There’s tons of new and exciting models appearing in nearly all of the major manufacturers dealerships. Not to mention more and more finance options available every single day. The temptation to have a brand new bike in the garage has never been greater. But for every new bike, there’s umpteen used bikes. And they’d all look almost as good parked next to the kids pushbikes, the cardboard boxes and that old fridge. So what’ll it be, sir? Is the allure of a zero miles, £20k superbike too much? Or are you happy to make do with someone else’s sloppy seconds, for the sake of saving some cash?
And you really can save a ton of cash by buying a pre-loved bike. If you pay £20k for the latest superbike, you’re never going to see that money again. Chances are in three years’ time, when you fancy a change, it’ll be worth nearer £10k. Even if you manage to sell it for £11k, that’s still £3,000 a year it’s cost you. If you’re the bloke that buys it for £11k, yes you’re still going to loose a bit of money, but nowhere near as much. It might be worth £8k after you’ve had your three years, so ownership’s cost you a grand a year, rather than three. And it’s but it’s still probably just as good as it’s always been.
That said, it’s not going to be as good as the latest and greatest. Every year bikes get better and better, in almost every way. Nine times out of ten, the latest version of any bike is faster and better handling than the one that came before it. So if you need the very best, and you can afford to pay for it, then it’s a no-brainer. That said, bikes have been so fast, for so long now, that although a second hand one might not have the legs on a brand new one when you’re giving it the berries round a track, anything with a decent sized engine, manufactured within the last 15 years or so is going to be fast enough.
Faster, contrary to popular misconception, doesn’t always mean more dangerous. With traction control, ABS, anti-wheelie and all the other safety features, the latest bikes are almost uncrashable… OK, that’s a lie, they are still very crashable, but you catch my drift. And the super modern, space age electrickery that any new bike worth its salt is bursting with, isn’t just about safety, either. Things like shifters and blippers, different power modes, heated seats and grips and Bluetooth connectivity are constantly making bikes better performing, easier to ride and more comfortable. Some will even answer the phone for you.
But you have to ask yourself if you really want all that stuff. Sure it’s nice to have all the tech, and most of it is going to make your ride that little bit better. But it’s not going to change your life. Nobody actually needs that extra few bhp, or that long list of gadgets and rider aids. But it’s nice to have it. Just like it’s nice to have a brand spanking new, completely unmolested (except by you) bike to razz around on. I’m not saying a new superbike is a penis extension, but if it was, it would be the best type of penis extension going.
So should you buy a new bike or a used bike? Well there is no right or wrong answer here. If you’ve either got a load of money, or don’t mind tying yourself into a finance deal, then why not. You can have the sexiest, fastest, techiest thing going. You probably won’t be able to get anywhere much faster, but you’ll enjoy every second you spend on your bike; you’ll have to, the amount it cost you. But if you want to save a few quid, or quite a lot of quid come to think of it, you could buy a used bike. It might not do anything for your street cred, and you might feel like you have to bling it up with some aftermarket parts to keep up with the Jones’. But you’ll probably have just as much fun as your mate on his all-singing, all-dancing state-of-the-art superbike.