As the calendar keeps reminding me, it’s 2022—and you know what that means? Motorcycle sales have been on their way up (and up, and up) since the pandemic took hold. Not just new bikes, though anecdotally speaking, it seems like most dealers are seeing bikes leave their showrooms almost as fast as they arrive. It sounds like a good problem to have, right?
That’s probably true if you’re the one doing the selling—but if you’re the one doing the buying, it’s a different story. Used bike sales have also been surging—and with the rise in demand, there has unsurprisingly also been a rise in used bike prices across the board. (That is, of course, great news if you’re a seller—but not so much if you’re looking for a bargain on your dream bike.)
Still, I’m game for a challenge if you are. With used bikes, a general rule of thumb is that in most cases, there’s a fine balance between purchase price and how much work you’ll need to do on your new baby. Pay a little more, and you’ll get a bike that’s in a little better condition. Pay a little less, and you’ll do a little more wrenching. Obviously, how you’ll feel about that depends on your particular motorcycling interests and preferences.
In any case, here are some interesting options we found that fit the bill. If any of them particularly appeal, we’d act fast—bike sales at all levels are kind of bonkers right now. Note: Mileage numbers are listed as provided by sellers, and are no guarantees of actual mileage, which may vary. Unless otherwise stated, engine information is based on the stock bike as it came from the factory, and does not reflect modifications that may have been made to it prior to the current sale. For the most accurate information, your best bet is contacting sellers directly if you’re interested in any used bike, ever.
1996 Honda CBR600 F3
The 1990s were a special time for sportbike styling, and this CBR600 F3 is a great example. You might love it or you might not, but if you do, the photos on this one certainly look promising enough to warrant some follow-up, especially if the mileage listed is accurate.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much in the way of information about it—so anyone interested would probably want to ask a whole bunch of questions before committing. There are some minor scuffs and scrapes on the fairings, but what do you want from a bike that’s almost 30 years old? If you’re looking for an honest F3 in decent cosmetic shape, this one might be calling your name.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 599cc inline four with bore and stroke of 65mm x 45.2mm, making a claimed 105 horsepower at 12,000 rpm and 66 newton-meters (48.7 pound-feet) of torque at 10,500 rpm
1991 BMW K75 Cafe Racer
The K75 first appeared in BMW’s lineup in the mid-1980s, and it’s a popular choice for café racer conversions in the modern era. Obviously, as with any and all customizations (or even stock bikes, for that matter), your mileage will vary based on your personal taste. In the provided photos, this one looks very clean—and that green and black color scheme is quite lovely.
It’s wearing a pair of Metzeler Roadtec 01 tires that don’t look bad, although the rear in particular does appear to be squaring off a bit. Depending on things like tire age and your personal preference, you may want to consider budgeting for some new tires in the foreseeable future.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 740cc triple with bore and stroke of 67mm x 70mm, making a claimed 75 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 68 newton-meters (50.2 pound-feet) of torque at 6,750 rpm
1998 Honda VTR1000 Super Hawk
Considered a gem by motorcycle journalists and riders alike in its time, the seller says this particular 1998 Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk is in extremely good, well-cared-for condition. It’s mostly stock, except for thoughtful upgrades like braided stainless steel brake lines and a Staintune exhaust. It also comes with both a rear seat cover and a tank cover.
The seller notes some small marks here and there, but nothing inconsistent with a bike that’s been ridden, loved, and cared for since 1998. Tires don’t look to be in bad shape, but are definitely squaring off a bit. It looks like a sweet FireStorm for someone, though.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 996cc V-twin with bore and stroke of 98mm x 66mm, making a claimed 110 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 97 newton-meters (71.5 pound-feet) of torque at 7,000 rpm
2000 Triumph Daytona 955i
The 2000 Triumph Daytona 955i is loved by many for a lot of reasons. First of all, there’s that triple. The looks don’t hurt, either. This example is a silver one and not an earlier yellow one, which on first glance may be disappointing—except that Triumph’s particular yellow as used on earlier bikes is notoriously difficult to match. Depending on how well it was cared for, the yellow ones may also not have faded evenly—so, you get the idea.
Enough about its looks, though—the handling was and remains a major selling point with this bike. Are there faster, more powerful sportbikes you can buy? Of course, but those numbers are only part of the story.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 955cc triple with bore and stroke of 79mm x 65mm, making a claimed 130 horsepower at 9,900 rpm and 100 newton-meters (73.8 pound-feet) of torque at 7,600 rpm
1988 Honda VTR 250 Interceptor
This is truly the tiniest of Honda’s Interceptors, but those who know it typically love it. Crafted by Honda to compete with the likes of the Kawasaki Ninja 250, this version was only offered in the U.S. between 1988 and 1990. For fans of weird Honda innovations, this early example of the VTR 250 features Honda’s inboard disc brake up front—which the company later abandoned for conventional discs. Progress!
Anyway, according to the seller, this particular bike recently had the carbs rebuilt, new tires installed, and an oil change performed. Known issues include no petcock handle and no choke cables, because the seller hasn’t been able to reliably source either so far. They add in the listing that the choke does work, but you’ll have to reach under the tank to operate it—no remote actuation unless you fix it yourself after purchase.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 249cc V-twin making a claimed 35 horsepower at 13,500 rpm
What sportbike bargains have you been keeping your eye on as we roll deeper into 2022? Let us know in the comments!