I always find it surprising how great a bike you can buy for so little money. Having a gander on Bikesales, EBay and Gumtree there are awesome deals going all the time. I almost wish a had a stash of money hidden away just for buying crazy deals when they pop up. I’ve compiled a brief list of bikes $5000 and under that are bargains if you are looking at buying a second hand road bike.
I didn’t just select any random bikes. First up, I feel all these bikes are actually good and worth owning. No one wants to ride some heinous monstrosity. Secondly, I set some search parameters. The bikes had to be under 50000kms, not a heap of shit and undamaged. No doubt there will be the odd bargain floating about (for e.g. my 2005 ZX10R was $4500 and in fantastic condition) but these bikes are readily available for below $5000.
Suzuki Bandit GSF1200/1250
These are a fantastic all-round motorcycle. They are a stupid amount of motorcycle for under $5000. Whether it be scratching up in the hills, commuting or riding to Phillip Island these bad boys will do it all. Reliability is fantastic and the torquey motor is a gem. If you hunt around or are willing to bargain, go for the 1250. It’s a better bike with an added sixth gear, revised engine and suspension.
Honda CBR600RR 2005 – onwards
The first CBR600RR is still a force to be reckoned with even today. If you want a cheap sports bike these are hard to pass by. They corner like they are on rails, are not out of place on both the street and track plus they look great. I recommend the 2005+ models over the 2003 -04 as they feature USD forks, are approximately 6kg lighter and have a host of other little upgrades.
Suzuki GSX-R1000 2003 – 04
It’s crazy that you can get a bike as capable, and fast as this for under $5k. The gixxer has a stonking engine, good suspension and a stable chassis to match. Put a good set of brake pads and braided lines on and there will be no stopping you (lame pun I know). Pretty sexy too, bitches love it.
If you aren’t a Suzuki man, look at the Honda CBR954 and the 2004-5 Kawasaki ZX10R. The 954 is still a great bike and surprisingly comfortable (for a sports bike). I personally think the ZX10’s of that era are a better bike than both, just a little harder to find.
Suzuki SV650 2003 – onwards
If you are new to your open bike licence or just looking for a quality ‘do-it-all’ style bike, these are a safe bet. Reliability is great and they still look good. Sure they aren’t going to set your world on fire power wise, but they cheap to run and can still scratch with the best of them in the mountains. In fact, they are a very popular track and race bike. Parts are cheap and easy to source and there are plenty of modifications out there. Go for the 2003 and newer models as they feature several major updates including the move to fuel injection and modern looks.
Honda VTR1000F Firestorm 2001 – onwards
You’ll be hard pressed to find a better sounding motorcycle for less. Add a set of Staintune pipes and start setting off car alarms! As a sports tourer they tick all the right boxes; sweet handling, a fantastic motor and comfort to match. Their only down side can be their fuel range. The combination of a thumping v-twin and a small fuel tank was never going to be pretty. Thankfully in 2001 Honda increased the fuel capacity to 19 litres and made minor tweaks all over. These are the models to pick up and are an absolute bargain.
An alternative to the Firestorm is the Suzuki SV1000S. There are not as many around but they are arguably a better bike with fuel injection and a modern look.
So that’s my list of bikes for $5k and under. Honestly, there are so many bikes on the market you can pick up a steal if you hunt around and not be a brand snob. I haven’t even delved into the LAM’s or adventure bike market and I really struggled to cut the list down to what it is now. On top of these, there a plenty of bikes I would recommend without hesitation too. No excuses people, get out there and get a bike! Anyway, enough rambling for now.
If you want any more info on buying a second hand bike I’m happy to answer any questions on the site, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Keep it OnTheBackWheel…