Motorcycles vary in their size, speed, and style, and have widely been collected and admired by enthusiasts around the world. Everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to their bikes, but the common denominator, every single time, is the passion for the ride, and the thrill that comes along with it.
Many of us are willing to drop a fair bit of money to purchase, customize, and enjoy these amazing machines. Even those living in limited climate areas find ways to justify their expensive motorcycle purchases and all the associated accessories and gear. The issue with motorcycle ownership, similar to that of car ownership, is that we may think we’re housing incredibly valuable bikes in our garage, but sometimes, they carry more nostalgic worth, than actual monetary worth. Simply owning a vintage, custom built, or classic bike does not automatically equate to owning a valuable one.
Before you drop your dough on that next bike, thinking you’ll be sitting on a prized possession, let’s take a look at some of these misfires that are no longer holding their monetary value in the market. Enjoy the article folks and like always be sure to share it with a friend. Without further ado, let's get started!
20 1971 Moto Guzzi Ambassador 750
No matter how you dice it, she’s a beauty, and if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then this bike is an absolute gem. If only aesthetics could be the measure of monetary value, this stunner of a bike definitely saw popularity when it was first released to the market.
Hagerty pegs the current value of this vintage ride at somewhere between $4,000-$8,000. This bike stocks an impressive 6 gallons of fuel, and features 60 hp at 6500 rpm. With a top speed of 100mph - this bike can definitely move… but it won’t be the most monetarily prized possession in your garage.
19 1974 Honda CB 360
This bike was churned out on a two-year production cycle and created significant buzz over the limited ownership appeal. A twin cylinder, 4-stroke ride, with decent lines and an overall appealing aesthetic, it’s easy to see why it was a hot seller. Everyone would agree that this is one of the most sought after bikes, which is now considered to be a limited edition antique. Words like “limited edition” and “antique” are so often associated with a significant dollar value, but sadly, such is not the case here.
With a going rate of roughly $3,000-$4,000, this bike misses the mark and doesn’t quite make it on the list of valuable cycles.
18 1985 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster
The popularity of this bike was not a direct result of aesthetics, as it has a relatively low-key, conservative design with no major visual attraction to make it stand out among the rest. You either love or hate its off-beat engine sound, and for those who love it, we hope that’s enough to keep you entertained.
Despite being out-performed by imports, and lacking defining features to make it sought after, this bike still topped sales, quickly making it a top-selling hit for quite some time. The buzz created by sales gave this bike a lot of empty hype that just couldn’t be sustained. The current value of this machine is now embarrassingly pegged at between $2,000-$5,000k.
17 Triumph Daytona 675 R
Born to be a fierce little machine, the Triumph Daytona 675 R entered the market in 2006 as the smallest, most lightweight Triumph to be made. This 3 cylinder sport bike seemed virtually weightless, and there’s an undeniable appeal in so much power packed into a lightweight frame. The agility of this bike matched its superior, compact handling, and folks lined up to purchase this fun, spunky ride. Sales were high, and the appeal was obvious, but the appreciation for this fun ride didn’t sustain the test of time.
Currently valued at roughly $9,000, it’s not as poorly valued as others, but sorry folks, it didn’t sustain the value that everyone thought it would, either.
16 BSA THUNDERBOLT
You really have to be dedicated to keep this in your garage. The appeal of this 650 cc Twin-cylinder was impressive in the on-set but quickly lost out as it couldn’t stand up against the foreign contenders of the ’70s.
Undeniably attractive in its design, this bike flatlined due to its high-maintenance and regular repair issues. Oil leaks and rusty parts made this tough and expensive to maintain, and more of a project than a prize. Initially considered a sought-after touring bike retains some value at $7,000-$12,000, but that’s all relative - the repair costs scare us away and off-set the worth of the bike too much. We’ll pass on this one.
15 HARLEY DAVIDSON SHOVELHEAD
Harley bikes are those that you either love or hate. Those who love them are die-hard fans. This bike is undeniably a great one, but it misses the money-mark and can’t really be classified as a valuable one. While we appreciate the stigma associated with Harley Davidson ownership, the shovelhead falls short.
