Home Wealth Investment When a motorbike is a good investment

When a motorbike is a good investment

Want to take your portfolio for a ride?

Jack Derwin

Digital Journalist, Your Money

Editor’s note: The following article contains information only. It is not intended as general or personal advice. Your Money recommends seeking professional advice specific to your personal circumstances. 


After a year that saw declining property prices in our capital cities and seven per cent of value wiped off the ASX, Australians may be forgiven for looking elsewhere for returns.

But would you ever think to invest in a motorcycle?

While clearly not for everyone, it’s a purchase that can prove very lucrative.

Had you bought one of the just 30 Vincent Black Lightning motorcycles made in 1951, for example, you would have paid the equivalent of $1000 in today’s dollars.

Australian Jack Ehret would go on to ride one when he set a world speed record in 1953 just outside of Gunnedah, New South Wales.

Fast-forward to 2018, and that very bike sold for $1.3 million.

It’s a perfect case study of the three things motorcycles generally need to appreciate in value, The Australian motoring columnist John Connolly told Your Money Live. 

“They’ve got to be rare, they’ve got to have some sex appeal and some history,” Connolly said.

Now while not every vehicle has a world record attached, plenty have stories.

American actors Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda ride through the Desert on motorcycles in a scene ‘Easy Rider’, directed by Hopper, 1969. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Consider the bikes ridden in the 1969 cult classic Easy Rider, one of the most iconic motorcycle films of all time.

“There were four built for the movie. One crashed and was written off. Three were stolen and somehow this guy called Dan Haggerty, who was in Grizzly Adams, turned up with one, restored it and it just sold for $1.6 million- the highest price ever paid for a bike,” Connolly explained.

Indeed any bikes touched by Hollywood seem to be charmed.

“Steve McQueen’s bottom being on a bike adds $300,000 in value,” Connolly laughed.

For those on the lookout for a great investment today there is some good news.

“Generally, Australian bikes are under-priced so there are some buying opportunities here,” Connolly said.

So what might prove a great investment in years to come?

“I think there some old Hondas around for $5-6,000, that are an easy entry [and] a lot of fun but the bikes I’d buy, which I think are really underpriced, are the Ducatis from about the 1980s,” he explained.

“There’s a 1982 Ducati which is going for around $25-30,000 which I think is a really good buy.”

Watch the full interview above for more. 

Plus: 10 weird investments you can make (but maybe shouldn’t)
Plus: How to make money under a Shorten government
Plus: Is ethical investing about to take off in Australia?

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