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LEGENDS ON THE CHEAP...

Buying the best doesn’t always mean breaking the bank…
PICTURES: THE GAWLER

From the out side looking in, motorcycle journalism has often been portrayed as having a rockstar’slifestyle –fast bikes, fast women, fast cash and, er, a fast internet connection. But if that’s what’shappening out there, no-one’slet me on it as I’m someone who has bugger-all disposal income and a credit rating number resembling a learner bike displacement. £3,000 is still a huge amount of cash.

On the other hand, three grand seems a piffling amount when it comes to buying a legendary sportsbike. Surely you’dhave to pay way more to grab yourself a slice of Italian exotica, something that will bother the latest crop of litre-sized missiles or a bike that easily has 200mph within it? Apparently not, if the small ads are anything to go by...

PCP-ingthe fuck out of anew bike is the easy route; spanking older models that cost a fraction of the price while offering just a minuscule less performance is whereit’sat. Manufacturers have been bellowing out the benefits of finance deals attempting to offset the extortionate rise in RRPs -but not all of us can simply chuck a deposit down, let alone find the monthly payments or fund that last chunk to make it your own.

Which is exactly why the used market is brimming with fine examples, catering for every taste and wallet size, and we’ve selected bikes around the £3k price bracket to highlight exactly how much bang for your buck is available. Rather than visit the likes of our friends at Fowlers or Bransons, we’vehandpicked a quartet with some assistance from FB readers and friends to ensure we prime you with some perfect examples.

Let’s start with the exquisite option; Ducati’sTamburini-designed 748 was launched in 1994 and is almost identical to the iconic 916 in every way. In truth, good examples are becoming rarer than rocking horse shit, but we managed to source an SP model from Luigi Moto. If there’s anyone in the UK who knows more about 748s than owner Rich Llewellyn, we’veyet to meet them. True,Richwon’t let this go for three grand, butwe’veseen plenty of examples that have.

Sticking with Italian beauties, the Aprilia RSV1000R represents the big-bore v-twin option and is the newest and freshest bike on test. Many purists prefer the older Mille, which is holding incredible value, although FB reader Steve managed to grab this 2007 Factory version for a little over our price target.

For £3,000, there really isn’t a better 1,000cc four-pot optionthanSuzuki’s GSX-R1000 K3. Way before the European dominance took hold, Suzuki bossed the noughties’ superbike division and this particular bike has its very own special storythat’swell worth sticking around for. Completing the awesome foursome from the silly-fast mothership segment is the 186mph limited Kawasaki ZX-12R –the Big K’sriposte to the Suzuki Hayabusa. Why have speed without comfort?

Choose wisely, dear friends, and there could be a sound financial investment in a future classic –rather than losing thousands on new bike depreciation. Well, that’swhatyou can tell the Doris when she wonders where the money for the new conservatory has gone…

Kawasaki ZX-12R

First up, the hyperbike option. Ducati and Yamaha’s MotoGP winglets? Yeah, they’re cute. Much has been made of winglets lately – something of a fashion frenzy, like aerodynamics have suddenly entered the bike world– but Kawasaki was hard at it during the turn of the millennium with the ZX-12R, which was the fastest production bike available at the time.

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About Fast Bikes

20 YEARS OLD AND STILL AS KEEN AS MUSTARD 215MPH WHEELIES! PENSIONER POPS IT UP DOING THE DOUBLE TON! PITBIKE RACING SMALL BIKES... ...MASSIVE FUN! THE UNBLUNTABL ADE CAN YOU COPY THE TEN KATE BLUEPRINT FOR ’BLADE BRILLIANCE? STATE OF THE... ARK – STANDARD GSX-R1000 ART – SERT 24-HOUR RACER LEGENDARY BIKES THAT START AT JUST £2,500! • DUCATI 748 • APRILIA RSV1000R • SUZUKI GSX-R1000 • KAWASAKI ZX-12R PLUS: 2016 YAMAHA MT-09 WITH TRACTION CONTROL NEW RUBBER TESTED: PIRELLI AND DUNLOP DOING A RUNNER? ER, BEST THINK TWICE SPINNING JENNY – TINMOUTH LIGHTS IT UP!
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