As the predecessor of the Panhead engine, the rocker heads on this bike look like a coal shovel, inspiring this unique name. This bike is riddled with engine troubles and suffers from a shallow combustion chamber. Impressive in the onset, but not a keeper, the current value of this bike is far less than other Harleys, nestling in at only $5,900.
14 La Primera BMW R100
Built by Giancarlo Noe of Anathem Garage, this bike is absolutely as fun as it looks. As a mechanic for race teams, Giancarlo put a lot into this bike, revealing its nickname as “La Primera” – translating directly to “the first” and creating a lot of buzz.
Classified as a “fast scrambler,” people flocked to buy this beauty, to gain ownership of such a unique build. Sadly, the classifying features of this bike are just not enough to retain its dollar value. A lot of hype, but not a lot of monetary measurement, you can now pick up this one-of-a-kind classic motorbike for less than $4,000.
13 Meister R80 GS
If you like Enduros, this one is a fun bike to spin. Designed in Switzerland, this unique, award-winning motorcycle was sought after for reasons too many to list. It’s an adventure bike that seems to have no limits. Versatility on a lightweight frame the manoeuvrability of this bike is astounding – destination – anywhere!
Commonly termed by Bikebound, and many other bike pros as “The Godfather of Adventure Bikes,” this classic machine is all the rave. It is backed by all the stylistic designs anyone would ever want to see, and delivers beyond expectations on varying terrains. Yet, sadly, from a value perspective it disappoints - you can pick one up for less than $5,000.
12 Suzuki GS 1000
Incredibly popular in the ’70s and ’80s, this 4 cylinder, 4-stroke was easy to maintain and fun to ride. It gave riders great balance, as it was a great bike to race, yet also a comfortable one for longer-distance tours as well.
It gained fame in the onset of its release and maintained steady sales and a decent following. Aside from issues with its wet-weather breaking abilities, this was a crowd-pleaser, but this classic is just not a keeper. It couldn’t maintain value beyond $2,000 in today’s market.
11 Harley Davidson MX 1000 Ironhead
This bike packs punch as a sport and off-road motorcycle and was Harley Davidson’s first entry into the motocross market in the ’70s. The appeal is obvious with a 1000 cc dirt bike boasting the Harley Davidson crest. The intrigue led to widespread popularity and massive sales on this bike set records. Now considered a vintage, this prized possession is still sought-after.
Sadly though, proud ownership of this incredible machine, can be had for less than $8,000 in today’s market. Compared to other Harley rides and their net-worth, this beast just doesn’t retain the value you’d expect from the brand.
10 1967 Norton Commando
This vintage motorcycle features an aggressive look and carries with it, unsurpassed historic significance. Anyone in the market for a vintage bike is going to want to own one of these. This bike is known for having a unique design with isolating rubber blocks that lend to more ease and comfort for your ride.
Minimizing the vibration and associated vibration discomfort, you’re sure to enjoy this brilliant machine, which came in 745 and 828 cc’s topping 115 miles per hour. Sadly, the valuation doesn’t match its classic significance, and you can now own this piece of history for less than $8,000.
9 1975 Harley Davidson SX 250
Would you like to own a Harley Davidson, but just can’t justify the expense? Look no further, this one is essentially valueless. Anyone with a mediocre budget can get one of these bad boys for $2100 in excellent condition. The AMF years are just not known for their reliability.
We are all aware that Harley bikes require regular upkeep and maintenance, but the 75 AMF’s are an extra-special treat that will drain your bank account. If you’re looking for a budget-bike, you need not to look any further than this.
8 1981 Husqvarna
This is a beautiful heritage bike with origins from Sweeden and is a classic moto-cross must-have. No upgrades are necessary; this bike was perfectly designed and needs no enhancements. These machines were pioneers in the obsessive moto-cross era.
This build was designed to be strategically small and featured their iconic aluminum tank which quickly became a trademark. However, all this hype comes with little return, as you can easily pick up some of this classic steel for under $5,000 in today’s market.
