here for the Yamaha Fazer 1000 buyer guide

YZF-R1

One of the most iconic sportsbikes of the 90s, the 175mph-fast R1 was the litre bike to have by the turn of the century. Regular updates kept it sharp through the 2000s, with increasing power and better handling. The 2009 crossplane-crank motor is practically a MotoGP engine you can ride to the local bike meet.

Click here for the Yamaha YZF-R1 buyer guide

FJR1300

The FJR1300 combined the levels of luxury and luggage capacity of a full tourer with engine performance not far off hyperbikes like Honda’s BlackBird. It even handled well, thanks to being comparatively light.

Click here for the Yamaha FJR1300 buyer guide

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