7 Garelli Super Sport XL
As the leader of moped manufacturing, Garelli’s Super Sport XL boasts a horizontal NOI engine style in a fun frame. You also are sure to run into your run-of-the-mill rubber clutch issues which seem to be common for this brand. No matter how you dice it, this is a mean little moped classic, and it can definitely boot you around town.
However, in spite of how sought after it is, and regardless of how fun a ride it can be, it falls short of being monetarily valuable. The current value of one of these machines is a very sad $1,000 or less. This leaves us completely underwhelmed and makes the purchase a little less appealing.
6 1968 Triumph Trident
Well, this was once a valuable machine, back in its prime, but it certainly isn’t worth much anymore. This bike gained a lot of initial attention, which resonated in great traction on sales. The 3 cylinder came as a 750 cc or 900 cc and has always been deemed as a “basic bike.” Maybe that was part of its appeal to mainstream shoppers. It must have ultimately proven to be too basic to hold any value, as this can now be purchased for under $1,000.
Yes, the chances are your riding boots will cost more than the bike itself, so we’re opting out of this one as it lands too far down on the value scale to be considered for the current purchase.
5 BMW R75
If you’re interested in a motorcycle that looks like a stunning vintage, without the whopping price tag to match, this one is the winner. With a nostalgic design and completely vintage look, this classic bike is definitely a looker. It has a 745 cc flat twin engine and runs 26 hp stock. You can easily pick one of these up for under $16,000, which seems like a fair price for such a treasured and esteemed bike, but the problem is, it really should be worth way more than that.
The current price tag alone is decent enough to be considered an investment, but in actuality, the value it should have retained was presumed to have been considerably higher.
4 1972 Harley Davidson MC65 Shortster
This is a great bike! It’s such a rare find and this fact, when paired with its Harley Davidson heritage, should make for a higher valuation than its insulting going rate of $1,000- $3,000. This 65cc bike is hard to come by, and was such a limited edition bike, leading us to presume the value of this one would be much higher than it currently is. One would assume that being a rare Harley breed with only 800 of these particular machines ever produced, would mean the overall value of the bike would be significantly greater.
Apparently not, in this case. This bike is highly valued as a nostalgic, historical keepsake, but it unfortunately only holds sentimental value, not monetary value.
3 Honda XL 600R
This aluminum-framed off-road bike was very popular at the time of release to the market. Built as a single-cylinder four-stroke motorcycle, this is a mean bike that can effortlessly rip up the dirt path. With strong front brakes and great handling, it is widely popular in its class, yet poorly valued when considering its monetary value.
You can pick one up for $1,500 on the expensive side, and under $1,000 if it’s in fair condition. Dual-purpose bike heroes love this bike as it puts out a lot of power and sheer fun, yet it is absolutely worthless when considering a trade-in and carries very low resale value.
2 1987 Yamaha QT50
Let’s have some more moped fun! This moped gained popularity among all generations, young and old alike. People flocked to purchase this fuel-efficient ride and enjoyed being able to zip around town with minimal effort or expense. This bike was heavily popular in the 1980s. Top speed for this simple machine was an impressive 30 mph and could be very easily enhanced with minimal investment.
Compact and peppy, this popular ride has parts that are easily accessible and wildly affordable. It’s sad to discover that it can be purchased for $800 or less!
1 Suzuki GS 750
The mid-'70s saw the rise of fame for this bike. This beauty was the first four-stroke Suzuki that was ever made, and the rush of this news made it a wide-seller in all regions. The competition between Suzuki and Kawasaki was hitting its prime, with the two going head-to-head in competition both on the track, and in the sales market.
The GS 750 boasted handling that was unmatched within this time, giving it the edge, and increasing its popularity. You'd think these accolades would count for a lot more than the disappointing $1,000 market value it currently holds.
Sources: Overkill Custom Motors Choppers, Nada Guides, Hagerty, Foreign Policy, Motorcycle Classics